Mid-January 2013

Mid-January 2013
 
IN THIS ISSUE

Wise words from Mother Superior
Education
Superior University
What's New (This Month)

Thread of the Month Clubs
$30 Ideas
Specials
Other
Bob's Superior Joke

       If you prefer to view this on our website, all Newsletters are available here.

     WISE WORDS FROM MOTHER SUPERIOR
  Sergers are becoming popular again and we occasionally receive questions about sergers and serger thread.  We will address these in an upcoming Newsletter.  If you have serger-related questions, please e-mail them to us.
     
      EDUCATION: COMMON and NOT-SO-COMMON TERMS
 

1. Mercerized Cotton.  We often see the word mercerized on cotton thread labels.  Today, whether the label includes this word or not, almost all cotton sewing thread is mercerized.  It is considered an automatic or a 'must do' in the cotton thread world because it improves the cotton thread.
Mercerizing is named after John Mercer, an English woven textile printer, who patented the process in 1850.  Cotton fibers are submerged in a heated solution of caustic soda, then rinsed.  This gives cotton fibers increased luster and enhances its receptiveness to dyes.
Labels.  If the label says mercerized, it probably is.  There may not be any other qualities or properties to brag about so they print a fancy word on the label.
If the cotton thread label does not say mercerized, it probably is mercerized, but there are more important properties to emphasize on the label, such as the length of the staple or the origin of the fiber.
Because mercerizing is automatically done these days, we do not include that word on our labels.  We choose to emphasize extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton.

2. Gassed Cotton.  Gassing refers to the process of passing a cotton thread at high speed through a flame, burning off the excess fuzz in order to create a higher sheen and smoother appearance. 
In this photo taken through a microscope, we compare two 12 wt. cotton threads.  The top thread, a popular brand of 12 wt. thread on the market, is not gassed.  The bottom thread (our new 12 wt. cotton which is under development) has been properly gassed. The long hairs on the non-gassed thread are what make a thread fuzzy and causes excessive lint.
Most cotton threads are not gassed because it is a precise and expensive process.  When done properly, gassing makes a smooth, reduced-lint cotton thread.  Even if the thread has been gassed, labels rarely state that fact because the word is usually is not understood and it does not sound very appealing.  All Superior cotton threads (King Tut and MasterPiece) are precision gassed, although that word is not printed on the labels.

Strange Labeling:  Some brands are now labeling cotton thread as double mercerized or double gassed as if that is a positive thing.  It isn't.  The only reason cotton thread would require double processing is if it were not done properly the first time.  If not done properly the first time, it likely is not done properly the second time either.

     
      SUPERIOR UNIVERSITY
  Become a Thread Expert by Joining Superior University!
If you are not currently enrolled and want to join the fun and learning, please
ENROLL NOW to start in March 2013.  You will start with Course 101 and receive a fun project, great product, and a lesson each month.
All for only $16.95 including shipping (U.S. addresses).
Click here for details

     
      WHAT'S NEW (THIS WEEK)
   

1. New Color Compatibility Charts are available for Nature Colors to Magnifico and Living Colors to Magnifico. These charts match similar or compatible colors across different lines of thread. Many other Color Compatibility Charts are available for other thread lines. See Reference Guides.

2.  Try Me Special for So Fine #30 conesSo Fine #30 (formerly called New Brytes) is the exact same thread fiber type as So Fine #50, but heavier.  This thread is intended to be visible.  So Fine #30 is lint free and extra strong for machine quilting, decorative stitching, outlining, and heavier-thread embroidery.

This Try Me Special offer allows you to try So Fine #30 at almost 60% off. You choose the product, we choose the colors. Limit is 5 cones.
1,650 yds. Only $7.99 (reg. $19.80)


3. MonoPoly 10,000 yd. cones are now available in SMOKE color.  $24.00.

MonoPoly is a reduced-sheen polyester monofilament invisible thread.
The Smoke color is recommended for invisible thread applications on dark fabrics.
MonoPoly is 0.1 Millimeters in diameter (90 denier) = very fine thread (both in quality and size).


     
     WHAT'S NEW (TWO WEEKS AGO)
   

Fantastico is here. This is the exact same thread type as Magnifico, but in variegated colors with a one-inch color change interval.
After many years in development, we now have a variegated polyester thread that has the high sheen of trilobal and the strength of filament polyester. It is a high tenacity (strength), high sheen trilobal filament polyester called Fantastico.

Fantastico consists of four main strands of thread. Each of these four main strands consist of 48 high strength micro-strands. Two 48 micro-strands are twisted together into Set A. Another two sets of 48 micro-strands are twisted together into Set B. Then Set A (total 96 micro-strands) and Set B (total 96 micro-strands) are twisted together to make the final product. Fantastico has a total of 192 high-sheen, high strength micro-strands. The result is a strong, bright, beautiful 40 wt. thread ideal for quilting and embroidery.
Unlike many other high-tenacity trilobal polyesters, Fantastico is 'heat set' in processing which eliminates shrinkage.

We have started with 20 popular variegated colors and many more colors are in the works.
Some of the colors will be part of our "Team Colors" group.  We researched the largest universities, analyzed their team colors, and made thread to match. Colors #5013 through #5020 are examples of Team Colors.
Burgundy and Gold
Purple and Gold
Blue and Gold
Blue and Yellow
Blue and White
Red and White
Green and White
Red and Black
2,000 yd. cones
See Specials below for introductory price this month.


2. Twist. This is the first time we have been able to develop a two-color twist thread in polyester.  Other brands have a rayon twist thread but rayon is not a recommended fiber for quilting or embroidery because it is relatively weak and usually not colorfast.
Twist is the exact same thread type as Magnifico and Fantastico (high strength, high sheen polyester).
Twist may be better suited for embroidery than quilting because the twist effect creates a beautiful 2-color textured look in embroidered designs. It is perfect for animal and landscape designs.
26 colors available with more on the way.

2,000 yd. cones
See Specials below for introductory price this month.


3. Soft and Stable Try Me Special for only $3.50. 
ByAnnie's Soft and Stable has been developed to use in place of batting or other stabilizers in purses, bags, totes, and more. It is made of polyester foam with fabric on both sides of the foam.
The Soft & Stable Try Me Special includes one piece of Soft & Stable (approx. 8" x 10") and a simple pattern to learn how to use it.
Regular sizes of Soft & Staple are available in either Black or White and in various sizes.  Click here to view.
Benefits of Soft and Stable:

  • Great lasting body and stability
  • Lightweight
  • Maintains shape
  • Gives a professional finish to your project
  • The only foam with fabric on BOTH sides
  • Easy to sew
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Washer and dryer safe
   
      THREAD OF THE MONTH CLUBS
 

Join the Thread of the Month Club and start your Collection!
Club Benefits

The Thread of the Month Club offers a convenient way to gradually collect all the colors of your favorite thread line.
No-price-increase Guarantee on your Club products.
Free Shipping on monthly Club shipments, including add-on items (U.S. addresses).
Club Members-only sales.
Choose from over 25 Clubs.
Both Retail and Wholesale Clubs available.

     
      $30 IDEAS
 

Please be our Business Consultant.  Post your ideas here to help us serve you better (products, education, website, customer service, etc.). We award $30 gift certificates for the best ideas.

Winner #1. Irene Foss. I was watching the Charlotte's Fusible Web videos.  When done watching # 1, I had to click to go back to all videos.  Then when I got back to all videos I could click on # 2.  How about a button to click when finished with #1 video that will bring on # 2 video, etc. instead of having to go back to all videos to select another video?
Bob's Note: Done.  It is much more convenient now. There are more than 100 FREE videos available on our education web pages. Most are educational, others are fun, and some quite entertaining. Make some popcorn, wrap up in a quilt, and enjoy the videos.

Winner #2.  Liz Brilliant.  Please consider including Pantone color matching codes in your product description pages.
Bob's Note:  We made a Pantone color comparison chart for Magnifico. Magnifico is a high sheen, high strength polyester thread for quilting and embroidery.  With 200 solid colors, imagine choosing from 30 reds, 30 blues, 30 greens, and so on. If your project calls for an exact color that has a Pantone number, please see this chart to find a color that matches.

(Two original ideas previously submitted and won, but still frequently asked).
1. I would like to see a color match with thread for King Tut Thread and So Fine Bobbin thread.  I like to buy one top thread and 2 bobbin colors.
Bob's Note:  We have many Color Compatibility Charts which match colors from one line of thread to another. King Tut to So Fine #50 color compatibility charts are available.  More are being created.

2. I am trying to decide between threads for a pink project I am doing.  I would love to have an online thread "design wall" that allows me to add threads to the "wall" and compare the different pinks to decide which is best for my project.
Bob's NoteThis is available on our website and is very useful for both threads and fabrics. Add the items you want to compare to your shopping cart and then click on My Cart at the top of the page. Next, click on the light green Design Board button and you will then be able to move the Cart items around to compare colors. Then simply delete the items you do not want. Please remember that online images are only as accurate as our camera and your computer monitor. For exact matching, we recommend our color cards which are made with the actual thread and sold at our production cost.


Winner #3. Maria Elkins.  I just did a blog today about how I keep my filled Bottom Line bobbins with the corresponding spool of thread. Please read the blog here
Bob's Note:  Thank you Maria, for sharing your knowledge and ideas.

Winner #4. Linda Lovett.
I bought your Superior Thread Holder a while back. I have found an additional use for it.  A customer told me she rolls her binding to keep it from getting tangled when attaching it to the quilt. Using her idea, I rolled my binding onto an empty toilet paper roll and put that on the Superior Thread Holder. Worked great!

     
      JANUARY SPECIALS
 


Fantastico
(see What's New above for details)
High tenacity (strength), high sheen trilobal filament polyester.
20 colors so far, all with a one-inch color change interval.
Introductory Special: 25% off. $13.43 (reg. $17.90).  No Limit


Twist  (see What's New above for details)
A 2-color twisted high sheen high strength trilobal polyester thread.
2,000 yds.
26 colors so far.
Introductory Special: 25% off. $13.43 (reg. $17.90).  No Limit


33% OFF remaining inventory of MasterPiece 2-ply 600 yd. spools
.
During the past few months, we have been changing our spools and cones of MasterPiece thread from 2-ply to 3-ply. (The prewound bobbins will remain the 2-ply type.)  Most MasterPiece colors are now available in the 3-ply type.  Remaining inventory of MasterPiece 2-ply 600 yd. spools is on sale this month for only $5.99 (reg. $8.99).  Quantities are limited so the sale lasts only as long as inventory lasts.
Why the change?  Machines are being made with faster speeds and tighter tensions.  I think the reason is because they are engineered as sewing machines (clothing construction using polyester thread) and not primarily for quilting or embroidery.  Our original 2-ply MasterPiece is fantastic for sewing on loosely tensioned and moderately tensioned machine, hand applique, and bobbins; however, newer tight-tensioned machines place too much stress on a fine, delicate thread. If you and your machine really liked the 2-ply type, please get it now.  If you have not tried MasterPiece, or found that the original 2-ply type was not strong enough for your machine, we recommend going with the new 3-ply type. It is the perfect piecing thread, thus the name MasterPIECE.

Special: $5.99
  (reg. $8.99) for MasterPiece 2-ply. 600 yd. spools. Many colors are still available but some have only a few spools left. No Limit until they're gone.


HAPPY NEW YEAR.  FREE DVD offer through January 31. 
Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob is available absolutely free. You only pay shipping (or add it free to an existing order). Shipping on regular orders is only $3.95, regardless of order size, to U.S. addresses.
Filmed during a School of Threadology session, Bob discusses Thread Quality and Characteristics, Needles, Tension and more. Running time is 1hr 45 min.
Guaranteed to eliminate 95% of your frustrations dealing with Thread, Needles, and Tension.
Regular price is $24.95
. FREE this month. Limit: 1 please


FREE
Highlights Color Card
Highlights 2,000 yd. cones are on sale at 50% off (see below).
The color card made with actual thread is FREE this month.
Highlights is high-sheen trilobal polyester ideal for embroidery and quilting.

Highlights 2,000 yd. cones.
Highlights is one of our original high sheen polyester threads. Because it is not as strong as our new Magnifico thread, we decided to discontinue the 2,000 yd. cones.
24 colors left.
2,000 yd. cones

50% off. $6.95. (reg. $13.90)


Try Me Specials This is a fantastic way to try new products.
You choose the product . . .
We choose the colors . . .
And you save 30-60%. Available for most products.
A new Try Me Special was just added for So Fine #30 cones. So Fine #30 is the exact same thread fiber type as So Fine #50, but heavier.  This thread is intended to be visible. This Try Me Special allows you to try So Fine #30 at almost 60% off.



Perfect Quilter  We need to make room for new products. All remaining stock of Perfect Quilter is less than half price.  Perfect Quilter is a #30/3-ply cotton and is being discontinued.  Available on both 300 yd. mini cones and 2,500 yd. cones.  Perfect Quilter is a heavier cotton thread and intended to be visible on your quilts.  Works well on home machines with a Topstitch #100/16 needle.  Some longarm machines (tight-tensioned machines) do not run it well.  Loosely-tensioned longarm machines are fine.

300 yd. mini cones $3.75 (reg. $8.99). 21 colors remaining. Less than half price.
2,500 yd. cone. $10.00 (reg. $29.95). 1 color remaining.



Superior Sampler Sampler Sets   If you are not familiar with many of our products, we offer a variety of Sampler Sets at discounts of approx. 40% off.
Home Quilting Sampler Set
Longarm Quilting Sampler Set
Embroidery Sampler Set
Embellishment Sampler Set (for bobbin work/serger/couching)
Silk Sampler set

     
       OTHER
 

Other Superior Newsletters  We have two other free e-mail newsletters you may be interested in:
1. Mother Superior's Fab Fabrics. Hear what's new, what's hot, and what's on sale.  Approx. 7,000 bolts of the newest and nicest quilting fabrics.
2. Deal of the Day. A new sale every weekday. save 30 to 70% off. Daily Deals are valid for two weeks from the date announced.

To sign up for either or both Newsletters, please click here and check the boxes of the Newsletters you want to receive.

Bob's Personal Recommendation.  I believe the most innovative quilting-related website development company in the world is Websites For Quilters.  They have created hundreds of websites both inside and outside the quilting world, from very small to very large.  If you can imagine it, they can create it.  We use them and highly recommend them.  (This is an unpaid plug for them because we like the superior work they do.)  If you are looking for a skilled and reliable company to develop or enhance a website, please contact them. No high pressure sales.

     
      BOB'S SUPERIOR JOKE
 

A newly married man, feeling a little insecure, asked his wife, "Would you have married me if my father hadn't left me a fortune?"
"Honey," his bride replied sweetly, "I'd have married you NO MATTER WHO LEFT YOU THAT FORTUNE!"