Irvingberry on Thursday, August 27 2020, 09:02 AM

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How To Sew With Invisible Thread

If you have been quilting for sometimes now I bet you have heard some things like this:

Invisible thread damages your machine! It will ruin your projects! Don’t let children come near it! Don’t even waste money on it! Don’t you ever think about it! I have been using invisible thread for quite a while now and so far, nothing bad has happened.

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Maybe some people have experienced these incidents, but it does not happen to everyone using invisible thread. Many quilters I know have been using it for years and produced beautiful projects without a single mishap.

I am sure you, the invisible thread is merely a tool like your sewing machine or your scissors. You use the right techniques and it will enhance your projects.

Here are some tricks and tips on using invisible thread:

Stick To The High-Quality Invisible Thread

You get what you pay for so stay away from the cheap. The thread you want should have a brand name sticks on it. It should be as smooth as your hair. The one I love comes from YLI. Another quilter I know and trust recommend Sew Art.

The YLI thread is nylon and it has been doing its job fine. Some quilters I met online concern about the low melting temperature of nylon and decide to use polyester-based thread instead.

I always use low heat so the melting problem never happens to me. If you have the same concern, go ahead and use polyester.

Back in the days, invisible thread tended to turn brown after some time in use. It’s not the case anymore. If you stick to the high quality only, it will never change colors.

The invisible thread comes in a number varieties but the clear colors work on most projects. Smoke color works well on dark fabric but it’s advisable to stock some clear variety.

If you listen to me and use the high quality only, even the best inexpensive sewing machine for beginners can handle this delicate thread.

Adjust your tension

When using invisible thread, you want to adjust the upper tension to achieve a better result. Stock pieces of scrap so that you have something to test on. Test until you are happy with what the sewing machine produces.

Switch To A Smaller Needle

Most invisible thread varieties are very thin so you should pair it with a smaller needle. My favorite is a 60/8 but sometimes I prefer a 70/10 for free motion quilting.

As the eye of the needle is so small, you want to thread the machine by yourself even if yours has an auto threading function.

The invisible thread is, well, invisible, so some may have difficulty seeing them. If you have this problem, try coloring the tip of the thread so you know where to lead it to. When you are done threading, you can always cut off the part with color.

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Don’t Use Invisible Thread For Your Bobbin

You can use invisible thread for your bobbin but it will add extra workload for you. I prefer regular thread in the bobbin and if it shows on the upper side, I will color it to hide it.

Watch Out For The Thread Path

Here is what you should do if the thread gets tangled on the thread path:

If the thread is tangled on the bottom side of your project, it’s probably because your bobbin case has a burr. This tiny piece of metal catches your thread and makes it tangled. If you are using cotton or polyester thread, it’s not a problem as these threads are too big to be stuck there. While with invisible thread, they are too small to escape. You may think of your pantyhose torn up a little bit because of a hangnail.

If it is the bobbin case, you can take it to a mechanic so that he or she can remove the burr for you. A cheaper option is to buy a new bobbin case for this particular job. This is not weird at all. I know many quilters and sewists keep separate bobbin cases for a small and fine thread like silk or invisible thread.

In basic models, the thread path is visible so detecting this problem will not be a problem.

Understand when to use invisible sewing thread

When To Use Invisible Thread

Stitch in the Ditch

Stitch in the ditch is a tricky task to master as you just need to be a little clumsy and you will go off course. If you use regular thread on the ditch, everyone can see your mistakes. While if you use the invisible thread, no one can notice them unless they look really close.

With this task, I usually use a 60/8 needle because it allows me to go close to ditch’s edge.

Free Motion Quilting

The invisible thread will come in handy in free motion quilting, especially the places you don’t want the color of the thread to pop out. It is also useful when your fabric has different colors and patterns and you don’t want the thread to ruin the harmony you have created.

Of course, I don’t say that you should use it for every spot on your project, but it’s great for some special areas. I love to use invisible thread for appliques’ edges as they will emphasize the contrast colors.

My sewing machine is especially easy when it comes to free motion quilting. Find the best rated sewing machines for beginners and it will help you sew better and more productive.

Newbies beware

Many quilters will tell you that invisible thread is suitable for beginners as their mistakes will be hidden well.

However, I oppose this opinion. Beginners haven’t had a feeling for stitch length as with the experienced yet so it’s easy to go wrong. Instead of invisible thread, use a light color thread first and then when you have had the hang of it, switch to the invisible thread.
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