The question came up again this week about the difference between 30wt and 12wt thread, and which is better for machine quilting. Our initial search was based on a well dispersed but yet unproved rumor that thread weight is a measure of “miles of thread per mile.” [Note: An easily distracted person should not Google "miles of thread per pound" as every noun in the phrase has multiple meaning that call up dozens of hits - very entertaining, but not very enlightening].
We went looking for information again, and found lots of it. Mary Mashuta’s book Foolproof Machine Quilting has a good section on threads and needles for machine quilting, as do several other books on our shelf. From there we went to the thread manufacturers. Some of what we found was facts and some was opinions, of course. Sulky.com had lots of information on these two weights, including suggestions to use the heavier thread in the bobbin, to use the heavier thread in the top, and to use the lighter thread instead. There’s also a link about parallel weights in cotton, rayon and blends
Superior Threads (King Tut) offered a thoughtful essay on the differences and how you can make an informed choice.
At the risk of spoiling the suspense, we think the last point of the Superior Threads essay is the best suggestion:
“Ignore the weight number on the label. Choose thread based on the type of fiber, look, feel, and thickness and not by the printed weight size. Trust your eyes and fingers more than the label. You’ll get better results and be much happier with your selection. Choose fine threads to blend and medium and heavier threads to show. ”
We’d love to hear from you about your experience with these threads and others. You can comment here, or post your thoughts on the “New Pieces – Get it Done” Group*. We’re all in this together — and there is no philosophy that says that we can’t share each others experience and learn from each others’ mistakes.
*The “Get it Done” Group is an unstructured place to ask advice and show off your product AND your process. Come play with us!