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Cruious about thread types

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Jenia posted on Mon, Aug 12 2013 9:49 AM

Hello all

I do my quilting by hand and have used Coats and Clark hand quilting thread for this purpose almost exclusively.  This is 100% cotton thread.

I normally quilt cotton fabrics with cotton batting.

I have purchased a few roll of Polyester Isacord Embroidery Thread that I absolutely LOVE.  Here's a link to the information: http://www.redrockthreads.com/isacord-thread/isacord-thread.asp

For some reason I have always assumed that using cotton thread is the best option, but I wonder why?

I would love to quilt with this embroidery thread - it seems to be the same weight as my hand quilting thread, but it is SO much more smooth.  It doesn't tangle and it seems so much easier on my hands.

Is there a reason that I have this idea that I must use cotton thread?  Does anyone else here use polyester thread?  Is there an issue with polyester perhaps not lasting as long?  It seems to me that polyester would be stronger of the two.  Remember this is for hand quilting, I don't use a sewing machine on anything.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

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Donna B replied on Mon, Aug 12 2013 10:44 AM

Yes, I use Isacord Poly all the time for quilting...but I do machine quilting, but that shouldn't matter.  I also use it for applique (OK'd by Gini...lol) and for EPP - which are both done by hand. 

You are right, it has a much smoother feel than cotton thread.  And, it is stronger.

The big issue with many quilters is simply that strength.  There are many who feel the poly thread will over time wear and/or cut the cotton threads of the fabric.  I really doubt any of my quilts will last that long, so it isn't an issue for me.  And if I should be so lucky that they do, bless the person who finds themselves doing the repair job on my quilt...LOL!!!

 Winthrop, WA

 

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Donna B:
Yes, I use Isacord Poly all the time for quilting...but I do machine quilting, but that shouldn't matter.

 

Donna, where do you buy your Isacord thread?


In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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Donna B replied on Mon, Aug 12 2013 11:14 AM

I usually buy it from:

http://www.sewingsupplywarehouse.com/ispoemth15mc.html

They have the best prices I have found (even with the shipping). They also have very good sales prices fairly regularly - just keep checking in.  I try to buy on the sales and buy a lot to make up for the shipping.  I also buy the King cones for my blender colors that I use a lot.

Right now they have free shipping (in USA);  Mini-King Cones (1000m) for $4.09 ea & King Cones (5000m) for $10.99 ea  (Note to self:  Time to stock up!)

But that being said, sometimes I find myself without the perfect color for an embroidery or thread-painting project, and need to buy it from a "local" store.  It seems to always be available at a Bernina dealership. 

 Winthrop, WA

 

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Donna B:
It seems to always be available at a Bernina dealership

 

Thanks Donna. I'll run by the dealer today and see if they have it. I would like to try a spool.


In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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Roxana replied on Mon, Aug 12 2013 11:41 AM

I also use Isacord thread for about everything. I also like King Tut cotton when I want a variated. But mostly I use the Isacord for piecing as well as everything else. I buy it at my LQS (most Bernina dealers sell it) or from www.sewforless.com. The latter has fast service and good prices as well as selection. I ordered from Round Rock once but it took weeks for them to send me my order, literally. I did, however, print out their charts as they were quite extensive for me to use to keep track of what thread I have. Then I put the name and color in an APP on my iPhone called Quilter's Closet so when I am in the store, I immediately know if I have a certain thread and don't duplicate what I have.

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Roxana replied on Mon, Aug 12 2013 11:44 AM

My lQS also has an online store. It's http://www.hhqsewingcenter.com. I love the fact that the Isacord doesn't break in my hands.

Happy sewing, everyone!

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Jenia replied on Mon, Aug 12 2013 11:56 AM

Roxana:

I also use Isacord thread for about everything. I also like King Tut cotton when I want a variated. But mostly I use the Isacord for piecing as well as everything else. I buy it at my LQS (most Bernina dealers sell it) or from www.sewforless.com. The latter has fast service and good prices as well as selection. I ordered from Round Rock once but it took weeks for them to send me my order, literally. I did, however, print out their charts as they were quite extensive for me to use to keep track of what thread I have. Then I put the name and color in an APP on my iPhone called Quilter's Closet so when I am in the store, I immediately know if I have a certain thread and don't duplicate what I have.

So, Roxana, how does the Isacord thread hold up?  I am getting different answers from the hand quilting people I talk to.  They say that the poly thread will wear through the cotton fabric of the quilts.  Have you seen anything like this happening?  I'm guessing that you haven't. 

I wonder if Isacord is different than normal poly thread?  I really loved the feel of it when I used it the other day.  It really feels like quality and seemed to be a no-brainer for hand quilting, but I had this little nibble of a lesson somewhere in my head that told me cotton thread must be used with cotton fabrics.

If you haven't seen any wear through (people are saying it only takes 4 years to show up), I'm guessing that much depends on the fabric (perhaps not just any type of cotton will wear with poly thread).

 

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Roxana replied on Mon, Aug 12 2013 12:12 PM

I personally haven't seen any wear but I'm not sure I've kept anything over the last four years to compare it too. As my DH says, I give away too much of what I do. No one has complained to me about anything holding up. ... On the other hand I have some older quilts that I bought that were quilted with cotton thread that haven't held up.

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Nana replied on Mon, Aug 12 2013 12:18 PM

Jenia

Some quilters feel that everything in the quilt has to be cotton.  I am not sure where this idea started.  Our grandmothers used whatever they had to make their quilts including polyesters.   There is a belief now that poly threads will eventually cut thru cotton fibers because it is stronger than the cotton.   I would think that this would take many years to occur.  I don't think any of my quilts are going to be around 100s of years for this to occur.   And if they are then many thanks to the person that has to repair any damage done by the polyester threads.

Vinton, Virginia

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Jacy replied on Mon, Aug 12 2013 1:41 PM

I looked back at some of my quilts, and I have ones I made for my boys that are 10 years old, they are the first quilts that I quilted with non-cotton thread. They have been washed multiple times over the years and had plenty of wear, and they have worn just fine.

Here's some bug jars.......holding up just fine and now used by a younger brother

 

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Kris replied on Tue, Aug 13 2013 5:00 PM

Nana:
Some quilters feel that everything in the quilt has to be cotton.  I am not sure where this idea started.  Our grandmothers used whatever they had to make their quilts including polyesters.   There is a belief now that poly threads will eventually cut thru cotton fibers because it is stronger than the cotton.

I think this probably started with some purist quilt police somewhere. 

Polyester thread isn't necessarily stronger than cotton thread. I use thread that I like regardless of the fibre content.

Check out Dr Bob's video about poly vs cotton thread.

 

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Jenia replied on Tue, Aug 13 2013 5:31 PM

Kris:
Check out Dr Bob's video about poly vs cotton thread.

 

Very interesting video.  Thank you for sharing it!

I went ahead and bought up some of this isacord poly thread.  I love the feel and I'm going to try it, why not?  Like someone said, if it doesn't fall apart in my lifetime, hopefully someone else will be kind enough to mend it for me, right? 

If it works as good as I think it will, I might be a convert.

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Kris:

Nana:
Some quilters feel that everything in the quilt has to be cotton.  I am not sure where this idea started.  Our grandmothers used whatever they had to make their quilts including polyesters.   There is a belief now that poly threads will eventually cut thru cotton fibers because it is stronger than the cotton.

I think this probably started with some purist quilt police somewhere. 

Polyester thread isn't necessarily stronger than cotton thread. I use thread that I like regardless of the fibre content.

Check out Dr Bob's video about poly vs cotton thread.

Kris, very interesting video.  

Years ago  (or "back in the day" as some would say) when all I had access to was cotton thread, I was told by my Home Ec teacher that black thread would always be weaker due to the dye used to produce it.   For a strong interior seam on a black garment, she recommended using either dk blue or dk gray thread rather than black as it would be much stronger.   I wonder if the same applies to Dr Bob's demo with the black poly thread?  It would be an interesting question to ask...

Which brings to mind, I wonder if he has ever done the same demo switching the threads...using white poly and black cotton.  And, if so,  if the results were the same or different?

 

 Winthrop, WA

 

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Jenia:
I wonder if Isacord is different than normal poly thread? 

Jenia, what do you consider "normal" poly thread?  At one time (in trying to find a better price point on poly thread) I tried another brand and was VERY dissatisfied. This other thread had a much looser twist to the fibers and unraveled very easily...making it hard to thread needles (hand and machine) and it seemed to fray much easier.  It also was not as strong as Isacord...I could pop it and break the thread much more easily.

Isacord  is the best poly that I have used, but I am not a thread expert.  My only complaint is that they don't make very many variagated threads.

 Winthrop, WA

 

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