April 2009

Superior Threads logo

April 2009

Spools that are straight-wound are made to unwind straight from the side and not over the end. Cones are made to unwind directly over the top. Sometimes it may not matter, but if you use spools of a delicate thread such as MasterPiece or MonoPoly or Metallic, position the spool on the vertical pin holder and then feed the thread through the thread guides. The thread will unwind straight from the side of the spool (not over the end of the spool) and the spool will freely rotate as the thread unwinds. If you use cones and your machine does not have a cone holder, the cone should sit flat on a thread stand/cone holder with the thread unwinding up over the top of the cone.

If you own or work at a store that carries any of our products, please add your store information to our Store Locator. Customers can find you by country, state, or zip code. We will tell the world about your store, list all Superior products you carry, list your phone number and website, and even provide a map. Listing is FREE. We also have a “Superior Threads Available Here” window decal for your store. Please e-mail or call and we will send one to you.

: Needles

Needles Group ShotSUPERIOR Titanium-Coated Topstitch Needles for Home Machines
Have you ever wondered why the higher quality products made for industrial and commercial companies are not offered to the regular consumer?  It is usually due to the high cost of producing a higher grade product and the average consumer is price conscious.  Our goal is to bring you the absolute best quality products.  We realize the cost is higher than other products, but the quality is so much higher, in the long run, you get a much better deal. Top quality industrial grade needles are now available for home machines. 

Titanium-coated needles have been available for longarm and industrial machines for many years, but these are the first titanium-coated Topstitch style needles made for home machines. Superior Threads (USA) and Organ Needle Company (Japan) have applied the latest technology of titanium-coated needles to the Topstitch style for home machines. These new titanium-coated needles have an ultra thin coat of titanium nitride layered on the surface to extend their productive life by five to eight times that of conventional needles. Most professionals recommend changing the needle every project or, if you count, every 8 hours. Imagine having a needle that will last 40 to 60 hours. This is equivalent to saving 80% on the cost of needles.

Superior Needle Diagram

Why Topstitch?

We talk a lot about Topstitch needles.  We learn from the pros.  The majority of professionals and educators we work with use the Topstitch needle for nearly all their sewing.  It is simply the best needle style for quilting, embroidery, and most sewing applications.  You really need only three needles:
-- Topstitch #80/12 for piecing and for sewing with fine threads
-- Topstitch #90/14 for the majority of threads
-- Topstitch #100/16 for heavier threads 
How about for metallic threads?  Topstitch #90/14.  Under a microscope, other brands of Topstitch and Metallic needles are almost identical.  There is no need for both styles.

What is titanium coating?
Titanium nitride (TiN) (sometimes known as Tinite or TiNite) is an extremely hard surface material. The most common use for TiN coating is for edge retention and corrosion resistance on machine tooling, such as drill bits and milling cutters, greatly improving their lifetime by a factor of many times. Applied as a thin coating, TiN is used to harden and protect cutting and sliding surfaces, for decorative purposes, and as a non-toxic exterior for medical implants.  TiN is also widely used as a top-layer coating, usually with nickel or chromium plated substrates. TiN is non-toxic, meets FDA guidelines and has seen use in medical devices such as scalpel blades and orthopedic saw blades where sharpness and edge retention are important and bio-implants, as well as aerospace applications.

Wear resistance
In the world of needles, titanium-coated needles are much more wear resistant than conventional chromium plated needles. Titanium-coated needles provide perfect reliability and durability in prolonged stitching operations.

Stronger at the Point of the Needle
The point of a needle is exposed to high pressure, causing needle wear. Organ's process for making titanium-coated needles strengthens the point of the needle, while maintaining a perfect shape in order to provide greater wear resistance and durability.  The needle point stays sharp.  The ultra-thin coating does not affect the breaking strength of the needle but makes the surface much harder and resistant to wear.  Non-titanium needle companies spread rumors that titanium-coated needles are too hard and therefore will damage your machine if they break.  Research and testing do not support that claim.  The coating affects the friction areas and not the overall breaking strength of the needle.  If that rumor were true, industrial companies would have rejected these needles many years ago.

ORGAN Needle Company is the largest needle company in the world. It represents over 80% of the Japanese market and Organ needles are considered genuine parts for most Japanese sewing machine companies including Janome, Juki, and Babylock as well as numerous industrial sewing machine companies.

On the average, a single needle costs $1.20, or about $5.99 for a pack of five needles. For an additional 20 cents per needle, you can have the highest quality (Organ), the longest lasting (titanium coated), and the best designed (Topstitch) needle. A pack of five needles for $6.99.

Please be our Business Consultant. Send us your ideas to help us serve you better (products, education, website, customer service, anything). We will award $30 gift certificates for the best ideas. In the e-mail subject line, please type "$30 idea". This month's winning Consultants:

1. Kate Laucomer.  I wish you would put the color descriptions on LAVA like you have on the King Tuts. Example: King Tut #986 Alexandria. COLORS: BLUE-YELLOW-MED.BLUE-MED.YELLOW.
Bob’s Note. They are now added for the LAVA colors. Thank you.

2. Rea Standridge (Texas). I have bought the prewound bobbins variety packs (BOBs) for hand appliqué. I now need to replace some of them but I am having a hard time deciding which color goes with which set. I noticed that the single color bobbins sets are listed in number order. Could you have a list of which colors & numbers go with each set? I could then mark the color on the side of the bobbin and have a quick reference when I need to order more of that color.
Bob’s Note. Done. Thank you for suggesting this.

3.Cynthia Weisz. When you go into the Design Board, the color examples that are pictured should have their numbers attached to them so that you are REALLY sure about which color you're looking at in comparison to another color----thus making decisions faster and easier.
Bob’s Note. Done. We love the Design Board feature and you made it even better. Thank you.

4. Cassandra Plott (Ohio).  I love the Wish List, especially when I’m shopping and after I’ve clicked on a product the page shows that the item has been put on the Wish List. It would be great if the Wish List page would indicate that I added the item to the Shopping Cart.
Bob’s Note. Done. When an item in the Wish List is added to the Shopping Cart, the website now notifies you that it has been added. But it gets even better. Our web team made it possible to add items from your Wish List into your Shopping Cart and have the choice to either leave the items in your Wish List for future repeat ordering or to remove them.

5. Brita Pingry. When I unstitched some quilting, I found there were needle holes in the fabric that no amount of cussing or rubbing would take out. Then I spritzed them with water, on both the front and back of the quilt, and they immediately disappeared.
Bob's Note:  Thank you.  Giving the quilt a couple good shakes also helps.

6. Patricia Dow (Hawaii).  Using the Superior Snippers, you never have to reach under your quilt to cut threads while machine quilting. Most of us know about pulling the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt before we begin an area of machine quilting.  Use the awl point on the snippers to do this.  Then do the same when you finish quilting by pulling the bobbin thread up to the top after stay stitching.  If you want to bury your threads, leave long tails.  If the stay stitching is adequate, clip the thread tails close to the quilt and they will disappear. 
Bob’s Note: Mahalo. Shall I hand deliver your certificate to you in Hawaii?  The Snippers are truly Superior.

7. Denise Arlaus.  Post a link button that bloggers and other website owners can add to their blogs and websites, which when clicked, will take visitors directly to Superior Threads.
Bob’s Note: Great idea. Thank you. Click here to access the pre-programmed link.

8. Denise Arlaus. Keep your show schedule up to date. I was looking to see if you're going to be in Hershey in July but your calendar did not go that far.
Bob’s Note. Congratulations Denise on two winning ideas in a single month. Our Calendar is now updated in a very easy-to-read format.

9. Karen Anderson.  Have an option of creating a shopping list of staple items or items we order on a regular basis. Each item on the list would have a box to check to add items to the shopping cart but would still remain on the list for future orders.
Bob’s Note. Done. The new Wish List feature described in #4 above accomplishes this.

10.  Bridget Wideman (Oregon).  Please change the format of the newsletter.  Since the newsletter is the highlight of my month, it would be an extra-special treat if it could be in html know, with the pictures and you can click the picture and be linked to the product on your website.  
Bob's Note:  We're getting there.  Each month should get better.

WHAT’S NEW (This Month)
Needles Group Shot1. SUPERIOR Needles. Three years ago, the largest needle company in the world approached us and asked us to be their major distributor for home sewing machine needles. We said No, we just don’t have time for that. A year later, they asked us to please reconsider. We agreed with the condition that they would manufacture a new needle with the following specifications:
a. Topstitch style. This has the large elongated eye, sharp point, and deeper and wider groove.
b. Titanium coated. Titanium-coated needles have been available for years in the industrial market, but not very accessible for the home market and definitely not in the Topstitch style. Titanium-coated needles last 5 to 8 times longer than regular needles. See Education section above for details.
Our first shipment just arrived. The following sizes are now available:
Topstitch #80/12 (for piecing, applique, and sewing with fine threads)
Topstitch #90/14 (for quilting, embroidery, and sewing with most medium-weight and sensitive threads)
Topstitch #100/16 (for heaver threads)

2. Need a laugh? Here is an original and humorous quilt song written by Bob and Heather and sung by their son, Todd. Keep it secret though because Todd is worried that his friends will think he is mega un-cool if they find out he sings songs about quilting. He usually plays and sings the noisy stuff.

3. Our calendar of Shows and Events. On our home page, click on the Other button and a drop down menu appears. One newly added item is Shows and Events. Click on it and a nice calendar appears with information on shows and events in which we will participate.

4.  Bob's Teaching Schedule is also posted in a nice calendar form on our website.   

5.  21 New King Tut colors in both the 500 yd. spools and the 2,000 yd. cones are arriving toward the end of April.  Stay tuned.

6.  TREASURE, our brand new HAND QUILTING THREAD, will be ready next month.

WHAT’S NEW (Last Month)
1. Texture Magic. You have to see this to believe what is does. Texture Magic  is a steam-activated fabric that shrinks 30% in all directions. Simply sew Texture Magic to your fabric, stitch a design, steam it, and watch what happens. Great for quilting, art quilts, and wearable art. The package comes in a 47" X 18" size, complete with instructions. Examples and a fun pattern are available on the web page. To see more photos and detailed explanations, please view this blog

2. Plastic Storage Container for Cones. This container hold 30 cones (all sizes including King Tut, So Fine, Rainbows, Brytes, LAVA, Art Studio Colors, and others), are stackable, easy to carry, and made of strong break-resistant plastic. 

3. Power Steam Pro Steamer. We’ve tried them all, and this is the best steamer we have found. Perfect for Texture Magic.

4. New Inventory List. The Inventory List allows you to print out a list of our products and mark which items you have or want. The list has been revised and now includes color names as well as the color numbers.

. Thread Therapy with Doctor Bob
April 7-8. Doylestown, PA. Byrne Sewing Connection
April 17-19. Manchester, NH. MQX Machine Quilter's Expo
Apr. 30, May 1, 2. Beaver Dam, WI. Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Expo

1.  If you have not tried some of our products, we offer Try Me Specials.  You choose the product, we choose the colors, and you save 40-50%.

2.  DVD. Bob’s Seminar, Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob, is now available on DVD.  In addition to the recorded live seminar, this DVD contains 90 pages of educational material, all our Thread Reference Guides, our 72-page color booklet, and even an original fun quilt song, Where Did I Hide My Stash, written by Bob and Heather and recorded by their son, Todd. Introductory price is $19.95 (regular price will be $24.95).

3. Art Studio Colors 2,000 yd. cones. This is a beautiful high sheen premium trilobal polyester thread for both quilting and embroidery. 36 colors. Half price during April. Only $6.95 (regularly $13.90).

4. Perfect Quilter. When they’re gone, they’re gone. 50% off Perfect Quilter. Regular price for 300 yd. mini cones is $8.99 (35 colors still available). Now only $4.50. 2,500 yd. cones (only 17 colors left) are $15 (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. Perfect Quilter is recommended for home machines and not for most longarms.

5. Superior Sampler Sets individually designed for home quilting, longarm quilting, embroidery, and bobbin work. Save almost 50%.

Are you frustrated with your website or webmaster? Or thinking about creating a website or need to upgrade, change, or maintain your current website?  I have a wonderful recommendation. 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 at
[email protected] (This is an unpaid and unsolicited recommendation. We use them, like them, and therefore recommend them. You’ll love their superior service.)

A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter.  “What are you doing?” she asked.
“Hunting Flies,” he responded.
“Oh! Did you kill any?” she asked..
“Yep, 3 males, 2 females,” he replied.
Intrigued, she asked, “How can you tell them apart?”
He responded, “3 were on a beer can, 2 were on the telephone.”

THANK YOU for reading. Please forward to a friend and have a SUPERIOR day.
If this was forwarded to you and you want to have your very own FREE subscription and no longer rely on friends to forward them to you, please click here.  To subscribe as a new e-mail address, use the same link.  To unsubscribe your current e-mail address, click the link at the bottom.

Bob Purcell, the Thread Professor and self-certified Threadologist.
Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee.
Superior no ka oi
Copyright 2009 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.