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If you’ve just opened your new Singer sewing machine and don’t know where to start with threads, this article will show you how to pick the best thread for a Singer sewing machine. The good news is, there are LOTS of good thread options that will work with your machine.
However, not all threads that you choose will give you the best results with the needle or fabric that you’re using. That’s where things can get tricky for beginners. Once you know some basic information, though, you’ll know exactly how to make the perfect selection!
In this post, I’ll discuss the types of thread available, and then I’ll give you the basics for picking what kind of thread to use for your Singer sewing machine.
Do you have to use Singer thread on a Singer sewing machine?
Thankfully, the answer to this question is NO! I have a few spools of Singer-branded thread I’ve picked up over the years that work great, but Singer just doesn’t have the color selection and fiber variety that other brands have. For that reason, I’m thankful I can use other brands.
What brands of thread work on a Singer sewing machine?
You can use most brands of thread, including Singer thread, on your Singer sewing machine. And, many different sewists will have many different preferences for their favorite thread brands!
My favorite brands that I have good success with are Coats and Clark and Gutermann. There are many other great brands, such as Sulky and the more budget-friendly ilauke thread from Amazon, for instance. I recently bought ilauke thread (top row on my thread stand above), and while it’s nice quality, it fuzzes more than some of the other big-name brands. That being said, it doesn’t break and it still makes a great stitch. (And, if you like my thread rack above, check out the 5 DIY thread organizers I have in my sewing room!)
Just make sure anything you buy is of good quality. I do not recommend the Hillary brand from Walmart, for instance. My Singer hates it!
What weights of thread work best?
Thread weight describes the thickness of your sewing thread. A smaller thread weight correlates with a thicker thread while a larger thread weight means a thinner thread.
When stitching lightweight, delicate fabrics, you want to choose a thin thread with a higher thread weight. When stitching thick fabrics, you want a thicker thread with a lower thread weight.
You also need to make sure you’ve changed your needle to correlate with the thread size and the fabric density. If you need help here, check out my guide for choosing a sewing machine needle (printable included!)
Best Thread for A Singer Sewing Machine
Since each sewing stitch is made of an upper and lower thread, I’ll start first with a thorough (but non-exhaustive) list of upper thread types. These are the threads that sit on your spool. These vary by characteristics such as thread weight, thread fiber material, and even method of construction.
When picking a sewing thread, check that it’s good-quality before threading it through your Singer machine. Visually inspect for minimal fuzz and imperfections and run the thread through your fingers to assess for smoothness. Give it a tug also to make sure it can withstand a decent amount of force. If the thread doesn’t meet these criteria, toss it!
1. 100% Cotton Thread
100% cotton thread is a fully natural thread that works great when sewing fabric composed of natural fibers. As such, it’s commonly used by quilters who stitch with quilting cotton and other sewists who work with natural fabrics.
Cotton thread comes in a variety of thicknesses and is durable, strong, and can withstand pressing at high heat. There is no stretch to cotton thread, though, so it’s not your ideal choice for fabrics with stretch fibers added in.
My favorite natural thread is Gutermann cotton sewing thread.
2. General All-Purpose Sewing Thread
When in doubt of the right thread to use, all-purpose sewing thread is going to be the best thread for your Singer sewing machine in most cases. Unless I’m sewing a quilt or doing a very specific project, I use Coats & Clark thread or Gutermann all-purpose thread. It depends on which color I need and where I decide to source the thread.
There are two main types of all-purpose thread: 100% polyester thread and then cotton-wrapped polyester, also known as blended thread.
- 100% polyester threads are great to use when sewing synthetic fabrics and fabric with stretch. Polyester has a small amount of stretch to it, so it’s also great for sewing seams. Furthermore, it’s less likely to shrink than cotton threads.
- Blended thread is made from a polyester core wrapped in cotton. Because it combines the best properties of its synthetic and natural fibers, it works well with both natural and synthetic fabrics. As the “best of both worlds,” this thread type can be used successfully for a very wide variety of projects!
Fun Specialty Threads that Work with a Singer Sewing Machine
If you want to try something new, here are a few fun, decorative threads that are compatible with your machine. Some of them are tricky to work with (especially metallics), so make sure you’ve read tutorials to find the best machine settings.
1. Machine Embroidery Thread
Machine embroidery thread comes in polyester, rayon, or cotton varieties and is known for its gorgeous sheen and luster. That’s why embroidered projects are so beautiful!
Embroidery machine thread works great in a sewing machine for decorative effects, but it shouldn’t be used for constructing seams, especially on high-stress areas. It just doesn’t have the strength of regular sewing thread. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my post on types of thread for machine embroidery.
2. Metallic Sewing Thread
While tricky to use at times, metallic sewing thread provides flair for projects when used for decorative stitching or topstitching.
If you have issues with metallic threads breaking, skipping, or slipping, try using a thread net and thread stand, and make sure you’re using a metallic or topstitching needle.
3. Variegated Thread
Variegated thread is more than one color! While I usually use variegated thread when embroidering, I recently made buttonholes for my husband using a variegated sewing thread, and it was a fun effect! These threads are also fun to use if you’re appliqueing or free-motion embroidering with your sewing machine. Sewing a simple straight line, though, will not show the variegation enough.
4. Invisible Thread
Clear invisible nylon thread can be helpful for basting, appliqueing, or sewing pieces of fabric together when you don’t want the seams to show.
My Singer sewing machine is very particular about invisible thread and doesn’t love many brands. I much prefer to hand-sew with invisible thread than untangle it like fishing wire on my sewing machine!
5. Quilting Thread
As its name suggests, quilting thread is tailored to hand or machine quilters. It’s generally heavier than all-purpose sewing thread and can have a wax coating to prevent breakage.
6. Heavy-Duty Threads
There are several types of thread that are perfect for sewing thick, heavy-weight fabrics. If you have a standard Singer sewing machine, take caution with stitching too frequently on thick fabrics. My heavy-duty Singer sewing machine performs MUCH better on thick fabrics than my standard Singer.
Two examples of threads that come in smaller weights (and are thus thicker, stronger threads) are upholstery thread and topstitching thread. Upholstery thread works great for outdoor projects and thick upholstery fabrics like canvas and Ottertex. And, topstitching thread gives a visible, decorative appearance on fabrics. I use gold topstitching thread, for instance, to make buttonholes and topstitch denim jeans.
Best Bobbin Thread For a Singer Sewing Machine
When sewing, you generally want to match the thread in your bobbin to the thread on your spool. This means the thread weight, fiber, and color will be the same for the top and bottom of the machine.
If you decide to use a different thread weight or type in the bobbin, make sure you stitch a test piece of fabric first. You may need to make some tension adjustments to get the best stitch quality.
Using Elastic Thread in the Bobbin
Used in the bobbin, elastic thread produces a fun shirred appearance on garments. I love to sew dresses for my daughters with this characteristic shirring in the bodice. Elastic thread comes in multiple colors and is fun to use in your Singer sewing machine!
What sizes of thread spools can you use?
If your machine has a small spool holder, the mega-sized thread cones are not going to be held securely. I love buying humongous thread cones because this is so economical for my white and black threads! To make using huge cones possible, all you need to do is purchase a thread stand to sit beside your sewing machine and hold the XL spool.
Where to Buy Threads for a Singer Sewing Machine
If you’re searching for threads locally, check out sewing shops, craft stores (JoAnn, Hobby Lobby, etc), and even big box stores like Walmart. Make sure you’re purchasing quality threads if you do choose an off-brand.
Purchasing online is another great option: Amazon, Joann, Sewingmachinesplus.com, and Wawak, for instance, have huge thread selections and often offer free shipping with a minimum purchase.