Below are general thread/needle guidelines for bag making. The specific thread fiber (Poly or Nylon) and Tex size you use will depend on the density and thickness of the fabric you’re sewing with, along with personal preference. Additionally, the specific brand you select may also have a bearing as some industrial thread may be constructed differently (with or without a core) and/or be more/less heavily bonded than another. Industrial thread is typically “Bonded” (“treated/coated”) to withstand the speed and rigor of walking foot machines. This is as compared to a domestic thread which is left “soft”
For a non-walking foot industrial machine, typically a “Corespun” is better because the fiber plys are wrapped around a cord for additional strength (e.g. Spun-Poly). Lastly, Nylon is stronger than Poly, but Poly is more color fast. Some sewers prefer Poly because it feels less “wiry” than Nylon, but this may also depend on the brand. It is my experience you can use a thinner Nylon (versus Poly) for construction, which I personally prefer because a thinner Tex also allows you to use a smaller needle, which in turn makes small holes in your fabric. Click on Image or Download PDF for the document.
Download PDF: Thread/Needle/Bobbin Compatibility
My favorite bonded-industrial thread to use in my Juki 1541 Walking Foot machine is Amann which I buy from Sunny Sewing Machine. Color cards are below. (Please note that I can not account for the difference in monitor colors.)
I just love this thread. I've tried Superior's industrial threads and I find that in my walking foot machine it occasionally shreds, especially the Bonded Poly. My experience is that the Amann thread not only runs through my machine more smoothly, but it "cuts more cleanly" as compared to the Superior Industrial which doesn't thread thru the needle as easily. Perhaps the Amann is more heavily bonded, and that might account for it. So while I love Superior's quilting and domestic sewing threads, I've stopped using their industrial thread. I also find that some of Amann's colors are a bit reflective which makes them more flexible for working with different fabric colors. Whereas some other brands are more contrasted, so if you don't have just the right color they stick out. The one complaint I have with Amann, is that they are lacking a true teal (or greenish turquoise). But otherwise they have a comprehensive selection of colors.
For most sewing of seams with regular vinyl or upholstery fabrics, I use Amann's Bonded Nylon ("StrongBond") in T70 with a size #18 needle; and for topstitching when I want the thread to show a bit more prominently, I use Amann's Bonded Polyester ("SeraBond") in T90 with a size #19 needle. A lot of bag makers prefer the "softer and silkier feel" of poly. But I am partial to their Nylon. I also find their Nylon is NOT as wiry as other brands.
Below is information where I order my Amann thread from Sunny Sewing in Dallas, TX. I get no commission or anything for recommending them. I just find that they are great to deal with. You can order it online or call them.
Order Online (Thread WebSite)
Sunny Sewing Machines | 1-800-228 0001
Ask for Miss FiFi in threads.
Or you can email them at Sales@SunnySewingMachines.com
Main Website: http://www.sunnysewingmachine.com
Amann Color Cards
Click on the color card image below to download a full-sized PDF. I've also included some new colors recently added that are not on the color cards. Again I can't guarantee your monitor will show these colors accurately. But if you order a cone of thread from Sunny Sewing Machine the first time, you can ask for a color card.
Click on an image below to download full-sized PDF color card:
- Left Card: Bonded Nylon - called "StrongBond"
- Right Card: Bonded Polyester - called "SeraBond"
New Colors Not On The Card ("StrongBond")
- #3493 - looks a bit magenta in this image but it is a true pink (not to different than Superior's pink but a bit more saturated)
- #0097 - a muted rose-pink or sort of flesh-tone (similar to the Rose Zipper from MyHandMadeSpace)
- #5494 - a lavender (or lilac)....so pretty.
- #9890 - Rainbow
Happy artful sewing always,