What is "Thread" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 06-Apr-2023 (1 year, 16 days ago)
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Thread: The Invisible Artistry Behind Textile Masterpieces

The Fascinating World of Thread in Textile

Thread is an essential component in the textile industry, playing a critical role in the construction of fabrics, garments, and other textile products. This article provides an in-depth exploration of the meaning, types, handling tips, and profiles of top international users and manufacturers of thread.

The Definition and Significance of Thread

Thread refers to a slender, flexible strand composed of twisted fibers or filaments. It is used to join, decorate, and reinforce fabrics, serving as the fundamental building block in sewing, embroidery, and weaving processes. Thread selection impacts the strength, appearance, and durability of textile products, making it a crucial consideration for textile professionals.

A Brief History of Thread

The history of thread dates back thousands of years, with early civilizations employing natural materials like animal tendons, plant fibers, and sinew for sewing and weaving. The invention of the spinning wheel in the Middle Ages revolutionized thread production, allowing for the creation of finer and more consistent threads. The Industrial Revolution marked a significant turning point, with the introduction of mechanized spinning and thread manufacturing techniques. Today, thread production involves a combination of traditional craftsmanship and advanced machinery.

Types of Thread

There are various types of thread available, each with distinct characteristics and applications:

  1. Cotton Thread: Known for its strength, durability, and versatility, cotton thread is widely used in both apparel and home textiles. It is available in different weights and comes in a range of colors.
  2. Polyester Thread: Polyester thread offers excellent strength, resistance to chemicals and abrasion, and minimal shrinkage. It is commonly used in outdoor textiles, upholstery, and industrial applications.
  3. Nylon Thread: Nylon thread is valued for its high strength, elasticity, and resistance to mildew and insects. It finds applications in heavy-duty sewing, such as in leather goods and shoes.
  4. Silk Thread: Silk thread is known for its luxurious appearance, smoothness, and natural luster. It is commonly used in high-end garments, embroidery, and delicate fabrics.
  5. Rayon Thread: Rayon thread offers a soft and smooth texture, making it suitable for fine embroidery work. It has good color retention and drapes well.

Tips for Handling Thread

Proper handling of thread ensures optimal performance and longevity:

  • Storage Conditions: Store thread in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading, weakening, or moisture damage.
  • Thread Selection: Choose the appropriate thread type, weight, and color to complement the fabric and the sewing technique being used.
  • Tension and Needle Size: Adjust the sewing machine tension and needle size according to the thread thickness to avoid breakage or excessive stress on the fabric.
  • Bobbin Winding: Properly wind the thread onto bobbins, ensuring even tension and preventing tangling during sewing.
  • Thread Maintenance: Regularly clean the sewing machine to remove lint or debris that can affect thread performance.

Top International Users and Manufacturers of Thread

Several renowned international companies dominate the thread market:

  1. Gütermann: As one of the leading thread manufacturers, Gütermann offers a wide range of high-quality threads for various applications.
  2. Coats: Coats is a global supplier of threads, zips, and other textile products. They provide innovative thread solutions for industries ranging from fashion and footwear to automotive and medical.
  3. Mettler: Mettler is renowned for its premium-quality sewing threads, embroidery threads, and quilting threads. They offer a wide range of thread options designed to meet the needs of professional sewists.
  4. A&E: American & Efird (A&E) is a leading manufacturer of industrial and consumer sewing threads. They specialize in threads for various industries, including apparel, automotive, and home furnishings.
  5. Superior Threads: Superior Threads is known for its high-quality threads, including specialty threads for quilting, embroidery, and sewing. They offer an extensive range of colors and thread types.


Thread serves as the backbone of the textile industry, enabling the creation of beautiful and functional textile products. From its ancient origins to the modern era, thread has evolved and diversified, offering a wide range of options for different applications. Understanding the types of thread and following proper handling techniques are essential for achieving optimal results in sewing, embroidery, and textile manufacturing.

a) The result of twisting together, in one or more operations, two or more single, folded or cabled yarns (see under yarn).

b) A product as defined in (a) above and intended primarily for sewing purposes and known as a sewing thread.

c) A component of silk yarn, and that is the product of winding together, without twist, a number of baves (q.v.), e.g. a

3-thread silk yarn is the result of folding three such products together.


"1. The term "thread" is frequently used to describe single yarns."

"2. The term "thread" is also used in such expressions as "threads per unit length", irrespective of their nature."

Some other terms

Some more terms:

Robe 173
A robe is a loose-fitting outer garment of various types, including: A gown worn as part of the academic dress of faculty or students, especially for ceremonial occasions, such as a convocations or...
A closure or fastener used to secure bras, corsets, some shape wear and other garments. The fastener includes a small hook secured to one side of the garment that grasps a small loop (the eye)...
Popcorn 496
Popcorn is a type of textile weave that is characterized by small, raised bumps on the surface of the fabric. These bumps are created through a unique weaving technique that involves the use of...
A fabric produced by interlocking loops in a lengthwise direction. Warp knits tend to be flatter, smoother, more run resistant, and more stable than weft knits. Examples are tricot, raschel and...
Certain treatments to achieve a desired effect or performance, dry being those applied mechanically. Dry finishes are generally considered environmentally preferable and consumer friendly as they use...

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