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Silk vs Polyester Thread: Which is Better for Sewing?

Silk vs Polyester Thread: Which is Better for Sewing?

When it comes to sewing, choosing the right thread is essential to ensure the durability and longevity of the finished product. Amidst the many types of threads available, silk and polyester are two popular synthetic threads that seamstresses often debate over. In this article, we will weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each thread and guide you on which one is better for sewing.

Sewing is an intricate process that requires the use of the right materials to ensure the durability of the finished product. The thread, in particular, plays a critical role in ensuring the longevity of seams and maintaining the silhouette of the finished garment.

Silk vs Polyester Thread: Which is Better for Sewing?
Silk vs Polyester Thread: Which is Better for Sewing?

Silk and polyester threads are popular threads that seamstresses often have to choose between. While silk threads have been used in sewing for centuries, polyester threads have gained wide popularity in recent years due to their affordability and durability.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Silk Thread

Silk thread is made from natural silk fibers and has been used for sewing for centuries. Here are some advantages of using silk thread to sew:


  • Natural luster that blends smoothly with silk, wool, or other natural fabrics.
  • Fine threads create a subtle finish, which is ideal for embroidery and heirloom techniques.
  • Higher tensile strength than other natural fibers like cotton or linen.
  • More resistant to UV rays & sunlight than linen or cotton threads
  • The smooth finish of silk thread often prevents wear in fabric caused by friction or movement


  • More expensive as compared to other materials
  • Limited variety of colors, mostly pastel, light and bright shades.
  • Not as strong as synthetic fibers like polyester, making it less suitable for heavy-duty sewing or everyday wear that demands practical durability.
  • Silk thread stretches easily, especially around seams, which may result in puckering.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Polyester Thread

Polyester thread is a synthetic thread and is widely popular in sewing circles, owing to its versatility, affordability, and durability. Here are some advantages of using polyester thread to sew:


  • Widely available in a wide range of colors, making it easy to match to the color of the fabric being used.
  • High tensile strength, making it perfect for heavy-duty sewing applications.
  • More resistance to UV rays & sunlight making it ideal for outdoor garments.
  • Saves time as it does not require frequent switching of threads.
  • Stronger than silk thread, making it a suitable choice for sewing everyday wear.


  • Synthetic material that isn’t biodegradable and can contribute to rife microplastic pollution.
  • Lacks a natural luster, which makes it less suitable for sewing materials like silk that require a subtle finish.
  • May appear shinier on some fabrics causing the finished product to look less natural.
  • Poor breathability, making it less suitable for sewing clothes with natural fabrics like cotton, linen or silk.

Which is the Better Thread for Sewing?

The better thread between silk and polyester depends on the type and intended use of the garment being sewn. Silk threads are ideal for sewing heirloom pieces, natural fabrics that require subtle finishing, and organic, handmade creations that are meant to showcase artistry and luxury. They’re not the best for everyday wear or heavy-duty needs.

Polyester threads, on the other hand, are the perfect choice for everyday wear materials that require routine usage and washing like denim, athletic wear, outerwear, and household linens. They reinforce seams, making them strong enough to withstand even the harshest washing and drying cycles, and are perfect for industrial sewing applications.

In conclusion, choosing the right thread for a specific project depends on the intricacies of the project and primary needs of the fabric. The decision between silk and polyester depends on the desired aesthetic and practical characteristics of the finished product.

Comparison of Silk and Polyester Threads

Thread PropertiesSilk ThreadPolyester Thread
DurabilityStrong, yet, less long-lastingLong-lasting
MoistureAbsorbs moisture and dries slowlyDries quickly
Color optionsLimitedWide range
Environmental ImpactBiodegradableNon-biodegradable
StrengthWeakest among synthetic threads, but superior to natural fibresStrong and durable
Resistance to UV RaysHighGood


In conclusion, both silk and polyester threads have their specific advantages and disadvantages and weigh differently based on the intended use of the material. While silk may give a natural, cosily look, polyester is more durable and versatile. Seamstresses and tailors should have information on both threads to ensure they pick the right thread for their project needs. Nonetheless, this article’s various aspects help to guide consumers into making an informed decision, considering the intended use, finish, and strength needed to produce high-quality sewing projects.

Section 6: References

  1. LaRoche, K. (2019). Silk vs. Polyester Thread. Retrieved from on August 24, 2021.
  2. Gurlcloth. (2019). Silk Vs Cotton Vs Polyester Thread: Which One to Choose? Retrieved from on August 24, 2021.
  3. Textile Learner. (n.d.). Silk Sewing Thread- Advantages, Disadvantages and Uses. Retrieved from on August 24, 2021.
  4. Sew Guide. (2020). Best Thread for Sewing- Silk vs Polyester. Retrieved from on August 24, 2021.
  5. Singh, S. (2020). Different types of threads used in sewing and their uses. Retrieved from on August 24, 2021.
  6. Outdoor Gear Exchange. (2016). Natural Vs. Synthetic Thread: Which is right for your project? Retrieved from on August 24, 2021.
  7. Best Fabric Store. (2018). How to choose the right thread for your project. Retrieved from on August 24, 2021.