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5 Types of Thread for Sewing Machine Projects March 25, 2020

Anchorage, Anchorage County
5 Types of Thread for Sewing Machine Projects, ,

The type of thread your sewing machine needs depends on your project. Thread comes in different fibers, finishes, and thicknesses to accommodate assorted fabrics, including cotton, rayon, polyester, and denim. Below, learn about some of the most common sewing machine threads to determine what your latest project needs.

What Types of Thread Can You Use in Sewing Machines?

1. All-Purpose

Typically made of cotton or polyester, all-purpose thread gets used in many sewing machines and hand sewing projects, unlike other threads that are for machine use only. Cotton versions work well on cotton, nylon, and rayon because it shrinks in conjunction with the fabric. Polyester all-purpose thread is frequently used for nylon, polyester, and other synthetic fabrics, including knit and sheer fabrics. All-purpose thread does not work on denim and other heavy fabrics because it cannot withstand the extra weight.

2. Upholstery

sewing machineThe durability of upholstery thread surpasses all-purpose thread and comes in cotton, silk, nylon, and polyester versions. Most commonly used for upholstery projects, nylon arguably offers the most benefits because of its flexibility. Nylon will not break when your head hits the pillow, or when you sit down on an upholstered chair or couch. Along with other upholstery threads, it is typically used exclusively for sewing machines.

3. Heavy Duty

Similar to upholstery fabric in its durability and exclusive sewing machine utilization, the heavy-duty thread keeps canvas and other thick fabrics for outdoor use together. It can include waterproof and UV resistance properties that withstand the elements to help items such as boat covers and outdoor lawn chair cushions stay intact. Luggage and sports equipment are among the other items relying on heavy-duty fabric.

4. Quilting

Hand and sewing machine quilting projects utilize quilting thread, which is available in polyester, cotton, or blended versions. It often undergoes mercerization or saturating cotton fibers in a caustic mixture to create a thicker, stronger, more lustrous thread. Quilting thread also gets gassed, which involves speedy fire exposure, to reduce lint-related fuzziness. 

5. Serger

At least two spools of serger thread are used in overlock sewing machines for raw edge finishing and seam projects. It is a durable and flexible thread because it’s made of three or four threads combined. You should note that low-quality serger thread tends to create lint byproducts quickly. 


Find the thread your sewing machine needs for project success at Riehl Sew N Vac. The Anchorage, AK, sewing center has provided sewing machines, supplies and accessories, and rental and repair services for over 30 years, and features a team of factory-trained technicians ready to help. Call (907) 563-2909 today to make an appointment or learn more about products and services online

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