Masterpiece Cotton Thread
Bob Purcell (Chief Threadologist of Superior Threads) discusses MasterPiece™ Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton thread. MasterPiece™ has been developed as an ideal piecing thread. Cotton has a high heat tolerance and can take a hot iron. MasterPiece™ is also an ideal applique thread since it is lightweight 50 wt.
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Dr. Bob: We also have a much finer, extra-long, stapled, Egyptian grown, gassed, mercerized thread called Masterpiece.
Masterpiece is a piecing thread. It's on a cone, and many people see it as a cone. Their long armers, they grab it and put it on the long arm machine on high speed. That's not what it is for. It's too delicate. This thread was developed as the ideal piecing thread. What do we want in piecing thread? When we make that seam, we want the edges to match. We want the points to match, and I don't want any “bump” in the seam where the thread is. I want the seams to lie flat. When I iron that seam, you can hardly tell there's thread in there, and that's the ideal piecing thread.
We named it Masterpiece thinking Master Piece, piecing but most people don't get that connection. So that's where that came from. It's a piecing thread.
It is fantastic for applique. It blends beautifully into the fabric, machine or hand. Fantastic bobbin thread, and it's possible on many home machines to use it as a quilting thread. Some long arm machines that are quite loosely tensioned, yeah, you can do it on a long arm machine. We just don't advertise it as a long arm because many long arms are tight tensioned, and they put too much tug on thread. That's not really what it's for.
As far as a piecing thread, there's nothing better than Masterpiece. The cotton is as good as it gets with a nice smooth twist on it. It is, of course, mercerized and it’s gassed. It’s fantastic for piecing and colors! It is delicate.
Occasionally, I would get an e-mail and . . . because we invite e-mails and we guarantee everything we sell. If it's not working, we guarantee it. We will fix it or replace it. I get e-mails that say, “Your Masterpiece is breaking.” My response is, “This is an easy fix.” Needle? Easy. We recommend a size number 80. We'll get to that more in detail.
Top tension? Do not rely on your automatic tension setting. Masterpiece, we set it down to a two. We loosen that tension. Five is where your machines are. We go down to a two, and almost every single time when I reply to this, I'll say, “Make sure it's on a two. Your needle is an 80. We like the top stitch style.” Almost every single time with that reply, they think I'm an absolute genius, and I don't even sew! But I can solve their problem.
The other thing we recommend is, we'll get to the spool part later on, but put it on a vertical pin so it's sitting this way. We like to unwind straight from the side, not over the end. That does make a difference.
But Masterpiece, if you follow the simple guidelines, mostly to loosen your top tension down to a two. Maybe it’s a 1.5. Maybe it’s a three on your machine, but a two is average. You will love how Masterpiece makes the seam. We are making a change. You're the first in the world to hear this part. We are making a change. We're actually turning Masterpiece from a two-ply into a three-ply, but we're putting a little tighter twist on it. So you're not going to feel much difference. It’s going to feel about the same. But there's 50 percent more thread content, and it’s going to be 50 percent stronger. That's coming in the summer.
Participant: Will you still have to change the tension?
Dr. Bob: You may have to go down to a three or a four instead of a two. Yes?
Participant: What do you put in the bobbin?
Dr. Bob: What do you put in the bobbin of Masterpiece? We do Masterpiece top and bottom. We also have pre-wound bobbins. If your machine is compatible with pre-wounds, we have these on pre-wounds.