By Marg Marlow
There are many different threads and needles available today, and the choices, at times seem overwhelming. A good rule of thumb is: The heavier the thread, the larger the needle.
Rayon thread is very soft, has a lovely sheen, and is easy to use for decorative stitching, remembering that if you wash it with bleach, or any soap that has a bleach content, you will lose colour.
Polyester Decorative thread is stiffer, not so nice to work with, but has a very nice sheen, and can be washed with no fear of losing the colour. Rayon and Polyester are usually 40wt. I use 80 Embroidery needle for these.
Sulky Blendables are made to be seen on top of your project, and at the same time blend in with all your colours. It is 100% cotton and 30wt. so you should use a 90 needle. Many quilting threads are 40wt. Eg. Signature, & YLI are readily available, and a 9- quilting needle is acceptable.
Aurifil, also had 40wt., but most stores carry the 28wt. which is meant to sit on top of your quilt. When I say “sitting on top” of your quilt, the thread is meant to show dimension and be a focal point. Use a 90 Topstitch Needle. This needle has a sharp point, as does the quilting needle, but the eye of the needle is much larger to accommodate the thicker thread. ‘Fusions” is a fairly new thread by YLI, is 24wt. so again, use a Topstitch Needle. You may have to go to size 100. Most of the threads come in variegated and solid colours.
I love the Variegated colours! Try them all, and most of all, have fun!