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Conversational Threads

thread lint

suesew | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Is anyone else noticing the excessive lint produced by Guterman threads. I have to dust my machine every day and I can only imagine the gunk that is collecting inside. I never had this problem when I used Coats and Clarks or the Molynke threads.


  1. Elisabeth | | #1

    Thread must be going the way of so many things these days, lower quality for higher prices. The Gutterman doesn't seem as good as it used to be to me either. I still choose it over Coats and Clarks. I prefer Mettler/Metrosene these days, at least of the threads I find in stores that I can look at and bring my fabric to match. Mettler has some cotton threads that are really nice for sewing natural fiber fabrics. I had some spools of Molnlyke that was lovely but I haven't seen it for sale in ages. Where do you find it?

    One of these days I am going to branch out and try something different even though I resist buying colors and textures online. Or spend some time in quilting, embroidery, and heirloom sewing type stores to see what they are using that I might use for some garment sewing. Hmmm, I'm off to civilization today to do some shopping. Your question inspires me to check out some of these things.

  2. User avater
    fashionlizard | | #2

    Yes, I too have noticed that the current crop of Gutterman thread seems to produce a lot of lint. In fact, you are right about what might be happening on the inside of your machine! I have to open my bobbin assembly and give everything a thorough cleaning a lot more often when using that thread. I originally bought the thread because someone (who maybe had the older Gutterman stuff) told me it was way better than Coats and Clark. I haven't found that to be the case. They told me that it would tangle less than C&C when hand sewing, but that hasn't been my experience either. Just to be clear, I am comparing types of 100% cotton thread with each other.... not cotton wrapped polyester with 100% cotton. The Mettler brand thread seems to work well in my machine.
    Sulky rayon thread makes my machine very happy....and looks lovely, but I don't use it for structural things.

    1. poo | | #3

      Some Gutterman thread is made in Mexico, some in Germany, generally the stuff made in Mexico has been of a lower quality than the stuff made in Germany, but lately even the thread from Germany has been of poor quality. Its usually stamped on the top label where its made.
      I use only Metrosene.
      As for it twisting when hand sewing, this has a lot to do with the way the thread is twisted and which oend of the thread you knot. Next time you do some hand sewing, pay attention to which end of the thread you knot - the end you just took off the spool, or the end you cut off from the spool - then try reversing this and you will see a significant difference with the kinking of the thread when hand sewing.Also, and this depends on what you are doing with hand sewing, but waxing the thread seems to solve any difficulties with thread kinking up.
      hope this helps

      1. User avater
        fashionlizard | | #4

        I take the end that comes first off the spool and thread that through the needle. Then knot the end that is freshly cut from the spool after measuring the amount I want to use.
        During my hand sewing, I occasionally allow the needle to hang free to unwind any turns I might introduce during the sewing process. That being said, the Gutterman thread seems to tie itself into knots in spite of this, and much more often than other types of thread that I use with exactly the same techniques.
        I suspect that if they have gone to shorter staple fiber, perhaps they found that it needed much more twist to pass their tensile strength tests, and therefore it is a bit over-twisted for hand sewing. Although one can balance that property somewhat in the plying process, maybe they figure no one will notice when they use it in a machine and so don't bother. I have seen this property in other plied threads and yarns....including some I have spun myself!! LOL. In my experience, the only thing that holds fibers together in cotton is the twist, and shorter fibers need more twist than longer fibers for the same strength. That might lead to thread with a bit too much twist when not used under tension as it is in a machine.

        1. ixs | | #5

          Just a note about what I use for thread now..... when I went back to work from the farm, I had no office clothes, so I sewed them all!!! Now, with about 45+ years of sewing, I no longer work for a living, but I have learned a lot about thread. I followed David Page Coffin's advice from his book and made a blouse with embroidery thread. The choice worked out beautifully. I now use premium serger thread (less lint and more even thread diameter) from an independent quilting/sewing store for most of my sewing machine sewing and don't worry too much about matching threads exactly. I sometimes go out and "finger" expensive clothes to see how the industry does things, and don't "obsess" about matching thread if my sewn garment isn't a "work of art."Also use mostly size 10 Schmetz needles for my sewing now, too. Hope this helps; I also collect sewing books to sharpen my skills.

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