Thread Selection Logic
“There is no perfect thread for all applications, however there is a perfect thread for a specific application.”
American & Efird offers ‘Threaducation’ workshops that review the logic behind selecting the best thread for a specific application. This workshop is not about how we make thread but how to select the best thread type and size for a specific application. The information on this page is a summary of information covered in this hands-on workshop available for our customers.
We recommend that you use the following thread selection process to help you make best educated choice. The major criteria include:
- What type of sewing equipment will be used in the manufacturing of this sewn product?
- Are there currently any issues with excessive interruptions due to thread breakage, skipped stitches and repairs that you would like to overcome?
- What seam performance specifications must be met to satisfy your customers? Minimum seam strength?
- What special end-use requirements must be maintained?
- Are you having any quality issues like excessive needle holes, open seams, ravel backs, or broken stitches?
- Are you currently having any quality issues with customer returns, charge-backs, etc. that you would like to overcome?
- What color, color fastness, and stitch appearance requirements do you have to meet to satisfy your customers?
- Are there any seam puckering issues?
Thread Selection by End Use is intended to help you ask important questions about thread and then guide you in the selection of the best fiber type, thread selection, and thread size for a specific application. A&E Sales and GRS Representatives and our Technical Service Teams are also available to answer specific questions about thread application and share with you their experience of what is the best thread to use.
Core, Spun, Textured
Are there any Automatic Multi-directional Lockstitch?
CW Core or PW Core
Corespun or Spun
Spun or Textured
Excessive Needle Heat?
Cotton or CW Core
Excessive Seam Puckering?
Perma Core Ultimate – Fine Tex Sizes; CW Core or PW Core for heavier Tex Sizes
Needle Cutting on Knits?
Small as Possible Tex Sizes
Seam Performance (Questions)
Polyester, Polypropylene, PTFE
Polyester, Polypropylene, PTFE
Long-term Heat Resistance?
Short-term Heat Resistance?
Cotton or Para-Aramid
Stone Wash Resistance?
CW Core or PW Core
PW Core, Spun Poly, Textured
Seam Appearance (Questions)
High Sheen Appearance?
Rayon, Tri-lobal Polyester, Metallic
Low Sheen Appearance?
Corespun & Spun
100% Cotton Garment Overdye?
Cotton & Lyocel ®
Solution dyed Polyester, Polyester, Vat dyed Cotton
Bold Size for Contrast Stitching?
Large Tex Size
• Low strength • Low elongation • Good Heat resistance • Not as resistant to chemicals as synthetics • Not as good abrasion resistance • Colorfastness not as good as polyester • Only available in staple • Used as Wrapper for D-Core • Used for garment dye programs • Available in many Tex Sizes
• High sheen & luster • Soft hand • Medium strength • Low elongation • Low wet-modulas • Not as resistant to chemicals as synthetics • Not as good abrasion resistance • Colorfastness not as good as polyester • Only available in continuous filament • Used as embroidery thread
• Low strength • Low elongation • More resistance to enzymes & chemicals than cotton • Not as resistant to chemicals as synthetics • Not as good abrasion resistance • Only available in staple • Recommend for use in Tencel fabrics that are overdyed & subjected to enzymes
• High strength • High elongation • Excellent chemical resistance • Very good color fastness • Good UV resistance • Low moisture regain • Not as abrasion resistance as Nylon • Available in staple or continuous filament • Most common fiber used for apparel threads
• High strength •High elongation • Excellent abrasion resistance • Good chemical resistance • Not as resistant to chemicals as polyester • Colorfastness not as good as polyester • Only available in continuous filament • Commonly used for accessories, furniture, footwear, handbags & luggage, etc.
• Very high strength • Very low elongation • Excellent resistance to heat – short term • Excellent chemical resistance • Not as good of long-term resistance to heat as Nomex • Only available in yellow & black • Very expensive • Available in staple or continuous filament • Use for protective clothing for fireman, police & military • Nomex® and Kevlar® are registered Trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and are used under license to A&E
Meta- Aramid (Nomex®)
• Moderate strength • High elongation • Excellent long-term heat resistance • Very good chemical resistance • Available in colors • Very expensive • Available in staple or continuous filament • Use for protective clothing for fireman, police & military • Nomex® and Kevlar® are registered Trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and are used under license to A&E
• Made by wrapping staple fibers around a bundle of continuous filament polyester fibers and then plying into a sewing thread. • Sews on all types of sewing equipment with minimum sewing problems (manual and automatic multidirectional sewing machines) • 30%-40% higher strength per size than spun polyester threads the same size • Allow use of smaller thread size but maintain seam strength • Fibrous surface – soft hand, no sheen, low friction • High elongation for greater seam strength & seam elasticity • Uniformity in physical characteristics due to corespun construction – more uniform than spun
Poly Wrapped Poly Core
• High strength per size – smaller thread sizes can be used • Very good color fastness, chemical & enzyme resistance • Less expensive than CW Core • For all types of garment applications that require a very durable thread • Denim, Workwear, Performance Knits, Tailored Clothing • Primary A&E Brands – Perma Core, Perma Core Ultimate
Cotton Wrapped Poly Core
• Has very good needle heat resistance • Provides a wash-down look • For all types of garment applications that require a very durable thread • Denim, Pants, Slacks • Primary A&E Brands – D-Core, Design-A-Core
• Made from 100% staple fibers that are spun into yarns and then twisted together. • Sews on all types of sewing equipment • Fibrous surface – soft hand, no sheen, low friction • High elongation for greater seam strength & seam elasticity • Less expensive than corespun threads • For all types of apparel sewing applications • Primary A&E Brands – Perma Spun, Excell, Anecot Plus, Kevlar®, Nomex®, Flame-out SP
• Made from 100% continuous filaments that are textured into yarns and heat set for bulk retention • Ideal for overedge, chainstitch and coverstitch seams requiring good seam coverage • Very good seam elasticity • Used for knitwear like activewear, loungewear, underwear, initmates & fleece • Also used for serging applications on wovens • Primary A&E Brands – Wildcat Plus, Best Stretch
• Made from 100% continuous filaments that are entangled using high air pressure • Flat and ribbon like providing good loop and seam strength • Stronger than spun polyester threads the same size • High initial modulus for excellent loop formation. Good sewability on all types of equipment. • Excellent seam durability – high loop strength • Used in all types of garments and non-apparel applications including soft home / mattress applications • Used for decorative topstitching on denim •Primary A&E Brands – Magic, Signature Plus, Signature
Twisted Multi- Filament
• Made from 100% continuous filaments that are twisted and then plied • High tenacity – greater strength per size – stronger than corespun threads • Excellent abrasion resistance & seam durability • Superior ply security contributing to fewer thread breaks and sewing interruptions • Brands available either soft or bonded • Primarily used for industrial sewing applications: furniture, footwear, luggage, sporting goods • More expensive than typical spun apparel threads • Primary A&E Brands – Anefil, Super Brite, Super Strength •Made in either Nylon, Polyester, Rayon, Kevlar, Nomex, Polypropylene, PPS or PTFE
Monocord Twisted Filament
• Made from 100% continuous filaments that are slightly twisted and then bonded together • High tenacity – greater strength per size – stronger than corespun threads • Flat and ribbon like contributing to excellent abrasion resistance & seam durability • Very good loop and seam strength • Primarily used for industrial sewing applications: furniture, footwear, luggage, sporting goods, soft home • Primary A&E Brands – Anecord, Anequilt, Teryl B • Made in either Nylon and Polyester
• Made from a single continuous filament of nylon resembling fishing line • Translucent so it blends in with many colors • Not recommended for seams that lay adjacent to the skin • Not recommended for kids and infantwear • Inexpensive compared to other thread types • A&E Brand – Clearlon
Fabric Weight / Typical Thread Sizes / Needle Sizes
Fabric Weight, Typical Thread Sizes, and Recommended Needle Size
Fabric Oz./Sq.Yd. Grams/Sq Mtr. Thread Tex Sizes Needle Sizes
Ex-Light 2 – 4 oz. 68 – 136gr. Tex 16, 18, 21, 24 60, 65
Light 4 – 6 oz. 136 – 204gr. Tex 24, 27, 30 70, 75
Medium 6 – 8 oz 204 – 272gr. Tex 30, 35, 40 80, 90, 100
Med. Heavy 8 – 10 oz. 272 – 339gr. Tex 40, 45, 50, 60 100, 110
Heavy 10 – 12 oz 339 – 407gr. Tex 60, 80, 90, 105 120, 140
Ex-Heavy 12 – 14oz 407 – 475gr. Tex 105, 120, 135 + 140, 160
Nomex® and Kevlar® are registered Trademarks of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and are used under license to A&E