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Tips & Techniques > Silicone Spray

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Posted by: BrianSews
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Posted on: 6/29/09 10:24 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 23 people   
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This is an off the cuff sort of tip for those who get excited by the unconventional or finding new uses for everyday things.

I've heard of silicone thread lubricant before but usually it's in relation to keeping inexpensive thread on embroidery machines from breaking.

The circumstance:
I found some amazingly heavy duty #16 thread. Usually they sell #20 as "jeans thread" the #16 is like sewing with thick fuzzy rope. It pushes the limit of a 18/110 jeans needle. I've considered a 19/120 topstitch needle but haven't gotten around to ordering them yet. I use this thread in the bobbin and needle with tension set at the maximum for very tight stitches. There is no way this thread is going to break but it does create a lot of friction on the machine guides and needle eye.

The solution:
Heavy Duty Silicone -Multi-use Lubricant
It's not found in the sewing section, look in hardware or automotive. This 11oz can costs a couple bucks and claims to, "Stops Sticking, Binding, Squeaking on Nylon, Rubber, Wood, Metal, & Non-Metal Surfaces". Well that sounds just about right to me! I did a test spray on some thread to be sure it wasn't going to be oily or change the thread color, neither happened. It leaves a very light essence of silicone on the thread, is orderless and doesn't come off on your fingers at all. After my test I saturated the entire spool and left it outside to dry. This spray does have a strong chemical smell until it drys so outside seems best.

It's great! My thread now runs smoother, the needle gets a slight bit of lubricant and my stitch quality has improved. If you used an ounce, which seems like a lot, it would only cost around 25 cents per application. This is far less then the brands marketed specifically to sewers and from what I can this spray is a much lighter weight silicone.

There are multiple brands, I think the key is to get one that is a "dry" silicone not the "wet" variety and of course test it yourself to be sure it's what you want.


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8 Comments
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ryansmumAria said...
Thanks so much. I have a can of it and haven't used it yet and now I know how to. Wonderful review
6/29/09 8:12 PM
granny geek said...
my dealer advised that silicone thread treatment may not be good for my machine tension discs. Has that been a concern for you? I have a TOL Viking Diamond I paid $9k for and Im afraid to take a chance...what do you think? It would be nice to prevent the thread from fraying....especially metallics.
6/30/09 1:32 AM
kws said...
I like off beat solutions. Ths is good.
6/30/09 8:00 AM
wyolagal said...
Excellent idea, and very economical--thank you Rocketboy
6/30/09 8:06 AM
BrianSews said...
I think your dealer may be concerned with a silicone build up on the tension discs. The silicone that is sold for use on thread is much heavier and I've read that users will actually submerge and soak the spool or cone in the product. I can see how this could cause a build up. This product is much lighter. Either way the worse thing I can see happening is the need to clean your tension disks which is a easy enough process. It's always up to you to decide what rules might be bent and how often. To me the perceived threat of a dirty tension disk is not so scary since thread itself will cause the discs to gum up after a while. What if silicone treated thread actually cleans previous thread residue from the disks? The use on metallic thread sounds like a really great idea!
6/30/09 8:37 AM
fryman said...
Using DRY and LIGHT as a guide does seem to me that acceptable results can be expected. Thanks!
6/30/09 9:48 AM
katie lynne said...
This is so cool!!! THANKS, RocketBoy--you da man!
8/1/09 7:06 PM
Aloha Vintage said...
Awesome tip! thanks a million! I'm going to try this when i sew my next pair of jeans :)
8/11/09 1:28 PM
 
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