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 Textile Evolution

Liz Kettle Artist, Author and Creator of the Stitch Meditation process

Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

10 Reasons I love Ultra-lightweight Threads

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:

Mettler: Seralene,

Coats and Clark: Dual Duty XP Fine, Bobbin thread

Madeira: Bobbinfil

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.
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