Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Is Lint Really the Issue

I finished using all five bobbins worth of Aurifil 50 wt thread and took the standard shots of the bobbin case and throat plate area.



Yeah, there was lint. Pretty much similar to the lint build up seen with the Curicini Tre Stelle thread. So I have decided that I better do another test with less expensive brand of thread I had been using, to see if there was really going to be that much difference.

So here is a pic after one bobbin of use.


Hmmm. Not a whole lot of difference between this and the Italian threads.

But then I was thinking . . . is lint really that big of deal or is it just the red herring of thread attributes? I mean so what if there is some lint -- after all what do you expect with cotton? Is the presence of lint going to make that much difference in the quality of the stitch or use of the machine? Yes, you do have to clean the lint out of the machine for the best continued performance, but that's just a part of maintenance.

So let's forget about the lint! Let's focus instead on the more important qualities of the thread - the appearance of the stitch, the way it is handled by the machine, and range of colors!

I thought that the Italians were pretty close in this comparison. The stitches were beautiful and the thread ran smoothly through the machine. I'll give the slight nod to Aurifil, though, on the stitch appearance -- the thread really did seem to just melt and become one with the fabric.

However, the difference between the Italians and the cheaper thread was quite marked. I could feel the ridge of the cheaper thread stitches on the surface of the fabric and the louder noise of the machine running with the cheaper thread was definitely noticeable. With the Italians, the machine just purred.

The end result -- I'm giving up using the cheaper thread! Yes, I am definitely on a limited budget but since I'm not using up billions of yards of thread per year, I feel that a thread that can make my sewing machine purr is worth it!

Both of the Italian thread companies offer an array of thread weights and materials, which I'll be comparing as I come to a project that can use them. I'm especially interested in trying the heavy weight cotton threads, as well as the wool and silk threads because those are the threads that a meant to be seen on the surface of the work.

So here's a toast to the Italians! They are as smooth and sweet as a Sauterne!


I'm still working on piecing quilt tops, so if I notice any other aspect of note about these threads, I'll be sure to mention it.

The next top is a Queen size and it will use a simple 3.5" x 12" block design that will appear as stripes of blues alternating with white. These are my blues.


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