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how to stock serger thread?

myca99 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on


I am getting a serger this evening (yahoo!) and I’m wondering what the best approach to stocking serger thread is? Do you buy 4 matching cones for each project? Do you get by on a basic set of colors and blend? If so, what colors do you use?

I’d also appreciate recommendations on the best serger threads.



  1. Crazy K | | #1

    Congratulations!!  After you have used it for a short while you will wonder how in the world you managed without one!  Personally, I like Maxi-lock thread.  I tried some of the less expensive stuff once and ended up throwing 4 partial spools away.  It shredded and kept breaking.  I don't have trouble with Maxi............and I try to always buy when its on sale.

    I try to have 4 - 7 of each color (only because I'm picky and I have 4 sergers; one I have set for coverhem).  I use 4 matching for the project and then if I'm doing a coverhem, that takes 3 and I often am in a rush and don't want to switch thread back and forth.  I am spoiled.  I have the room and several cone racks to hold my thread.  That isn't practical for everyone I realize.  I think some folks blend colors and if the inner seams will never see the light of day when being worn, that works. 

    I hope I've helped and not confused...........I once heard the advice to use the best needles and thread you can afford.  That came from Sandra Betzina when she had her TV show...........and its good, sound advice.


  2. spicegirl | | #2

    Congratulations!  I started with neutrals and built from there.  I have found it best to have closed or covered storage for the thread not in use.   As for all threads, keep your serger thread from extreme temperatures and humidity and especially the sunlight.

    1. User avater
      blondie2sew | | #3

      Yeah Happy Serging!!I agree with starting with the basics neutrals...Cream, Taupe, Black, White, Navy to name a few!!As for the fun and interesting colors I have found a wonderful gadget that I have bought called an EZ Winder. So some of my specialty threads I like to use I only have to buy one cone which is less expensive..and I wind from that EZ Winder onto 3 other spools or just 2 others.. This was featured at one of my Sew Funs I attend at my local Dealer. I love it like I said it has helped out on not having to buy tons of cones for just that project. But the basic colors I usually buy all four or 5 cones!! I also store mine covered and out of the sun!! I didn't know that until a very long time so this is a great having this forum for us!!I too like Maxi Lock but I have also tried some regular specialty sewing threads too!! But that EZ Winder really comes in handy!!http://www.darrsewnotions.comBlondie

  3. User avater
    Becky-book | | #4

    Start with White and Black thread.  Do some simple projects first to get the feel of how your machine works.  Then add to your collection of thread colors as the NEED arises.  Light colors can be serged in white; darks with black.  Some projects can be completed with 3 threads.  Sometimes I use regular thread in the needle and cone thread for the 2 loopers.

    Happy serging,


  4. Crazy K | | #5

    Hi...I wrote to you about getting ALL of this thread.......but I failed to tell you that I started out with just a few basics (black, white, maybe a gray or tan) and built on my collection over time.  After I had my serger for a short while I started sewing LOTS of things and being the picky brat that I am, I wanted everything to match so I got colors that matched or at least blended with my project.  I still don't have every color but I have the basics plus enough of the various offshoots to go with most things.  I have found a website (they also have a printed catalog if you request) where you can buy Maxi-lock much cheaper than most retail stores.........it is Atlanta Thread Company here in the states.  They ship out quickly.  I believe their website is http://www.atlantathread.com   If that doesn't work you could Google the name.

    After reading some of the other comments, I realized how unrealistic my first post was......for someone just starting!!  Geeez Lueez.........didn't mean to sound that way!  Sorry


    1. fabricholic | | #14

      I want you to know that Geeez Lueez is my favorite saying. I found myself copying Frank on the tv show, Everybody Loves Raymond and it stuck.Marcy

  5. MaryinColorado | | #6

    I agree with the previouse answers.  I also use Maxi Lock cone thread, it doesn't seem to get the machine as fuzzy.  I got a plastic stand with two large drawers for thread and two small drawers for small books and supplies.  It fits under the serger table out of the way.  I highly recommend a set of vacuum attatchments, I got mine for $10.00 at the dealers.  Do not use canned air! 

    When I first got my serger, I knew I wanted to start with items for my grand daughter so my basics rather than neutrals were lt. pink, raspberry pink, and turquoise, five of each.  I thought, well, it has 5 threadholders so I need 5 each.  Wrong.  The number of thread cones needed depends on what stitch you are using and whether you will want to use other thread types sometimes.

    Then I waited for a sale, Joannes and Hancocks have them often on thread.  I got five black, four cream,  two navy for the needles for denim as I could use the black in the loopers without it showing for example with the overlock stitches for finishing seams.   

    I wouldn't buy every color at once, wait and see what your needs are.  Most people rarely use more than three or four threads.  For rolled hems your serger might use 2 or 3 threads only but they need to match as they all show.

    I had three large wall hung threadracks full, then I decided they were getting dusty and was concerned re fading in the sunny sewing room.  Now two of those racks are laying sideways in drawers so I can still make use of them.  another solution would be to make covers for the threadracks.

    1. Crazy K | | #7

      Hi Mary......if you do a cover hem, at least the two needle threads must match as they are on the top and show..........the third or chain thread doesn't matter as much.  I didn't do much of that until I got my Babylock Evolve........threading is a dream so changes aren't as stressful or time-consuming!

      I have my thread on cone racks which are hung on the wall but my sewing room in in the basement so sunlight isn't an issue there.  I use a dehumidifier in summer  (along with central air) and a humidifier in winter to maintain a fairly good balance.  Too much money sitting there with all that equipment!!

      Check out the Atlanta Thread sometime if you haven't..........the reg. price with them is good and they have ALL colors.  Stores often carry only a partial selection and it never fails.........you need a certain shade for a special project and they don't have it!  The 3,000 yd. cones are $2.50 but they often have specials.......


      1. zuwena | | #10

        I haven't done any serging so I am grateful for this discussion.  I have additional questions:  Does serger thread come in various types, e.g., polyester, cotton, silk, etc.?, Does the type of thread used matter in serging?  Would a person use one type over another for a particular project as is done in regular sewing?

        Thanks.  Z

        1. Crazy K | | #11

          I'm no expert on thread (or anything else for that matter!) but I believe serger thread for regular utility stitching is 100% polyester.  There are decorative threads that are used and for decorative stitching, all sorts of pretty threads can be used.......even heavier threads in the looper than you can use in the needle.  I haven't done any of that but I've seen things and they are beautiful.  Fabric/wearable art.....gorgeous.  Lots of creative folks out there!

    2. Crazy K | | #8

      me again........I just went to the website and they have a special going.......$1.99.  Not bad!

      1. myca99 | | #9

        Wow, what a great response! I've ordered fashion rulers from Atlanta Thread before, so I'll definitely look at their stock of Maxi-Lock. Thanks for all the tips!-Myca-

  6. Sunshine | | #12

    Congratulations on joining the serging world! I've been in it for a year now, and found that the techniques and finishes I use on garments make them look so much more professional-even if it's just the seam finishes!

    A suggestion on thread colors - if your serger has color coding for the various thread paths, get a cone to match each color. It doesn't have to be exact - any shade of blue is fine for the blue threading path, for instance.  That way, as you learn to see each stitch (loopers or needle), then you can see the changes in tension, width, length etc as you make them. I started that way, it and helped to make much more sense to me when I could see and trace the colors for each looper or needle.  Some days I still go back to this when I'm having difficulty getting the settings just right!

    Also, yoou can buy some really nice, colorful POLYESTER thread from various companies for serging. Brighter colors, more color choices, shiny finishes!  RAYON thread is used for embroidery, and doesn't work well for serging. It took me a while to learn that one!

    Good luck and have fun!!


    1. MaryinColorado | | #13

      I agree that Rayon thread is not strong enough for serged SEAMS, but I do love to use rayon, cotton, and many decorative threads for embellishment and for those beautiful rolled edges on the serger!  You can make pretty pintucks and flatlock for ribbon insertion using the serger with lightweight threads.

      1. fabricholic | | #15

        Mary, you are full of ideas. Flatlock for ribbon insertion is a great one.Marcy

        1. MaryinColorado | | #16

          I can't remember where I learned that one, either Sewing With Nancy on tv or one of my books.  It works well.  Mary

          1. fabricholic | | #17

            It sounds like something Nancy would do. I have a serger book of hers, but all I remember in it was decorative stitches, and I think flatlock was one of them. Thanks for that idea.Marcy

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