Sewing Thread: Everything You Need to Know

A visit to a fabric store or craft store like Joann will reveal a huge variety of thread.

The Tex System is widely recognized and tells you the thickness of the thread. Larger Tex numbers mean thicker thread.

Thread Thickness

Thread Material

Sewing thread is made of various materials, most commonly polyester or cotton. Standard, all-purpose thread is 100% polyester. This works nicely for most machine and hand sewing projects.

Pay attention to directions on your project; some projects require a particular type of thread for the product to come out correctly.

Using the Correct Thread is Important for Some Projects

Serger or Coverstitch Thread

Serger thread is typically 40 wt. polyester thread that is coated to allow it to stand up to the high speed and high tension of a serger or coverstitch.

Thread Brands and Quality

Coats and Clark makes good all-purpose thread, and Gutterman is an excellent brand as well. Both companies make thread in a huge rainbow of colors.

Storing Thread

You should store thread in a climate controlled area and ideally keep it somewhere it will not accumulate dust.

The short answer is yes, but there’s no set date that thread expires.

Does Thread Expire?

Like most products, thread breaks down over time; the speed is impacted by factors such as: – how it was stored, – where it was stored, – the type of thread, and – the original quality of the thread

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Danielle Pientka

Danielle is a DIY/craft/sewing blogger on  She loves to write about projects that she makes for her small farm, her children, and her home.