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February 2013

February 2013

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

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

 If you prefer to view this on our website, all Newsletters are available here and a collection of Bob's Superior jokes here.


I am sometimes asked, "What is your favorite thread?"  That is not easy to answer because today, thread is designed for specific applications and I have many favorites.  For example, I use MasterPiece for piecing.  I do my quilt binding with Bottom Line.  I embroider with trilobal polyester threads (Magnifico, Nature Colors, Art Studio Colors, Twist) on top with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I love King Tut and So Fine #40 and Magnifico and many others for quilting.  If I were to think of our best multipurpose thread, it would be So Fine #50.  This thread is smooth, but not slick; fine, but not weak.  So Fine is a patented thread type and there is no other thread like it. Here are my favorite uses of So Fine #50:
1. Quilting thread.  Longarms love it. Home machines love it. It is virtually lint free.
2. Bobbin thread.  Slightly heavier than Bottom Line, So Fine #50 is also a wonderful bobbin thread, which explains why we have 12 colors of prewound bobbins (L and M styles) on order.
3. Construction thread.  Nothing beats So Fine for clothing construction and repair.
4. Craft sewing. Whether by hand or by machine, So Fine #50 is perfect for crafting.
5. Serger thread. Smooth and lint free.


The Tex system (most likely derived the word textile) was created as a new standard of consistent thread measurement and intended to replace all other methods of measurement of threads.  It hasn’t quite achieved that goal because quilters love the weight standard and the number standard (for example, 40 wt. or #50) and embroiderers are used to the denier standard (120d/2). Because the International Organization for Standardization (IOS) has adopted the Tex system, it will probably continue to gain in popularity so it would be advantageous to understand it.  

Tex is an accurate measurement and is considered a direct numbering system, meaning the higher the Tex number, the heavier the thread.  On the other hand, the weight system, most popular in the U.S., is not a direct numbering system because the larger the number (30 wt., 40 wt., 50. wt., 60 wt.), the finer the thread.  That can be confusing.

The Tex standard uses 1,000 meters of thread per gram as the starting point. This means if 1,000 meters of thread weighs one gram, it is Tex 1. If 1,000 meters of thread weighs 25 grams, it is Tex 25.

Although this appears to be a very accurate measurement, it is necessary to remember that 1,000 meters of cotton will not weigh the same as 1,000 meters of like-diameter polyester.  Therefore, when comparing thread sizes based on the Tex or any other standard of measure, for exact accuracy, compare cotton to cotton, poly to poly, and silk to silk.

We use the Tex measurement on some of our newer threads and on all our industrial (apparel and upholstery) threads.
Fine Tex Threads . . . . . . Tex 9 to Tex 20
Medium Tex Threads . . .  Tex 21 to Tex 45
Heavy Tex Threads . . . . . Tex 45 and higher

Please click here or on the link below for the list of most of our threads, grouped by use, showing the Tex measurement for each.

Tex Measurement Chart, Listed by Thread Type

If you are not currently enrolled and would like to join in 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


1.  Tailor Made 27 is a NEW thread created specifically for clothing construction and serger applications. The number 27 indicates it is Tex 27 which is close to a lighter 40 wt. thread. 
Available in 100 colors on 6,000 yd. cones.
Engineered for clothing construction for both home and industrial sewing machines and also for use on sergers.
Introductory Price: $7.95 for 6,000 yds.

For large-volume order inquiries, please contact us at

2. Jumbo Bottom Line cone images are now posted on the website. These are large 33,000 yd. cones of Bottom Line.

3. Magnifico 12-spool sets
Ten different sets, each containing 12 spools (500 yds. each) of #40 high-sheen, high strength Magnifico trilobal polyester.
Each set is a different set of coordinated colors.
Introductory Special:  $59.95 (reg. $72.00)

4. New Color Compatibility Charts.  We added six new charts and now have a  total of 19 charts available.  These charts provide close color matches between two different lines of thread and are also helpful when choosing a compatible bobbin thread.
New Charts:

Kimono Silk to Bottom Line

Bottom Line
 to Kimono Silk
Rainbows to King Tut

Lava to King Tut

Art Studio Colors to Magnifico

Highlights to Magnifico


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 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

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

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 & Stable 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

4. 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.

5.  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)

6. MonoPoly 10,000 yd. cones are now available in SMOKE color.

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 or Tex 9) = very fine thread (both in quality and size).
10,000 yds.


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.

1.  Shirley McGuire.  I change needles a lot as I change from one project to another. Sometimes it's just hard to remember what type and size needle I have in the machine. To solve this problem, whenever I change needles I take a small Post-It and write the type and size of the needle and stick the note to my machine. When I change needles again I wrap the descriptive Post-It around the used needle to be used on another date and project. This works great especially on your titanium-coated needles that last extra long and keep their points.
Bob's Note:  Good idea.  We've had many requests to color-code the ends of the needles by size but our factory cannot do this yet. Some customers use permanent markers to color code the sizes.

2.  Anne Munoz.  I know you have come out with some new threads and other products, but once I read about them online I have nothing to remind me of what they are. It would be great if you could send out a catalog at least once a year to all your regular clients so we can be able to reference all your new products in one place when we order.
Bob's Note:  Good idea.  We recently revised our What Makes Us Superior? 103-page color booklet and are offering it FREE during February. See Specials below to order.


FREE during February.  What Makes Us Superior? booklet.
Revised October 2012. Full color booklet and Reference Guide contains
. . .
Color pages for most products
Thread Reference Guides for both home machines and longarm machines
Thread Selection Guide
Troubleshooting Guide
Tension Guide
Quick Start Guide
Needle and tension recommendations for all threads
Words From the Pros, and much more.
103 pages

Magnifico 12-spool sets.
Ten different sets, each containing 12 spools (500 yds. each) of high sheen, high strength #40 Magnifico trilobal polyester.
Each set is a different collection of coordinated colors.
Introductory Special:  $59.95 (reg. $72.00). That's only $4.99 per spool.

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. So Fine #30 is intended to be visible.  It 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)

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 machines, 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.

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.
18 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.

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

  1. Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob seminar. If you will be attending the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA (Feb. 28-March 3), Bob will be teaching two Thread Therapy seminars, one on Thursday and one on SaturdaySewing and Stitchery Expo charges only $5 for this seminar, but it's worth thousands.

2.  In additional to this Newsletter, two other free e-mail Superior newsletters are available:

 ** Mother Superior's Fab Fabrics Newsletter.
 ** Deal of the Day
Both Newsletters offer specials available only to Newsletter subscribers.

 ** Mother Superior's Fab Fabrics. Newsletter is sent about once per month.  Find out what's new, what's hot, and what's on sale.  Approx. 7,000 bolts of the newest and nicest quilting fabrics.
 ** The Deal of the Day Newsletter is sent five days a week. 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.

3.  Our new electronic Top Thread Tension Gauge for longarm machines should be ready in March.


While attending a marriage retreat, Frank and his wife, Ann, listened to the instructor declare,“It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.  He then addressed the men, asking “Can you name and describe your wife's favorite flower?”
Frank leaned over, touched Ann’s arm gently, and whispered, “Gold Medal All Purpose, isn't it?”