LongArm Quilting Thread – Cotton vs. Polyester

What Is The Best Thread For Machine Quilting

Cotton vs Polyester

We will begin this journey with this revelation, there is average thread and superior threads!

When we first started quilting we believed that thread is thread.  However, we quickly learned that statement was not correct. Go figure. There we were trying to start an on line business, a huge learning curve for me, plus trying to figure out our brand new Longarm quilter, attending classes, stocking an on line store, learning about fabric, designing our Web Site and learning about Distributors.  It is difficult to believe that both my husband and myself found thread to be the most difficult to learn about because everyone has their own opinion. We became increasingly concerned about the thread we had chosen to use. Not only is thread a major part of the quilting process, it actually defines and deepens the design you have chosen. If you have been quilting for awhile you certainly understand the work that goes into this process.  You must choose the correct thread for your sewing project. Believe me there is not anyone that will point blank say use this kind of thread. Lots of steps are required on your journey to creating your incredibly beautiful piece of Art. In the past we believed that the most difficult part of thread was getting it through that dinky, dinky little eye.  Now we understand why a Camel will not fit through the eye of a needle. 

Our first choice of thread was Rayon, however our Longarm quilter didn’t like it at all and she was very unhappy. The Thread shredded and broke numerous times.  However, we did find that Rayon thread is much better for embroidery. Rayon has a shiny appearance but also produces lint. You will find that you are cleaning your machine more often.

Then we ran into the people who believed in the Cotton on Cotton on Cotton propaganda. You know – the idea that quilters can only use cotton fabric, with a cotton batting, stitched with cotton thread? Bye this time we were getting pretty discouraged on the right brand of thread to use. We decided to try yes you guessed it Cotton thread. We still were not certain that Cotton would be the correct thread for us, but we decided to go along with all the Cotton propaganda. We quickly learned that our choice of cotton thread clogged up our bobbin on our Longarm Quilter. It not only clogged the bobbin but balled up with the bobbin thread on the back side of the Quilt. This was really bad. Did not even notice this until we removed the quilt from the frame. You wanna talk about a mess. We actually wondered about the quality of the Thread. We had to pursue a low lint thread. In our continued pursuit one of our wise quilting friends told us you must have a low lint product with massive twists. Really what the heck is a twist still not knowing we continued on our journey. We were determined to find the best threads for us. We spent weeks looking for just the right thread.

Then we discovered Superior Threads, so many wonderful choices of thread. Then Suddenly there was King Tut What a name right?

Could this be true? Finally a 100 % Cotton Thread that appeared to be the answer for us? We were so excited. We were once again introduced to the twist in the thread. Little did we know that there could actually be differences in Cotton Threads. Look at the attributes of this King Tut Thread.

Wait….WOW finally an answer to the importance of the number of Twists in your thread. It is starting to come together for us. On we go.

Thread twist is measured by the number of twists applied per meter. A loosely twisted thread requires less total fiber content, takes less time to produce, and is less expensive to manufacture. “Regular” may be less expensive but has only 150 twists per meter which equals a budget thread and easily untwisted. King Tut has almost 7 times as many twists per meter, resulting in a smooth, consistent surface.

Wait………another great attribute for King Tut Thread. We are growing more hopeful about being able to use this thread.  On we go.

#40/3-ply Egyptian-grown extra-long staple Cotton thread. Designed for Quilting. King Tut is nature’s finest thread. It is certified Egyptian-grown, extra-long staple cotton and designed for quilting on both home machines and longarm machines. This includes the finest spinning, twisting, and dyeing, and finishing techniques. King Tut has extremely LOW LINT. You and your machine will love it. Excess lint can not only clog your bobbin but also create poor stitch quality.

Wait….what is Precision Dye?  Did not know about this one.  Yet another great attribute. Unexpected but the proof is mounting.  On we go.

Precision Dye

Variegated King Tut is precision-dyed with even, one-inch color change intervals, unlike other thread companies that offer variegated threads with randomly dyed intervals. Superior Threads follows a strict process which precisely dyes the thread in one-inch intervals. The benefits of precision-dyeing are consistent color flow, even color distribution in small spaces (i.e. fill stitches), and uniform appearance.

Gassed Cotton

Wait…Gassed Cotton, now that just doesn’t sound right to me. we know that we get gas but come on Cotton?    On we go..the facts are mounting.

King Tut undergoes a special process called “gassing”. Gassing refers to passing a cotton thread at a high speed above a flame, which burns off excess fuzz and lint. The process will give threads a brighter and smoother appearance. The thread appears to have a silk finished or polished appearance. You can tell whether or not a thread is gassed by the length of fuzz from a strand of cotton thread. If the fuzz has very little variation and appears uniform in length, it has been gassed. Extremely Low Lint .

Wait…..We must take a deep breath.  OK did we just read that this thread is Extremely Low Lint. I do believe we have all we need to try this thread.

Wait.. this is also a cotton thread, this just won’t work. As we read further, What.? .Extremely Low Lint? You can only imagine our surprise after our first cotton experience. But there it was right in front of us. LOW Lint. Yep you guessed it we purchased #40 (recommended for our Longarm quilter) 100% Egyptian grown cotton thread. After several weeks we knew that this one passed all of the tests. It performed beautifully on the top thread, but not in the bobbin. We decided to stay at Superior Threads to continue the journey for our pursuit of the perfect bobbin thread.

Bottom Line

Actually we quickly found Bottom Line Thread another jewel at Superior Thread 60 wt./2-ply Polyester thread. Designed for Bobbin Thread, and Quilting.

Lint-free. Designed with award-winning quilter Libby Lehman, The Bottom Line makes a fantastic bobbin thread for any type of sewing. Its lightweight, blending colors are easily matched with any top thread. Available in 55 colors. Invisible applique and binding is a breeze with Bottom Line as it glides through layers of fabric.

Now wait…. just a minute, This is a polyester thread. This can not work.. Were we not told Don’t Mix Threads? Yes we were. Ok we will try this but it appears that opinion is strongly against this trial. With a great deal of apprehension we continued on the journey. We purchased Bottom Line #60 a polyester thread. After a couple of months of trials we came to the conclusion that this Polyester thread was working perfectly in our Longarm bobbin. Let me just repeat…..Yes a Polyester thread and it works beautifully in our bobbin on our Longarm Quilter. What can we say? Yet another theor

y bites the dust…”don’t mix threads”.Should we share this with the rest of the world, maybe, but right now we will share it with you.

There it is our Thread journey. We started this as a comparison of Cotton vs Polyester. Just look what happened. Cotton in the top thread and Polyester in the Bobbin. So given the fact that our discovery is our discovery. Don’t take it to the bank that this will work for your machine. Go on a journey of your own.

You can also check out Longarm quilting thread and Superior threads bottom line.

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