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A guide to TEXTURED THREAD

Posted by Jessica Crevier on

A textured thread? Did you guys meet before? Perhaps you came across this mysterious thread at the fabric shop or while shopping online. Wound around a cone spool, its unusual fuzzy texture has also a threadlike appearance, once it's stretched. Let's see why and how we can use it.

WHAT IS IT MADE OF?
Textured threads are fabricated from polyester or Nylon (polyamide) filaments which have been stabilized with high temperatures.

WHY AND WHEN TO USE IT?
Its main feature is its elasticity - which is far superior to an all-purpose thread - thus making it a thread of choice when using stretch fabrics and lingerie. A textured thread is soft and provides a comfortable feel against the skin. Once the garment wash, the seams will also remain flat as textured threads do not shrink.


HOW TO USE?
A textured thread is best used in the bobbin on a conventional sewing machine or in the loopers of an overlocker (serger). To thread the bobbin, wind it up like you would normally do. The cone spool might not fit in the designated area of your machine, but you can leave it behind the machine, inside a mug or drinking glass. To thread the loopers on your overlocker, refer to the illustrations inside the lid.

When threading the needles on both your sewing machine and overlocker, always opt for an all-purpose polyester thread. Avoid cotton or silk threads! In contrast with polyester, cotton has virtually no stretch and will break easily under tension. Reserve your cotton threads for woven fabrics.

Sewing knits also mean that you must use a ballpoint or "stretch" needle. Universal needles are not crafted for knits and will mostly create skipped stitches in your knits.

Before you start to sew, be sure to make a tension test with some fabric scraps. Do not skip this step because textured threads are indeed more slippery than all-purpose threads. As a rule of thumb, when the bobbin thread is visible from the top, the top thread tension is too high. On the other hand, when the top thread is visible from the bottom, the top thread tension is too loose.

Some sewing machines allow you to adjust the bobbin thread tension. To do so, detach the bobbin holder, insert the bobbin inside, drop the bobbin holder in your hand and pull the thread sticking out. The tension is appropriate when you can lift the bobbin holder, but it slowly falls back. If you can lift the holder and it stays in the air, you need to loosen the tension. On the other hand, when you cannot lift the holder and it stays in your hand, you need to tighten the tension.

Without a doubt, sewing knits with a textured thread will improve the quality of your seams. However, if you experience other issues such as skipped stitches or wavy seams, refer to our article on TROUBLESHOOTING sewing with knits and double needles.

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