Of all the sewing supplies used with sewing machines today, none is more important yet less recognized than thread. Without thread, Juki sewing machines like the Juki HZL F600 and even hand needles would be useless.
Following is a bit of history about the thread you use to sew your projects and the number of different techniques and materials used today to produce it!
Prehistoric Invention Stands the Test of Time
Thread is one of the greatest inventions ever made by mankind. It was invented during the prehistoric era and originally made from hide and sinew. This process was improved over time by experimenting with other fibers and better methods of keeping the fibers together. This eventually progressed to thread made from various plant fibers that were hand spun into a more durable thread.
During the Industrial Revolution in the late 17th Century, factory machines came into existence that quickly spun natural fibers into strong, durable thread that could be used with sewing machines. The thread as know it today was born.
Different Threads, Different Production Processes
There are three main categories of thread produced today used in hand stitching, factory production, and home projects made on Juki sewing machines and other personal machines. While a variety of fiber blends can be found, the main types of thread and their production processes include the following:
- Cotton Thread - Cotton thread is the most commonly used thread today. It is made from cotton harvested from cotton plants, cleaned to remove dirt and plant matter, and combed out. Combed fibers are rolled repeatedly on special rollers that turn it into longer and thinner fibers with each pass until reduced to narrow strips of cotton. Multiple lengths of fibers are then twisted together to create roving, which is the basic thread before it is finished. Roving is then heat treated over an open flame and dipped in a chemical treatment to increase its strength and durability. Then it is dyed and wound onto spools.
- Silk Thread - Silk thread is made from silkworms. They produce pure silk from special glands in their mouths, which they use to construct cocoons. After the silkworms mature into moths and exit their cocoons, the cocoons are harvested, washed, combed, rolled, and turned into roving in the same manner as cotton thread. The roving is spun into thread, dyed various colors, and wound onto spools. The resulting silk thread is then ready to be used on machines such as the Juki HZL F600.
- Polyester Thread - Polyester thread is made from synthetic fibers produced from chemicals extracted from petroleum. The chemicals are used to produce tiny plastic-like chips that are processed and spun together to produce polyester tow. The tow is stretched out into long fibers, cut to remove weak sections, and twisted together with more fibers. It is then stretched and wound together to create various thicknesses of thread. The thread is then dyed every color of the rainbow and wound onto spools that ready for use.
Regardless of the type of fiber used, producing thread is an amazing process. The next time you pick up a spool of thread at the fabric store or thread it through the needle of your Juki HZL F600, think about all the work that goes into producing it.
Whether used for hand stitching or with sewing machines, thread is the most important supply you will use. Just remember to choose high-quality thread when working on Juki sewing machines to ensure the best results with all your projects!