A blog devoted to my vintage sewing machines and how I find them, fetch them and fix them.
Thank you for the link to the thread qualities. It confirms my preferences. I do not buy bargain thread because it messes with tension and makes lint--my opinion--no expert.I like to do craft sewing with Coats & Clark Machine Quilting Cotton Thread 350 yd. per spool at $2.28 some places. It is 30 wt. thread on a beige spool. They also make a 35 wt. thread on a yellow spool that is a little more expensive because there is less thread on the spool I looked at. The old machines that I sew on originally sewed cotton. Mom's old thread in her treadle machine is thicker than the polyester threads today. I like the German cotton threads that I have used--not much experience with them.
Ray White taught us to test the tension with Excel 5/1.00 cheap thread because that is what customers will use. When I test a machine I use Dual Duty. When I sew, I like the good stuff. Gutterman and I will look for Metler. I think I might take some thread samples to work to look at under the microscope. I wonder if I took a photo and just enlarged the photo if we would see all the stray fibers? Worth a try.
Nice info! I almost always use Gutermann. Will haveto keep my eyes out for Mettler.
Also, the fiber content varies so much. Dual Duty used to be named that because it was a cotton wrapped around a poly core. Now its poly over poly.Guterman is 100% poly, and often recommended for sewing knits as it has a little more give than the Dual Duty.In my experience, the Mettler is slightly finer than the Guterman and it has greater sheen. And more color choices. But it seems to be harder to find.Guterman also offers a silk thread that is readily available.I don't wonder though, if its the hairy-ness as much as it is the slubby-ness, that is of importance. No one here is sewing at industrial speeds, and we all regularly clean our machines. But the slubby-ness (fat blobs along the way) would seem more likely to cause issues.But I assure you that the cheapest (79 cent) spools they sell at JoAnn aren't good for the machine because of the coating on the thread which keeps it from appearing hairy. And it just looks nasty. But over and over again people bring it to the register... ick.
At least one of us sews at industrial speeds. I'm still using huge cones (which are way too big for domestic machines) from my sm operator job 10 years ago. I don't know where my boss sourced the thread but it rarely breaks. I also do use this thread on domestic machines, but need to use a spool thread stand, which I still haven't rigged for portability so it's easier to move it from one domestic machine to another (another 'project' waiting for me).
After trying many threads, I have settled on Glide for quilting. I also use Isacord, but Glide is made in the USA. It is so smooth and free of lint. It is also very economical. For piecing I use Aurifil and am trying the cotton thread, Cairo Quilt from the same company as Glide, made in the US. They are great to deal with and have thread color cards with real thread. I like the weight of the Aurifil and Cairo because they don't add bulk to the seams. I have tried all the others, even superior (their metal thread is super). I am sewing on Vintage Singers.