A quick guide to sewing threads

Making sure you have the right kind of threads for your project can make a big difference in your finished result. There are lots of kinds of threads out there and in every colour of the rainbow. This quick guide will help you choose the right ones for making your bags and accessories.


Let me start by mentioning that buying a good quality thread will make a huge difference when it comes to sewing. I am guilty of buying a pack of 12 coloured threads and thinking "what a great bargain!" until I come to use them and quickly realise why there were so cheap. Lesson learned and I haven't skimped on sewing threads since.  


I personally work with Gutermann as they have never let me down, and the range of colours available is huge... and I mean huge. Their Sew-All 100% Polyester thread is my favourite. 


Reading a spool

The end of the thread spool lists the fibre content, the manufacturer, and colour number.

Polyester thread

Polyester thread is great for bag and accessory making because it is strong and durable. These threads often have a wax coating on them, which allows the threads to effortlessly glide through your machine and fabrics. 

Cotton thread

Cotton thread is perfect for lightweight projects such as garments or patchwork, but because it is much weaker than other threads it is not a great choice for bag making. It has very little give, so any stress that is applied to the seams causes the thread to snap and your seams to break.

All-purpose thread

This is a blended thread that consists of both polyester and cotton, being polyester thread covered with cotton. This is an okay choice for bag making, but as it is not as strong as 100% polyester. I, personally, wouldn't choose to work with it.

Top-stitching thread

The top-stitching thread is as the name suggests, suitable for top-stitching. It is slightly thicker than standard thread and it looks great when used to top-stitch on heavier weight fabrics such as cotton canvas and denim. 
When working with top-stitching thread use in on the top of the sewing machine only and use a normal thread for your bobbing. You will also require a top-stitching needle which has a larger eye to accommodate the thickness of the thread. 

Extra strong thread

For when you are working with super heavy fabrics, such as leather and heavy denim, you will require a thread that will be tough and robust enough to support it. Extra strong thread is a thicker and stronger polyester thread that is designed to take a great deal of wear and tear. 


Remember to use the correct needles for sewing. If the thread is either too heavy or too fine for the needle it can cause problems with your sewing. More on needles can be found here. 

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