Thread Therapy

Variegated Cotton Thread

  • Variegated
  • Cotton
  • Bobbins

Bob Purcell (Chief Threadologist of Superior Threads) discusses Variegated Cotton Threads and two different dyeing processes. Superior Threads' variegated threads are precision dyed.

Related Items:

King Tut Quilting Thread
Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob DVD
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Video Transcript

Dr. Bob: Variegateds have become real popular in the last ten years. There are two ways to do variegateds.

There is what we call the precision dye and then the random dye. Precision is what this one is. You'll see a nice, clean, color change every inch, and you will see there is very little bleed-over where the red meets the yellow. It's just nice and clean. We like this because I can lay this on top of any quilt top, and I will know how this thread will look at any part of the quilt. It takes all the guesswork out, and it takes the risk away.

If you have a random dye it may go from a two inch to an eight inch to a six inch to a one to a six to an eight. You may get a long stretch of yellow on a green patch that you didn't want it. That's why we like the precision and all of our variegateds are precision dyed. There are only four machines in the world that can do a precision dye. Guess where they are?

Participant: [inaudible 01:00]

Dr. Bob: No. They're in my garage. That's my night job. No. They're in Japan. We are the biggest customer, and they will not let me in to see that factory. We’re the biggest dying, thread dying customer for that factory and that's how protective their technology is because guess who is chasing them?

Participant: China.

Dr. Bob: China. You will see some very good variegated dyes coming out of China now. They do have the short one inch, but there's a lot of bleed-over. It's not as good. One day, somehow, I'll get in the factory. I'm just curious is why I want to go. Japan is where the technology is. Break this one, break King Tut. For a non-glazed thread in this size it’s as strong as it can get which means it's fantastic for high speed machines, long arm, home machines, and even hand quilting. So it's a good one.

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