Sewing Thread Properties and Its Types


What is Sewing Thread?

External appearance and qualities of a seam are directly concerned with the sewing thread. Specially, the quality of a garment also depends on the selection that what sort of sewing thread will be used for the sewing of the garment. The construction of sewing thread, the fiber types in the thread and the finishing material in the thread etc. influence on the external appearance of the seam and its qualities. There are various types and of various sizes of sewing threads but specific thread is to use for specific fabric and specific thread size should be used for specific needle size.

Properties of Sewing Thread:

Sewing thread is important for garment manufacturing. Different properties of the sewing thread give better efficiency of sewing operation. So, it is important to know the properties of sewing thread. The following are the properties of sewing thread that we should know before selecting the sewing thread.

  1. Tensile strength
  2. Loop Strength Ratio
  3. Tenacity
  4. Loop Strength
  5. Elongation at Break
  6. Minimum loop strength
  7. Elasticity
  8. Stress-Strain Curve
  9. Abrasion Resistance
  10. Colorfastness

Essential Requirements for Sewing Thread:


This type of property should have during the sewing of the fabric. How can we measure the sewability of a sewing thread? It is very easy, we can sew 100 yds or meters by the sewing thread, if no breakage that means it has sufficient sewability.

  • Firstly, not breaking when used for high speed sewing.
  • Secondly, the thread has to have sufficient surface smoothness.
  • Lastly, thread must have a uniform diameter.


The durability of the sewing thread should be excellent. Durability is measured by considering the following points.

  • Firstly, the thread must have sufficient elasticity on seams during wear.
  • Secondly, thread shrinkage should be minimum.
  • Lastly, thread has to maintain its original color after clearing process.

Types of Sewing Threads:

Polyester Thread (All-Purpose Thread);

The most widely used thread for sewing is all-purpose or polyester thread because it can work with many different types of fabrics, it’s very strong and it’s cheap. Polyester threads from reputable brands like Gutter man are made from high-quality polyester. You can find all-purpose thread in hundreds of different colors making it easy to match your fabric. Polyester has exceptional color retention making it long-lasting for wear and tear over time. It is suitable for both sewing machine use and hand stitching. Look for a polyester thread that is 40-50wt for multiple uses. This is the standard universal weight for everyday sewing and projects.

Cotton Thread;

Cotton thread is made from natural cotton fibers and comes in a few different weights, 12wt, 50wt and 80wt. Cotton thread comes in many colors just like all-purpose and can be found in most good craft stores or online. 80wt is a very thin thread that is used for hand appliques, machine appliques or embroidery and paper piecing.12wt is the thickest cotton thread weight that can be used on a sewing machine as it can still safely fit through the eye of the needle. 12wt cotton thread can be used for sewing hand applique, buttonholes, blanket stitches, hand quilting and embroidery. If you want to machine stitch your quilts, then 12wt will help give a ‘hand stitched’ look.50wtis the most popular cotton thread with hundreds of colors to choose from. This cotton thread is strong and thin, but it is only best suited for cotton fabrics. 50wt cotton thread is best used for clothing, paper piecing, lace making, machine applique and embroidery or quilting. Mercerised cotton thread is a versatile option that has long, strong lustrous threads that sew beautifully creating smooth and even seams. This cotton takes on dyes better than standard cotton thread making it more color-lasting and durable. Many brands cotton threads are mercerised for high-quality are used.

Linen thread:

Oldest sewing thread and was used at a wide range for sewing threads during the making of garments. This type of sewing thread has high strength and slightly can make more strength of the seam. The linen sewing thread was used at a large rate to sew canvas, coarse fabric, and so on. But now it is mostly replaced by synthetic threads.

Nylon Thread:

Nylon thread is an extremely strong thread that is used to sew heavy-duty items like upholstery, canvas, or leather. It has incredible strength and durability which is important for anything heavy-duty. It comes in many different weights from thin like invisible thread to thick.

Viscose thread:

It may be made from continuous filament or staple fibers. The strength and stability are comparatively less but more brighten. It has limited use as a sewing thread but is widely used in embroidery work

Embroidery Thread:

Embroidery threads are used for hand-stitching projects like cross-stitching or fabric embroidery. They come in strands of colors that can be broken apart into the thickness required for sewing.

Silk Thread:

This type of sewing thread is made from both continuous filament and broken filament silk. Comparatively, it contains higher strength, extensive, lustrous, and good qualities. Silk sewing thread is the most expensive, that is why using it is comparatively less. It is used to sew expensive garments.

Elastic Thread:

Elastic thread is just that, an elasticised thread that is used in the bottom of a sewing machine. It is usually hand-wound onto a bobbin and used with an all-purpose thread on the top to sew shirring, smocking or ruffles.

PEFE thread:

The use of PEFE sewing thread is limited due to the higher cost. It is used for protecting against flame, melt, and chemical garments.


Choosing the right sewing thread is important for strong and durable stitches and the longevity of your projects. Understanding the different thread types and their uses allows you to make informed decisions for better sewing outcomes. From all-purpose polyester and cotton to specialty threads like a metallic or invisible thread, there is a wide variety to choose from. Remember to consider the thread weight and match it to the fabric weight for balanced stitches. By selecting the appropriate thread, you can achieve professional-looking results.

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