Quilting and Sewing with Silk Thread

Amongst quilters and sewing-enthusiasts, silk thread is either loved or avoided completely. Indeed, the varying opinion about the thread is a topic of great debate and disagrees in just about every aspect — everything from how strong it is, to how long it stays stable and its ease of use is argued. Silk is one of the finest of threads, and that fact is generally the cause of the debate.

Because silk thread is so fine, it has a tendency to disappear into fabric, rendering the stitches almost invisible. For some, this is an exciting boon. For others, it takes away from using the thread and stitches as part of the design. Some argue that silk is not as durable a thread as other threads, citing the older thread’s tendency to come apart in vintage pieces, as well as the damage potentially done by humidity, heat, and bright light. Others claim the new silk thread is as durable as any other thread made today.

For hand sewing, such as appliqué, this thread is loved for its ease of use and its habit of gliding through fabric. There are some weights of the thread (fine and medium mostly), however, that will need to be waxed before use by hand as it will unravel. There are many other tips such as the waxing of the thread that can make sewing or quilting with silk thread an easier and more enjoyable experience. It has been recommended to lower the top tension of your machine for sewing with silk thread, and use a fine weight cotton bobbin thread instead of the silk thread as the textured cotton helps to grab onto the silk and keep the tension of the stitches even.

A little research on the thread before using it could help one developed a well-formed opinion, instead of becoming frustrated. While not terribly difficult to work with, some practice with it — just like with anything else — will make using silk thread much more enjoyable and easy. With the right application, it could become a favorite thread

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