Should you care if your designer uses silk thread? Aren’t all sewing threads pretty much the same anyway?
You should care! Sewing threads are far from created equal, and silk is the best there is…
Do you know someone who sews? I bet they will tell you super cheap sewing thread is very annoying to use. When machine stitching, poor quality threads fray and jam in your machine. And when hand stitching they curl up, knot and break. The last thing you want thread to do is break! Regardless of whether it’s while we’re stitching the garment together, or, worse still, whilst you’re wearing it!
The absolute worst sorts of threads are plastic ones like fishing line. How many of you have had a hem come apart because you pulled on a loose thread and the whole thing gave way? They feel horrible. And they melt if you iron them!
Lots of seamstresses will tell you Guttermann brand threads are the best (these are one of the best available in fabric shops). And, yes, I too use Guttermann… well, I used to use their 100% cotton. These days we use a beautiful thread which has a polyester core and has a mercerised cotton exterior. This flows nicely through the machine, and will change colour if the garment is dyed at a later stage.
But, when it comes to hand stitching, we use only silk thread. Why? For several reasons…
- As our gowns are all pure silk (the real stuff from silk worms), silk thread matches our gowns beautifully.
- Silk thread is marvellous to stitch with as it does not easily curl and knot.
- Silk thread glides through with our french needles, and is superbly strong.
- Silk thread is smooth and flows as it is pulled through the fabric, creating a smaller hole.
- Silk has a lovely natural lustre without being shiny.
What more could we want?
We used silk thread to stitch Jennifer’s wedding gown together, and then when she dyed it a fabulous blue… see the results for yourself (from her happy snap)!
We use Bohin French embroidery needles in size 9/10 (if you can’t find them, Mary at Patch n Quilt in Gisborne, Victoria always stocks them).
TIP! (especially for those of you who sew, or any who need to mend something):
If you plan on hand stitching anything, cut your highest quality thread to about 140cm long. Dampen one end, squeeze it flat and thread it through your needle. Then, run the thread until both ends are touching and tie three knots on top of one another. This double thread produces the best results for hand stitching, and, your stitches won’t come out until you’ve finished!
Remember, thread is to hold your garment together. Try to aim for small stitches in high quality thread.
PS: If you sew, what are your favourite threads to use? Please let us know in the comments below.