With numerous thread types and colors to choose from, thread selection can be challenging. Even someone like me, who has worked in a sewing room for about 5 years, can struggle with thread choices due to indecisiveness. However, knowing more about threads and the rules for selection can simplify the process.
I am Yu Yamamoto from the TAILORS WORLD editorial team.
Selecting the Sewing Method
Do you sew by hand or with a machine? Threads come in two main types: machine thread and hand-sewing thread. Hand-sewing threads have a right-twist S-twist, while machine threads have a left-twist Z-twist. Using different types of thread can lead to breakage or tangling. To enhance work efficiency, use machine thread for machine sewing and hand-sewing thread for hand sewing.
Choosing the Thread Weight
Thread weight indicates the thickness of the thread. Use thicker threads for heavy fabrics and thinner threads for lightweight fabrics. The higher the number for thread weight, the thinner the thread. Adapting the thread weight to the fabric reduces breakage and affects the final appearance of your project.
Selecting the Thread Type
Two common thread types are:
Made by combining short, fluffy fibers. Ideal for fabrics like cotton and those with a cotton-like feel due to its natural appearance.
Comprised of long, shiny fibers, it offers strength and sheen, making it suitable for fabrics like silk or wool.
Choosing Thread Colors
Selecting thread colors can be quite challenging. For plain fabrics, choose a slightly lighter or darker shade within the same color family. For patterned fabrics, follow a similar rule, matching the thread to the fabric’s base color or the most dominant color in the pattern. When in doubt, trust your instincts, as color selection can vary based on personal taste.
A Handy Tool: Thread Sample Books
Thread sample books are a lifesaver. They include actual thread samples, allowing you to compare and choose the right thread for your fabric.
I hope this information has been helpful in your thread selection process. With many types and color options, thread selection can be overwhelming, but by considering your specific needs and following a systematic approach, you can make the right choices. If you’re ever stuck on color choices, take a break, refresh, and then reevaluate. Happy sewing!
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After 2 years of training at a major order-made suit store in Japan, I started my career in apparel materials and fabrics.
I’m especially good at suits and coats.