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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Serger thread vs. SM thread? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Serger thread vs. SM thread?
HanPanda
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HanPanda
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Date: 4/29/12 11:24 AM

My friend just got a serger for Christmas last year. (Just?) Well, she had a lot going on and hasn't sewn much recently, and just moved about nine hours closer to me. So of course, now she will be sewing more!

We were talking about her serger recently. When she gets her sewing room set up, I am seriously going to learn how to use hers! (I have been debating whether or not I wanted to buy one...but if I use hers, I can always invest in other crafting materials I have been eyeing instead!)

My question is really about the thread. I know there is thread made specifically for sergers, but is that the only kind of thread you can use in sergers? When you're serging, do you need to match your thread to your garment? I feel like serger thread is a HUGE amount of thread, and for one garment, to get three or four spools of that...just seems like a lot to me. It also seems like serger thread is more limited in its color selection, at least at our local JoAnn.

((For reference, both Brandy and I use Gutermann polyester thread on all of our projects. Dunno if that makes a difference.)

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2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 93 yards
Sewn: 57 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

minggiddylooloo
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minggiddylooloo  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/29/12 11:40 AM

Serger thread is thinner than regular sewing machine thread. There are quite a few threads already on this topic that goes more into depth, but the basic difference is strength. Serger thread is made in lighter weights to keep the seam allowances from being too bulky.

They have a little device called a Bob n' Serge you can attach to your serger and use regular sewing thread on regular bobbins. Here's a link to Cleaner's Supply that sells the product. I also buy Maxi-lock spools (serger) from this company. They have the best prices around so it doesn't hurt the pocket books if you really want to buy all four cones of one color. NAYY, just a very satisfied customer.

In short, you can use regular SM thread on your serger, but I'd be very hesitant to use serger thread on a sewing machine because the seams will probably come apart *a lot* quickly.

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I'm finally a blogger!
sewming.blogspot.com

HanPanda
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HanPanda
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Date: 4/29/12 11:48 AM

I did a cursory glance through the threads, but I didn't see it....however, going back now, I finally found the search option. How I never noticed it before... -sigh-

Anyway, this is great to know. So the Bob n Serge thing is primarily so you only have to buy one cone and wind it onto bobbins? Or, I suppose if bulk isn't much a problem, you'd be able to use regular sewing machine thread.

I will definitely bookmark the site and send it along to Brandy. Thanks bunches, Ming! ^^

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2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 93 yards
Sewn: 57 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 4/29/12 12:03 PM

The loopers are the culprits when it comes to using up tons of thread, so that's the place to invest in cones (and also, I believe, where you'd switch to specialty threads like wooly nylon, etc). For the needles, regular thread works just fine.

When I first got my serger, it was pre-threaded with small spools of regular (probably cheap) thread in different colors. It was interesting to note which ran out first.

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~Gem in the prairie

Judy Kski
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Judy Kski  Friend of PR
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In reply to HanPanda <<


Date: 4/29/12 1:44 PM

I use Maxi Lock serger thread on my machine and I've had good luck with it. It's on sale for $1.59/spool (3,000 yds.) vice the normal $1.99/spool through April 30th at www.wawak (formerly Atlanta Thread & Supply Co.). They carry 76 colors in case you're interested in the lowest price you'll find.

Buy your neutral colors to start out, white, gray, and black. The initial cost can be hefty, but eventually it will become manageable.

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Judy

Fictionfan
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Fictionfan  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/29/12 1:50 PM

There is a notion called Bob 'n Serge that will save you lots of money on serger thred and save storage space. It holds up to 5 bobbins that you load with thread, so you don't have to have several cones to use your machine. Granted, serger thread isn't horribly expensive, but the need for 3 or 4 cones of every color you are using adds up quickly, and those cones hold a lot of thread. It takes a very long time to go through it when you are using 1 cone per spindle to serge.

I see that someone already mentioned the Bob 'n Serge.
Just to add: Gutterman makes serger thread, too. My serger doesn't like Maxi-Lock thread. I used to use Talon Sure Lock, but I can't find it anymore.
-- Edited on 4/29/12 1:54 PM --

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Fictionfan

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to HanPanda <<


Date: 4/29/12 1:55 PM

Serger thread is thinner and will not build up bulk like sewing thread may do.

Serger thread also comes on larger spools/cones so you are not likely to run out mid-project.

The color of the serger thread does not have to match, just blend.

Basic serger threads would be; white, black, gray, beige. Add colors as you feel the need.

You can wind your sewing thread onto bobbins, then use the bobbins instead of cones of thread, but they will quickly run out of thread.


-- Edited on 4/29/12 1:58 PM --

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I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Clareew
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Clareew  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/29/12 2:46 PM

If your (sorry your friend's) serger has colour coded runs for the threads, It is a good idea to experiment with threads matching the colour runs.

You can then study the resultant stitches and see wheat happens when you adjust the tensions. Note on the fabric, the tension settings as you see the stitches change with the colours matched to the machine.

I found this great and kept the swatches stapled into a little book.

I usually use ordinary sewing thread to match the garment in the needles and big thread spools in the loopers.

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Clare

Machines: Juki F600, Juki 654 serger, Bernina 550 for art work, Janome Coverpro 1000cp barely used
A Singer Featherweight Centennial and an old Necci in the loft waiting for TLC

http://art-by-clare.blogspot.co.uk/

sew2006
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sew2006
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In reply to HanPanda <<


Date: 4/29/12 4:05 PM

The nice thing about sergers is that they use the thread right off the spool no need to stop and wind a bobbin. The upper looper and lower looper are the ones that use more thread. For those I would purchase the serger thread cones. For the needle threads you can wind thread onto bobbins, especially Janome/Kenmore/Newer Brother Babylock as they hold more thread. My serger can use the bobbins in the needle even without the serger & bob. Also compare the cost of serger thread verses regular sewing thread. In my area a 100m Guterman costs $1.99, the 2500M is $3.99. You'll be the only one to see inside your clothes so how close you match thread color is upto you. It's easier to match light colors of threads and you can blend. A navy garment can be serged inside in black, off white is better than white--it glows under certain light.

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to HanPanda <<


Date: 4/29/12 6:44 PM

Well sewing thread is most times 40 to 50 weight, 3 ply's twisted together for strength, and so holds a seam together, in most garment areas , on most fabrics, under stress most times, just all other factors being equal. Regular more spun polyester Serger thread is not, and is also thinner so when you got lots more thread paths of it, all serged into a seam, it bends a bit more easy there and lies flatter, and takes up less room even structual jammed into that fabric. And lots of places it connects with each other, are not even in the center of that fabric but more loops off the edge of it, or if a chain stitch, the chain is not in the middle of the fabric either.

That said, some people have been known to use serger thread in a sewing machine instead, if they have no real garment construction kind of thread laying around, or not the right color, or just want a thinner thread sometimes. I think that often works out O.K., if there is not much stress on the seam, but I don't think I would want to make a pair of tightly fitted pants that way, and just do a single straight stitch seam, on the crotch of those pants with it. I would not trust it actually.

And no one is willing to buy every color of the rainbow of serger thread, just to match any and all colors of something they may be serging into either, so people do often just choose to use some 3 ply garment sewing thread there instead, if it is really going to show or they have it laying around. If you did that all of the time though, it would actually cost way more to do that, and your serged seams have thicker thread jammed into them, than using the cheaper by the foot or yard serger thread even. So maybe some stuff to think about.

I think most people use serger thread for the above reasons, but if not having a color they want, won't hesitate to use some garment sewing thread they just happen to already have, either most times.

I will use made for serger thread, and 3 ply garment sewing thread, sort of back and forth for seam construction in serger sometimes, but I prefer really the serger thread, for the above reasons. If I just happen to have it, or willing to buy it.

For decorative only purposes though, and not a construction seam at all, then more sky is the limit and whatever works is fine with me. That includes all my cotton, rayon, polyester more 2 ply kind of embroidery threads, and even other stuff like jeans top stitching thread, and even sometimes some heavier or less twisted threads that really can't even go through a sewing machine very well.

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