The One-Stop Guide On What Thread To Use On Your Next Project


geobeat / YouTube


What Thread Should You Use?

One of the most important things to keep in mind when starting a sewing project is making sure you use the right materials.

You want your finished product to look great and last as long as possible. Thread type and weight make a huge impact in that. 


Need to know what to use for your project? Here’s a handy little guide.

For Quilting:

Use a midweight cotton for this. Lightweight cotton can be used in the bobbin, but for most quilting fabric, a midweight cotton is best.

For Woven Garments:

For most garments, polyester-wrapped cotton, or “all purpose” thread, works.

For Knit Garments:

Midweight polyester is great for knit garments. Stretch threads, like wooly nylon, may be used in the bobbin.

For Machine Embroidery & Applique:

Thread weight depends on the desired look, but rayon and polyester work best for this.

Serged Seams:

You can use cones of wooly nylon in the loopers, but polyester serger cones are best otherwise.

Heirloom & Decorative:

The perfect threads for this include lightweight cottons, silks, and other specialty threads.

How To Tell The Weight:

There are currently 3 systems for measuring the thread weight: Tex, Denier, and Weight/Ply.

Tex is becoming the standard measurement. The Denier system is used for manmade threads like polyester.

The “ply” in Weight/Ply will usually be 2 or 3 strands wound together. This is usually used for spun threads like cotton.


Tex: 10-24
Denier: 100s-200s
Weight/Ply: 80/2 – 50/2


Tex: 50+
Denier: 500s+
Weight/Ply: 40/3


Now that you know the basics, you can tackle that project. Happy stitching!