Polyester is one of the most amazing fibers created today. As a textile, it can be made mimic the appearance and feel of many different fibers. Spun polyester looks like cotton with a matte finish and fuzzy fibers while trilobal polyester looks like silk with a high-sheen and smooth finish. Polyester thread is usually synonymous with a strong thread that can handle the tension of high-speed sewing and quilting machines and is colorfast (meaning the color doesn't bleed when washed with strong detergents or bleach). Polyester thread can be made to have a lot of stretch, or elongation, so it doesn't break when taut, it naturally repels moisture better than cotton fibers, and can be commercially laundered without risk thanks to its high melting point of 460° F.
Type of Polyester Fibers
There are five main types of polyester fibers that are processed into polyester thread: Spun Polyester, Filament Polyester, Corespun Polyester, Trilobal Polyester, and Texturized Polyester.
Spun polyester is made from staples of polyester fiber. The staples are short and thin, a few millimeters in length, and twisted together to create a long sewable thread. Spun polyester is inexpensive to produce and widely used for clothing construction. While not considered a high-quality thread, it is recommended for serger and clothing construction applications.
Filament polyester is made from polyester chips (more like pellets of plastic) that is heated in a large tank and extruded into long, thin continues fibers. These fibers are twisted together into multi-filament threads and processed according to their specific end-use application. Filament polyester is higher quality than spun polyester and can have a matte finish or high-sheen appearance. Several of our most popular quilting threads are multifilament polyester threads: So Fine! #50, Bottom Line, and MicroQuilter. A monofilament thread is similar to fishing line. It's a single strand of polyester fiber that has been extruded. Our MonoPoly thread is a monofilament polyester thread.
Trilobal polyester threads have a high-sheen appearance, like silk threads
Corespun polyester, also known as poly-wrapped poly core, is a combination of a filament polyester core wrapped in spun polyester. Corespun threads have the strength of filament polyester with the look and feel of spun polyester. The fuzzy nature of corespun polyester helps it grab the fabric as the stitch is formed. There can be a moderate amount of lint when quilting or sewing with a corespun polyester thread. Corespun polyester threads will always have a matte finish and are commonly used for serging and quilting applications. Our OMNI quilting thread and Sergin' General serger thread are both corespun polyester threads.
Trilobal polyester fibers have a brilliant sheen and gorgeous luster. During the extrusion process, trilobal filaments are extruded through a triangular-shaped nozzle. Tri = three, lobal = sides. The three-sided filaments reflect light in a specific manner, resulting in a high sheen. All of our trilobal polyester threads are made with high-strength raw materials. This provides excellent sheen and high strength, making trilobal polyester threads versatile enough for home sewing machines, longarm quilting machines, and commercial embroidery machines. Magnifico and Fantastico are two of our popular trilobal polyester thread lines.
Textured polyester thread is easily discernible by its fluffy appearance. Used in the loopers of serger and overlock machines for clothing construction, linens, and rolled hems, textured polyester threads have a lot of stretch and offer excellent coverage. Our Polyarn and ProLock threads are examples of textured polyester thread.