When you sew, you put two things together, namely fabric and yarn. It’s clear that high-quality patchwork fabrics are important to me, but what about yarn? Anyone who has ever sewn cheap no-name thread knows why I don’t use these. Patchwork is undoubtedly a passion that requires no small investment, but you really shouldn’t skimp on yarn. There are far more than one or two reasons for this…. Did you know? A sewing thread is a single spun thread, a sewing thread consists of threads twisted together.
What demands do we have on a sewing thread?
Sewing thread not only fulfills the technical purpose of “holding fabrics together” but is also an important aesthetic aspect, particularly in quilting and topstitching of pockets and zippers, where its color and thickness greatly influence the design. A sewing thread should therefore have these properties:
- It runs smoothly, cleanly and quickly through the sewing machine without tearing and produces even stitches
- The yarn thickness is optimal for the fabric, the rule is: the thicker the fabric, the stronger the yarn should be
- The sewing process should soil our machine as little as possible, i.e. the yarn should not “fluff”, which is important for an even upper thread tension
- With patchwork, we want to create seams that are as flat and unobtrusive as possible, which connect optimally to the fabric, which is why after sewing you first iron the seam (Setting the seam!) and only then the seam allowance apart or in one direction – the yarn should therefore Withstand heat, but also react to it, because this step relaxes the seam and works the yarn into the fabric again
- When quilting, we may want to set accents and often use thicker yarns in selected colors that give the quilt the desired design
- Our work, whether it’s a quilt, garment, cushion or table runner, should last as long as possible and withstand many washes – so the yarn must not become porous
- The yarn should be colourfast and not bleed
Yarn as a means of design
The design possibilities with yarn are endless. I would like to illustrate this here using two quilts: the quilt on the left is by Brigitte Heitland, who used the quilting here to vividly emphasize the focus fabrics or patchwork shapes. The stitching lines are the same color as the background fabric and create a three-dimensional structure, but do not add a color accent. In stark contrast, Cassandra Beaver quilted a pillow with yarns of different weights and colors. The yarn is in the foreground, the fabric – a panel – serves as a kind of support for the quilting. Yarn and fabric are equally important here. In both quilts, the criteria of yarn selection and quilting are extremely different, but crucial for the design.
Why did I choose Aurifil?
I am certainly not a textile engineer and cannot scientifically back my recommendation. But I have been sewing for almost 4 decades and have accordingly gained my own experience. This includes the fact that the thread quality is decisive for the sewing result. How annoyed I was about skipped stitches and snapping threads while sewing! When I switched from fashion to patchwork and started to artfully connect small pieces of fabric, I quickly realized that I had to devote myself to the topic of yarn again and tried out a few brands. I was very satisfied with Aurifil right from the start because it is made of cotton and is fine and tear-resistant at the same time. A polyester yarn is the current standard in fashion, but patchwork and quilting simply need a cotton yarn.
Worth knowing about Aurifil
- Who is Aurifil?
Aurifil is an Italian family company based in Milan that has perfected yarn production over decades due to the demands of the local fashion industry.
- What are Aurifil yarns made from?
Aurifil yarns are made from 100% Egyptian cotton, using only the precious long-staple fibers of the Mako region, which are key to quality. These fibers have a maximum of 5% of the total world market share and produce particularly fine cotton.
- How is Aurifil yarn made?
During the manufacturing process, the yarn is mercerized, i.e. swollen with caustic soda, which shortens the length of the fibers by around 25%. This process gives the yarn its silky, wash-resistant sheen, better color absorption and higher tear resistance. After that, the protruding fibers are flamed, making the yarn smooth. After dyeing, it is pulled through a paraffin bath so that it later runs optimally through the machine. However, the paraffin leaves no residue.
Aurifil is Oeko-Tex certified and works with the Plastic Banks initiative to offset the use of the plastic spools. You can find out more about this topic here: https://www.aurifil.com/sustainability
- What different yarns are there from Aurifil in Laridae?
Aurifil 50wt on the big orange spool with 1300m yardage --> Aurifil 50 wt
Aurifil 28wt on the large gray spool with a running length of 750 m --> Aurifil 28wt
Aurifil 12wt on the small red spool with a length of 50 m --> Aurifil 12 wt
- How do I find the beginning of the yarn?
Keep your hands off the scissors! Here’s a cool trick I show you in the video below.
- What do the labels on the spools mean?
Check the label under the spool for color, weight, and quantity information. The yarn weight for cotton yarns is given in the old English system “NE” (Number English) and describes how many meters of yarn weighs 1 gram. Therefore (if the number behind the slash is the same when comparing different yarns): the higher the number, the finer the yarn. The number after the slash indicates the number of strands that are twisted together, with Aurifil there are always two.
Why do we have three yarn counts in the shop?
Aurifil sewing threads are available in strengths 12, 28, 40, 50 and 80. In the shop we have 12, 28 and 50 because these three strengths cover a wonderful range of possibilities. 40 is very similar to the 50 and the application for the 80 is mostly missing. Here you can see the difference between the three strengths:
This yarn from Aurifil is the most versatile and popular cotton yarn on the well-known orange spool. It is strong and delicate at the same time and results in remarkably flat seams. It is wonderful for piecing (sewing pieces of fabric together in patchwork) but is also good for quilting, topstitching, foundation and English paper piecing, and hand and machine applique. In short: Aurifil 50wt is the all-rounder par excellence!
A strong sewing thread, this thread from Aurifil is wonderful for textured machine and hand quilting. The 28wt also looks great as topstitching, double strand cross stitch, long arm quilting and machine embroidery! Important to know: you only use Aurifil 28wt as upper thread and 50wt in the spool.
- 90/14 quilting needles
- 4.0 long arm needle (40wt in the spool)
Oh, my beloved Aurifil 12wt 🙂 This sewing thread is Aurifil’s strongest and is wonderful for accent hand quilting, sashiko, embroidery and lace making. Aurifil 12wt is not a classic sashiko yarn, but I personally love using it to embellish a quilt and give it a handmade touch. In the photo above you can even see that you can sew Aurifl 12wt with the machine, then with 50wt in the spool. Here it is important to note that you may not achieve optimal tension – I sewed the yarn with a 90/14 needle, a 100/16 needle allows the Aurifil 12wt to slide even more easily and may achieve less upper thread tension.
- 90/14 quilting needles
- 100/16 Universal
- 4.0 long arm needle (40wt in the spool)
What five reasons speak for Aurifil?
- Quality: if the yarn is of high quality, it corresponds to the time and joy you put into your work
- Value for money: in comparison, Aurifil is not at all more expensive than other brands
- Variety of colors: all yarns are available in 270 colors – we do not (yet) carry all colors, but we are constantly expanding our color palette
- Certified according to Oeko-Tex: this certification is not “organic”, but shows that Aurifil strives for minimum standards and is constantly improving quality
- Creativity: Aurifil works with many well-known designers to inspire us users. A look at the blog opens up countless possibilities!
Aurifil leaflet with application and needle recommendations
Aurifil color chart ATTENTION! Colors can never be displayed 100% correctly on monitors! Are you looking for a specific color to match one of our fabrics? Call me or write me a message, I’ll be happy to recommend a suitable shade.