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

DYK (Did You Know) – Gütermann Thread

D.Y.K. – Did You Know?

When  I present at a seminar or speak with a large group of people about sewing, there seem to always be questions about thread. What type of thread did I use, why did I choose this type of thread, or what type of thread is best for this project?
So, I thought that today’s post I would tell you about the thread I used on a recent project – the Super Stars quilt from the Strip Happy book by Donna Kinsey.

Below are close-up pictures of the stitching from the quilt:


This was done using my long-arm quilting machine, keep in mind that if you are using a long-arm quilting machine, you would probably want to purchase the larger spool size, as it will not need to be changed as often. There is also a smaller size available for regular sewing machines.
Take care when purchasing Gütermann threads, they also make thread for hand-sewing, which is NOT recommended for sewing machines.
The threads mentioned below are some of the threads made by Gütermann, and are the styles that I am most familiar with because they are carried in Hancock Fabrics stores.


  • Gütermann Natural Cotton Thread
    • A fine, yet strong, thread with a silky luster
    • Designed for those who prefer sewing with natural fibers
    • Can be used for hand or machine stitching
    • 100% Mercerized Cotton
    • Recommended needle for machine sewing: size 12 or 14.
    • Available in two lengths:
      • 100 meters (110 yards)
      • 800 meters (875 yards) – this length is great for quilters using long-arm machines
    • Available in over 100 shades


    Hand Quilt

  • Gütermann Hand Quilting Thread
    • A fine, yet strong, thread
    • Has a waxed finish giving it extra strength and to prevent tangling
    • Is suitable for hand sewing ONLY
    • 100% Cotton
    • Length 200 meters (220 yards)
    • Available in 22 popular colors



  • Gütermann Varigated Threads
    • 100% Cotton
    • Length 800 meters (875 yards)
    • Available in 10 popular colors
    • Great for quilters with long-arm machines
    • Can be used in any sewing application where the stitching will be a visual part of the project

Why should I use cotton thread in my quilting? – the cotton thread will move more easily with your cotton fabrics. Using a thread of the same material allows the stitches to stretch and shrink normally as the cotton fibers of the quilt do.

What is the best way to thread the needle? – With Gütermann threads it is advised that you cut the thread at an angle to thread your needles – never moisten the end of the thread.

How do I know I have the correct thread tension? – When looking at a finished line of stitching, you should not be able to see the loop between the upper and lower threads anywhere in your fabric. It should blend into the grain of the fabric naturally.

How can I prevent tangles? – If you are hand sewing, use Gütermann’s Hand Quilting thread. The waxed finish is designed to prevent tangles.

Is it important to pull the thread off of the spool in a particular direction? – because of the way the thread is spun onto the spool, Gütermann recommends if the spool is upright, the Gütermann name should be at the top. If it is laying horizontal, the Gütermann name should be to the right.

What are the washing instructions? – Can be washed in hot water (not over 200º F) and ironed with an iron on high – or as appropriate for your fabric. May be dry-cleaned using any solvent except Trichloroethylene.

What does Mercerized mean? – According to a standard dictionary: To treat (cotton thread) with sodium hydroxide so as to shrink the fiber and increase its color absorption and luster.
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing