In the fashion world, just as we have both synthetic and natural fiber fabric, the various threads used by sewists are also made from these materials. Although most people don’t know, this is because these threads are designed to be suited for a specific fabric.
Cotton thread is designed to be used on cotton fabrics, and synthetic thread is used on synthetic materials because of their similar properties.
However, in this article, our emphasis is on the Cotton thread, a natural fiber filament that is made with 100% cotton and used widely on all kinds of sewing projects.
Most of the time, sewists just use this thread without an attempt to know about the composition, which is why it is common to see them ask questions like does cotton thread float on water? Interesting, isn’t it?
This is among one of the many questions treated in this article; read on for details.
What is cotton thread?
Cotton thread is a filament type made from spun cotton. This 100% cotton neither breaks nor stretches and is highly durable.
Sewists around the world use this thread for several clothing constructions as well as craft projects.
Do cotton threads float on water?
Yes, cotton float on water. The density of raw or pure cotton is lesser than water, which is why they will float on water.
This science is also applied to every other substance that has a lighter density than water.
Is cotton denser than water?
Yes, cotton is denser than water. Cotton is made from solid fiber that contains several tiny pores.
These pores trap in the air, which may cause the density of the fiber to be lower than that of water.
Is cotton thread stronger than polyester?
No, cotton thread is not better than polyester. Although cotton fabrics are made to be strong, their inability to stretch puts their usefulness to the test.
Unlike polyester, cotton threads break easily when they are used for sewing stretch fabrics, hence the reason why nylon or polyester is considered a better option: they are more versatile.
What’s more, you can easily find smaller sizes of polyester thread than you would find smaller sizes of cotton thread because even fine sizes of polyester thread, let as 100wt, are very much capable of retaining their strength as a cotton thread of the same size.
Why use cotton thread for quilting?
Cotton thread is a better option because most quilter uses cotton fabrics for their quilting work, so it is only ideal for them to use cotton threads because it is not stretchy. Therefore it will not cause your project to pucker, unlike when you use elastic thread like polyester.
Also, because the cotton thread has a non-reflective finish and unique texture, it can blend better into your quilting fabric.
Can cotton thread be used for beading?
Yes, you can use cotton thread for bead making. Although most bead or jewelry makers would prefer to use polyester and even many times, braided bead thread (synthetic) has been considered by many experts as the best thread for making jewelry or bead.
In the absence of this thread or any polyester thread, the Cotton thread will make a natural fiber thread for your beadwork.
Cotton thread will aid your beadwork because they are straightforward to grip, and also because they are naturally tightly woven, it will add some durability to your beadwork or jewelry making.
Should I use cotton thread for quilting?
Yes, you should use cotton thread for quilting.
So far, the cotton thread remains the best option to use for quilting. Asides from that, it will not lead to puckering; it is an ideal thread for your hand or machine quilting because it is smooth, strong, and makes beautiful stitches.
Does cotton thread shrink?
Yes, cotton thread will shrink.
When you are dealing with cotton fiber, whether it be thread or fabric, always remember that they are likely to shrink. Shrinking occurs to cotton fabrics or thread any time they are exposed to heat, so if shrinking is a major factor for you, then you should consider using a synthetic thread as they are less prone to shrinking.
Shrinking is not the only property commonly shared by cotton thread and fabric; just like the fabric, cotton thread is likely to fade when exposed to sunlight.
Does cotton thread dye?
Yes, cotton thread dye. Some of the reasons why you may overlook the shortcomings of using cotton thread are that it can be easily dyed. When your garment is losing its color, and you can dye them in may be a solid color, the color will blend well with the thread without any unevenness.
Does cotton thread deteriorate?
Yes, cotton thread deteriorates. Typically, when both polyester and cotton threads are exposed to sunlight, they fade, but the case of cotton thread may be a little different because the more they are exposed to UV light, the more they deteriorate.
So, when you expose your cotton thread to too much sun, it will not be losing only its color but also wear out.
Does cotton thread stretch?
Yes, cotton thread stretch. Well, I did say cotton thread stretch, but the stretchability of this thread is almost unnoticeable as they have low stretch. Therefore, they are likely to break easily.
How to tell if a thread is a cotton
The simplest way to know whether your thread is made of cotton is to cut some part of it and burn it.
If it is a bottom thread, the thread will burn to ashes, but if it is made of polyester, it will only melt down to a plasticky nub.