Sewing Thread

Thread plays an essential role in general sewing, and choosing the right one can make a significant difference in your projects. Note that different types of threads have unique attributes and will behave differently on your sewing machine. They can be made of natural fiber, i.e., wool, silk, cotton, linen, or synthetic fibers like rayon, nylon, and polyester. 

However, there is less special handling needed in the high-quality thread, unlike poor quality ones. Inferior yarns break quickly with much lint and seams splitting during wear. It’s paramount that you pick the best one to avoid such frustration. 

But, sometimes, making a choice may be confusing due to the huge varieties available. It will be a good idea to have little knowledge about them for wise decision making. We are here to help you; continue reading our article for more insights.

We will discuss thread types, plus general tips for choosing them.

What is the strongest sewing thread?

Nylon is one of the strongest synthetic threads. This is due to its well-known flexibility, well-built and high strength-to-size ratio compared to its counterparts.

Types Of Sewing Threads

Cotton Thread

The 100% cotton threads are suitable for light and medium-weight fabrics. They have a smooth finish and, interestingly, are without stretch. They are durable, and their heat-resistant attributes make it easier for you to press safely with a hot iron without fear of burning it. Since it doesn’t have much stretch, there is a high possibility of breaking when used with other materials than cotton ones.

Silk finished cotton thread is as much beautiful as silk itself. You are having all the cotton thread qualities and as well the color. Don’t use cotton thread to sew any of your stretch fabrics because it lacks that necessary ‘give’ and can easily snap.


Polyester is a perfect thread for all types of fabrics and has been nicknamed “sew-all.” But, extra care is needed when pressing through hot burning iron as it might burn quickly. Due to its good stretch attributes, sewers used it to sew knits and woven fabrics. For a silky smooth finish on your project, use polyester thread for topstitching.

However, polyester threads’ quality differs depending on their brands, so you need to be careful when choosing one. Since cotton is weaker, it might break cotton fibers in the long run. Nevertheless, it applies to those things that have long durability. The advantages of this type of thread outweigh its disadvantages, and we recommend it as one of the best you can consider for finishes. 

All-Purpose Thread 

This is a blended thread that consists of polyester and cotton properties or simply polyester covered with cotton. It is recommended for sewing machines, and you can use them to sew and knit synthetic, woven, and artificial fabrics.

The polyester components give this thread it stretches, while cotton provides ease of sewing. The heat-resistant attributes enable you to press the fabric while sewing with high heat.

Metallic Thread

Metallic threads are mostly used for decorative purposes; however, you need a unique needle while using it. You can use any bobbin weight thread or a regular one. Nonetheless, there is a high possibility of thread breaking when you are sewing at high speed. Keen sewing will make a great-looking embellishment when sewn with metallic thread.

Silk Thread 

Typically, silk yarns are fine satiny threads that are suitable for all kinds of fabrics. It’s perfect for both delicate and heavier materials because it doesn’t leave holes in your fabric.  Use silk thread for applique work because it’s thin and thus looks transparent while providing a smooth finish.

Silk is also a strong and very flexible thread. The only limiting factor is the insane price. Silk thread is quite expensive ad many sewers opt for other types due to the cost.

Rayon Thread

For a nice finish and decorative purposes, rayon thread will not disappoint you. However, it’s very delicate and prone to breaking than any other thread. Definitely, not suitable for sewing seams.

Woolly Nylon

 A kind of stretch thread generally used for stretch seams.

Which Thread Is Stronger, Cotton Or Polyester?

Although cotton threads are slightly more substantial, the two yarn materials have a crucial difference, with the former a lot softer than the latter. Cotton is ideal for visible seams in your projects. Additionally, the unavailability of a stretch factor in cotton threads makes them great for quilting projects as they won’t lose shape. On the other hand, polyester is a bit stretchy, meaning everything you sew should be using polyester or nylon thread.

Cotton Threads Finishes May Include: 

1. 100% cotton silk– finish-they are perfect for sewing cotton more so, quilting and piecing because of their high strength and non-shrink. They are soft with natural shine.

2. Mercerized cotton thread–  its 100% smooth cotton silk,  which is suitable for several sewing projects

3. Fine machine embroidery thread–  they are suitable for embroidery work, linen, cotton, toweling, and so on.

Polyester threads finishes may include: 

1. Polysheen Polyester Thread– perfect for quilting because it is more robust than rayon

2. Metallic Thread–   they are ideal for machine and hand embroidery with a metallic glow.

3. Metrosene Plus Polyester Thread– creates smooth seams and may be used on cotton, mixed textiles, linen, silk, or synthesis.

4. Overlock Thread– perfect for sergers because it resists breakage and gives consistent tension

How Can You Tell The Strength Of Sewing Thread?

The sewing thread’s strength is determined by its type, i.e., the material used to make that thread. As it’s now, the stronger thread is nylon. But, apart from that, you can know it by its measurement indicated. For example, when 1000 meters of the threads weigh 25 grams, the thread will be labeled as Tex 25. The higher the number listed, the thicker/heavier the thread will be and vice versa. Typically, a medium thread weight is around Tex 27 to Tex 35.

What Are 30 Weight Threads Used For?

The 30 weight threads determine the higher number of yarns that list them as heavier/ thicker thread or lighter/fine ones. 30/40 weights are the thicker thread that is suitable for quilting stitches which stand out as the best. You can decide to use a thicker and fancy yarn on top with a 50/60 regular thread in the bobbin. Thus, helping you quilt more smoothly as well as save money. It’s advisable to use only coated cotton thread for hand quilting, or you can coat it by yourself using beeswax. 

Is Embroidery Thread Stronger Than Sewing Thread?

Embroidery is much heavier compared to common sewing threads. The sizes differ from 30 to 60. Ironically 60 is the thinnest one, while 30 is the thickest size. One can use rayon embroidery thread for various sewing purposes like cross-stitch, blackwork, ribbon embroidery or needlework, etc. Yarns used for specialize embroidery work are from rayon and polyester. Whereas for regular sewing purposes, any sewing thread can work.

General Thread Rules

1. Color– pick the thread that has a darker shade than the fabric

2. Weight –  you should match your fabric weight with the thread weight. Yarns are generally ranked with a number system, the high implies a light one, and the sewing thread’s medium weight is 50.

3. Twist – refers to the amount of spin of the thread fibers. The high amount of the twist in a thread makes it smoother, stronger, and shinier if you compare it with the one with less or no twist.

4. Fiber- try as much as possible to match the thread to your fiber. You should use cotton thread to sewn cotton fabric; polyester fibers should be sewn by polyether thread etc., for quilting; check the thread labeled machine quilting or hand quilting.

Good resistance to the chemical attack in a thread for fabrics that undergo bleaching, washing, or dry-cleaning is desirable.

Good abrasion makes the thread durable while ensuring excellent sewing performance.

Lack of faults and smooth surface ensures less friction between the material and the needle during high-speed sewing. Make sure the thread is lubricated well to improve its sewability and resistance to abrasion.

Thread Sizes And Needle Recommendations

Tex sizeTkt SizeGov’t SizeMetric SizeNm/singer


Threads are different from one another, and all of them have unique properties. However, nylon is the strongest, but that does not mean it can be used in all projects.  Buy the one that is suitable for your sewing needs to get a desirable result. Famous brand in the industry offers quality threads although they are costly. Whereas cheaper and low-quality break easily and might clog your embroidery or sewing machine. Ensure you store your threads properly away from direct sunlight and dust.

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