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Qualities of monofilament thread?

by Mitzie
(Coalville, Utah)

YLI Monofilament Thread

YLI Monofilament Thread

For future heirlooms, if you use monofilament thread does it deteriorate?


My personal experience with monofilament thread is that my quilts have had no noticeable deterioration. I wash them in the washing machine on cool and tumble dry just long enough to take out a bit of the moisture. I then lay the quilt out flat to air dry.

I've used clear thread on all of my kids quilts and had no problems (though I must admit that when I make a baby quilt for someone else I do use cotton thread instead--that's because I don't know how the quilt will be washed and dried).

I prefer YLI and SewArt nylon as opposed to the polyester versions by Sulky, Superior and Madeira.

That's not to say that the polyester is bad. It's not. It's a good quality thread and many, many quilters love it. I just prefer the nylon version.

And so does Harriet Hargrave, the grande dame of machine quilting.

She's been quilting using monofilment for many more years than I. To this day, she recommends using this type of thread to achieve the look of an antique, hand-quilted quilt.

Based on my experience and her recommendations, I do not think that this clear thread will deteriorate any faster than a traditional cotton thread in your quilts nor will its use reduce the value of an heirloom in the future.

Readers, what do you think? Do you like nylon or polyester better? Do you have a different experience with regards to its longevity? Let us know using the 'comments' link below. Thank you!


Julie Baird

Comments for Qualities of monofilament thread?

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Qualities of monofiament thread
by: Jo Goranson "The Thread Lady"

I took a class from Harriet Hargrave a few years ago before there was any monofilament thread made of polyester. I faithfully used what she recommended until I discovered polyester monofilament thread. It is now the only kind I use because you can put it in the bobbin as well as on the top. You cannot put nylon monofilament on the bobbin because it stretches too much. I have had students try to do this with horrible results.

I also use polyester because it has a higher melting point. Something to keep in mind when you are ironing a quilt with monofilament thread. If you use nylon you must be very, very careful that you don't melt the thread.

Polyester thread has to be ironed at a lower temperature, but not as low as nylon. I have a feeling that Harriet is just so used to what she has always used, and it has always worked well for her that she might be reluctant to try something else.

I don't blame her.

She is, after all, the one who invented machine applique that looks like it was done by hand, By the way, I learned more in that class than just applique. She also has a lot of tips for just about everything about quilting that I still use today.

If you ever get a chance to take a class from her, jump at the chance. She is one of the best teachers around.

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