Why choose cotton sewing thread instead of polyester?

(Translated from Aurifil's article )

How many times has a customer come into your store asking this million dollar question? We can't remember how many discussions we've heard about choosing to go with a different brand and especially a different fiber. Here we want to address this key question and provide all the information you need to make decisions based on the needs of both your business and your customers.

At Aurifil, we have been cotton thread makers and experts since 1983. We're not trying to demonize polyester, we're just sharing our extensive knowledge of the benefits of cotton and trying to dispel any misconceptions about its use. We have also prepared information about our manufacturing methods and the way our coils are manufactured. Be careful, you'll probably become a cotton snob after all, if you aren't already!

We want to emphasize that there is no wrong or right answer. Both cotton and polyester are good choices depending on your needs.

1. Always choose the thread according to the fabrics. We know how much time, effort and dedication goes into each piece of art and that achieving a professional finish requires more than just sewing skills; it's the right needle, the perfect fabric and always the right thread!

    In addition, it is important not only to match the thread fiber to the fabric, but also to choose a good quality thread to avoid knots, poor stitching, lint and frequent thread breakage.

    "When cutting pieces and clothes, one of the guiding principles when choosing threads is that the thread must never be stronger than the fabric to be joined. If there is stress on the seam, either from wear or pulling, we want the thread to break before the fabric tears. It is easier to repair a damaged seam than around the seam torn cloth." --- Carrie Nelson, Moda Fabrics, Thread Matters. [Sarah Maxwell]

    2. Cotton is a natural fiber consisting of pure cellulose. It is soft, breathable and hypoallergenic, so it is the perfect choice for baby blankets, clothes, masks and other jobs. Your customers don't have to worry about leaving the wire unattended, even if there is a child or pet nearby.

    Aurifil threads are also ÖKO-TEX certified, which means that they have been tested for harmful substances and are harmless to human health.

    3. Aurifil cotton is strong and almost lint-free. It is wrongly believed that cotton threads are weak and break easily, Aurifil threads are 100% long staple Egyptian cotton. They go through 15 production steps before they are wound on the familiar and beloved reels. One of the most important steps is mercerization, where the yarn is treated with an alkaline soda solution that makes the cotton fibers smoother and increases their strength, luster and toughness. If customers complain that their cotton threads break and that "polyester doesn't break", know that they may have chosen the wrong weight of thread for their work, the wrong needle, or missed the tension adjustment... All these details matter!

    4. Cotton is sustainable. Unlike its counterparts, cotton fibers are renewable and biodegradable, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Most synthetic fibers are petroleum-based, meaning they are derived from non-renewable natural resources. Of course, there is always room for improvement and Aurifil is working hard to create a more sustainable future.

    Although Aurifil is still in the research stage in many respects, it has already taken important steps on this path. We invite you to explore the list of our partnerships and certifications below. These are important, but they are just the beginning.

    • Cooperation with Plastic Bank started in January 2019.
    • Use of recycled plastic: From 2020, Aurifil uses recycled plastic to manufacture cones and coils!
    • 2021 Partnership with Earth League International to protect Earth's endangered species.
    • Supporting the Social Justice Sewing Academy
    • Oeko-Tex certified
    • FSC compliant
    • Member of BCI
    • REACH compliant
    5. Cotton can withstand a lot of heat. Thanks to the natural fibers, the cotton thread has excellent sewability with a slight bend or an intermediate stitch, and this is not affected much by needles that heat up from fast sewing. The cotton doesn't melt and you can sew with it even on poorly adjusted machines.

    Aurifil's first yarn weight – 40wt – was developed with these needs in mind. It was praised and widely used for construction and decoration in high fashion, fine bedding and interior design, luxury car interiors and more. It is designed for use with industrial sewing machines, making it the perfect partner for a variety of techniques such as free-motion, long-arm quilting, garment and bag sewing, and machine embroidery. Our weight class 28wt thread is used with multi-head embroidery machines in the construction and decoration of various accessories with Christan Dior. But for more information and inspiration on 40wt yarn, check out the following links:

    6. Cotton thread can absorb color. That makes it the perfect sewing companion if you or your client are planning to dye your finished project.

    7. Back to the original. In recent years, and especially after this terrible pandemic, more and more people have woken up to how and where their textiles are made. According to a recent survey by the Craft & Hobby Trade Association, more than a million people have taken up sewing in the past three years.

    In addition to increasing personal creativity, minimizing consumption and customizing clothes, people are increasingly concerned about the fast fashion industry. That's why more and more seamstresses make their own clothes and choose natural fibers. However, the use of cotton is viewed with skepticism in the clothing industry.

    Why should you suggest cotton to your customers? In the words of Jenni Smith: "I can't imagine sewing a silk or grass cotton sweater with polyester thread again - it just doesn't feel right. I had the same experience when I started quilting with Aurifil - it looks so smooth on the quilt seams and it creates sharp lines on the clothes and it's very satisfying! I tried it! yet different weights because I'm curious by nature and I found that they also work for topstitching, patchwork left visible on purpose and decorative embroidery."

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