DYK – Coats & Clark Thread

DYK – Did You Know?

Coats & Clark Thread

It’s time to stitch together that all-important project. But wait! What type of thread will you use? What will give you the best look? Since many crafting/quilting/sewing stores have good-sized Coats & Clark thread displays – we will look at their new styles to see what will work best for each type of project.

Those of you who shop in Hancock Fabrics stores may have noticed a new display of Coats & Clark threads. What has changed from the old style? What new features can you look forward to?

  • A new thread – Dual Duty XP replaces the Dual Duty style
  • Dual Duty XP (X-tra Performance) has a polyester wrapped, core-spun construction. This creates a thread with an enhanced seam appearance.
  • Spools now have a smooth trap at each end to secure your thread – no need to hunt for the notch in the end to hold your thread, just wrap around the trap and you’re good to go.
  • Spools are now color-coded to match the thread type – this will make it easy to identify the type of thread you have picked up. The display tray has also been color coded to match the thread types.
  • New manufacturing process unique in the industry creates a thread that is both smooth and strong, reducing thread problems when sewing.
  • A color-conversion chart can be downloaded at this link (scroll to the bottom of the page that opens): Chart

Features that haven’t changed in this thread

  • Consistent tension used in the process of wrapping onto the spool – which means it unwraps consistently also.
  • A wide variety of colors, particularly for the Dual Duty XP threads.
  • 100% Cotton threads available in some styles.
  • A wide variety of thread types, allowing you to match the thread to the project instead of just the color.

Now, on to the types of thread, and what you can use them for…

Dual Duty XP All Purpose Thread – Art S900, S910, S930

  • Spools color-coded in white
  • Available in three sizes: 125 yds (114 m), 250 yds (229 m) & 500 yds (547 m)
  • 100% Polyester wrapped polyester
  • A medium weight thread, designed for most hand and machine sewing applications.
  • Colorfast, weather resistant
  • New colors include more fashion brights, ‘color tints’ which give you very pale tints of color (great for prom sewing), and the whimsical multicolor (great for any application where the thread becomes a focus in the project).

Coats Cotton All-Purpose Thread – Art S970

  • Spools color-coded in yellow
  • 225 yds (205 m)
  • 100% Mercerized Cotton
  • For all purpose sewing on natural fibers
  • Egyptian Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton

Dual Duty XP Fine – Art S940

  • Spools color-coded in purple/lilac
  • 225 yds (205 m)
  • 100% Polyester wrapped polyester
  • Fine, but strong to reduce breakage
  • Designed to reduce seam puckering in lightweight fabrics.
  • Ideal for machine embroidery, heirloom sewing, prom/bridal sewing, and microstipple quilting.

Dual Duty XP Heavy – Art 950

  • Spools color-coded in tan
  • 125 yds (114 m)
  • 100% Polyester wrapped polyester
  • Heavier, stronger thread
  • Great for bold topstitching, buttonholes, and cording
  • Recommend size 16 or 18 machine needle

Dual Duty Plus Button & Carpet Thread – Art S920

  • Spools color-coded in green/turquoise
  • 50 yds (45 m)
  • 74% Polyester, 26% Glace Finish Cotton
  • The strongest and heaviest of the hand sewing threads.
  • The perfect thread for sewing on buttons, tacking carpet, or for most craft hand sewing applications.

Coats Extra Strong Upholstery – Art S964

  • Spools color-coded in rust/brown
  • 150 yds (137 m)
  • 100% Nylon
  • Weather Resistant
  • For machine and hand sewing on upholstery, outdoor and heavy fabrics.

Coats Transparent – Art S995

  • Spools color-coded in red/rose
  • 400 yds (365 m)
  • 100% Polyester
  • Designed for true invisible stitching.
  • Can be used for many applications, including machine quilting, home décor and crafting.
  • Thread size – .004

Coats Metallic Embroidery – Art S990

  • Spools color-coded in gray
  • 125 yds (114 m)
  • 60% Nylon, 40% Polyester
  • Suitable for machine quilting, decorative stitching, and appliqué.
  • Idea for machine embroidery.
  • Can also be used for hand applications such as hand embroidery or cross stitch.

Coats Denim – Art S976

  • Spools color-coded in gold/yellow (see also Coats Jeans Topstitching)
  • 125 yds (114 m)
  • Denim color is heathered to blend into jeans
  • Strong thread
  • Designed for use in mending jeans

Coats Jeans Topstitching – Art S974

  • Spools color-coded in gold/yellow (see also Coats Denim)
  • 60 yds (54 m)
  • Gold Top-stitching color for the traditional and authentic bold top-stitching used on denim.

Dual Duty Plus Hand Quilting – Art S960

  • Spools color-coded in lime/green
  • 325 yds (297 m)
  • 66% Polyester, 32% Glacé Finish Cotton
  • Designed specifically for hand quilting applications.

Coats Cotton Hand Quilting – Art S980

  • Spools color-coded in pink
  • 350 yds (320 m)
  • 100% Glacé Finish Cotton
  • Designed for traditional hand quilters who prefer to work with cotton threads.
  • Great for use in repairing heirloom quilts.

Coats Cotton Machine Quilting – Art S975

  • Spools color-coded in light brown
  • 350 yds (320 m)
  • 100% Mercerized Cotton
  • Designed for machine piecing and quilting
  • Egyptian Extra Long Staple (ELS) Giza cotton for excellent sewing on natural fibers.

Coats Polyester Machine Embroidery – Art D75

  • 1110 yds (1000 m)
  • 100% Trilobal Polyester
  • 40 wt – compatible with digitized embroidery machines
  • Ideal for baby clothing, towels, outdoor and other frequently laundered embroidered items.
  • Color fast – even when washed in chlorine bleach
  • Excellent strength, high luster

Coats Metallic Machine Embroidery – Art D79

  • 600 yds (548 m)
  • 60% Nylon, 40% Coated Polyester
  • 40 wt – compatible with digitized embroidery machines
  • Has a coating of pure silver to provide a high shine
  • Can be machine washed and dried

Coats Polyester Bobbin Thread – Art D78

  • 1800 yds (1645 m)
  • 100% Polyester
  • Doesn’t add bulk to the project, providing a smooth backing for your design
  • Lint-free
  • Works well with polyester, rayon and metallic embroidery threads
  • Low stretch

What does a Glace finish mean? – this is a polished finish given to cotton threads to prevent tangling and thread abrasion (such as tearing of fiber as it goes through the needle)

What does Mercerized mean? – this is a chemical bath through which the thread passes several times under tension. It provides extra luster and strength to a cotton thread.

What is the best color thread for my project? – select a thread that is a shade darker than your fabric – it will appear lighter when sewn in. When sewing on a fabric with a pattern, the thread should match the dominant color if you want it to blend in.

What is the best type of thread for my project? – Consider how you will be stitching the fabric together – is this a hand sewing project, or are you working with a machine? Do you need it to be stronger for more vigorously used fabrics, or something fine for a lightweight fabric that might pucker? Are you quilting?

Some Tips for Machine Sewing

  • Keep your machine in good condition – a clean, oiled machine is always best
  • Wind the bobbin slowly and evenly
  • Change your needle often, every 2-3 projects. Or, if sewing a large project, every 6-8 hours of sewing time.
  • Sew at a steady pace – this will help your stitches remain even.

Some tips for Hand Sewing

  • Cut the thread, do not break it.
  • Keep the thread to a manageable length (20” is recommended) to reduce knots and tangling which will weaken the thread.
  • Sew loosely; do not draw thread too tightly.
  • If you find the thread twisting, take a break and let your needle hang free to untwist the thread.
  • To prevent twisting and tangling, pull the thread from the side – not the top – of the spool.

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

27 thoughts on “DYK – Coats & Clark Thread

  1. Melissa says:

    Thank you very much for the information on the new threads (and the new packaging of them). I have a question – do you know what weight the Coats Cotton All Purpose (Art S970) and Machine Quilting (Art S975) are? I have tried searching the web but found no answers. Thanks again! –Melissa


  2. sheilareinke says:

    I contacted Coats and Clark to get your answers. Both threads are 30 weight. However, how they are made is different. the Cotton All Purpose is made to be soft yet strong for piecing and sewing on cottons. The Machine Quilting thread is in higher yardage and is constructed with twist speifications for extra strenght which is needed for quilting. I have a long arm quilting machine and I have used their quilting thread and it worked great.
    Happy Quilting


  3. Mary Lou says:

    I like the new packaging for the thread, but the stores I shop at don’t have conversion charts and I have lots of the old spools and will eventually need to replace the colors. Is there a conversion chart I can copy somehow?
    Thanks, Mary Lou


  4. sheilareinke says:

    Mary Lou – Coats and Clark did make a conversion chart, and it can be downloaded at this link (the chart link is located at the bottom of the page, and will open as a PDF file). That link is below, and I will also insert it into the post – thanks for reminding me!


    Also, to help in determining a color match, Coats and Clark has kept the same names when the color was identical, they kept the same name even though the color might change. So 12A Freedom Blue is now 4880 Freedom Blue. Of course, dye lots being a potential problem, it’s always best to do a visual check of your thread against the fabric you will be using it with.


  5. Mari says:

    Thank you Sheila for this information. It is very helpful for me as I had no idea that there were so many sizes, weights and fabric of threads to choose from. I’ve always just sewed with what I had! Now that I am leanring that the threads do make a difference I know my sewing projects will turn out better!
    Have a wonderful day !
    Mari (Montana)


    • Heather says:

      Mary, we do not sell threads here at Heart of Sewing, however you should be able to find this at a sewing or craft store that carries Coats & Clark Threads. This link will take you to the page from the Coats & Clark website that will let you find stores in your area that carry their threads: Stores.
      If that is not an option in your area, you may want to consider one of the following: Create for Less, JoAnn, Quilting Warehouse. Please note Sheila is not affiliated with any of the sites given here – and has not used any to shop at.


  6. Koreen says:

    HI…Thanks for the great information….but I have a question. When I purchased my Viking sewing machine a year ago, I was told by the person who taught the class not to buy Coats and Clark thread as it is coated and will cause problems with sewing machines. What is the deal with this?


    • sheilareinke says:


      I have been using Coats and Clark thread for a very long time. They are the leading thread sold in fabric stores across the US. I don’t think you have to worry too much about their thread. I have never had trouble with any of my machines. Working in the fabric business for 21 years have I ever heard of anyone having trouble with their thread.


  7. Susan Whitling says:

    Dear Shiela,
    Thanks for the great information. I have been waiting for coats and clark to post a visual “color” chart. Their website says coming. I was wondering if there was another website that would have this visual color chart? Thanks.


  8. macie dailey says:

    I do a lot of sewing and make extra money doing alterations have been sewing for over 40 years and
    always use Coats & Clark thread to me nothing works
    as well with most frabrics. I think it’s so important to
    have dependable tools when you work no matter what
    the job. I ‘d like to know if Coats & Clark sell anywhere
    at a discounted price I buy at Walmart but they do not
    have some of the colors I sometimes need to complete a project. Thank you for such a GREAT


    • sheilareinke says:

      Coats and Clark do have a great product. I really don’t any place to get the thread at a discount. I usually buy my when Hancock’s or JoAnn’s have their notions at 1/2 price. I stock up than.
      Thanks for enjoying the blog.


  9. onandoff says:

    I thought it is interesting you suggest a darker color thread than fabric…if I can’t find a close color, I always go lighter–because the fabric will fade (esp. cottons) with washing, but the thread usually won’t.


    • sheilareinke says:

      I tend to use a darker thread rather than a lighter one because to my eyes the thread seems to appear lighter once it is sewn into the fabric. However, this is just my preference, and I always suggest using the thread that looks right to you – after all, it is your creation!


  10. Biaberipperce says:

    I have to say that sheilareinke.wordpress.com is a cool board!
    I spent a lot of time looking for a forum relevant to my hobbies.
    Fortunately, I found that website!


  11. Chris Fegles says:

    When I Googled for a C&C thread conversion chart – your blog came up!!! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! Today I’m heading back into town (a 50 mile round trip) to do more errands, but mostly to pick up thread to continue a project I want to keep going on.

    Yesterday a girl at the local Joanne Fabrics, wasn’t even aware that the new thread #’s didn’t match the old thread #’s. I was the one to mention that there might be a conversion chart on the internet and she seemed somewhat interested. Well today I’m taking a copy to the store and “nicely” suggest that they might want to laminate it & hang it by their thread as a great customer service! My husband & I want to come up with a class & offer it to businesses, called “No Customer Service”. What are they thinking???

    So I applaude you for what you are providing to the rest of us!!!!!!


  12. juslyKeerwesy says:

    I’ve been lurking here awhile before registering, trying to learn as much as I can. Places online like this have
    been a good distraction from the economy for me. I hope to contribute in the future


  13. Mare adair says:

    I don’t know if this site is still active, but do you know of a color conversion chart for Coats Trilobal Embroidery thead.


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