Wednesday, 16 March 2016

How to use textured thread

"If you want to sew with stretch knits on a regular sewing machine, textured thread is your allied. Such kind of thread is mostly used for overlock machines, hence the name "overlock thread" but can be used in the bobbin of your regular machine."
Appearance & Properties
Textured thread is recognizable it by it's classic "cone" spool shape and its fuzzy texture. Indeed, it almost look like wool but when stretched, has a thread-like appearance.
Its main feature is its elasticity - which is far superior than all-purpose thread - thus making it a thread of choice when using stretch fabrics. Textured thread is a soft thread which creates stitches that are comfortable against the skin and, as the name indicate it, adds texture to a seam.

Textured threads come in polyester or Nylon fibre, but the latter one is not recommended because Nylon fibre has a low melting point and colour pigments tend to fade faster than polyester fibre. If you are using Nylon thread, ensure to iron the seams at a very low temperature.


How to use with the sewing machine
Textured thread is mostly used in the bobbin only. To thread the bobbin, wind it up like you would normally do. The cone spool might not fit in the designated area of your machine but you can leave it behind the machine, on the table. 
Threads & Needles
For the top thread, textured thread works best with polyester thread but not so well with cotton thread. In contrast with polyester, cotton does not stretch at all and will break easily under tension. Reserve your cotton threads for woven fabrics.
Working with knits also means that you must use a ballpoint or "stretch" needle for your sewing machine. Universal needles are not crafted for knits and will mostly create skipped stitches in your knits. 
Textured threads are more slippery and will most likely require a higher tension. If you can adjust the bobbin tension, test it before inserting the bobbin n the machine: hold the bobbin in your hand and pull the thread in the air. If there's is no tension at all, increase the tension by turning clockwise the screw on the bobbin. Repeat until you can feel a little bit of tension. If you can lift the bobbin by pulling the thread only, then the tension is too high. 
Some sewing machine does not have such feature but it is always possible to adjust the tension on the machine, if needed.

And that's all for today. I hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful. You can learn more on how to sew with knits by consulting this infographic about "stitches for knits".

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