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Editors On the Road — North Carolina

Apr 07, 2009
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A rainbow array of all purpose thread.

Escaping the office and the cold weather of Connecticut, Sr. Technical Editor, Judith Neukam, and I hopped a plane on Monday morning for Charlotte, North Carolina. Our plan–to meet with the fine folks at Coats & Clark to learn just what goes into making a spool of thread.

And, boy, did we get an education! We learned all about how cotton or polyester fibers are made into the beautiful thread you see on the store shelves, and trust me when I say there are many steps in between. We also got an overview of the amazing industrial threads made by Coats & Clark and the scoop on their latest thread addition, the Dual Duty XP, and so much more. The process of thread-making is amazing. But, we can’t give it all away now. Look for more to come in an upcoming article on the topic.

Tomorrow, we head into the North Carolina mountains to see the thread dyeing process first hand. The forecast: SNOW! But, being from New England, we can handle it. We’re so excited to see how the recipes for thread colors such as rubber duck yellow are achieved. Finally, on Wednesday we drive to Georgia to see how the thread gets on the spool. We can’t wait to see the intricate details of how our favorite notion (and namesake) is brought to life. 

Are you excited to see how thread is made? Are there any other notions, fabrics or industry processes you’d like to learn about? Let us know!

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  1. Faunccync December 6th

  2. Faunccync December 6th

  3. AffonnaLapLew December 5th

  4. Lausbugsguert November 30th

  5. speabeavabe November 27th

  6. AnnonsLet November 23rd

  7. stashmonster June 30th

    There was a time when I was very frustrated with the quality of C&C and started using other brands. But now I am back to C&C. I have noticed improvement in the quality of their threads and happy once again.

  8. Sarah451 April 23rd

    One thing I hope the article might address is thread lint and thread wear on the machine parts. I can't count how many times I've been told by my Viking Designer 1 dealer, her repair man, teachers and other sewers from all over the country that I should only use "good" thread because of the lint and wear caused by cheap thread. When I ask about specific brands, C&C is never recommended for use, which is annoying since it's the most readily available in this area. I can chalk some of the admonitions up to hype and sales pitches, but I've seen the pictures that were gathered here, and it's clear that there are differences. Personally, I don't see the C&C as being worse than the European brands, but it still gets a bad rap. Why is that? I wonder if C&C even knows that they have this reputation as being bad for use in everyday sewing on high-end machines.

  9. User avater Jessica K April 22nd

    I also love Coats & Clarks Dual Duty thread - I've used more of this thread over the years than any other type. I also love the fact that it's made in the USA, when so many of our jobs are vanishing overseas. Therefore I was quite disappointed to see the new spools of Dual Duty XP were made in Mexico, and the new all-cotton threads were made in Egypt.

    Does C&C still make thread in the USA? If they do, my favorite fabric store doesn't seem to carry it and I'd like to know where to get it (I'm in San Francisco). Thanks!

  10. User avater Deana April 22nd

    Thank you all for your comments! I'm so glad to hear you are interested in seeing how thread is made. It is a fascinating process and yes, we took lots of pictures! You won't be dissappointed.

  11. sewinginthemtns April 21st

    I live in the NC mountains and am very interested to hear about everything you learn about the thread-making process. I hope you took lots of pictures. I am also be interested in the historical aspect of the process and how it impacted the women of the time. Thank you for your wonderful magazine.

  12. thumbsx10 April 20th

    I confess I am a "how do they do that" addict, even before Mr. Rogers and "picture picture". Am looking forward to the article. Do they offer public tours?

  13. emprentiss April 20th

    please ghave your web designers look at the lack of contrast on your site. I have to copy the text into Word to be ablr to read it since the contrast is so poor. The green text on the pale green background is a perfect example of ther problem but your regular text is problematic, as well. Please check it on Bobby or Cynthia Says.

  14. ChrissieF April 20th

    I would love to see how embroidered fabric is made. Do they embroider the motifs one at a time or on a huge field with huge machines or what? I've never figured this out and I think it would be fascinating to see how it is done.

  15. sandyfeet April 20th

    Just yesterday I went through an entire drawer of thread, purging spools with nothing left, tidying the spools and arranging by color. It was then a surprise to myself that I decided that my favorite thread is Coats & Clark Dual Duty. It has never let me down. I even have an entire thread cabinet of another brand with about 160 spools, but I find the Dual Duty to be a better thread and will choose that brand first from now on. The article is very interesting and I'm looking forward to learning more

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