Choosing threads

Over the 25 year I have been sewing, I have amassed an enormous collection of threads, which I keep on display in the studio on this home made spool rack.

I can’t help but collect threads when I see them in charity shops or car boot sales but there are some rules I follow. 
My personal preference is Sylko cotton, which is no longer made, so I have to get these threads second hand. It is thicker than standard polyester or modern cotton thread, which I find easier to hand sew with. It tangles less than polyester and the thickness helps create a bolder stitch which I like. 
cottons - 4
For machine sewing I tend to use Gutermans polyester thread, mainly for practicality as it is easy to buy. I aim to gradually replace all my polyester threads with biodegradable cotton. Polyester is best for any seams under strain and for things like buttons and zips but a good quality cotton is quite strong enough for most things too. 
When I am sewing something really special in silk or wool, I use silk thread which disappears almost invisibly into the fabric. 
Thread spools
I can’t help collecting vintage threads but I use them with caution; natural fibres will degrade with exposure to light so they can be liable to breaking which makes them impossible to use in a sewing machine. I tend to use them for hand sewing only, or just keep them looking lovely in the studio. 
I recently bought some spools of organic cotton thread from Raystitch and I am finding them to be really lovely to work with. I am also the proud owner of some Singer-branded thread, a fabulous gift from my friend and fellow thread-addict Scrapiana
Singer thread

4 thoughts on “Choosing threads

  1. totally agree about Sylko threads being better for hand sewing – i get in a cotton knot and tangle with modern threads like Gutterman polyester 😦 then i get angry and can't continue sewing! I bought some fantastic large reels of cotton recently the kind you'd use on an industrial machine and the seller told me if the cotton snaps to keep it in the bathroom while you have a shower or spray the thread with a light mist of water as you go, i've not tried it yet but it does make sense to re-hydrate the cotton πŸ™‚

  2. great overview, especially for a relative newbie to sewing like me, thanks a lot πŸ™‚ and I love the photos you've selected…there's nothing more beautiful than a collection of colourful threads πŸ™‚

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