Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Will I Become a Thread Snob?

"What kind of thread should I use," I asked, knowing full well that the answer wouldn't be the kind I use.

"Oh, Guttermann, at least," the sales lady answered. "The thread is so very important! If I get downstate I always look for ..... (and then she named a couple of higher quality threads that I have never even hear of)."

She added, "We haven't had very good luck with Coats and Clark."

I wasn't happy to hear that last remark.

As you can see, I have a drawer full of 'Coats & Clark' in my sewing desk and another hang-on-the-wall thread holder full of it in the basement.

For the past week I have been using it and I don't see a thing wrong with my stitches. I still haven't tried anything but the straight stitch, so maybe the fancy stitches need a better quality thread.

I googled "thread quality" and found these microscopic views of four common threads (at about.com):

Very Cheap Thread - like the stuff you find in the 25 cent bin

Coats and Clark


Mettler Metrosene Plus 100% Polyester.
The object is not to have many of those loose fibers hanging all over. They can mess up the tension and break off inside the machine and cause all sorts of havoc.

From these microscopic views, I think the Coats and Clark looks just as good as the other two.

For those of you who sew, does it really make a difference? Toni, if you are around, do you use a higher quality thread? Toni told me she has the same machine.

I want to protect my investment, so I will do as they suggested and try Guttermann's.

I had a dentist appointment at 2:00 p.m. today and a nail appointment at 4:00 p.m. In between I ran to go to Joannes and bought some Gutterman's.

As you can see I bought a few other things, too--a couple of remnants, and a package of adorable hearts. I took the ribbon off the hearts and set one inside of each gold heart on the place setting.

There. That was just what it needed!


  1. Ach what do I know about sewing but looking at the pictures and what you said about the thread I'd pick Coats and Clarks over the rest.
    I must say you do own thread!
    I agree that the gold heart finishes that setting just beautifully.

  2. Whenever I shop for thread (not often) I want to buy the Gutermann's, but I end up buying Coats and Clark because their colour selection is better.

  3. I was told once by a sewing machine technician that you should only use better quality thread (he didn't specify which thread though) as a result an being the kid of person I am, I use whatever I happen to have on hand and don't worry about labels or names or anything like that. If it means I have thread that is $2 for 3 rolls (ie cheap) then I use it. Provided you clean out your bobbin area on your machine reguarly to get rid of fibers and dust and oil it with just a couple of drops of oil once a week it will be fine, ohh and don't forget to change your needle regularly. My Janome is 13 years old and is still going strong. A cotton tip moistened in sewing machine oil (just a little) is the best I have found for picking up loose fibres and fluff from around the bobbin area. Hope this helps.

  4. I'm not a thread snob, but from the microscopic photo-C&C looks better than the high priced thread. I think silkier thread would be better for fancier stitches.
    Yes, the little hearts finished off your tablescape perfectly!

  5. I did not even know there was that much difference in thread, thanks for the education!

  6. Your table looks great! To answer your question about stripping border, I use warm water and white vinegar. I spray it on and leave it to soak in a little . If the border is heavy vinyl I use the roller thing that puts small holes in the paper so the water can go thru it. I've heard that fabric softener works too but haven't tried it.

  7. Betty, if you ever need a spool of thread, just give me a holler!

    Karen, I assume you don't find any big differences in the thread?

    Calidore, I am leaning in the same direction. Of course, I have not yet tried the better thread, so I may change my mind.
    My new machine NEVER needs to be oiled! Isn't that a shocker? I oiled my old one every couple of days because I used it so often.

    Dianne, I agree, it sure does look like CC is better in those pictures.

    Nanette, You are welcome. I didn't know either until I started investigating.

    Jean, thank you. I used that roller thingy on my vinyl wallpaper border. That's the one that took days. I have a regular border that I want to remove, but I am afraid to try again!

  8. When I bought an Elna, a long time ago, the dealer told me to use only good stuff with it. Now I have a Pfaff, and still do. MOSTLY, but lots of times I use a cone on a holder behind the machine. I agree with Calidore, just keep the lint dusted up. I use canned air to clean my machine, too.

    Good luck with your new machine!!

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Zoey - I also went in and fixed my profile so my email comes up. Hope you are having a good week - Nannette

  11. I was told that you should ONLY buy 100% cotton thread. Now Gutterman's make 100% cotton thread but only in very few colors.
    I was told that using thread with any polyester in it will only ruin your machine over time.
    I don't know what to think...

  12. Sandy, I've used canned air before, too. I was always oiling & cleaning the lint from my old one. That's probably why it lasted 30 years!

    Nanette, I deleted that post so your email address was not exposed to the world.

    Linda, it's sure confusing, isn't it?


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