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Machine quilting with monofilament thread

by Connie
(Portage, PA)

Should I use invisible thread as both top thread and bobbin thread to machine quilt?

Or should I only use it as the top thread?


It boils down to what your personal preference is on this one.

While you can use monofilament or invisible thread in both the needle and the bobbin, personally I like to use a quality 50wt cotton thread in the bobbin like Aurifil or Superior's Masterpiece. Presencia also makes a nice quality 50wt and a 60wt cotton thread and, I believe, either of those would work nicely, too.

Winding bobbins with monofilament thread can be a bit tricky.

This thread will stretch a bit as it winds its way through your sewing machine. To minimize the stretch (because the stretch adds tension to the thread), slowly wind your bobbin to only about half full. If you use plastic bobbins, this thread can 'pop' the bobbin apart if you wind too much thread onto it. (Yes, I've had it happen to me.)

Regardless of what thread you choose to use in the bobbin, be prepared to reduce the needle tension for clear thread in the needle. It's inherent stretch creates its own tension. You need to reduce the needle tension to offset it. (I generally have to reduce needle tension by 2 whole numbers and then test until it's just right.)

I keep a 'blob' of masking tasking next to my machine when I'm using monofilament. That way when I clip my thread tails, I have a better chance of catching all of them. It's not pretty, but it does help.

There is additional information on the website about monofilament thread. These pages are:
You can also use the "Search this Site" box on the upper right side of this page to search for additional information on this site about clear thread. Just type in 'monofilament' or 'clear thread' and it'll bring up all the pages on this site that discuss the subject.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Thank you for your question.


Julie Baird

Comments for Machine quilting with monofilament thread

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by: Annie

Your post came at a very opportune moment. I have been struggling with this stuff, that is, until I ripped most of it out and crumpled it into a major ball which would entertain a house full of cats if I had any. Thanks for the help. MAYBE I will try it again.

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