Why Machine Quilting Thread
Whether you are a Longarm quilter or quilt at your domestic machine, it is important to choose a thread designed for this type of work. Longarm machines operate at higher speeds than domestic machines. Also, stitching through the three sandwich layers of a quilt cause more wear and tear on thread than ordinary sewing. Fortunately thread manufacturers understand these demands and have designed thread for machine quilting.
Machine quilting thread can be found in both cotton and poly and is available from a number of manufacturers. Because of the larger volume of thread required in quilting a quilt, machine quilting thread is available on cones that hold 2500 yards or more. Although we may balk at the price of machine quilting thread on cones, we need to remember that they hold several times as much as a standard spool of thread. When compared to the price of the spool, this thread really does not cost that much more and often costs less per yard than spool thread. It is important to know that hand quilting thread should never be used on a Longarm or domestic machine as the glazing on the thread will gum up the machine.
Considerations for selecting quilting thread:
- It is designed for machine quilting
- Choose a fiber type
- Cotton – select long staple cotton for the least amount of linting
- Poly – usually is low lint
- The look wanted on the quilt
- Dull look to the thread or shiny look of the thread
- More visible – select thicker thread, less visible – select a thinner thread
- To blend with fabric color but show quilting texture, select a couple of shades lighter or darker rather than the exact color of the fabric.
- For contrast, select a totally different color than the fabric.
Angela Walters is a Longarm quilter and author of several books on quilting. In the video below from her blog, she answers the question, “What are your favorite threads?” As she notes in the video, these are her opinions and she is not promoting any particular product.