Sewing Thread Performance

How to choose the best nylon, cotton and polyester thread for sewing machine applications

Before you choose cotton for sewing applications there are a few things to consider…

Choosing the right nylon, cotton or polyester thread for sewing machine applications, with the right quality, is very important as this will ensure optimal thread performance so you get the most out of the time and money invested in production. If machine thread does not perform optimally during production it can result in reduced efficiency, compromised quality, and a loss of material or equipment, which means less profit.

ACA Threads has an extensive range of Apparel / Décor Sewing Thread, Specialised Sewing Thread, and Embroidery Thread that meets world-class standards to enable trouble-free sewing.

There are certain factors to consider when it comes to the quality of machine thread, and how well it performs – both during the sewing process (its sewability), as well as throughout the lifespan of the sewn article:

Sewability: Machine thread performance during production

When sewing at high speeds, the thread is subjected to fast and repetitive tensile stresses, bending, wearing, and heat created by the friction with machine parts and the fabric.
This is why it’s important that thread has good sewability, as this will allow it to withstand these stresses and minimise thread breakages. Machine thread with good sewability also delivers consistent stitch formation and results in little, or no skipped stitches. All these factors help reduce the associated costs incurred from rethreading machines, repairing stitches and producing inferior quality products.
ACA Threads offers a comprehensive range of sewing thread that is manufactured to the highest standards to ensure optimum sewability.

The properties that contribute to the excellent sewability of our threads include:

1. Evenness

The high standards to which our products are manufactured ensure that the thread is even in diameter and longitude, which helps create even tension during sewing, letting the thread move smoothly and quickly through the needle eye and the fabric.. ANEFIL® twisted multifilament polyester and SERALON spun polyester thread, for example, offer exceptional evenness and performance during sewing. Seralon is also stronger, more elastic and more durable than traditional cotton threads, which helps optimise tension during sewing.

2. Surface smoothness

Surface smoothness minimises friction during high speed sewing, which helps protect moving parts, such as needles and cutters, from rapid wear and tear.It also ensures less loop formation. The metallic FS No. 50, 40, 35, 45 threads in the MADEIRA Embroidery Thread range, as well as the super soft MADEIRA CLASSIC thread range, for example, have extremely smooth surfaces, which enables problem-free stitching.

3. Good surface finish

Threads with a smooth surface finish offer great sewing performance as they pass easily through the machine guides, which reduces friction in machine parts. Liberty PARKGATE core spun cotton polyester sewing thread, a multi-purpose heavy duty polyester / cotton for sewing shoes, luggage, leather, etc. has a SATIN FINISH that reduces friction.

4. Tensile strength

Tensile strength is the tension force at which a thread breaks, expressed in grams or kilograms. GORE™ TENARA® Sewing Thread from the AMANN techX Industrial Sewing Thread range offers superb tensile strength, while it has excellent abrasion and chemical resistance. Permacore M80 and M120 polyester spun yarn has a particularly high strength to fineness ratio too; it offers an average seam strength of 43.6kg per 5 cm using a stitch density of 4 stitches/cm.

5. Abrasion resistance / elasticity

Thread with good abrasion resistance and elasticity is resilient enough to return to shape after distortion. Threads that offer extremely good resistance to abrasion include Nylon sewing thread – like ACAFIL (perfect for swimwear or underwear), and polyester yarns, like ISACORD from the AMANN Embroidery Thread range. FS No. 30 from the MADEIRA Embroidery Thread range, Liberty PARKGATE (for extreme applications on heavy fabrics or multiple layer stitching), and Permacore (for various applications in the apparel / outdoor equipment / leather goods industries) also offer great abrasion resistance.

6. Lubrication

Lubrication of sewing thread (e.g. mixture of wax, emulsions with synthetic resins, or silicon based products) makes thread more resistance to the heat created by the moving machine parts, like the needle, which helps minimise breaks. All of ACA Thread’s products are lubricated for heat resistance.

Thread performance during wear

The quality of your nylon, cotton or polyester thread for sewing machine applications will ultimately determine the quality of the seam, and therefore, the durability of the sewn item.

Compared to the total cost of a sewn article, the cost of the thread only makes up a small percent; however, it is mainly responsible for the strength of the seam, making it worth investing in good quality thread to ensure a level of quality your customers will be happy with.

Different types of garments / items have different requirements. ACA Threads offers a wide range of threads for a number of different applications in the home and décor industry, for fashion and active wear, automotive and industrial applications, and more.

Where industrial work wear or protective gear may need specialised technical threads with certain finishes for chemical resistance, thermal resistance, UV resistance, or flame retardant properties; fashion garments or active gear may need threads with waterproof qualities, like AMANN Serabraid Decorative Sewing Thread .

Other important quaities include good colour-fastness, which is especially important when garments are exposed to washing agents; no shrinkage, which reduces seam puckering; and elasticity, which adds strength to seams. SERALON Spun Polyester Thread is one of our best thread offerings that combines these qualities required for good quality clothing.

For assistance in selecting the right thread for your sewing application we have a handy Thread Selection Guide, or if you need any advice, feel free to contact us.

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