Tools of the Trade

I’m often asked about the best type of thread to use for different projects so I thought I would share some of the threads that I use in my work. The thread I use often depends on that fabric I’m working with (and what I remembered to take with me!). Here are a few of the different types I have in my stash.

Good to Know… When using any thread it’s good to know what type of finish you want on the work, for example a thicker thread can produce really nice texture. You can also experiment with different types of thread to see how they will look against your chosen fabric. When you’re buying threads, where possible you should look at a single strand of the thread against your fabric, this is the best way to colour match as the whole reel looks different.

Gutermann Hand Quilting Thread

I came across this 100% cotton thread a few years ago, I was looking for a thicker thread for some of my hand stitched projects. Gutermann Hand Quilting thread is a fine but strong 40 weight cotton. The thread has a special waxed finish which gives it added strength and it’s not prone to tangling like some other threads. There a 50 colours to choose from on 200m spools and last year I was lucky enough to complete my collection!

I use this thread for all my tacking and utility sewing because of it’s durability. It’s also great for adding details like beading to a project. I recently started using it to stitch the maps from my daily exercise too and it’s becoming my thread of choice for lots of projects.

DMC Cotton Perle

Cotton Perle No 8 thread is 100% cotton, it has a distinctive twist and a slight sheen which gives it a lovely finish. This thread doesn’t get fluffy easily and is suitable for many types of hand embroidery. The heavier weight of this thread will give your project a raised texture and great definition. This comes in 80m balls and there are so many colours to choose from.

I started using this thread when I was given a ball in a mixed bag of vintage threads. I love to use it to add texture to my hand embroidered pieces and recently I’ve been experimenting with the different colours to build up layers.

DMC Stranded Cotton Embroidery Thread

DMC Stranded Cotton is made from long staple cotton which is mercerised twice to give the thread a lovely sheen. It’s made up of 6 strands which you can divide into different thicknesses depending on the finish you want for your project. It comes in huge variety of colours too.

I use this thread for my cross stitch and hand embroidery samples for my classes as the finish is great and I can get lots of different colours. Take care when separating the threads as it can get twisted if you cut off a really long piece. I tend to use it lengths of around 30cm.

Anything Goes

I’e recommended some of the big brands of thread because I stitch every day but you can find a huge variety of threads in shops like The Works and from your local charity shop. Be bold and experiment with the threads you find to see what type of line they create and how you can use them in your projects.

If you want to wash the piece you’re making I do recommend getting the thread wet first to see if it’s colour fast, I’ve been burned by this a few times. Take car when storing vintage threads too, if they’ve been kept in a messy environment they may contaminate your other threads.

***Please note that this is just my personal observation on the products I use regularly, everyone has their favourites and I recommend trying lots of different types to find the best one for you.***

Thread images courtesy of Bramble Patch and DMC

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