The Basics of Sewing Thread

The Basics of Sewing Thread

January 06, 2023

If you’re a beginner to sewing, it can quickly become overwhelming when faced with all the different types of sewing machine threads. With so many options and varieties, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this blog post, we’ll explain the basics of sewing machine thread, including what types are available and how to choose the right one for your project.

Material Types of Sewing Machine Threads

The first thing to consider when selecting a sewing machine thread is the material type. Sewing threads come in various materials such as cotton, polyester, nylon, silk, rayon and metallic. Cotton is the most common choice because it’s strong, durable and easy to work with. Polyester is also popular due to its strength and resistance to fading or shrinking in the wash. Nylon is best used for outdoor projects that require extra durability like upholstery or outdoor furniture covers. Silk provides an elegant finish while rayon adds a subtle sheen. Metallic threads are best used for decorative details like embellishment or decorative stitches on projects such as bags or clothing items like jackets and blazers.

Thread Weights

Another important factor when choosing a sewing machine thread is thread weight/thickness – sometimes referred to as ticket. Thread weights generally range from 20-120 - 120 being the most common for general purpose use on lightweight fabrics such as cotton voile or poplin. Heavier weight fabrics such as canvas or denim require heavier duty thread weights such as 25 which offers greater strength and durability when working with those heavier fabric types.

Thread Colors

You will need to choose a color that best suits your project needs - either matching your chosen fabric color exactly or choosing something complementary if you want an accent stitch/thread color that stands out against your fabric choice e.g., black on white chambray shirt etc… When choosing colors for embroidery projects opt for high quality metallic embroidery threads in different shades/tones for added texture & dimensionality on your finished project piece!


Another way of choosing thread is by application. For example, if you are sewing on outdoor products, it would be best to choose a specialized outdoor thread. Options such as the Coats Dabond, or A&E Sunstop are great against UV and is therefore optimal for sails, awnings, and other products with a high exposure to the sun.

To sum up, there are a few key factors you need to consider when selecting a sewing machine thread; including material type (cotton/polyester etc.), thread weight & finally colour choice! Whether you are just starting out with some simple hand-stitching projects or more advanced embroidery works - having some knowledge about these 3 factors will ensure that you select an appropriate & suitable sewing machine thread every time! Happy stitching!