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What Is The Best Thread For Sewing Machine Projects? Let’s Find Out!

You can’t sew without thread. It’s the backbone of any sewing project, the essential element that holds everything together. But choosing the best thread for your sewing machine? That’s a journey filled with trials and errors, as I’ve learned the hard way.

Are these spools of thread the best thread for sewing machine?

I remember once I bought a thread set from a dollar store. The colors were nice, and the price was unbeatable. But oh, how wrong I was. As soon as I started sewing, the thread began breaking like crazy. I couldn’t finish a single stitch without the thread snapping. 

Then there was the time I bought a red thread from some store – I can’t even remember which one. I used the thread for hand basting – it was very visible on white fabric. But when I steam pressed the seam, I was horrified to see that the red dye had run, leaving spots on my white material. 

And I also can’t forget the time when I pressed a skirt I had sewn, only to watch in horror as some thread melted under the iron. Yes, you read that right – the thread melted. My carefully stitched seam turned into a gooey disaster. 

These mishaps taught me one crucial lesson: you need good thread, the best thread you can afford. You need thread that won’t break, won’t run, and definitely won’t melt. It’s worth investing in high-quality thread from reputable brands. Don’t skimp on thread. Your projects deserve the best, and the peace of mind is priceless.

Criteria for Choosing the Best Thread

You go to a fabric store and see rows and rows of different threads. Spools, cones, and so many different types – all-purpose, polyester, cotton, silk, clear, elastic, embroidery, metallic, wooly nylon, rayon, topstitching, bobbin thread, quilting thread, and more. The array of colors is equally overwhelming. So, what is the best thread for your sewing machine to buy? This question doesn’t have one definitive answer. The answer is – it depends. It really does.

different threads on a rack

The best thread for your project depends on various factors, including the type of fabric you’re using, the purpose of your sewing project, and the specific requirements of your sewing machine. Each type of thread has its unique properties and is suited for different tasks. Understanding these nuances can help you make the best choice for your sewing needs.

So, let’s consider several key factors for selecting the best thread for your sewing machine to ensure optimal performance and high-quality results.  

Strength and Durability

One of the most important aspects of a good sewing thread is its strength and durability. The thread should be robust enough to withstand the stress of sewing, as well as the wear and tear that comes with regular use and washing. A strong thread ensures that your seams remain intact over time, preventing them from breaking or unraveling.

Compatibility with Fabric

The best thread you choose should be compatible with the fabric you are working with. Different fabrics require different types of threads for the best results. For example, lightweight fabrics like georgette or chiffon need a finer thread, while heavier fabrics like denim or canvas require a thicker thread. Using the correct thread for your fabric helps prevent issues such as puckering, breakage, and uneven stitches.

Machine Compatibility

It’s also important that the thread works well with your sewing machine. 

Different machines have varying specifications, meaning that a thread that runs smoothly through one machine might cause issues in another. Threads can break, fray, jam, or bunch if they are not compatible with your machine, leading to interruptions and inconsistent stitch quality.

Some threads, especially lower-quality ones, can even damage your sewing machine. They might shed fibers that clog the machine’s mechanisms or create excessive lint, leading to more frequent maintenance and potential repairs. So make sure that the thread you choose is suitable for your machine’s specifications to maintain consistent stitch quality and avoid interruptions during your sewing projects.

Quality and Brand

Investing in high-quality threads from reputable brands can make a big difference in your sewing projects. High-quality threads are less likely to fray, break, or cause machine problems. Brands with a good reputation often provide threads that are consistent in color, strength, and performance. While these threads might be more expensive, their reliability and longevity can save you time and frustration in the long run.

When considering sewing threads, it’s wise to look at reviews on Amazon. Customers often share their experiences with issues like breakage, fraying, and colorfastness, which can help you avoid potential problems. Positive reviews can highlight threads that perform well across various projects and fabrics. Read a range of reviews to get a balanced perspective and consider the specific needs of your sewing projects when making a decision.

Best Sewing Machine Threads for Different Projects

General Sewing

spools of all purpose polyester thread in my sewing room

One of the best threads to use for a variety of sewing projects is 100% polyester thread. It’s versatile, strong, slightly stretchy, and suitable for a wide range of fabrics and projects. It’s often called “all-purpose” thread. 

But what does it mean – all-purpose? This includes mending clothes, creating simple garments, sewing home decor items like curtains and pillows, and sewing basic accessories. It’s the type of sewing most hobbyists and home sewists engage in regularly.

Polyester thread holds up well over time, even with frequent use and washing. Its slight stretch allows it to move with the fabric, which is beneficial for garments that need a bit of give. Polyester thread is less likely to shrink or bleed color when washed.

But don’t use polyester thread on fabrics that require high heat of an iron to get rid of wrinkles.

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you order a product through one of my links. I only recommend products I believe in and use myself. 

Two excellent examples of high-quality polyester threads are Gutermann All-Purpose Polyester Thread and Coats & Clark Polyester Thread. Both of these brands are renowned for their durability and reliability, and they are popular choices among sewing enthusiasts. Gutermann’s thread is liked by many for its smooth finish and consistent performance, while Coats & Clark offers a wide range of colors and excellent strength.

I know,  on Amazon there are many no-name polyester all-purpose threads for sewing machines, and some of them have many good reviews. For example, the Sewing Thread-24 Spools of Polyester Thread for Sewing Machine – 1000 yds Each in 22 Colors + Bonus Black & White has garnered positive feedback.

Sewing Thread-24 Spools of Polyester Thread for Sewing Machine for Beginners, Hand Stitching & Quilting-1000 yds Each in 22 Colors+Bonus Black & White
Sewing Thread-24 Spools of Polyester Thread

However, I tried a no-name thread once, though it was maybe 20 years ago, and it didn’t go well. Since then, I’ve been reluctant to try non-branded threads again.

In my opinion, if you want the best thread, it’s worth investing in brand name threads. They are often more reliable and less likely to cause issues like breaking or fraying.

That said, brand name threads can be quite expensive. To manage costs, I try to buy them when they are on sale if I find them in stores.


100% cotton thread for sewing machine

For quilting, the best thread to use is cotton thread in my opinion. Cotton thread is soft and natural, it’s an ideal match for cotton quilting fabrics. 

Most quilting fabrics are made of 100% cotton, and using cotton thread ensures compatibility. Cotton thread can withstand the high temperatures used in ironing and pressing quilts. This is necessary for setting seams and ensuring that the quilt maintains its shape during the assembly process. Synthetic threads, on the other hand, can melt or warp under high heat.

Good-quality cotton thread is strong and durable, and it’s ideal for the dense stitching required in quilting. It holds up well under the stress of quilting, ensuring that the stitches remain intact over time. This durability is essential for a quilt that is intended to last for many years.

Unlike polyester or other synthetic threads, cotton thread has minimal stretch so it is best for woven fabrics. This lack of elasticity helps maintain the shape and structure of the quilt, preventing distortion and puckering. It ensures that the quilt lies flat and looks crisp and professional. 

Cotton thread has a matte finish that matches the look of cotton quilting fabrics. The thread blends in rather than standing out, allowing the fabric and quilt design to take center stage.

Cotton thread is generally easy to work with. It runs smoothly through the sewing machine and is less likely to cause issues like tangling or breaking compared to some synthetic threads. This ease of use can make the quilting process more enjoyable and efficient. Two excellent examples of high-quality cotton threads for quilting are Aurifil Cotton Thread and Brothread 100% Cotton Thread.

Aurifil is well-known for its superior quality, offering a smooth finish and strong durability. Brothread also provides excellent performance, making it a reliable choice for any quilting project. 

I really like Brothread cotton thread. It never breaks on my sewing machine, which is a big deal. It doesn’t leave much lint, so my sewing machine stays clean longer. Brothread brand offers it in many colors, so I can always find the perfect match for whatever I’m working on. And the price is really good, so I can buy a bunch without spending too much. Overall, it just makes sewing a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Garment Sewing

cotton covered polyester thread for sewing machine

For garment sewing, I often prefer to use cotton-wrapped polyester thread. While I do sometimes use pure polyester thread for sewing clothes, cotton-covered polyester is an excellent choice. This type of thread combines the strength and durability of polyester with the softness and natural feel of cotton. The polyester core makes the thread stronger and prevents breakage, while the cotton wrapping ensures the thread is gentle on the fabric and comfortable against the skin. A great example of this type of thread is Coats & Clark Dual Duty S925-150 Cotton Covered Quilting and Piecing Thread.

COATS & CLARK Inc S925-150 Cotton Covered Quilting and Piecing Thread, 250-Yard, Winter White
COATS & CLARK Inc S925-150 Cotton Covered Quilting and Piecing Thread

Despite its name suggesting it’s for quilting, this thread works wonderfully for garment sewing as well. Its blend of strength and softness makes it versatile enough for both applications. 

Heavy-Duty Projects

ultra strong upholstery THREAD

For heavy-duty projects, the best thread to use is nylon thread. Nylon thread is extremely strong and slightly elastic which is perfect for sewing heavy upholstery fabrics. Its strength allows it to handle the stress and strain of heavy-duty projects without breaking, so the seams remain intact even under significant pressure. A prime example of this type of thread is Coats & Clark Extra Strong Upholstery Thread. This thread is designed specifically for demanding tasks, it’s very durable and has resilience needed for projects that involve thick, tough materials. You can use this thread for upholstery, outdoor gear, or even heavy garments.

COATS & CLARK Extra Strong Upholstery Thread, 150-Yard, Black (S964-0900)
COATS & CLARK Extra Strong Upholstery Thread

Delicate Fabrics

100% silk thread for sewing machine

For delicate fabrics, the best thread to use is perhaps silk thread. Silk thread is fine, luxurious, it’s ideal for sewing delicate silk fabrics and high-end garments. Its smooth texture allows it to glide effortlessly through delicate materials without causing damage, so your stitches are precise and gentle on the fabric.

I mostly use Gutermann Pure Silk Sewing Thread. Made from 100% pure silk, this thread has a fine, smooth texture and is known for its strength and durability, despite its delicate appearance, which means your stitches will hold up well over time. It’s perfect for high-end garments from delicate fabrics.

Gutermann Luxurious Pure Silk Sewing Thread 100m 8 - Each
Gutermann Luxurious Pure Silk Sewing Thread

Another great example of this type of thread is YLI Silk Thread. This thread is known for its exceptional quality and performance. It’s a favorite among those who work with fine silk fabrics. Whether you’re sewing georgette, chiffon, organza, or other delicate materials, using silk thread like YLI ensures that your finished garment is both beautiful and durable.

YLI 20210-232 Silk Thread 100 Weight 200 Meters-
YLI 20210-232 Silk Thread

Best Thread for Sewing Denim

When it comes to sewing denim, using a specialized jean thread can make a difference in the durability and appearance of your projects. A top choice for this purpose is Gutermann Thread Denim 6 SPLS. This thread is specifically designed for sewing denim. It provides the strength and resilience needed to handle this tough fabric.

Gutermann Thread Denim 6 SPLS is made from high-quality polyester, it’s robust enough to withstand the stress and strain that denim projects often involve. It is slightly thicker than regular all-purpose polyester thread, which helps create strong, secure seams that won’t easily break or fray. This thread is also designed to blend seamlessly with denim fabric for a professional finish.

Gutermann Thread Denim 6 SPLS comes in a variety of colors that match typical denim shades, so you can choose the perfect hue for your project. 

Gutermann Thread Denim 6 SPLS Denim Multicoloured
Gutermann Thread Denim 6 SPLS

Best Thread for Vinyl and Leather

Thread for Vinyl and Leather

When working with tough materials like vinyl and leather, the best thread to use is bonded nylon thread. A top choice for sewing vinyl and leather is Mandala Crafts Tex 70 Bonded Nylon Thread.

Mandala Crafts Tex 70 Bonded Nylon Thread for Sewing - 3600 YDs T70 Heavy Duty 12 Assorted Vibrant Colors Nylon Thread Size 69 210 D Upholstery Thread for Leather Jeans Weaving
Mandala Crafts Tex 70 Bonded Nylon Thread

This thread is known for its exceptional strength and durability, making it ideal for projects that require robust and reliable stitching.

The Tex 70 designation indicates the thread’s thickness, which is suitable for heavy fabrics and applications that demand extra toughness. The bonded nylon construction means that the thread is coated with a bonding agent, that reduces friction and prevents fraying or unraveling during sewing. This coating allows the thread to glide smoothly through thick materials, ensuring consistent and strong stitches.

✅ Related tutorial: Sewing thread sizes and how to choose

Mandala Crafts Tex 70 Bonded Nylon Thread is also resistant to abrasion and weather, so it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor projects. This thread provides the resilience needed to withstand significant wear and tear.

This thread is available in a variety of colors, and you can match your thread to your fabric for a professional finish. 

Best Thread for Sewing Knits

Stretchable thread Eloflex for sewing knits

When sewing knits, the best thread to use is stretchable polyester thread. One of the top choices for this purpose is Eloflex from Coats & Clark. This innovative thread is designed specifically for knit fabrics, it provides the necessary flexibility and strength to handle stretchy materials.

Coats Eloflex Stretch Thread 225yd-natural
Coats Eloflex Stretch Thread 225yd-natural

Eloflex thread is made from a specially engineered polyester that allows it to stretch with the fabric, so that seams won’t break or become distorted when the fabric is stretched. This is important for knit garments like t-shirts, leggings, and activewear, where the fabric needs to move and flex with the wearer.

Using Eloflex from Coats & Clark makes sewing knits much easier and more effective. The thread works well with both conventional sewing machines and sergers. Eloflex is available in a variety of colors to match your thread to your fabric.

Different threads require specific needles, so matching them properly is important. Using the correct needle size and type for your thread is essential to prevent breakage and ensure smooth sewing. To learn how to choose the right sewing machine needle for your project, check out my detailed tutorial – How To Choose The Right Sewing Machine Needle For Your Project.

Experimenting with different threads is a great way to discover what works best for your unique sewing projects. Each type of thread has distinct qualities and benefits, and trying out various options can help you find the perfect match for your fabrics and techniques.

I’d love to hear from you! Share your experiences and recommendations in the comments below. What’s your go-to thread for sewing machine projects? Have you discovered any good brands or types that have made a difference in your sewing?

Did you find this guide helpful? If you did, make sure to save this pin (located below) on your sewing board so that you can easily access the article later whenever you need this information on best thread for sewing machine. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for more tips, tutorials, and inspiration related to sewing, quilting, and embroidery.

Spools of sewing thread in my sewing room - Discover the Best Thread for Sewing Machine Projects

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