Now, I am a believer.
Scene 1: Phone conversation last week with a Charlene at Mel’s Sewing:
Me: I have a Halloween Emergency. My sewing machine isn’t working and I have a Halloween costume I have to finish!
Charlene: What seems to be the problem.
Me: The tension is all wacky and it’s making a clunking sound.
Charlene: Have you tried rethreading it?
Me: Yes! Like 10 times.
Charlene: Have you put in a new needle?
Me: Yes! Like 4 different ones.
(and now I am starting to get annoyed because she’s treating me like someone who started sewing yesterday instead of someone who has been sewing for over twenty years and actually has a degree which required me to sit at a sewing machine for countless hours during my college years)
Charlene: What kind of thread do you use?
Me: Coats & Clark
Her: (very disappointed) Oh.
Me: What? It’s not good? I thought I was doing great by not using the Dollar Bin thread.
Her: No, it’s really bad for your machine. Bring it in, we’ll see what we can do.
Me: Thanks (feeling appreciative but feeling defensive about my thread choice. It can’t be that bad, right?)
Scene 2: At Mel’s Sewing with Brian the sewing machine repair guy. He looks at the machine, cleans it up, blows it out and threads it with their “nice” thread. It sews perfectly. I talked to him about the whole thread thing with a hint of skepticism. But, once he makes me pull on my thread run through the bobbin case and then “good” thread run through the bobbin case, I was forever sold on the “good” stuff. The difference in tension and smoothness was undeniable and I could only imagine how this difference would translate into sewn stitches and wear and tear on my machine.
Cheap thread is fuzzy, causing lint to build up in your machine (you can see it in the picture above) & is made from lots of piece of thread joined together creating small but numerous bumps in the thread. These little bumps really do make a difference with the machine’s tension.
I picked up a few basic colors of their “good” thread which happened to be Mettler, but I’m sure any of the other “expensive” thread brands found at specialty sewing shops would be just as good, and will replace fashion colors as needed. I’m hoping my machine will thank me for it.
UPDATE: Just to give some credit to my college professors–I’m sure they passed on this golden nugget of information at some point in my education. It is likely I was chatting with my neighbor and didn’t hear it.