Skip to content

Cotton vs polyester thread for sewing

Poly Poly Core Spun Thread

Spun cotton thread is made from natural cotton fibers spun together to form a strong, flexible thread. It is often preferred for natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or silk as it tends to have a softer feel than polyester thread. Spun cotton thread can also be dyed easily and has good heat resistance, making it a good choice for high-temperature sewing applications.

Polyester thread, on the other hand, is made from synthetic polyester fibers which have been extruded and twisted together to form a strong, durable thread. Polyester thread is known for its high tensile strength, meaning it is much stronger than cotton thread, which makes it a good choice for heavier-weight fabrics and for sewing stretchy materials. It also tends to be more resistant to abrasion and has excellent color fastness, which means it is less likely to fade or bleed over time compared to cotton thread.

Features of cotton and polyester thread

sewing machine polyester thread

Spun cotton and spun polyester threads have some distinct features that make them suitable for different applications:

Spun cotton thread is known for its softness and is often used for sewing lightweight fabrics such as cotton, wool or silk. It is a popular choice for quilting and general sewing projects. Spun cotton thread has good heat resistance and can withstand high temperatures, making it a good choice for sewing projects that require ironing or pressing. It is also easy to dye and has good color retention.

Spun polyester thread has an extremely high tensile strength, meaning it is much stronger than cotton thread, and is more resistant to breaking or fraying. This makes it a popular choice for heavy-duty sewing applications, such as outdoor furniture or industrial sewing. It also has excellent resistance to abrasion and moisture, making it ideal for use in outdoor or marine applications.

In addition to their physical characteristics, spun cotton and spun polyester threads also differ in terms of their cost. Spun polyester thread is generally less expensive than cotton thread, making it a more cost-effective option for large sewing projects.

Applications of cotton and polyester thread

Spun cotton thread is better suited for light-weight fabrics, quilting or embroidery, and other general sewing projects, while spun polyester thread is ideal for heavy-duty sewing applications and synthetic or blended fabrics. Both types of threads have their own unique properties that make them ideal for specific applications, so it is important to choose the right thread for each individual project.

Spun cotton and spun polyester threads have different applications due to their unique properties. Some applications where each type of thread may be more suitable include:

Spun cotton thread is ideal for sewing lightweight fabrics made from natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and silk. It is a popular choice for quilting, embroidery, and general sewing projects. Its softness and heat resistance make it suitable for sewing applications like quilted bed covers or pot holders. Some other applications of spun cotton thread include sewing t-shirts, dresses, blouses, and other lightweight fabrics.

Spun polyester thread is more suitable for sewing heavy-duty fabrics and synthetic materials that require a strong and durable thread. Its high tensile strength and resistance to abrasion and moisture make it ideal for outdoor and marine applications such as boat covers, awnings, and upholstery. It is also popular in the shoe and luggage industry due to its strength and resistance to wear and tear. Other applications include sewing denim, canvas, leather, and other heavy-duty fabrics.

Types of cotton and polyester thread

Cotton Threads

  • Mercerized Cotton Thread – 100% cotton thread that is still silky smooth. Mercerized cotton or Egyptian cotton goes through a specialized process that makes natural fibers more luminous and stronger. This thread is ideal for all sewing projects because it is strong and easy to work with.
  • 100% Cotton Silk-Finish – ideal for sewing cotton and especially piecing and quilting since it is high strength and non-shrink; has a natural shine and is extremely soft
  • Fine Machine Embroidery Thread – perfect for any embroidery project, on batiste, tulle, linen, cotton, toweling, and more.

Polyester Threads

  • Metrosene Plus Polyester Thread – makes smooth seams, and can be used on cotton, synthetics, mixed textiles, silk, or linen
  • PolySheen Polyester Thread – ideal for quilting since it is stronger than rayon
  • Metallic Thread – perfect for machine or hand embroidery, adds a metallic glow
  • Overlock Thread – this thread is best for sergers since it resists breakage and provides consistent tension

Works Cited: Choosing the Right Sewing Thread