Best Threads For Quilting in 2020

Some quilters used cotton threads. Fashion professionals use silicone-coated polyester threads. Some others use silk threads for their applique projects whereas hobbyists and home users depend on regular nylon threads.

The variety is just mind-numbing, especially if you are on the lookout for the best thread for quilting.

Top 5 Best Quilting Threads in 2020:

While it all depends on the type of project you are doing, there are a few types and brands that are known for the best output. And today we are going to go through some of them.

Here’s a list of the most recommended threads for quilting projects that will help you choose wisely.

The Best Threads For Quilting
Machine Quilting
King Tut Egyptian Cotton Thread
  • 3-ply cotton with a smooth finish
  • Suited for all types of machine quilting
  • Weight: 40
Machine Quilting
Mettler Silk-Finish Solid Cotton Thread
  • Silk-coated, apt for machine and hand quilting
  • High breaking and shrinkage resistance
  • Weight: 40
Machine Quilting
Madeira Incredible Threadable Quilt Box
  • Suited for professionals, tailors, and fashion designers
  • Unbreakable, high resistance to heat
  • Weight: 40
Hand Quilting
Gutermann Quilting Thread
  • Best thread for hand quilting
  • Wax finish aids in hand stitching
  • Length: 220 yards (201 meters)
Piecing Quilts
Aurifil Cotton Mako
  • Best thread for English paper piecing
  • Suited for all piecing quilts of single or multiple fabrics
  • Weight: 50
Long Arm Quilting
Signature 100% Cotton Quilt Thread
  • Best thread for longarm quilting machine
  • 3000yd 100% mercerized cotton thread
  • Weight: 40
Variegated Thread
King Tut Variegated Quilting Thread
  • Beautiful colors, top quality thread
  • Suited for hand and machine quilting
  • Weight: 40
Invisibile Thread
Mettler Transfil Monofilament Thread
  • Best invisible thread for quilting
  • Suited for all types of invisible seams
  • Semi-transparent 100% nylon
Metallic Thread
COATS & CLARK Metallic Thread
  • Best for machine quilting decorative stitching and applique
  • Length: 125 yards (114 meters)
Wash Away Thread
Madeira Wash Away Thread
  • Suited for all kinds of basting, fitting, and trapunto quilting
  • Easily soluble in water or by heat

Here are The Best Threads For Quilting in 2020

We have featured 18 best quilting threads on this list. For your consideration and ease, we have classified these across eight categories. These involve different types of quilting such as machine quilting, longarm, variegated, piecing, and basting.

Jump to the desired category and choose the one that fits your needs.

Best Threads For Quilting - Top Quilting Thread Review

Best Threads for Machine Quilting

While polyester remains the all-purpose choice for quilters, cotton threads are the best option for machine quilting. They are strong, have high resistance to heat, and work with all types of garment fibers.

Cotton-poly threads are also used for general purposes by home users and hobbyists who don’t have much of a preference.

Here are four of our best recommendations for machine quilting.

1 – King Tut Egyptian Cotton Thread For Quilting

The American brand Superior Threads has been around since 1998 and over the last two decades has produced some of the best threads for machine quilting. It is also known for the founder’s quirky jokes.

Best Threads for Machine Quilting - King Tut Egyptian Cotton Thread
King Tut Egyptian Cotton Thread

Thread Review

Cotton is the gold standard for all quilting projects. And one of the pet peeves with using cotton is the large amount of lint that is produced. Not with this King Tut thread which is made of 100% Egyptian content.

Use it on a computerized sewing machine or a longarm, the thread will flow through your fabrics. It’s durable, easy to use, has no breakage, and a real treat to work with. Inarguably the best cotton thread for quilting.

Highlights

  • Top features: 3-ply cotton with a smooth finish, best thread for machine quilting, no breakage
  • Suited for all types of machine quilting
  • Weight: 40
  • Color Palette: white (available in a dozen more colors)
  • Fiber: 100% Egyptian cotton
  • Length: 2,000 yards (1,828 meters)

Tip

  • The manufacturer suggests using sewing needle #90/53 for regular machines and needle #18 for longarm

2 – Mettler Silk-Finish Solid Cotton Thread For Quilting

Mettler AMANN is one of the oldest thread manufacturers in the world (since 1883). DMC (#16 below) is the oldest on this list.

Mettler Silk-Finish Solid Cotton Thread Review
Mettler Silk-Finish Solid Cotton Thread

Thread Review

Apart from the glossy finish that will add more glow to your projects, this high-quality Mettler quilting thread is great for its shrinkage resistance and unbreakability. Use size 80/90 needle and you have a perfect companion for your home décor and fashion projects.

Highlights

  • Top features: Silk-coated, apt for machine and hand quilting
  • Suited for all types of machine quilting
  • Weight: 40
  • Color Palette: black (available in more colors)
  • Fiber: cotton
  • Length: 500 yards (475 meters)

3 – Madeira Aerofil Incredible Threadable Quilt Box

If Mettler is the oldest, Madeira is the most preferred brand (since 1919) in the United States.

Madeira Aerofil Incredible Threadable Quilt Box Review
Madeira Aerofil Incredible Threadable Quilt Box

Thread Review

This great-value quilting thread kit of 63 core-spun polyester spools by Madeira is like a lifeline for a professional. Steady flow of unbreakable aerofil thread with an in-built thread cutter and shoulder strap for better efficiency.

We can’t think of any other set that provides such great value in a quilting thread kit. Do note that the 63 spools are categorized into three. One of these is a monofilament thread.

Highlights

  • Top features: boxset, unbreakable, and high resistance to heat
  • Suited for professionals, tailors, and fashion designers for all types of quilting
  • Weight: 40
  • Color Palette: 63 different colors
  • Fiber: polyester
  • Length: two spools of (1,093 yards) 1,000 meters and one spool of (437 yards) 400 meters

4 – Connecting Threads 100% Cotton Thread For Quilting

Connecting Threads is an American brand with an all-women management team. That’s one more tiny reason to consider it.

Affordable Thread For Machine Quilting: Connecting Threads 100% Cotton
Connecting Threads 100% Cotton Essential Thread 5000 Yard Cone

Thread Review

The satin finish is the biggest highlight in this cotton quilting thread by Connecting Threads. It just adds the right sheen in your crafting projects. Whether it is quilting a duvet or a home décor item, you can rely on it.

Highlights

  • Top features: satin finish, extra-long cone, inexpensive thread for machine quilting
  • Suited for all types of crafting and quilting projects
  • Weight: 50
  • Color Palette: antique (available in more colors)
  • Fiber: 100% cotton
  • Length: 5,000 yards (4,572 meters)

Best Threads for Hand Quilting

When it comes to hand quilting, you need a softer and smoother thread. Why? So that it can easily glide into the fabric without having to put a lot of pressure. Also, smooth threads prevent any cuts that might happen in case you are not wearing quilting gloves.

5 – Gütermann Hand Quilting Thread

Gutermann is a German brand and is widely known for its simplistic yet elegant design.

Best Threads for Hand Quilting Review: Gutermann Quilting Thread
Gütermann Thread For Hand Quilting

Thread Review

No curling, no tangling – that’s the promise of Gütermann as you fall in love all over again with quilting.

This Gütermann hand quilting thread series has a special wax finish which makes it easier for it to slide through all types of fabrics. Whether it’s for basting multiple layers or shirring a frock.

Highlights

  • Top feature: wax finish aids in hand stitching
  • Used for hand quilting
  • Weight: unspecified
  • Color Palette: white (available in more colors)
  • Fiber: 100% wax-finish cotton
  • Length: 220 yards (201 meters)

6 – Coats & Clark Dual Duty Plus Hand Quilting Thread

Coats & Clark is one of our first choices when it comes to regular sewing. With quilting, it’s the same.

Coats & Clark Dual Duty Plus Hand Quilting Thread Review
Coats & Clark Dual Duty Plus Hand Quilting Thread

Thread Review

This is a pack of 3 spools of high-quality white quilting thread that can be used on virtually all types of fabrics. Hand quilters will find joy in this due to its soft surface, super-tight output, and affordability.

Coats & Clark hand quilting threads are known for great value for money and are preferred by prolific sewers.

Highlights

  • Top feature: soft surface
  • Suited for hand quilting
  • Weight: unspecified
  • Color Palette: white
  • Fiber: 100% cotton
  • Length: 325 yards (297 meters)

7 – YLI Cotton Hand Quilting Thread

Yarn Loft International (YLI) is an American brand that was founded in the 1970s. It’s known for starch glazing its cotton products.

YLI Cotton Hand Quilting Thread - Durable Thread for Quilting
YLI Cotton Hand Quilting Thread

Thread Review

Staple glazed cotton threads are more durable and softer. This is why YLI quilting threads are widely popular in American professionals, especially home users, tailors, and DIYers.

The texture, the strength, and the resistance to heat all add up and the price stays the same. A great thread for both hand and machine quilting.

Highlights

  • Top features: starch glazed for higher strength and durability
  • Suited for all types of hand quilting
  • Weight: 40
  • Color Palette: dark blue
  • Fiber: 100% Egyptian cotton
  • Length: 400 yards (365 meters)

Best Thread for Piecing Quilts

Piecing requires the thread to be strong (a thickness of 50 is ideal) and fine at the same time. This is why you need to be very choosy when it comes to quilting threads for piecing purposes. Italian makers Aurifil and Floriani are widely popular for it.

8 – Aurifil Cotton Mako Quilting Thread

Not to be confused with Aerofil, Aurifil is a Milan-based manufacturer. It claims that its threads have no lint, and we tend to agree.

Best Thread for Piecing Quilts Reviews
Aurifil Cotton Mako 50wt

Thread Review

This here is one large spool of fine Italian cotton thread that just keeps on giving. No breakage, no lint, and no hassle whatsoever. Its consistent fineness makes it the #1 choice for piece quilting.

Aurifil never disappoints and when you are piecing fabrics together, it’s the biggest assurance you need.

Highlights

  • Top features: fine and strong, best thread for English paper piecing
  • Suited for all piecing quilts of single or multiple fabrics
  • Weight: 50
  • Color Palette: black
  • Fiber: 100% cotton
  • Length: 1,422 yards (1,300 meters)

9 – Floriani Quilters Select Perfect Cotton Plus Thread

Floriani, another Italian thread maker, is known for its innovation. What we love about it is that every time we review a Floriani product, there’s something new to learn.

Floriani Quilters Select Thread For Piecing Quilts
Floriani Quilters Select Perfect Cotton Plus Thread

Thread Review

Perfect for hand piecing, this cotton thread is fine, durable, and sturdy. Even if you have strong hands that sometimes lead to thread breakage, you can rest assured that Floriani threads won’t.

The 60-weight is finer than the Aurifil model above and is even better for hand piecing.

Highlights

  • Top feature: extra-fine thread for hand and machine piecing
  • Suited for hand piecing
  • Weight: 60
  • Color Palette: black (available in 60 colors)
  • Fiber: Egyptian cotton
  • Length: 437 yards (400 meters)

Best Thread for Longarm Quilting

There is not much difference between threads used for longarm and machine quilting. Just stick to cotton and heavier mixtures (weight should be 40-50).

10 – Signature 100% Cotton Quilting Thread

Signature specializes in threads that are made in the USA.

Best Thread for Longarm Quilting: Signature 100% Cotton Quilt Thread
Signature 100% Cotton Quilt Thread

Thread Review

This roll of mercerized cotton thread goes through several processes to improve its strength. When using a longarm machine, you can rest assured of its quality. With breakage being a common issue in high-speed machines, Signature’s processed threads ensure that you enjoy seamless quilting.

Highlights

  • Top features: goes through the mercerization process to improve luster and strength, best thread for longarm quilting machine
  • Suited for longarm quilting (all popular manufacturers)
  • Weight: 40
  • Color Palette: white
  • Fiber: 100% cotton
  • Length: 3,000 yards (2,743 meters)

Best Variegated Quilting Threads

For all your fancy quilting purposes, go with the one and the only best: King Tut’s colorful threads.

11 – King Tut Egyptian Cotton Variegated Quilting Thread

Another great product by Superior Threads.

Best Variegated Quilting Thread: King Tut Egyptian Cotton Thread
King Tut Egyptian Cotton Variegated Quilting Thread

Thread Review

Sometimes you want to put a dash of colors into your projects or you are working on a funky home décor project. For all those purposes, here’s the best variegated quilting thread that has a rainbow blend. This comes with Superior’s natural strength and reliability.

The highlight is that the blend is not abrupt but seamless, meaning one color changes into another slowly and gradually (one inch) in the length of the thread.

Highlights

  • Top feature: 3-ply multi-coating process for consistently vibrant colors through the spool’s length
  • Suited for all types of hand and machine quilting for home décor and fashion projects
  • Weight: 40
  • Color Palette: rainbow (Joseph’s coat)
  • Fiber: 100% cotton
  • Length: 2,000 yards (1,828 meters)

Tip

  • This specific color is #918

12 – Star Thread Variegated Quilting Thread

For a bit of affordability, go with Star.

Good Cheap Variegated Quilting Thread: Star Thread Variegated Thread
Star Thread Variegated Quilting Thread

Thread Review

With a nice color (and a wide palette for your fancy projects), this variegated thread from Star is a great choice for all types of quilting. It can take a lot of yanks and still work splendidly, making it perfect for machine quilting as well.

Do note that this is a different brand with a name similar to Coats & Clark.

Highlights

  • Top feature: great color choices, high strength
  • Suited for longarm quilting and piecing
  • Weight: 30
  • Color Palette: antique green
  • Fiber: 100% mercerized cotton
  • Length: 1,200 yards (1,097 meters)

Best Invisible Thread for Quilting

Also known as monofilament thread, it is the thinnest type used for quilting. As the name suggests, an invisible thread is used for camouflage sewing and is made of nylon or polyester. So, make sure you go for the thinnest (high weight) if you want invisible stitches.

13 – Mettler Transfil Monofilament Invisible Quilting Thread

Another great product by Mettler.

Best Invisible Thread for Quilting Review: Mettler Transfil Monofilament
Mettler Transfil Monofilament Thread 100% Nylon

Thread Review

Extremely fine and uniform smoke black color, this monofilament thread for quilting is a great choice for all types of projects. You can use it as both upper and bobbin thread.

It’s semi-transparent, tough, and unbreakable – all great features to get an invisible stitch.

Highlights

  • Top features: semi-transparent thread provides invisible stitches, best invisible thread for quilting
  • Suited for all types of seams where an invisible stitch is required (home décor, fashion, upholstery)
  • Weight: unspecified
  • Color Palette: smoke black
  • Fiber: 100% nylon
  • Length: 1,094 yards (1,000 meters)

14 – Mono Poly Superior Invisible Thread For Quilting

The invisible thread by Superior Threads.

Best Invisible Thread For Quilting: Mono Poly Superior Thread
Mono Poly Superior Invisible Quilting Thread

Thread Review

A single spool of heat-resistant transparent polyester threads for all your seaming and quilting purposes. It comes with the default durability and reliability of Superior Threads, so you buy it and start using it. No hassle.

Highlights

  • Top features: resistant to heat (fabric can be ironed on low setting), affordable
  • Suited for quilting and thread painting
  • Weight: unspecified
  • Color Palette: smoke black
  • Fiber: polyester
  • Length: 2,200 yards (2,011 meters)

15 – WonderFil Invisafil Invisible Thread For Quilting

WonderFil is a Canadian specialty thread brand and has been around since 1988.

Best Quilting Thread Reviews
WonderFil Invisafil Invisible Thread

Thread Review

This is the thinnest invisible thread for quilting you will find in the market. With a weight of 100 and a silky sheen offered by its cottonization, WonderFil has managed to revolutionize the niche.

Most professionals hunt for and prefer WonderFil threads when they want to do invisible sewing because of its “disappearing effect” and high strength. Perfect for hand and machine quilting.

Highlights

  • Top features: thinnest thread, 2-ply cottonized polyester, negligible stretch, best thread for applique
  • Suited for all types of invisible sewing, quilting, stippling, and piecing
  • Weight: 100
  • Color Palette: off white (available in more colors including matte)
  • Fiber: cottonized polyester
  • Length: 2,734 yards (2,500 meters)

Best Metallic Quilting Thread

Topstitching or fashion designing, metallic threads in colors of gold, silver, and bronze (copper) are great. They not only add the obvious luster to your works but also hold the fabrics together as a steel wire would.

16 – DMC Diamant Metallic Thread For Quilting

DOLLFUS-MIEG & Compagnie (DMC) has been around since 1746 making it the oldest textile manufacturer on this list.

Best Metallic Quilting Thread: DMC Diamant Metallic Needlework Thread
DMC Diamant Metallic Needlework Thread

Thread Review

A single spool of bright silver metallic thread for hand quilting, this one by DMC will be a great addition to your quilting toolkit. Soft on hands yet strong for machine quilting, this is the best metallic thread for hand quilting that we have reviewed. Add the right shine at the right quantity to all your needlework projects.

Plus, DMC is known for its pioneering textile manufacturing. So, you can never go wrong with it.

Highlights

  • Top features: soft on hands, bends easily for convenient sewing, strong and durable (single strand)
  • Suited for hand embroidery, cross-stitch, tatting, quilting
  • Weight: unspecified
  • Color Palette: light silver (available in a dozen more colors)
  • Fiber: standard cotton
  • Length: 38 yards (35 meters)

17 – Coats & Clark Metallic Thread For Machine Quilting

If DMC is high on your budget, opt for Coats & Clark.

Coats & Clark Metallic Thread For Machine Quilting
Coats & Clark Metallic Thread

Thread Review

Not only is this nearly 3x longer than the DMC version, but this is also apt for prolific users who often work with fancy needlework. Whether it is cross-stitching or tatting, this silver-colored metallic thread will add the shine that you want without making it look gaudy.

Can be used across machines of different brands.

Highlights

  • Top features: long, fine material with a blend of cotton and nylon, flexible, high-quality metallic thread for machine quilting
  • Suited for all types of hand and machine quilting
  • Weight: unspecified
  • Color Palette: silver
  • Fiber: 34% metallic, 22% cotton, 44% nylon
  • Length: 125 yards (114 meters)

Tip

  • This thread is not conductive and can be used across projects

Best Thread for Basting and Trapunto Quilting

Trapunto quilting is a special type where two or more fabric layers are used to create an embroidery-like embedded surface design. This is mostly found in home décor, fashion, and upholstery projects.

Basting is temporary stitching used to create a more permanent stitch that will be made later.

For both basting and Trapunto quilting, cotton threads with a weight of 40-50 are recommended.

18 – Madeira Wash Away Thread For Quilt Basting

This one by Madeira is a soluble thread that we recommend for your basting and trapunto quilting projects.

Best Thread for Basting and Trapunto Quilting: Madeira Wash Away Thread Review
Madeira Wash Away Thread

Thread Review

Wash away easily after sewing the temporary stitches and save time with this Madeira wash away thread. Use heat or water to unstitch the thread and replace it.

It almost feels like magic when you work with this thread as it saves you a lot of time in the long run and avoids any room for error.

Easy and hassle-free solubility makes it the best thread for trapunto quilting and basting.

Highlights

  • Top features: easily soluble in water or by heat, flexible
  • Suited for all kinds of basting, fitting, and trapunto quilting
  • Weight: not applicable
  • Color Palette: off white
  • Fiber: cotton
  • Length: 220 yards (201 meters)

Tips

  • Do not handle with wet hands
  • This thread will not dissolve in any special solutions like bleach and perfume
  • We recommend storing it in an air-tight jar for longer use

Choosing the Right Thread for Quilting

How to Choose Right Thread for Quilting

Now that we have gone through the best threads to use for quilting you can buy, let’s take a look at some obscure types. These quilting types will require you to use special threads.

  • Quilt Piecing – 50-weight cotton threads are perfect; for piecing you need a thread is both fine and strong. Minimum lint and no breakage are also preferred, especially if you use an overstitch machine
  • Quilt Binding – 50-weight cotton threads will go well for this too, but just make sure you match the colors properly. Contrast or matching – it should depend on how you want the final output to look like
  • Machine Quilting – both polyester and cotton threads are recommended; 40 is the ideal quilting thread weight here
  • Hand Quilting – cotton threads will be softer on the hands; go for a higher weight (below 30) for best results. This is because hand stitching involves a lot of pulling and stretching and you want the thread to withstand the stress
  • Basting – any soluble (wash away) thread is good; use light colors
  • Free-Motion Quilting – use a light weight thread for best results unless you want the stitches to look like embossed designs. This actually depends on your preference. Both polyester and cotton threads are good for free-motion quilting
  • Garment and Utility – own preference
  • Applique – silk or any thread with a weight greater than 50 should do a great job. In applique projects, you want the output to have a seamless stitch, so silk fiber is the best
  • Shirring – elastic threads with a lot of stretchability; for best results use a steam iron afterward to tighten the threads
  • Upholstery and Canvas – heavy-duty polyester with low weight (high thickness)
  • Silk Fabric Quilting – opt only for silk threads; anything else will damage the fabric
  • Embroidery Topstitching – use wool threads; try metallic threads for designs

Conclusion

There are so many great threads to choose from. And even greater are the type of projects that demand them. Whether it is a work of applique on a silk fabric or general utility needlework, you want to use the best thread.

In that quest, we hope we have provided you with enough options. The categorization above will further help you find the best quilting threads available to purchase.

In case you are wondering, which ones we depend on, yes, we have a list. The following threads can always be found in our quilting toolkit:

  • The King Tut machine quilting and variegated threads by Superior Threads (best recommended)
  • Gütermann thread for hand quilting (best professional choice)
  • Aurifil thread for quilt piecing
  • Mettler monofilament for invisible stitches
  • DMC metallic thread for all fancy projects

You can even say that we have a constant supply of these in our workshop as we keep on experimenting with quilting, sewing, stitching, and just random needlework. Because we love everything about this art.

Go on, choose your pick and let us know why in the comments.

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