Embroidery Thread Vs Sewing Thread: A Complete Guide

  • By: joleenllorence
  • Date: May 29, 2023
  • Time to read: 11 min.

Thread is an essential element of both embroidery and sewing and plays a significant part in the overall performance of any project. But it is important to note that not all threads are made equal and selecting the correct thread could be a significant factor in the quality of the finished product and its appearance.

In this post, we’ll look at the differences between embroidery thread vs sewing thread. We will also provide the necessary information to pick the best thread to complete your project.

What Is an Embroidery Thread?

What Is an Embroidery Thread

A thread for embroidery is a specific kind of thread that is employed in embroidery machines for creating intricate patterns on fabrics. It is generally made of polyester, rayon, or cotton, and comes in a range of thicknesses and colors. The thread for embroidery is designed to be robust and resilient to break, allowing it to stand up to the fast embroidery machine’s stitching.

Thread for embroidery is also designed to offer outstanding coverage and shine, which makes it perfect for elaborate designs that demand a higher quality of detail. It comes in solid and variegated shades that allow the designer to create endless possibilities.

What Is Sewing Thread?

What Is Sewing Thread

A thread is a thick, long thread of yarn used to sew. There are many kinds of threads constructed out of a variety of different materials that are used for a variety of purposes. In the textile industry the term “sewing thread” refers specifically to a specific type of yarn made and designed to be passed through a sewing machine rapidly.

Different types of threads can be utilized for various types of sewing. Here are some general applications of threads:

  • Darning is the process of repairing teats, holes, and tears in fabrics and clothing
  • Sewing – creating a pattern like a dress, shirt, etc.
  • Embroidery – can be done using a variety of techniques for sewing, including needlepoint, cross-stitch whitework, blackwork shadow work, ribbon embroidery, and more. The threads also vary according to the style of embroidery.

As previously mentioned the sewing threads are constructed out of a range of different materials. Below are the most important kinds of threads:

Differentiates Between Embroidery Thread Vs Sewing Thread

Embroidery Thread Vs Sewing Thread

Although both embroidery thread vs sewing thread, as well as sewing thread, are utilized to stitch, there are a few important differences between embroidery thread vs sewing thread.

● Composition

Embroidery threads are usually made from polyester, rayon, or cotton, whereas sewing thread is composed of polyester, cotton, or a mixture of both.

● Strength

Threads for sewing must be strong and durable to work in high-speed sewing machines and ensure that the thread does not break or become damaged or caught in knots when sewing. If you are using sewing thread using your sewing machine, or manually it’s a fact that you require an appropriate pair of cutting tools or sharp knives to cut through the thread.

● Texture

The main feature of embroidery thread is its sheen which can be seen on all kinds of thread, but it may not be seen on the sewing thread in any way.

Sewing threads are primarily used for sewing purposes They must be sturdy and durable but don’t have a shine to them.

● Thickness

Embroidery yarn is generally less thick than sewing threads, which allows the creation of intricate patterns using great detail. Sewing thread, on the other hand, is generally thicker, allowing for greater coverage and the ability to hold up.

● Shine

Embroidery threads are specifically designed to offer a high amount of shine, making them ideal for making intricate designs that require a lot of detail. Sewing thread, on the contrary, is usually less shiny, which makes it ideal for a broader variety of projects.

● Material

Cotton is the primary fiber for making any type of sewing thread. And it can be utilized for any kind of fabric. That’s the reason it’s referred to as a thread that can be used for any purpose. Sewing thread can be made using other kinds of synthetic and natural fibers, however, they are all solid and durable.

Sewing thread vs embroidery thread is made of various fibers such as silk, cotton wool, rayon metallic materials, and similar materials. These give this thread its distinct appearance and texture.

Types of Embroidery Thread

Types of Embroidery Thread

There are many kinds of embroidery thread in the marketplace, all having distinct qualities and benefits. The most popular kinds of embroidery thread are:

● Rayon Thread

Rayon thread is a popular choice due to its shiny sheen, soft touch, and high tensile strength. It’s perfect for use in decorative stitching since it adds a dash of class and elegance to any type of design.

● Polyester Thread

Polyester thread is much more robust and resistant to abrasions than rayon thread which makes it an ideal option in machine embroidery. It’s also more colorfast than rayon thread, which means that it’s less likely to fade and even bleed in time.

● Metallic Thread

Metallic thread is created by blending metallic and polyester fibers. It is perfect for adding extra glitter and shines in embroidery patterns. However, it is more susceptible to breaking and requires extra attention when sewing.

● Cotton Thread

It is a favorite choice for hand-embroidered work, since it is gentle and simple to work with, and comes in a vast spectrum of colors. But, cotton thread isn’t as sturdy or long-lasting as polyester or rayon thread, and is more susceptible to break.

● Silk Thread

Silk Thread is frequently described as a high-end thread due to the exquisite texture it has. It is also an excellent thread to use for dyeing purposes, and won’t tear or break during the process of making. Additionally, when applied to high-end quality fabrics silk thread will emit a dazzling appeal.

● Perle Cotton Embroidery Floss

This embroidery thread vs regular thread is constructed of cotton and comes in a variety of sizes: 3, 5, 8, and 12. Its primary benefit is the fact that it can be used for intricate and intricate embroidery stitches that give them the appearance of rope.

● Sashiko Thread

As the name suggests, Sashiko thread is an embroidery material extensively employed in Japan for darn purposes. The threads made up of Sashiko threads are extremely strong and durable, as they are four times heavier than normal embroidery threads.

Does Embroidery Thread have the Same Quality as Sewing Thread?

Embroidery Thread Quality as Sewing Thread

Is embroidery thread the same as sewing thread? While both kinds of thread are made of the same materials, i.e. silk, cotton, polyester rayon, etc., and so on, they have some subtle differences between the two types of thread. The differences in each make the style of thread suitable for the task they’re intended for.

For instance, the standard thread is ideal for hems, seams, as well as other sewing places where the stitches need to be extremely durable and be able to withstand rough treatment. The reason for each thread is an aspect that you should consider.

But, you might not be able to make use of synthetic threads for embroidery in case you intend to dye your creation anytime soon. It’s a different matter altogether.

Also Read: Why Does My Thread Keep Breaking?

How to Embroider Using Sewing Thread?

Embroidery Using Sewing Thread

It isn’t necessary to use threads for embroidery. You can substitute that type of thread with a different type or regular thread. One possibility is regular cotton thread.

If you are replacing the thread it is necessary to adjust your sewing technique. The first change you’ll need to make is how thick the thread is. The normal thread can get a bit heavy and give you more coverage of the fabric than you do use embroidery thread.

In the second, you’ll have to slow the sewing speed down to ensure your stitches are just right. After that, you need to be watching the ply on the regular thread to ensure that the 2-ply is flatter than other numbers with higher ply numbers.

Thirdly, you’ll need to change the needle to ensure that the eye can take on the more hefty thread. Additionally, you must examine your tension in addition to making any changes needed in the event of an emergency.

Also, we wrote an article about using serger thread in place than sewing thread. The article could provide additional information that we have missed in this article.

The most important thing to consider when replacing your embroidery thread with regular thread is to determine whether you’re receiving too much coverage or not enough coverage. Most likely, the latter is the case, and you’ll need to modify your sewing method slightly to make up for the difference.

Which Thread for Embroidery is The Best?

Which Thread for Embroidery is The Best

Different brands offer items that are different in terms of quality. Certain brands have been around for a longer time and have plenty of expertise in producing top-quality threads. They have a lot of loyal customers due to a reason. The best brands for embroidery thread include:


DMC, which is made in France, is among the biggest textile companies. One of the most appealing features that this fabric has is the huge diversity of styles and colors. DMC has up to 489 different colors. The floss for embroidery has a beautiful sheen; they also have colorfast threads and the threads are made of 100 percent Egyptian cotton.


Although it isn’t as well-known within this country as it would be in the United States, Anchor is a globally renowned thread brand. It’s also available online for those who can’t get it in physical stores. As with DMC, it comes in an array of colors in addition, the yarns are constructed out of 100% Egyptian cotton which has been double-marketed.

J&P Coats

J&P is also a manufacturer of mercerized embroidery floss that is made from staple cotton. Their threads feature a silky, smooth finish which enhances the look of your designs. To make it easier to navigate the various thread options The Company offers a website with an informative chart of the advantages of various threads for embroidery.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Using Sewing Thread To Embroider?

Disadvantages Of Using Sewing Thread To Embroider

The drawback of regular thread sewing is they’re substantially heavier than embroidery threads. When you embroider using regular thread, you should use more strands for an appearance that is more refined and thicker.

Since normal threads don’t emerge flat on the fabric, like embroidery threads, overlapping could occur. When you triple or double the threads of a standard thread, you can create the appearance of embroidery threads on the fabric. Threads for embroidery are more flexible than regular threads, which makes them much easier to use. They come in sizes between 30 and 60, which is 40 as the standard size.

Are Embroidery Threads Denser than Regular Traders?

The thread for embroidery is thicker than regular thread. It comes in sizes that range between 30 and 60, which is the thinnest while 30 are the largest. Due to these dimensions, these threads are suitable to fulfill a wide range of needs.

Threads that are embroidered are, for instance, perfect for various sewing tasks, such as cross-stitching, black work needlework as well as ribbon embroidering. Regular sewing threads, on the contrary, are ideal for sewing in general. Due to the weight of these two types of thread, you must choose the correct needles. Additionally, the needles differ due to the different designs and eyes.

How to Do Embroidering Using Thread for Sewing?

Thread embroidery with sewing thread can be similar to embroidery thread. The only difference is that you use the sewing thread instead of the embroidery thread, and the remainder of the procedure remains the same.

Also Read: Can You Use Embroidery Thread For Sewing?

1- Double the Lengths of the Strands for Better Results.

Since the thread for sewing is delicate and thin and delicate, you may not see the results you expect from applying it to the fabric. Your design may look dull.

It’s the reason you should thread the needle’s eye using three or more layers of thread. When you embroider it will result in an intricate and stunning design.

2- Examine the kind of fabric

The kind of fabric that you are working on also has a significant impact. When the material is durable there’s no need to be concerned about anything. If the fabric is fragile and thin You should be careful not to use double or triple layers of thread as it can cause cracks in the fabric that can make your design unusable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Sewing Thread Have More Value Than A Thread For Embroidery?

If you’re embroidering an item, your first step is to purchase embroidery floss. It’s the most effective. The reason for this is that embroidery threads are made thin, soft, and durable to allow you to get a flawless pattern on your fabric. But if you can’t purchase an embroidery thread currently you could use the thread for sewing to make a substitute.

What Thread Should You Need To Embroider?

The amount of thread needed to finish your embroidery isn’t a cut-and-dried amount that you could always apply. The factors that affect the amount of thread used are: The size project has a larger surface area and will require a greater amount of thread than projects with smaller areas.

When Is The Best Time To Stitch With Sewing Thread?

It is possible to use a sewing thread for embroidery when you do not possess an appropriate thread for embroidery. It’s an excellent alternative that can yield extremely satisfactory results.u003cbru003eIf you do have an available embroidery thread, it is your best option for embroidery. The reason for this is that embroidery threads are strong and strong. They are also soft. They move in and out of clothes with ease and won’t break or fray often. This is why they’re the most suitable option for embroidery.

Is Sewing Thread Superior than The Thread For Embroidery?

Thread for embroidery VS Sewing thread Echidna Sewing. If you’re embroidering on a fabric, the priority is to purchase the right embroidery needle. It’s the best.u003cbru003eThe reason for this is that the threads used for embroidery are thin, flexible, and durable so that you can create a flawless image on fabric. But, if you aren’t able to access embroidery thread currently then you could use the thread sewing to make a substitute.

Do You Require The Special Thread To Embroider On Your Sewing Machines?

The dimensions and types of embroidery are major factors in the selection of thread. If you’re using an embroidery machine, it’s better to pick cotton thread since it won’t break easily. Wool threads are also suitable for this reason since they are more durable and stronger resilient than cotton.

Final Thoughts

Knowing and understanding this two-way embroidery thread vs sewing thread is the best way to use them properly. Utilizing them correctly doesn’t mean only making use of them for marketing purposes, but using them to serve the right reason and in the most efficient method.

Read More:

  1. Best Thread for Sewing Machines
  2. Why Is My Bobbin Thread Showing On Top?
  3. Best Sewing and Embroidery Machines You Can buy in 2023
  4. Best Embroidery Machines for Hats to Get in 2023

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