One of the amazing aspects of sewing machine creativity is the countless ways to vary the elements you use to produce different looks.
The easiest way to change the appearance of a project made on a versatile Juki sewing machine is to alter the fabric used; however, you can also do amazing things with thread.
Whether stitching embroidered embellishments on garments and home decor or looking for a fresh way to include thread in a quilt design, one way you can achieve that is by varying thread weight.
Get different stitched effects with different thread thicknesses to add even more detail to your sewn item!
Thread Weight 101
In the same way that wire gauge is measured by weight, thread thickness is also measured by weight.
In another similarity to wire gauge, thread weights range from larger weight numbers indicating thinner, finer threads down to smaller weight numbers that indicate thicker, coarser threads.
Common thread weights used with sewing machines to produce different stitch effects range from super-fine 100 wt silk all the way down to thicker 12 wt embroidery thread.
Threads are frequently accompanied by a second number which represents how many plies make up the thread. For example, a 50/3 thread would be a standard 50 weight thread with 3 plies.
Different Weight Threads Yield Different Appearances
A standard 50 weight sewing thread produces a crisp, clean stitch that easily blends into most fabrics to be nearly invisible when it’s the same color as the fabric or appears as a very fine trim line when it’s a contrasting color.
Conversely, a much heavier 20 or 12 weight embroidery thread used in your sewing machine makes a much bolder stitch that can lend texture and give a more prominent appearance while fine 80 or 100 weight silk thread may be barely visible on finer fabrics.
In addition, smoother and higher quality thread will yield a finer, evenly-stitched line in its own weight class.
Knowing this, it’s easy to get different effects on fabric by just increasing the weight of the thread.
Ways to Use Different Weight Threads
With all that variation between colors and thicknesses and fiber types, you can use thread in many ways to change the look of your sewing and quilting projects.
A single line of thick thread or multiple lines of thin thread will still look different based on the qualities of the thread.
Thicker threads can stand alone as an accent along a hem or be used in a vertical pattern on a quilt, thinner threads can virtually disappear to leave the piece magically held together, or quilting stitches can be used to create amazing designs and textures without actually drawing attention to the thread itself.
Any of these threads can be used with straight, zigzag, heirloom, or embroidery stitches, as well.
Essentially, threads of different thicknesses give anyone making projects on sewing or quilting machines a whole new realm of options to create beautiful and unique things.
Use Variable Thread Weights to Create Unique Projects
When looking for a quick and easy way to enhance the look of clothing or home decor or wanting to add a little more impact to the quilt you’re sewing on a quilting and sewing machine like the Juki TL 2010Q, don’t forget to consider varying your thread weights.
There is no rule that says you have to use the same weight thread throughout your whole project.
Taking advantage of small differences like this is a great way to add subtle changes to a project that can make it very unique and decorative without going overboard!