How to Choose the Correct Sewing Thread for your Project

All sewing thread is not created equal.  Some projects will require special types for the best possible finish.  Let’s find the right one for your project!

POLYESTER – recommended for Beginner Sewing, Sewing 101 classes
Polyester is a good “all purpose” sewing thread, so you can use it for sewing anything from apparel to bags to home decor items. It is a strong thread with a bit give.

This is your ideal quilting thread. Cotton thread is available in a number of different weights from lightweight to heavy weight. This thread is not as strong as polyester and has very little give. Also, cotton thread sheds a bit more than polyester so make sure to clean your machine!

Heavy Duty thread is a very heavy weight polyester thread. It is not ideal for piecing and general sewing, but this thread is a super star at top stitching and sewing upholstery or heavy canvas projects.

Metallic sewing thread is very fine and a bit finicky. Make sure to use it for topstitch and pair it with a metallic needle and plain thread bobbin for best results.

Machine embroidery is beautiful! It will be the shiniest and most colorful thread in the cabinet. Despite its good looks it is only ideal for top stitching and machine embroidery, so use this thread paired with a plain bobbin to make your decorative stitches stand out.

Silk sewing thread is super, super fine.  It almost disappears when you sew with it and it’s a bit expensive to use for piecing, but is wonderful when doing handwork or sewing wool or silk.


• The weight of your thread should match your project and needle. For example: heavy fabric, larger needle, thicker thread.
• Some people like to match thread content to fabric content, so you would pick a cotton thread for an all cotton fabric project.
• When in doubt, go with an all purpose polyester sewing thread.
• To match thread to fabric, unwind an 8” tail and lay it across the fabric.  If you can’t find an exact match try one that’s a little darker.
• In a pinch, gray colored thread is your best friend because it will blend in with most fabrics.