How To Choose Serger Thread

How To Choose Serger Thread

If you don’t have a serger — or overlock machine — it is time to invest in one. They will take your garment sewing to a new level. You will be able to beautifully sew seams on knits, finish the inside of your non-stretch garments, and are a dream for sewing home decorative purposes. How to choose a serger thread is simple — color matching thread and spool size play a key role in your decision on thread purchases.

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Sewing Machine Thread vs Serger Thread


How to choose serger thread

What is the difference between serger thread and sewing machine thread? Not much really. However, serger thread is typically spun on a cone and holds 2,700+ yards while machine sewing thread is usually 100+ yards on a small spool. Selecting the right thread will make your sewing project easier.

The large cones will bounce around on your sewing machine unless you have a stabilizing cone attachment to secure the large cone of thread to your thread holder. Conversely, smaller spools on your serger will gobble up spools of thread at an alarming rate.

Types of Serger Thread

Choosing thread for your serger can be a critical decision. If you only have one serger, guilty confession — I have two — one for black thread and one for white thread (I like to keep to basic colors), then you need to change your serger threads regularly. Not a task for the faint of heart.

So make sure you have enough quality thread at the start of your project. You also want a threat that is going to hold up to your fabric. A good, all purpose thread will help avoid thread breakage and keep your garment stitched together.

Polyester Threads

how to choose serger thread

Polyester thread, like this one from Coats is perfect for finishing almost any type of fabric, it is my go-to, all purpose serger thread. This strong thread comes in 40 different colors.

Gutermann Toldi Lock Overlocker Thread offers a 100% polyester thread in over four dozen different thread colors. You will be able to match all your projects perfectly or highlight your serger finishes. It is one of the best thread choices for your serger.

Elastic Threads

One other thread option is Gutermann serger thread called Bukly Lock 80 is an elastic, bulky thread. You can give your fabric a test run with this great thread. It provides a soft finish on your garments edges.

Sergers use a terrific amount of thread. If you are sewing a big project or in a color you use often, then you should purchase thread on cones. They come in a variety of colors and weights.

Projects With Stretch Fabrics

Photo Cone Thread

Knit patterns are cut and sewn with negative ease. That means the garment is smaller than your body measurements. This gives your knit garments a bodycon fit and requires them to stretch when you move. When you sew a straight seam with your sewing machine on a knit fabric, as soon as you put pressure on the seam to stretch, your stitches will pop.

The whole purpose of serging fabric together is to give it a good stretch. The four threads interlock allowing them to stretch and move with your fabrics. This is different from a regular sewing machine where the bobbin thread and top thread come together in a flat loop.

Projects With Woven Fabrics

I serge pretty much every seam. I love to finish my medium and heavy weight fabric projects with serged edges. It’s perfect for jackets that aren’t lined. When you take your jacket off you have a nice, neat inside which makes it look high end quality.

Additionally, with woven fabrics that tend to fray, like linen, serging the seams keeps all the little threads neatly bound together.

One note, delicate fabrics typically do not work well with a serger. The sharp blades and heavy handed machine can chew up your delicate fabric. I suggest stitching a sample row on scrap fabric first. You may need to use another technique to finish the seams on lightweight fabric. Conversely, bulky seams from heavy weight fabrics can be difficult to get through the machine and can cause needle and thread breakage.

Starter Serger/Overlock Machines

There are lots of great serger machines in the market, choose the best machine that fits your budget. It will be one of those machines you will love to use.

It may take some time to get used to operating your serger, but once you do, you will use it all the time. Sewists can garner a basic understanding of the machine is a few short sessions.

Below are a few Brother serger options that would work for any skill level. I like Brother machines because they are durable, reliable, and good for an entry level machine. Realistically, how many of us actually need an industrial serger?

Sewing Machine Threads

For a review of the different types of sewing machine threads, visit my sewing machine thread primer. Using the correct thread for your project is key to your sewing success. This primer reviews cotton thread, polyester thread, metallic thread, nylon thread, elastic thread, several other common sewing machine and hand sewing threads.

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  1. I’ve never sewn with serger thread. Great post about threads. I wondered if serger thread required a different kind of sewing machine.

  2. This is a great resource for sewists looking to choose serger thread for their projects. My late grandmother taught me how to sew, such a useful skill.

  3. I knew there were different types of serger thread but didn’t know there were so many! I also didn’t know how to choose serger thread based on the project. This primer has some great tips for getting started! I pinned for later!

  4. I found your section on stretching fabrics fascinating. I’ve always wondered how seamstresses sew stretchy fabric! Thanks for the tips!

  5. This is a great comparison of the machine thread and Serger thread. I like the spools of different colors better on the serger.

  6. This is a great comparison of the machine thread for the Serger. I like the spools of different colors better on the serger.

  7. We’ve never created anything using Serger Thread. The color options are awesome! Thank you for sharing.

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