There’s nothing like a fundamental medium weight cotton thread, your go-to choice for just about everything. But there are a lot of intricacies you may not think about when reaching the spool. Let’s take a look at some of the industry terms we use when talking about this standard cotton thread.
This is Konfetti™ and Tutti™, two thread lines by WonderFil that are spun from a double gassed long staple Egyptian cotton material into an 50wt thread. But what does all of that even mean? Let’s break it down so we know what we’re looking at.
Cotton isn’t just cotton. There’s a whole lot of varieties out there with varying qualities associated with them. While your local dollar store might sell a functional cotton thread, take a closer look. Some thread manufacturers cut corners to bring the price down, so your cotton thread might have a case of bed head. And by that we mean, it’s gonna be linty. All that lint is going to come out when it’s passing through your sewing machine, meaning you’re going to have to spend more time cleaning it out and maintaining it.
Photo by crazybydesign.blogspot.com
But it isn’t just lint you need to worry about. Some thread manufacturers will want to give the thread the illusion of being less linty without actually doing anything to reduce the lint in the thread. They can do this by applying a layer of glue to the thread which holds all the lint down. You might be able to actually feel the glue if you touch the thread and it feels slightly tacky. This is a worse situation than just having a linty thread because that glue or residue can also come off in your machine, which is even more difficult to clean out than regular lint.
So what can a manufacturer actually do to reduce the lint on a thread? We call that gassing. Gassing is a process where we pass the thread between a flame which burns off 80% of the lint. WonderFil actually repeats this a second time, so the remaining 20% of the lint has another 80% of the lint removed. The result is an incredibly smooth thread with one of the lowest lint finishes on the sewing market. The proof is in the picture.
Pictured: close up of Konfetti™ thread
Another component to look at is the staple of the cotton. This is an indication of the quality of the cotton fibres. The longer the fibres, the higher quality the cotton. Konfetti™ and Tutti™ are made with a long staple Egyptian cotton, meaning it’s a high quality fibre. Think of it this way, if you were you twist together a lock of long hair, the longer the strands of hair, the fewer strands that will stick out. But twisting together hair made up of a lot of short strands of hair will cause a lot of strands to stick out. The same concept applies when making a strand of thread. So the longer the fibre, or staple, of the cotton, the less lint you’ll have on the thread.
So whether you’re quilting, longarming, making cotton lace, or getting your creative juices flowing with some thread painting, these threads won’t let you down. Afterall, there’s no sense in spending big bucks on a sewing machine and then feeding it linty thread. Take care of your machine and let your projects shine with a quality thread line!