Pretty Polyester

Posted on the 06 January 2011 by Seamssewcreative
The next thread I researched was polyester. In all of the reading I have done, I've come to one conclusion about polyester thread.
It is BULLETPROOF. Period.
At this point I'm convinced that its up there with Twinkies in its ability to survive a nuclear fallout.
Just to prove my point, here are a few facts about polyester:
It is the only thread made in single ply
It does not shrink
It has the ability to stretch and regain it shape over and over again
It is also produced under the names Kevlar, Teflon & Nomex and is used when making fire-retardant material
It is extremely color fast and will not fade or bleed
It can be machine washed and dried, without weakening, and ironed on a low setting
It can be used on high speed machines without breaking
Now that we have its "bulletproof" qualities out of the way, lets look at how it sews. There are three different forms polyester thread takes. Spun, filament and trilobal.
Spun polyester looks similar to cotton because it is made similar to cotton thread. Polyester fibers are spun together to create individual plys that are then twisted together to create the thread. This thread will lint because it is made up of many polyester fibers.
Filament polyester comes in both single ply, which is one continuous fiber, and multi-ply, which is several filaments spun together. Each ply or filament is made by being extruded. This is also a lint free thread.
Trilobal polyester is a high sheen continuous fiber thread. It has the appearance of silk or rayon and is lint free. This thread is usually used for embroidery.
Polyester thread is a great all around, all purpose thread. The only real area that you have to be careful with is when dealing with delicate fabrics. Because polyester is so strong, it can actually wear through a fabric that it is being used to sew together. This is definitely not an every day occurrence, and is happening less and less because of the advances made in the production of quality polyester threads that are softer, but still very strong. When dealing with a medium weight fabric like a cotton broadcloth, I personally wouldn't worry about it, but if you're sewing something like a silk or a delicate chiffon, I would chose a lighter weight thread to match the nature of the fabric you are using.
So there is my 2 cents on polyester. Basically, there ain't much it can't do. It is definitely a go to thread in my stash, (especially the cotton wrapped polys). Much like cotton, higher quality polyester will feel better, sew nicer, and lint less (and even not lint at all!) So the next time you're in the notions department, check out some of the polyester threads there, with a little info, you can be assured you're choosing the right thread for your project :)
Happy sewing,

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