Last updated: August 8, 2021

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High-quality sewing thread is an important foundation for every sewing project. This is because the quality of the sewing thread has a great influence on the sewing result and durability. Poor sewing thread can even make for messy work in the end, as you can clearly see knots or faulty tension. In addition, cheap thread breaks more often and can end up costing you more than the higher quality version due to the loss of material.

But how can you recognise high-quality sewing thread and for which fabrics should you use which thread? If these are questions you often ask yourself, then you've come to the right place. In our big sewing thread test 2021 we discuss these questions in detail. We also introduce you to different sewing threads. Based on our criteria, it will be easier for you to find the right thread for your projects.




Summary

  • For different types of fabric, there are also corresponding yarns that are best suited for working with the fabrics. A high-quality spool of thread will cost you about two euros.
  • When buying a spool of thread, you should not only consider the colour, but also the thickness of the thread. Make sure that the upper and lower thread are always the same thickness.
  • A thread is not only suitable for processing or repairing certain textiles. You can also use a sewing thread to add decorative and colourful accents to your favourite garments.

The Best Sewing Thread: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying sewing thread

What kind of sewing thread is available?

There are different threads for different types of fabric. Sewing threads are made of different materials. However, most yarns are made of polyester. You should always choose sewing thread that matches the fabric, so use cotton thread for cotton fabrics. Also make sure you use the same thread in the top and bobbin.

Cotton yarn

Cotton thread, as the name suggests, is made from cotton and is therefore suitable for cotton fabrics.

Sewing thread comes in different colours and materials. (Photo: PetraBlahoutova / pixabay.com)

However, due to the lack of elasticity, cotton threads can tear more quickly. There is also mercerised cotton yarn that has been treated with caustic soda beforehand. This makes the yarn more slippery, smooth, shiny and tear-resistant.

Polyester yarn

Polyester yarn is more elastic and therefore also more tear-resistant than cotton yarn. Sometimes it is also mixed with cotton fibres. There is also so-called "all sewing" yarn, which is also made of polyester. This yarn is suitable for all fabrics.

Other types of yarn

Besides cotton and polyester yarn, there are many other types of yarn. Here are some of them listed for you:

  • Nylon yarn does not allow water to penetrate from the outside and is therefore particularly suitable for weatherproof or sports clothing
  • Viscose yarn looks similar to cotton yarn, but is lighter and softer
  • Embroidery thread consists of slightly shimmering synthetic fibres and is suitable for machine embroidery
  • Buttonhole thread is thicker and more tear-resistant and therefore ideal for repair work or firm fabrics
  • Silk yarn has a slight sheen, but is also very delicate and suitable for silk
  • Metallic yarn consists of metallic synthetic fibres, but requires a special needle
  • Fancy yarn is a hard-wearing yarn made of polyester and cotton to create special accents
  • Rubber thread is a thin, covered rubber thread that is usually used as a bobbin thread to achieve stretch effects, for example, when smocking
Sewing thread types Description
Cotton thread Cotton thread, as the name suggests, is made from cotton and is therefore suitable for cotton fabrics. However, due to the lack of elasticity, cotton yarns can tear more quickly. There is also mercerised cotton yarn that has previously been treated with caustic soda. This makes the yarn more slippery, smooth, shiny and tear-resistant.
Polyester yarn polyester yarn is more elastic and thus also more tear-resistant than cotton yarn. Sometimes it is also mixed with cotton fibres. There is also so-called "all sewing" yarn, which is also made of polyester. This yarn is suitable for all fabrics.
Nylon yarn Does not allow water to penetrate from the outside and is therefore particularly suitable for weatherproof or sports clothing.
Viscose yarn Visually similar to cotton yarn, but lighter and softer.
Embroidery thread Consists of slightly shimmering synthetic fibres and is suitable for machine embroidery.
Buttonhole thread Is thicker and more tear-resistant and therefore ideal for repair work or firm fabrics.
Silk yarn Has a slight sheen, but is also very delicate and suitable for silk.
Metallic yarn Consists of metallic synthetic fibres, but requires a special needle.
Fancy yarn Is durable yarn made of polyester and cotton to add special accents.
Rubber thread Is a thin, covered rubber thread that is usually used as a bobbin thread to achieve stretch effects, for example, when smocking.

How much does sewing thread cost?

If you want quality sewing thread, you have to pay a little more. A single spool of thread from a well-known manufacturer costs about 2.50 euros. There is also cheaper thread from discounters. You have to see how your sewing machine copes with it. Sewing thread sets are available in different types. They differ in the selection and number of threads and in the length. It is therefore difficult to give an average price. However, you should expect to pay between 35 and 65 euros.

The quality of the sewing thread plays a big role. Cheap threads tear more quickly.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate sewing thread based on these factors

Colour

Basically, there are no limits to your creativity and thus to your choice of colours. If you choose from a range of thread colours, it is easier to find the right thread for your fabric. You can simply hold different yarns against the fabric of your choice and find the ideal shade. If you want it to be more subtle, it makes sense to choose yarn in the same shade as the fabric. But you can also set accents by picking up one of the colours represented in patterned fabrics. Of course, you can also create contrasts. Some fabrics are directly labelled with a colour number or can be requested from the manufacturer. This can make it easier to find the right thread. Sewing threads are usually marked with which colour numbers they combine well with.

To understand all the abbreviations on sewing thread packaging, you can find sewing thread numbering charts online.

Thread count

Not only the colour is important, but also the thickness of the thread. Make sure that the top and bobbin threads are always the same thickness. The thickness of the thread is similar to that of the sewing needles: The thicker your fabric, the thicker the thread should be. Conversely, for fine fabrics, the thread should be very thin.

Did you know that Nm 40 indicates the thickness of the sewing thread? Nm is an abbreviation and means number metric. It means that 40 metres of the yarn weighs 1 gram. In this way, the yarn has a running length of 4000 m at 100 g or 2000 m at 50 g. The larger the number on the spool of yarn, the thinner the fabric.

The thickness of the yarn refers to the thickness of the thread. The lower the number, the thicker the yarn. Thickness 30 is extra strong and suitable for upholstery fabrics, for example. In comparison, thickness 50 is only medium and ideal for many garments.

Picture source: pixabay.com / Bruno Glätsch

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