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Conversational Threads

Blending Colors of Serger Thread

spicegirl | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Does anyone else do this?  I have many times.  

Serger thread comes in limited colors and not always close to matching many fabric colors.  I buy general purpose thread that matches the fabric and use it in the general construction of the garment.  Then, to clean finish the seams I use two spools of “close enough” colors in serger thread and the spool and bobbin (or buy two spools and use instead of the bobbin) of the general purpose thread.  The general purpose thread goes in the upper looper and the left-handed needle.  The serger thread goes in the lower looper and the right-handed needle. 

Sew a test first to see if the tension needs to be loosened at bit for the general purpose thread. 


  1. Cherrypops | | #1

    Thank You, Thank You!.

    I agree with everything you have said. I do this also. You write clearer explanations than I. (I need to work on my writing skills).

    The new serger sewers will benefit from your words.

    :) CherryP


  2. dotty | | #2

    I can't seem to get the tension right when I use regular thread in my serger.I'd love to be able to use up those old spools of threads.

    1. MaryinColorado | | #3

      Usually loosening the tension 1-2 notches does the trick as the sewing thread is heavier.  Also there is a gizmo that will hold thread horizontally that may help, I use it with the rayon embroidery threads as they like to drop like a waterfall off the spool.  Hope this helps.  Mary

    2. Betakin | | #4

      If you want to use up your regular thread spools, I suggest to use this thread in the needles. You might want to use only your serger thread cones in the loopers because the loopers use more thread and they use it very quickly and a spool would empty very fast and maybe in the middle of a project.

      1. dotty | | #6

        I'll try again with the needle thread. There's something about the way it unwinds off a regular spool on the loopers that just screws things up. I've also tried the gutmans cylindrical spools to no avail. Weight of thread had not occured to me, but I do remember having fiddeled lots with the tension.

        1. User avater
          Becky-book | | #7

          My serger came with several little flat discs that snap onto the top of a regular spool to keep the thread from getting caught on any rough edges.


        2. spicegirl | | #8


          I am not sure what type of spools, other than Gutermann,  that you are using,  but if the spools have a notch on one end to lock the thread for storage, Coats & Clarks for example, put the notched end at the bottom so the thread does not catch as it unwinds during the sewing process, and use the flat round discs/caps that usually come with the machine.  If the thread is coming off too fast and puddles, try using a thread sock (tube of plastic mesh than you cut to the size according to the height of the spool it will be used on).  Your manual should show how to use the caps and thread socks.

          Also, I have had success in using bobbins.

          1. dotty | | #9

            Thanks- I tried all that stuff when the serger was new to me. Maybe now that I'm used to it and less frustrated its time to try again.

          2. Ralphetta | | #10

            It's weird, but I've found that sometimes if I put a regular spool on TOP of another spool, so that it threads at about the same height as the cone thread, and then thread it as usual, it doesn't tangle as often.  I have absolutely no idea why, but it often makes the difference.

          3. spicegirl | | #13

            Dotty - try re-threading the entire mechanism with serger thread to see if the problem is something other than the general purpose thread. 

            Re-threading works for me when the serger goes nuts!

          4. dotty | | #14

            Rethreading! Been there done that. Machine works fine with regular cones of serger thread. Its the odds and ends that cheapie me tries to use up that get me into difficulties. I like the idea of placing one spool on top of another. The height sounds like it might help.

          5. Betakin | | #15

            You can even use more than one thread at a time in the loopers, along with yarns, pearl cottons and ribbon floss. If you have any problems with feeding some of the yarns, they can be put into a paper cup behind your serger then threaded through. If you have an extra thread stand you can put a cone or several spools of thread at a time on that stand and then thread the serger. This will use up extra thread and sewing in several colors at a time can give a nice look.

          6. dotty | | #16

            oh that sounds like fun.

          7. MaryinColorado | | #17

            I have a gizmo that attatches to the spool holder.  It holds 5 bobbins at once that can feed through the serger.  Bob 'n Serge is it's name.

          8. Cherrypops | | #18

            Yes I have that "bob'nserge" too. It is a wonderful little extra. Cherrypops

        3. MaryinColorado | | #11

          There is a product called "deelybobs" that may help.  I have seen them maybe at http://www.nancysnotions.com or clotildes.  Mary

          1. spicegirl | | #12

            Seems like there are gadgets for just about everything!  I could use a couple clones to get caught up on projects and maybe one just to grocery shop and clean the bathrooms.

             I am ready to suggest that dotty try re-threading the entire mechanism with serger thread to see if the problem is something other than the general purpose thread.  Re-threading works for me when the serger goes nuts!

    3. spicegirl | | #5

      Mary and Betakin have said it best.  I have used general purpose thread in the upper and lower loopers.  Adjust your tension and always test sew a sample of the fabric.  As Betakin reminds you, there is less thread on the spools of general purpose thread and it may be a little heavier. 

      Edited 3/15/2007 2:05 pm ET by spicegirl

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