The Sewing Place

Pretty threads


Pretty threads
« on: July 31, 2020, 08:52:12 AM »
Thought you clever hand sewists might be the ones to check in with.

Pretty hand sewing threads!

Any recommendations on the best brands/places to buy?

I've decided to get going on my wholecloth and practicing with placemats and table runners. I've revisited an old old class and I'm jumping in with bobbin loaded fancy threads - those beautiful metallic and twisty fancy hand sewing and embroidery threads.

But, as someone who avoids hand sewing I don't have much of a stash, and what I do have is quite boring compared to some I've seen. So I'd love your advice on the best brands for those simply beautiful threads!


Re: Pretty threads
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 08:59:53 AM »
I use regular thread and coat it in beeswax (I get it from a local bee keeper who thinks it's cute, but you can buy it).  If it gets too choppy, I hit it with an iron.

Silk is also good, so I'm told.  All I ever used was things like Coats and Clark.


Re: Pretty threads
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 09:49:28 AM »
It depends how you define pretty!  Pretty colours? pretty textures? pretty stitching.

The 'good' brands are Coats/Mez/Anchor  (brand depends on where in the world you are!), DMC and Madeira.  Valdani and Finca are good too, just avoid the cheapies from China if you want quality thread.

Stranded cotton is pretty standard across most brands as is cotton perle size 5 (thick), 8 (med) and 12 (fine).  Other threads vary.

Metallics are more difficult to sew with but add a bit of glitz.

For hand dyed threads have a look at Stef Francis in Devon, Oliver Twists in Co Durham and for all sorts of threads Bart & Francis in Belgium.  The written English on their website and in emails tends to follow Flemish spelling rules, but I can assure you that Francis Busschaert speaks excellent English.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.

Renegade Sewist

Re: Pretty threads
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 09:59:09 AM »
I like a nice perle cotton. There is a company that makes a lovely metallic quilting thread in the mini king cones that doesn't cause problems but for the life of me I can't recall the name. It's not Madeira.

Valdani thread is really nice.


Re: Pretty threads
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 11:10:24 AM »
Any of the thicker stuff really. Class notes reminded me I can hand wind them onto bobbin and sew the quilt upside down for accent areas with zero problems (I do love a wholecloth plan!) so it doesn't have to go through a needle or machine or anything. So highlights around stars or echos or as flowers etc, all different threads all over. I really need to get some dissolvable thread as mine needs chucking. Can't remember where I got it from though 🤔

Can get some chunky metallic or nice texture/colour threads, I just have no idea on the hand sewing brands so these thoughts are welcome!


Re: Pretty threads
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 16:12:45 PM »
If you put these threads onto a bobbin do you have to loosen it, eg turn a screw on the mechanical ones? Check the manual.
Make do and mender


Re: Pretty threads
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 16:44:06 PM »
No, I have a blue tick bobbin case for FMQ. It has 30% less tension that the standard (red tick). Just have to wind the threads on by hand, not using the machine