What are the threads?

Sometimes in the store you can get lost on the proposed number of threads of all kinds of colors, thicknesses and markings. How they differ from each other, what are and what to look for when choosing, read more about this below.

Thread classification by purpose

Threads are called very thin, evenly twisted, extended yarn, which has special properties for performing the tasks assigned to it: sewing, embroidery, knitting. By purpose, the threads are divided into the following types:

  • sewing;
  • embroidery;
  • knitting.

For sewing

With the help of threads from the material sew clothes. The main purpose of these twisted products is to stitch cut pieces of clothing . To attach them to each other, threads are used, which are called sewing. Most often they are made from natural materials, but synthetic ones are also in great use.

Thickness (fineness) may be different, it depends on the purpose of the product. For home sewing, wound on spools, and for production volumes - on bobbins.

The following properties are characteristic of high-quality products of this type:

  • high tensile strength;
  • smoothness and evenness;
  • twisting uniformity;
  • heat resistance;
  • resistance to adverse environmental influences.

Important! Under no circumstances should sewing threads fade or shrink. When molting a decorative seam, a skirt or dress can be thrown away, and the seated inner seams will be pulled. It’s problematic to fix these shortcomings, so do only the hinting work.

Also pay attention to the smallest particles of pile that may be present in twisted products. This is an indicator of low quality . This is especially affected by the old threads that were bought by grandmothers in the last century, but these huge bobbins are used by all relatives to this day. It is better to purchase a modern copy that meets all of the above requirements.

For embroidery

The main purpose of these threads is to decorate the fabric with various patterns and ornaments made in color or in different shades. Threads for machine and manual embroidery are different.

Homemade needlewomen use embroidery floss. They are weakly twisted from six components and, if necessary, are easily amenable to separation. Available in skeins of 10 and 20 meters from specially treated cotton of durable color. Resistance to mechanical stress is not in the first place here, but the requirements for smoothness and evenness are high . Also, the thread should not be twisted and tangled.

Important! A mouline thread with a glossy surface and a uniform brilliant structure is more in demand than a matte variety. Ornaments and patterns embroidered with glossy floss look very elegant and resemble silk.

For knitting

This type of thread is used for machine and hand knitting. Manufacturers offer yarn of different thicknesses, lengths and composition. Knitting threads can be woolen, synthetic and blended.

Important! The combination of natural and artificial fibers in one thread makes the yarn more durable, wear-resistant, soft, pleasant to the touch, affordable at a price without compromising the quality of the wool.

Handwork is done by knitting or crocheting. And if yarn of any degree of twisting is suitable for the hook, then on the knitting needles a high twist warps the knitted product . Usually yarn recovered from woolen fibers suffers from this disadvantage, it is inexpensive in price and therefore popular.

Types of threads in composition

Threads can consist of fibers of different origin:

  • natural - for example, cotton, linen, bamboo, silk, wool;
  • chemical - polyamide, polyester, polypropylene;
  • combined - cotton with polyester, viscose with polyamide and acetate, reinforced with threads.


It can be difficult to distinguish artificial fiber from cotton in appearance, they are so similar. But polyester yarn is cheaper and has better consumer qualities . It is more tensile, can be subjected to significant mechanical stresses, has increased strength and has proven itself in sewing production. In addition, moisture is not afraid of her, she is not subject to decay.


This is the most popular natural raw material for the production of sewing threads. They are used absolutely for all operations in sewing, for basting the product and fixing any kind of seams. Cotton is also the basis for a mouline thread, and with the help of knitting needles or a hook made of cotton yarn, you can knit a light sweater or blouse for a summer wardrobe.


Fibers related to this type - kapron, silon, nylon - are characterized by high wear resistance, abrasion resistance and increased strength of the thread. The raw materials for them are oil, natural gas, coal. They are the most tensile, but at the same time they have elasticity . Knitting, combined with woolen or cotton fibers, in addition to everything else, look great, adding shine to the matte yarn.


These are the strongest products of all of the above. Reinforcement is the process of reinforcing the strength of one material combined with another . Reinforced threads have a core of polyester fiber, braided with cotton, lavsan or siblon. The twist produced in this way is incredibly strong and durable.

Important! Reinforced threads are used in sewing industrial protective clothing for military and firefighters, as well as in cosmetology for thread lifting - tightening sagging facial tissues.

Varieties by Material

Sewing threads are made from various raw materials:

  • natural - from cotton, linen, silk;
  • artificial - from kapron (polyamide), polyester (lavsan).


They are characterized by high consumer properties, which, despite the more expensive raw materials and laborious production, are used in the manufacture of children's clothing, in small workshops and for home crafts. Good appearance, evenness, smoothness, and with mercerization - the acquisition of additional strength and shine - these are the properties for which the consumer appreciates natural threads.


These sewing threads are also good enough and are successfully used, replacing not only silk, which are almost replaced by artificial ones, but also cotton ones. Knitting natural yarn also competes with synthetic counterparts. However, the property of wool to retain heat is unique, so it is combined with artificial fiber, obtaining a sufficiently high-quality and less expensive product .

How are threads marked?

Each reel is sold with a commodity number. Threads are marked with numbers from 10 to 100. The largest number of product numbers indicates the thinnest thread . For example, outerwear is sewn with threads No. 20, and a light cotton dress will take No. 40 or 50.

Reinforced threads are also marked:

  • LL - where the first L means that the core is a polyester fiber, and the second L is a lavsan (polyester staple) braid;
  • LS - braid from a silon;
  • HL - braid made of cotton.

Experts believe that the best threads for their sewing qualities are those that are labeled with the abbreviation LL. They combined the best qualities of artificial fibers, reinforced by the reinforcement process.