The Best Polyester Sewing Thread For Your Projects

Finding the right sewing thread can make all the difference in your sewing projects. The best polyester sewing thread has the strength and durability to withstand regular wear and tear, while providing smooth, lint-free stitching.

The Best Polyester Sewing Thread For Your Projects

In this guide, we’ll explore the key factors in choosing a polyester thread and recommend some of the top brands and weights for all your sewing and embroidery needs.

Best Polyester Sewing Thread For Your Projects

Sewing thread comes in a variety of materials, including cotton, silk, nylon, and polyester. Polyester thread has become a go-to choice for many sewers thanks to its versatility, strength, and affordability. Compared to natural fibers like cotton, polyester thread has more elasticity and stretch, making it ideal for sewing knit fabrics. It also produces less lint, which helps keep your sewing machine running smoothly.

When selecting a polyester sewing thread, you’ll want to consider:

  • Weight – The thickness and suitability for different fabrics and techniques
  • Color – Matching or contrasting the thread color to your fabric
  • Brand – Trusted brands known for quality and performance
  • Use – Piecing, construction, embroidery, applique, etc.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing the best polyester thread for topstitching, quilting, garment sewing, and embroidery.

Let’s get started!

Technical Specifications

Weights30 wt. to 80 wt.
Materials100% polyester or polyester-cotton blend
Common brandsCoats & Clark, Gutermann, Aurifil, Mettler
Spool lengthTypically 100m to 1000m
Suitable forAll fabrics, especially knits
Best usesAll purpose sewing, quilting, embroidery

Difference Between Polyester and Other Sewing Threads

Before we dive into the specifics of polyester thread, let’s quickly go over how it compares to other common sewing thread materials like cotton and silk.

Polyester vs. Cotton Thread

Polyester and cotton are the two most widely used threads for general sewing. Some key differences:

  • Strength: Polyester thread has more tensile strength than cotton, making it more resistant to fraying and breaking.
  • Elasticity: Polyester has more stretch and give than cotton thread. This makes polyester better for sewing knits and items that need durability.
  • Lint: Cotton thread tends to produce tiny cotton fibers (lint) as you sew. Polyester thread is lint-free.
  • Heat resistance: Polyester thread can withstand heat and friction better than cotton when sewing at high speeds.
  • Shrinkage: Cotton thread shrinks when washed/dried. Polyester thread maintains its shape and length.

So while 100% cotton thread has its place, polyester is preferable when you want added durability and elasticity. The lack of shrinkage also prevents puckered seams.

Polyester vs. Silk, Nylon, and Other Threads

In addition to cotton, some other common sewing thread fibers include:

  • Silk: Very lustrous and smooth. Ideal for embroidery and specialty techniques, but expensive.
  • Nylon: Strong like polyester, with excellent elasticity. Good for sewing swimwear and stretchy fabrics.
  • Rayon: Has a lovely sheen, but lacks strength for heavy projects. Best for topstitching.
  • Woolly nylon: Used in bobbins for machine embroidery to create decorative stitches.

Polyester thread offers the best all-around performance for most sewing when you consider its strength, durability, abrasion resistance, and ease of care. Specialty threads like silk or elastic may be preferable for specific fabrics and techniques, but polyester works beautifully for both hand and machine sewing.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Polyester Thread

Now that you know the benefits of polyester thread compared to other options, let’s discuss the key factors to keep in mind when selecting a polyester sewing thread.


The weight or thickness of thread is indicated by a number like 30 wt, 40 wt, 50 wt, etc. The higher the number, the finer and thinner the thread. Some common weights for sewing include:

  • 12 wt to 30 wt – Heavier threads best suited for hand quilting and embroidery
  • 40 wt to 50 wt – All purpose medium weight, ideal for construction and piecing
  • 60 wt to 80 wt – Lightweight threads for applique and sewing delicate fabrics

Most construction and quilting uses a 40 or 50 weight polyester thread. You may want a thinner 60 wt thread for piecing quilts with lots of seams to reduce bulk. For machine embroidery, 40 wt is commonly used.


Choosing a thread color that matches or complements your fabric is important. Tips for selecting polyester thread colors:

  • For solid fabrics, match the thread color as closely as possible to the fabric.
  • For printed fabrics, choose a thread that matches the most dominant color.
  • Pick a thread 1-2 shades darker than the fabric so stitches recede into the background.
  • Contrasting thread colors can add interest for topstitching or embellishing.
  • Keep a selection of common neutral/basic colors like black, white, gray beige on hand.

Having a range of polyester thread colors allows you to easily match or contrast your fabric. Variegated all purpose threads are also available to conveniently match multiple colors.


When it comes to thread brands, quality matters. Some factors that set polyester sewing thread brands apart:

  • Fiber length – Longer fibers create smoother, stronger thread.
  • Consistent sizing – Thread that is evenly spun without slubs or bumps.
  • Durability – Thread that resists breaking during sewing.
  • Colorfastness – Vibrant colors that don’t bleed or fade.

Well-known brands like *Coats & Clark, *Gutermann*, *Mettler*, and *Aurifil* produce exceptional polyester sewing threads that experts rely on. While cheaper bargain brands may seem appealing, the quality is often lacking. Investing just a few extra dollars in quality thread will reward you with smooth sewing and professional results.

Best Uses for Polyester Sewing Thread

Let’s look at some of the top uses for polyester thread and which weights work best.

All Purpose Sewing and Construction

For sewing garments, crafts, home decor items, and general mending jobs, a 50 wt polyester is perfect. It has the right blend of strength and flexibility without too much bulk. Heavier 40 wt polyester thread can also be used for basic sewing with a slightly thicker seam. Both provide excellent durability for withstanding regular wear and laundering.

Quilting and Piecing

Choose polyester thread in the 40 to 50 wt range for quilting, piecing quilts, and binding edges. This weight gives you a sturdy seam but won’t take away from the soft drape of the fabric. Cotton piecing thread is also popular, but polyester works beautifully for machine piecing and holds up well to repeated washing.


For hand or machine applique, try a fine 60 wt polyester thread that will nearly disappear against your fabric. A lighter weight creates a very subtle satin stitch or narrow whipstitch that won’t distract from the pretty appliqued design.


Polyester embroidery thread comes in 40 wt and 30 wt options. The 40 wt is an all purpose embroidery thread suitable for most machines. 30 wt has a high sheen and is ideal for dense, high-stitch count designs. Use the appropriate needle size and always match your bobbin thread to prevent density problems and breakage.

No matter what types of sewing you enjoy, polyester thread has you covered. Its versatility and reliability make it the ideal choice for all sewing and embroidery tasks.

Choosing the Right Polyester Thread Weight

Let’s take a closer look at how to select the ideal polyester thread weight for your fabric and sewing project:

Lightweight Polyester Thread (60wt-80wt)

  • Best for: Delicate, finely woven fabrics like batiste, chiffon, charmeuse.
  • Uses: Applique, garment construction, heirloom sewing.
  • Benefits: Nearly invisible stitches that won’t damage fragile fabrics.
  • Considerations: Can break more easily, not suitable for heavy projects.

Medium Weight Polyester Thread (40wt-50wt)

  • Best for: Most woven fabrics including quilting cottons, linens, broadcloth.
  • Uses: Piecing quilts, basic construction, topstitching, mending.
  • Benefits: Provides the right balance of strength and flexibility.
  • Considerations: May be too bulky for very lightweight fabrics.

Heavy Weight Polyester Thread (30wt-35wt)

  • Best for: Densely stitched embroidery, heavy fabrics like denim and canvas.
  • Uses: Fashion embroidery, machine embroidered monograms and motifs.
  • Benefits: Holds up to high stitch counts without shredding or breakage.
  • Considerations: Can be too thick for lightweight or delicate materials.

Think about the needs of your project, and select the polyester thread weight that will provide the right amount of durability without overwhelming the fabric. For most sewing tasks, a 40 or 50 weight thread hits the sweet spot.

Top Polyester Thread Brands

Now that you know what to look for in the best polyester sewing thread, here are some of the top brands worth considering for your next project:

1. Coats & Clark Dual Duty XP

  • Overview: This classic American thread company offers polyester thread that is strong, smooth, and resistant to tangling or fraying. Their Dual Duty XP line can be used for hand or machine sewing.
  • Best for: All purpose sewing, stitching everyday fabrics from lightweight cottons to sturdy denim. Available in every color you could need.
  • Weight/ply: 40 wt, 45 wt, 50 wt options with 125 yards per spool.
  • My experience: Coats & Clark is my go-to polyester thread for clothing, crafts, mending, and machine piecing. Great quality for the price.

2. Gütermann Sew-All Thread

  • Overview: Produced in Germany, Gütermann is trusted worldwide for exceptional thread. Their Sew-All polyester line offers unparalleled longevity and colorfastness.
  • Best for: Precision stitching and construction thanks to a durable thread with a smooth, lint-free finish. Suitable for delicate to heavy fabrics.
  • Weight/ply: Available in 30 wt to 100 wt, most commonly 40 wt and 50 wt weights. Up to 550 yards per spool.
  • My experience: This thread lives up to its name – it can sew just about anything with perfect stitch formation every time. Worth the extra cost.

3. Aurifil 50wt Cotton Mako Thread

  • Overview: Aurifil uses only extra-long staple Egyptian cotton for remarkable softness and strength. While not polyester, their 50wt Mako cotton thread is a top choice for quilting.
  • Best for: Quilt piecing and machine quilting. The premium cotton fiber is extremely durable and colorfast.
  • Weight/ply: 50 wt mercerized cotton with 220 yards per spool.
  • My experience: Piecing 60 degree triangles with Aurifil results in points that are sharp as can be. No breakage even at high speeds.

4. Isacord Polyester Embroidery Thread

  • Overview: This brand is revered by embroiderers for its vibrant colors, tensile strength, and silky finish. Isacord’s polyester embroidery thread resists fading and pilling.
  • Best for: Machine embroidery designs with bold thread colors. The 40 wt polyester works well in most machines.
  • Weight/ply: 40 wt with 1100 yards per spool. Also available in 30 wt and 35 wt.
  • My experience: Isacord’s ability to produce flawless satin stitches makes it well worth the price. The colors really pop!

5. Mettler Metrosene Polyester

  • Overview: Known for luxury fibers, Mettler’s Metrosene polyester thread has excellent seam strength and sheen. The smoothness helps prevent skipped stitches too.
  • Best for: High-end fashion sewing and tailoring where you want sharp stitching definition. Also great for topstitching.
  • Weight/ply: Offered from 60 wt to 30 wt. Most commonly used weights are 40 wt and 50 wt.
  • My experience: Metrosene makes gorgeous buttonholes and adds professional edge to any project. Excellent hand feel while still being durable.

With trusted brands like these producing top-notch polyester threads, you’re sure to find the right choice for impeccable stitching and long-lasting results.

Pros and Cons of Polyester Sewing Thread

To wrap up, let’s recap the key benefits and drawbacks of polyester thread:


  • Very durable and abrasion resistant
  • Maintains color vibrancy
  • Produces less lint than cotton thread
  • Has stretch and elasticity for knit fabrics
  • Wide range of weights and colors available
  • Resists shrinkage, twisting, and tangling
  • Affordable compared to silk or other specialty threads


  • Can melt under extremely high heat (rare)
  • Not as natural looking as cotton thread on some fabrics
  • Die-lots can vary slightly in shade from batch to batch
  • Some sensitive users may be irritated by synthetic polyester
  • Cheaper brands have quality control issues

For most sewing applications, high-quality polyester thread will serve you well. Taking the time to test stitches and match thread weights to fabric types helps maximize the benefits of this versatile thread fiber.


With the right polyester thread, you can sew just about anything with ease and professional results. Considering the thread’s weight, color, brand, and intended use allows you to select a polyester that’s optimized for your project. From machine piecing quilts to embroidering delicate linens, polyester can handle it all while delivering smooth, durable stitches.

Trust quality brands like Coats & Clark, Gutermann, and Mettler to provide the strength and reliability your sewing deserves.

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