The Difference Between Quilting and Embroidery Thread

The Difference Between Quilting and Embroidery Thread

Strength, weight, finish and sometimes content are the main ways Quilting thread and Embroidery thread differ. Below please find general guidelines of some basics.

STRENGTH- Quilting thread is stronger than embroidery thread as it is designed to hold your blocks together for generations to come. Embroidery thread is designed for surface embellishment. Embroidery thread does not have the same strength and is not designed for seaming.

WEIGHT- Embroidery thread is most commonly a 35 or 40-weight thread. Quilting thread can be the same weight as embroidery, but quilting is also divided into threads for piecing and threads for the top quilting. Many quilters like to use a 50-weight thinner thread for piecing. The thread itself does not add bulk into the seams, especially with paper piecing and complex blocks that have a lot of seams. The weight on the thread for top quilting can range depending on the Quilter’s preference, project and brand.

SHEEN AND FINISH- Embroidery threads often have a looser twist or less ply than quilting thread to allow the thread to have a great sheen. Finishes or finishing processes to improve sheen will be added in the manufacturing of embroidery thread, where quilting thread finishes and finishing processes are to make the thread stronger and with less lint.

CONTENT- Quilting thread is usually a natural fiber 100% cotton, but sometime can be a cotton covered polyester core, or a cotton look polyester. Embroidery thread tends to be most commonly rayon, but also polyester, silk and yes cotton.