When to Use Heavy Duty Thread? 15 Tips for Sewing With It Update 05/2022

A heavy-duty thread can come in handy when you have a lot of layers to sew or are working with thick or stiff textiles. Knowing when and how to use this thread correctly is crucial. Using heavy-duty thread in the incorrect situation can be difficult and irritating.

One useful idea is to match the heavy-duty thread to the function and environment where it will be used the most. On outdoor fabrics, for example, you should use an outdoor heavy-duty thread because it is UV resistant and can withstand other weather concerns.

Continue reading our post to discover more about using heavy-duty thread and to receive more tips. It has all of these information and more. Knowing when to use this sort of thread helps extend the life of your sewing products and improve their appearance.

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Tip 1: It’s best to use standard thread in your bobbin while employing heavy-duty thread in your top thread region. When using heavy-duty thread in both the top and bottom thread portions, tension changes are difficult.

Tip 2: After adjusting your tensions, thread your home sewing machine with a #18 jeans needle. A heavier thread will be handled better with this needle than with an ordinary needle. It also works better on thicker, heavier textiles.

What is Heavy-Duty Thread?

This sort of thread is made to withstand a lot of stress and tension. It comes in a number of weights and finishes, much like other lighter threads, and each weight and finish will work with different sorts of materials.

When sewing heavier textiles, heavy-duty thread is recommended. Duck cloth, canvas, and other similar textiles are examples. The thread is also designed to withstand the daily wear and tear that those fabrics are subjected to.

Camping gear, baggage, and sports equipment, as well as related fabric applications, could all benefit from a heavy-duty thread. It’s important not to mix up heavy duty thread and industrial thread.

Heavy-duty thread is weaker, lasts longer, and is less durable than industrial thread. It’s also not designed for use with home sewing machines. It’s designed for industrial devices that operate at faster speeds and for longer periods of time.

Industrial threads are commonly used in firefighter’s uniforms, parachutes, and rock climbing equipment when safety is paramount.

Tip 3: When using a heavy-duty thread, wound your bobbin as though you were using V46 or V69 heavy-duty thread. The second number represents the heaviest thread that can be used in a home sewing machine, whilst the first number represents the lightest.

What Weight is a Heavy-Duty Thread?

Understanding thread weight is simple: the greater the weight value, the thinner the thread. That indicates that if you want to utilize a decent heavyweight thread in your sewing project, you should look for numbers closer to 15.

If the numbers on the spool are between 12 and 18, you’re looking at a heavy-duty thread. However, as our tip #3 illustrates, the numbers on thread spools do not always follow this guideline.

To explain the disparity, the weight of the thread is determined by how long it must be to make one kilogram of thread. A heavy-duty thread is defined as one that takes just 12 kilometers to manufacture one kilogram.

The thread is deemed light if it takes 50 kilometers to manufacture one kilogram of thread. 40 weight thread simply means that one kilo is made up of 40 kilometers of thread, and so on.

To avoid any misunderstanding, the V in front of the numbers in tip #3 indicates that the thread is intended for business usage rather than personal use.

Tip 4: Sewing projects should be carefully chosen. While a heavy-duty thread can be used on a home machine, those machines are meant to work with medium weight or lighter fabrics and can only handle 3 to 4 layers.

When to Use Heavy-Duty Thread

There will be instances when you won’t be able to use all-purpose thread in your sewing machine. You’re now ready to work on the materials that the thread is designed to hold together after you’ve set the tension and threaded your machine with heavy-duty thread.

The initial application is for seams that will be constantly stressed. To keep those seams together, you’ll need a thick, strong thread. On denim, you can then use a heavy-duty thread. Lighter threads won’t cut it when creating jeans or denim jackets, for example.

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This thread can then be used on heavy woven fabrics, leather, canvas, and other materials. Heavy-duty thread, which is usually made of polyester, is used because it is resistant to tearing, fading, shrinking, and ironing.

Heavier textiles are subjected to harsher treatment, necessitating the use of a strong thread.

Tip 5: Upholstery thread can be used instead of heavy-duty thread. Although they are not literally identical, they are in the same weight class and have similar strengths. This is beneficial for furniture since nylon upholstery thread has some give. People can now sit on the chairs without damaging the thread.

What Size Needle for Heavy-Duty Thread

When working with heavy-duty thread, you can utilize a variety of needle sizes. You might be able to get away with using the #110 needle if you’re using standard heavy-duty thread. This is after you’ve adjusted the tension, which will take about 30 minutes of your sewing time.

If you’re using commercial or V46 or V69 thread, a #18 jeans needle will suffice. You can also use a needle in the 70/10 to 80/12 size range. This chart might assist you in matching the needle to the thread weight you choose.

One of the more fascinating aspects of matching the needle to the thread is that the needle size number corresponds to the thread weight number in the opposite way. The smaller the needle size, the greater the thread weight number. The greater the needle size number, the lower the thread weight number.

If you’re working with 30 weight or lighter thread, you’ll want to use a needle with a number in the 100s. This pattern will not be followed by all needles, but you get the concept. It’s impossible to match the needle number to the thread number exactly.

Tip 6: When dealing with heavy-duty thread, the type of sewing foot you use is also vital. Slippage can be reduced by using an even feed foot, Teflon foot, or roller foot. If you don’t have such feet, any sewing foot that can handle heavy-duty thread will suffice.

Nylon Thread for Sewing Machine

This is a wonderful heavy duty thread to use on any sewing job that calls for strong, long-lasting stitches. That means it’ll work on denim, canvas, leather, vinyl, and other comparable fabrics, as well as high-wear items like sportswear.

Then there are numerous sizes of nylon thread to choose from. You might not even realize you’re using the correct nylon thread. This thread type is available in three different sizes: ordinary, government, and tex.

The government sizes are A, AA, B, E, F, FF for the first 6 digits in the usual size and then 3 chord, 4 cord, 5 cord for the following 3 numbers.

The tex thread sizes are 16, 30, 45, 70, 90, 135, 210, 270, and 350, which are slightly smaller than ordinary nylon thread sizes. These measures should make finding the proper nylon thread size quite easy.

Tip 7: If you’re using a heavy-duty thread, you’ll need to adjust your stitch length. Some individuals use a basting stitch, while others set their machines to the longest stitch length available. A larger stitch width is also recommended.

How to Sew With Heavy-Duty Thread

In your home sewing machine, using a heavy-duty thread is similar to using an all-purpose thread. You thread the machine in the same way, thread the bobbin in the same way, and apply the proper tension.

The difference is that you must make modifications. Some experts recommend using normal thread in your bobbin to avoid wasting time getting the tension just right. However, the most difficult obstacle to overcome will be tension.

Then you’ll need to switch needles because a conventional needle’s eye will most likely be too small to accept the thicker thread. Simply ensure that the new needle is inserted completely and in the correct direction.

You should be able to sew normally once you’ve made all of the changes and resolved all of the issues that arise with using heavy-duty thread. The next step is to make sure you’re using the correct foot on the machine.

While all sewing foot are capable of handling heavy-duty threads, some are just superior than others. Cutting down on slippage allows you to stitch faster.

Tip 8: After you’ve completed all of your initial corrections, test your work on a scrap piece of fabric. If you have everything set up correctly for sewing with heavy-duty thread, 5 or 6 stitches should enough.

Using Heavy-Duty Thread in a Sewing Machine

When using heavy-duty thread in your sewing machine, the setup is comparable to standard thread, with the exception of the adjustments we just discussed. But using heavy-duty thread entails more than just threading the machine and adjusting the tension and needles.

You must also match the thread to the fabric and the model of sewing machine you will use to have a better and more comfortable stitching time. Some home sewing machines aren’t built to handle anything other than normal thread, thus they won’t accept heavy-duty thread.

Some thread types, like as polyester, may break if you use them for an extended period of time. To avoid problems like these, you’ll need to learn a little more about heavy strength threads.

Make sure you understand the objective of your sewing project because not all threads behave like nylon. They may be sturdy, but when used on furniture, the pressure could cause the strong thread to break due to their lack of give.

Tip 9: For looking for the correct needle to use when sewing with heavy-duty thread, make sure the needle’s eye is 40 percent larger than the thread’s thickness. This ensures that the thread flows through the eye without difficulty.

Upholstery Thread in a Sewing Machine

When working on sewing projects that demand heavier fabrics or several layers, this is a wonderful alternative. Upholstery thread and heavy-duty thread are frequently interchanged, so you won’t lose strength or durability if you make the switch.

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This sort of thread is strong, thick, and may match a variety of cloth colors. It also comes in a range of weights and thicknesses, giving you plenty of options.

Upholstery thread is made of cotton, nylon, polyester, and silk, ensuring that your outdoor furniture is of the highest quality regardless of the weather conditions in your area.

Matching the thread to the fabric you want to stitch is crucial. Silk upholstery thread, for example, should only be used with silk materials. Cotton can only be utilized with cotton materials, but polyester and nylon can be used to make a variety of fabrics.

Just remember that upholstery and heavy-duty threads are thicker and may show up more than you wish.

Tip 10: The thread size refers to the thread thickness only. A second number on the spool should indicate the thread’s weight and the amount of thread on the spool.

Tips for Sewing With Thick Thread

While we have already provided you with numerous suggestions, it is beneficial to obtain as many as possible. When you switch to a heavy-duty thread, you never know what you’ll run into.

1. typical issues – using a heavier thread does not eliminate the problems that occur when using an ordinary thread. You must correctly insert the needle, keep an eye out for bent, broken, or dull needles, and check for missed threading sites, among other things.
2. clean and lubricate your machine – if you haven’t done those two things in a while, it’s a good idea to clean and lubricate your machine before utilizing the new thread. Check your machine’s owner manual – this will not only help you balance your thread stitches, but it will also inform you if the thread you wish to use is compatible with your home machine. The heaviest thread you can use on a home machine is V69, which is a commercial thread.
4. Materials – heavy fabrics should not be sewed on small or portable sewing machines. Even if you use heavy-duty thread, they are only designed to work with medium-weight textiles. If you wish to sew a lot of layers or heavy and thick materials, you may need to switch machines.
5. Thread – not every heavy-duty thread is suitable for use with all fabrics. Before you buy something, learn to match the thread to the fabric.

Final Thoughts

The thread and stitch you use determine the quality of your sewing job. If you use the improper stitch or thread, your sewing item could actually fall apart at the seams. When sewed correctly, heavy-duty thread can save you a lot of future trouble.

Making those modifications to the right setting and utilizing the right needle will be crucial. You should be able to find answers in your owner’s manual.

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