I love, love, love working with Ultra-fine threads. What are ultra-fine threads you ask??? Great question because many of you have probably not run into them at your local quilt shop. Ultra-lightweight threads are threads listed in the 70-100 weight category. Most of these threads are polyester but you can also find them in cotton and silk. Sometimes they are marked as 'bobbin' threads which I find totally funny because it implies they can only be used in the bobbin-NOT true!
1~ Hand Applique: this fine thread glides through the fabrics so smoothly and your stitches are nearly invisible.
2~ Machine Applique: easy to use with machine applique and the stitches are nearly invisible...try it with an invisible hem stitch.
3~ Paper Piecing: The thread you use takes up space along the seam. With intricate paper piecing patterns using a very fine thread helps reduce bulk where multiple seams align. The poly threads do stretch a tiny bit so be careful when pulling off the paper patterns. Try lightly dampening the paper first.
4~Thread Painting: As I wrote above...thread takes up space in the warp and weft of the fabric. Using an ultra-lightweight thread in the bobbin means I can add more decorative threads on top without distortion of the fabric.
5~Quilting in the Ditch: I love these threads for quilting in the ditch...even when you stay slightly out of the ditch the stitch line is so fine that it is difficult to see your mistakes.
6~Stipple quilting: I love to make tight stipple patterns to create a lot of texture in quilting. The ultra-light weight threads allow me to stitch densely without a lot of distortion and without the thread taking over as the star of the show.
7~More thread on the bobbin! This means I don't have to stop and fill a bobbin as often.
8~Economics: These fine threads are usually very inexpensive so I have more cash to spend on the pretty threads!
9~Trapunto: Perfect for faux trapunto techniques. Ultra-lightweight thread allows you to stitch over a previously stitched line in your trapunto design without adding bulk and the ability to stipple densely helps the trapunto design to really pop.
10~Delicate embroidery: When you want a really delicate embroidery the ultra-lightweight threads are perfect for both hand and machine embroidery stitches.
Some of the available brands are:
Coats and Clark: Dual Duty XP Fine, Bobbin thread
Presencia: Finca Bobbin Lace 100
WonderFil: Deco-Bob and InvisaFil
YLI: Silk and Cotton
I know these threads are a bit harder to get your hands on but grab a few spools when you find them. You can find Mettler Seralene at Artistic Artifacts
. They are not on the web site yet but Judy does stock some neutral colors...send her an e-mail to find out what she has in stock.