Embroidery Thread vs Sewing Thread: A detailed comparison!

Besides the fabric, the needles and the sewing machine or the user, what is the fourth most important component in sewing?

The thread, of course! Without the right kind of thread, it’s not just difficult to sew, but also impossible. 

With the combined effort of needle and thread, it is possible to do anything in fabric. From making clothes to embroidering, every single project that has to do with sewing requires the right kind of thread. 

What are the different types of Thread?

There are several different types of thread available in the market, all of them used for different types of stitching. Among them all, the embroidery thread is used for embroidery projects and sewing thread for regular purposes.

The different kinds of threads include: 

  • Cotton thread
  • Elastic thread 
  • Polyester thread 
  • Embroidery thread 
  • Upholstery thread 
  • Denim thread 
  • Metallic thread 
  • Rayon and Nylon thread 
  • Silk thread 

Among these, cotton thread is made with natural fibers and can be used for different purposes, metallic thread is used for decorative sewing on fabric and silk thread is used on silk. 

In the same way, embroidery thread is the one used for different embroidery projects. For regular sewing, the cotton thread can be easily used on most fabric types.

What are Embroidery Threads?

Whether you are using your hands for embroidering or a computerized embroidery machine, the best thread to use are embroidery threads.

The stranded embroidery cotton thread is the most popular thread used all over for different embroidery projects.

For all types of embroidery projects including cross stitch, stranded cotton thread is the perfect one to pick. 

Different types of Embroidery Thread

Depending on the design, six-strand threads or single threads are used. If the design is detailed, fine and delicate, only a single strand of thread is necessary.

For cross stitch embroidery, two strands of thread are required and for needlepoint, six strands of embroidery threads are used. 

Pearl cotton is another kind of embroidery thread that comes in single strands, made by twisting two fibers together. Rayon floss embroidery thread is shiny and bright in color; they are used when the design asks for shiny embroidery but can also get tangled easily. 

Metallic embroidery thread is used to create highlights over other embroidery work. They are usually gold or silver in color, shiny and very attractive.

They are frayer than another kind of embroidery threads but still favored for their shine and sheen. 

Tapestry yarn or tapestry wool is thicker than other kinds of embroidery thread, but they are the best option to use on canvas and needlework projects. They are also known as Persian Yarn and can be used for cross stitch and other similar stitches. 

For brilliant shades and colors, silk embroidery threads are used. They are mostly used in fine embroideries but the colors might fade with regular washing and time. 

What are Sewing Threads?

Sewing threads are specially manufactured for working on sewing machines. They are usually fine so as to pass through the fine eyes of sewing machine needles, but sturdy enough to withstand the fast working of the machine.

Even when used in an extremely fast sewing machine, these sewing threads don’t break, get distorted or tangled. 

The only and basic function of these sewing threads is to sew through fabrics, keep them attached together, seal the edges, and keep fabrics bound together. 

Different types of Sewing Threads

When classifying sewing thread into different categories, the substrate, the finish and the construction of the thread are taken into consideration. 

Based on these factors, natural sewing thread is made from cotton.

This is the most common type of thread used in sewing and the most popular one around the world. Synthetic fiber is made from synthetic fibers, and they are extremely resistant to abrasion and chemicals.

These threads are not affected by rot, moisture, mildew, bacteria or insects. 

Spun thread is also made from natural or synthetic thread. It is very widely used because the spun thread is stronger than cotton thread and is also available in a large shade of color and shade.

Corespun thread comes with multiple ply construction and is made from polyester filament core of cotton and polyester. 

Cotton thread is made from cotton and they are considered to be an all-purpose thread. Although they are made fit for high-speed sewing machines, they can also be used when sewing by hand, repairing, mending, upholstery making, quilting, tatting, and dressmaking. 

Detailed Comparison between Embroidery Thread and Sewing Thread

Although both embroidery and sewing threads are essentially threads to sew with, they are quite different from each other. Here are the main differences between these two types of threads. 

  1. Texture 

Essentially all types of embroidery thread have a particular kind of shine that is missing from sewing threads. Since sewing threads are manufactured for basic sewing, they are more practical in nature.

Sewing thread is strong and sturdy but without the attractive sheen that embroidery threads come with. 

Because embroidery threads are used in decorative stitching and sewing, they are available in attractive colors and textures whereas sewing thread is more practical in looks and texture. 

  1. Use 

Embroidery thread has only one type of use: for decorative stitching or embroidery projects. Although they can be technically used in regular sewing, it is neither a practical nor a sturdy solution. 

On the other hand, sewing threads are also known as multi-purpose threads, and they can be used in dressmaking, repairing, darning, quilting, making patterns, repairing rips and holes, etc.

Sewing threads can also be used in embroidery work although the end result will not be as attractive. 

  1. Sturdiness/Strength

Sewing threads are generally much stronger than embroidery threads. Sewing threads are made to work on extremely high-speed sewing machines and they are made sturdy so that the thread doesn’t rip or get distorted when being used in the machine.

Both in a high-speed sewing machine and by hand, sewing thread is known to be strong and hard to rip without using a sharp pair of scissors

Embroidery thread, on the other hand, is not as strong. Since these threads are mostly used by hand, they don’t get torn so often while making embroidery.

Even when used in an embroidery machine or a computerized embroidery machine, these threads can endure as these machines aren’t so fast.

If embroidery thread is used in a high-speed sewing machine, it will get ripped and torn almost immediately. 

  1. Material

The most popular kind of sewing thread is made from cotton, also known as all-purpose thread that can be used in sewing almost any kind of sewing. This makes the thread sturdy but also practical in looks and texture. 

Embroidery thread is made from silk, rayon, metallic materials, rayon floss, Persian wool and other similar materials which contribute to their attractive colors and textures.

They have an attractive sheen that’s missing in sewing thread and they also come in unique colors and textures. 

Therefore, although both are kinds of threads that we used to sew with, both embroidery and sewing threads are completely different threads in almost all ways. 

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