by Gary Walker
One of the most common questions I am asked is … “What is the best sewing thread to use for regular sewing?” For me the answer is quite simple – “Rasant!”
Rasant is what we call a poly/cotton core-spun thread. In plain English this means it is a polyester core thread that is wrapped in cotton. It provides the strength and durability of polyester with the feel and sew-ability of cotton.
Polyester thread is much stronger and will outlast cotton thread. It offers far superior colour fastness and is generally cheaper to produce. With all these advantages it would be safe to assume that it is the best all round thread available – NOT SO!
Polyester has some ownsides when it comes to general sewing – it’s 100% synthetic, which means it is affected by heat and static electricity and that plays havoc on many sewing applications. For example, stitching on synthetic fabrics can create surprisingly high needle temperatures and generate high levels of static electricity which can often result in missed or slipped stitches because the thread loop that is meant to form under the needle plate, collapses. This can also lead to thread shredding. Also polyester generally has more stretch during stitch formation and of course after your complete the seam it can contract leaving you with a puckered result. This is particularly the case on sheer fabrics. If you are a keen sewer as well as an embroiderer, I’m sure you have experienced this kind of problem at some point.
100% Cotton Thread
100% cotton on the other hand is not affected by heat and static and it generally has little to no stretch. This means that it is very stable in regards to stitch formation but lacks tensile strength and long-term durably compared to polyester. It will also tend to deposit more lint than polyester – resulting in the need to clean your machine regularly (you should be doing this anyway). But your machine will love stitching with cotton.
So it makes perfect sense to use a high quality thread that combines the benefits of both fibres and for me, Rasant is the industry benchmark. In fact I was using Rasant and other famous poly/cotton corespun threads when completing my sewing machine mechanic apprenticeship some 30 years ago, as many of the machines and applications we had would not work on anything less than Rasant.
As our involvement with general sewing machines and supplies is growing rapidly, we will continue to offer only the best products available including the Rasant thread.