October 2008

October 2008

A favorite story is from a machine repairman.  A customer came to the store to buy a new part for her machine.  She was asking for a new felt mat to go under the needle plate.  The repairman had no idea of what she was talking about until she showed him a flattened layer of lint buildup that she had thought was a felt mat.  The point?  See the $30 idea section below.

EDUCATION: So Many Myths
There are so many myths regarding thread.  Some are propagated purposely due to a financial motivation, others by misinformed professionals including store sales staff and repair technicians, and most by innocent people just passing on what they have heard.  Here are some of the most common myths.

Myth 1.  Polyester will tear my quilt fabric.
Not true.  If you have attended one of Bob’s seminars, you have seen hands-on proof that this is a myth.  Thread tearing into a fabric has nothing to do with the thread fiber type but with the strength of the fibers (both in the thread and in the fabric).  Some cotton thread (such as glazed cotton) can be stronger and more abrasive than polyester.

Myth 2.  My machine repair person said that I must use only ____ thread.  Fill in the blank with a brand name or cotton or poly, etc.
Some have been told to use only cotton thread.  Others have been told to use only polyester thread.  I’m sure the person who says this means well.  He/She probably just finished cleaning a machine full of horrible lint or other problems and intended to advise the owner to use a better thread.  The advice may be spoken out of frustration or  misinterpreted.  Imagine a car company saying you must use only Shell gasoline because other brands will damage your car.  It does not make sense.  Quality is the key, not the type.  Your machine is made to accommodate many types and sizes of threads.  With the proper needle and tension adjustments, your machine should run any high quality thread.  Don’t be stuck on one channel.

Myth 3.  Using prewound bobbins will void my warranty.
Not true.  Similar reasons as #2 above.  I personally checked with machine companies and using prewound bobbins will not void any warranty.  Most machine companies sell prewound bobbins.  They are a wonderful convenience.  Choose quality bobbin thread.

Myth 4.  You must always use a 3-ply thread.
Not true.  In most cases a 3-ply thread is stronger than a 2-ply thread. However, if the 3-ply thread is a lower quality product, it is possible than an excellent quality 2-ply thread is stronger and preferred for particular uses.  The number of plies is not the critical point.  The quality of the raw material and the processing techniques together determine how good a thread is.  For example, consider piecing thread.  The goal when piecing is to make a smooth seam without bulkiness.  A thread with occasional slubs (clumps of excess thread or lint wound into the thread) will not create a smooth seam.  A heavier-than-necessary thread will make a bulky seam.  If you have a top quality smooth, slub-free, and adequately strong 2-ply cotton, the seams will lie flat, the points will meet, and there will be no bulkiness in the seams.  Quality is more important than the number of plies.

Please visit our extensive Education page for more great learning.

BOB'S SEMINAR SCHEDULE: Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob
Oct. 8-11. Innovations. Tacoma, WA

Almost everything we do at Superior Threads is a result of ideas, suggestions, and recommendations from our employees and from our customers. You are the ones that really manage our company. Send us your ideas to help us serve you better (products, education, website, customer service, etc.). We award a $30 Superior Threads gift certificates for the best monthly ideas. Send an e-mail to  [email protected] with "$30 idea" in the subject line. This month's winners:

1.  Barbara Shie (Colorado). How about perforating the shrink wrap on spools and cones?  This would save our fingernails and keep from gouging the thread.
Bob’s Note: I have also struggled opening some of those shrink wrapped spools.  The change is in the works. It will be a few months before we see the new perforated shrink wrapping but they are on the way.  Thank you Barbara.

2.  Toni Selman (California).  When new products are added to the website, it would help if you could list the "(NEW Sep 08)" in a different color -- maybe red so it stands out.  It would be so much easier to scan quickly to see what the new products are.
Bob’s Note: Done.  Thank you Toni.

3 & 4.  Linda Friedman (California) and Mary Anne Rhodes (Florida).
>From Linda: Lift the stitch plate to clean out all the lint along with cleaning out the bobbin casing of any possible lint.
>From Mary Anne: As a repeat knuckle biter over skipped threads and odd stitching, remember to clean the bobbin area very regularly. Too often I have thought I got hold of defective thread (especially monofilaments and embroidery threads) only to find out, as a last result self diagnostic effort, that huge amounts of lint had collected in the area surrounding the bobbin. After cleaning with the lowly pipe cleaner, my stitches were perfect. I now have a reminder note taped to the wall above my machine that reads, "Clean the bobbin area!"
Note from Mother Superior: Use some of your spare makeup brushes to clean out lint and see what an extraordinary job they do.


1. Wish List feature.  A wish list is basically a shopping cart full of things you want to buy, but maybe not right away. You can also share your wish list with others so they can buy for you the items you put on your wish list.  When others ask what you would like for your birthday or for Christmas or for other special occasions, direct them to your Wish List.

How do I create a wish list?
You will need to register online in order to create a wish list. To make a wish list simply go shopping and collect all of the items that you want. Then click on "Show Cart/Checkout" to view your cart.  It is here that you can save your cart as a Wish List. Click on "Save cart as wish list." The link will then change to "Your wish list is saved" to indicate that it was saved successfully.  Only one wish list at a time is allowed so if you save a second wish list, it will replace the first.

How do I load a friend's wish list?
You need to know the e-mail address that your friend used to register on our website. Click on "My Cart" in the top right corner.  If you have not been shopping it will show an empty cart.  Click "Load a wish list" and a text box will appear.  Type in your friend's e-mail address and click "Go" and it will load your friend's wish list into your cart. You can delete items you don't wish to purchase and it will not affect your friend’s wish list.

2.  Frostings.  36 colors of MasterPiece on prewound bobbins.  Frostings are assorted color sets of MasterPiece L style bobbins.  Each of three sets contain 12 different colors.  MasterPiece is ideal for applique (imagine 36 colors already wound onto bobbins and available at your fingertips), piecing, bobbin thread, detail quilting, and heirloom and lace work.  In addition to the assorted color sets, these bobbins are available in single-color packs of one dozen bobbins (see the MasterPiece link). Here is the link for Frostings:

3.  NiteLite ExtraGlow is now available in 6 colors on both 80 yd. spools and 1,500 yd.
cones. Colors are White, Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple.  The pastel shades of Yellow, Blue, Green, Pink, Purple, and White glow in the dark for up to six hours.  The thread can now be in color in the daytime and when it is dark, it glows.  The glow color is similar to children’s toys that glow in the dark.  The thread glows night after night after just a 30 to 60 second charge.  The brighter the charging light, the brighter and longer the glow.  The White thread glows the brightest.  When sewing with this thread, it is important to put as much thread into the space as possible.  An embroidered fill pattern or a satin stitch works best.  A single meandering stitch will not be enough to show off the glow. Here is the link:

4.  SunBurst is now available on 200 yd. spools.  SunBurst is 40 wt. sunlight-activated color changing thread and is available in eight colors. Sunburst is primarily an embroidery thread. The white thread changes to one of eight colors when exposed to sunlight. It’s for T-shirts, clothing, bags, bridal gowns (white on white indoors and it blooms into beautiful colors outdoors), and anything else you can imagine. The sun’s UV rays activate the color change so it even works on cloudy days. Indoors the thread is white. When exposed to direct sunlight, the thread immediately changes to one of the following colors:
Here is the link:

1.  So Fine 3,280 yd. cones.  Celebrating the brand new 34 colors, all So Fine colors (100 original and 34 new) are on sale for only $12 (reg. price is $15.90) through the end of the month.

2.  SunBurst on 200 yd. spools.  Sunlight-activated color changing thread (see above What’s New section for detailed description). 200 yd. spools. $6.95.

3. Superior Metallic is the only metallic thread that is guaranteed to work. 5,000 meter cones (approx. 5,500 yds.) are on sale this month. Solid colors: $20. Variegated colors: $25. Regular price is up to $40.  Here’s the link:

4. 10,000 yd. Jumbo cones of Superior Metallic are on sale for $29 (reg. $48). Available only in Gold #7. Here’s the link:

5.  Perfect Quilter. 50% off Perfect Quilter. Regular price for 300 yd. mini cones is $8.99. Now only $4.50. 2,500 yd. cones are $15 per cone (reg. $29.95). Perfect Quilter is a 17 wt. cotton thread that creates a wonderful, well defined stitch. We recommend using a Topstitch #100/16
needle and a thread stand/cone holder. We recommend this thread for home machines and not for most longarms. Topstitch needles are available on our website and heavy duty thread stands are also available. Here's the link for Perfect Quilter

6. Check out other specials and "try me" specials here:

BOB'S RECOMMENDATION. Website Design and Hosting (This is an unpaid and unsolicited recommendation.) Are you frustrated with your website or webmaster? Or thinking about creating a website or need to upgrade, change, or maintain your current website? Check out  They are highly skilled, fast, accurate and have good rates. We use them, like them, and recommend them to everyone. Please contact them through their website or via e-mail at [email protected]. We use them, like them, and therefore recommend them. You’ll love their superior service.

A elderly gentleman was talking to his neighbor and said, " I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the art. It's perfect!"
"Really?," answered the neighbor . "What kind is it?"
"Twelve thirty."
The next day they were chatting again.  The first one says, "Windy, isn't it?"
The other man responded, "No, it's Thursday!"'
The first man says, "So am I.  Let's go get a beer."

THANK YOU for reading. Please forward to a friend and have a SUPERIOR day. Bob Purcell, the Thread Professor and self-certified Threadologist.
Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee. Superior no ka oi.

Copyright 2008 by Superior Threads. If you wish to reprint the Education portion of this newsletter, authorization is hereby granted as long as the source is clearly cited as follows: used with permission from Bob Purcell.