Friday, March 19, 2010

Linty Thread: A Quilter's Bane

It seems that Bradi and I had the same idea this week.  We both have talked about thread.  As you will see mine take on a slightly different angle than hers so be sure to check out her blog for more great tip and idea on threads and piecing.

Would you put low-grade gasoline in a Ferrari? If you are using a cheap, low quality thread, you cannot expect your expensive machine to compensate. That is not possible. It cannot make a poor quality thread better. Start with quality thread that is worthy of your machine. It does not make sense to spend $5,000 on a machine and then try to save $1.00 on a budget thread. Poor quality thread breaks easily and can make any sewing project more labor than love.  It is always best to use a good quality thread in your sewing machine as a poor quality thread tends to have a lot of lint associated with it.  Old thread that has been lying around a while can get very brittle and give you lots of problems.  Such as breaking and poor stitch quality.  Spools that were three for a dollars, from the value bin or on a wooden spool are sure to give you problems.  One brand that I like and recommend is Aurifil.  It is made it Italy and yes it does cost a bit more, but it has little to no lint.  This being said, that means you need to clean your machine less often due to less lint getting built up.  When shopping for thread, a good rule of thumb is to pull out a strand of it and take a close look at it.  See if there is any lint on the thread.  Any lint that you see will come off inside your sewing machine.

 A word of advice...Some thread  spools used to have a little notch on one end and the thread would get caught on it and break  To eliminate said problem, use a spool cap that is slightly larger than your spool of thread  This will allow the thread to ride on the spool cap and not the notch.

 As Quilters, we like to use 100% cotton thread in a 40 or 50 weight.  Unfortunately, however, most cotton threads have some lint.  One way to avoid lint in your sewing machine, is when removing the thread, is not to pull it backwards from the needle.  Instead, cut it close to the spool and pull it through the needle.  When you pull it backwards, you release all that lint into the machine.  Thread is meant to travel in one direction. 

QuiltersDaily Blog-AlongMake sure to visit Quilter's Daily about thread and your sewing machine, share your own blog post or any other machine related issue.  If you have any questions about your domestic sewing machine, share those as well.

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Until next time,

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  1. Charlie another great post..I swear you're reading my mind.

  2. I second what you've said.. I recently purchased a new machine (Juki tl98) and I've never had to research and discover thread as much as I have with this machine. Aurifil is my #1 pick for it, as it just runs the best with it and there's no lint. Still trying to find a place that sells a large selection of it though... I agree, it's a little more expensive, but in the long run it's wayyyy less hassle and frustration when working on your projects!

  3. I have tried one spool of Aurifil. (it was a recent purchase) I must say that it seems to glide thru the machine much better than the other brand I have been using.

  4. Hi, Charlie, I just found your blog and I just wanted to thank you for all the great sewing machine tips. I try to clean out the lint regularly but I can see by your post that I am not doing it often enough! By the way, I love your Gezbo quilt, is it your pattern or can you tell me where to find it?
    I am going to 'follow' for a bit if you don't mind.

  5. Charlie, I just did a similar post on thread... it must be the subject of the month! Alex, from Aurifil, even linked to my blog as I talked about how Aurifil has almost NO lint and gives me no tension issues. Isn't it good when something just works! Unfortunately, I love to match color and there are no Aurifil shops by me, but I plan to build my stash this weekend at AQS Lancaster.

    Stop by my blog and take a look around.


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