I receive with joy the newsletter from Bob at Superior Threads and today’s newletter had a couple Q&A of interest:
Education: Random Q & A
Q. Is black thread weaker than other colors?
A. Only if it has been over-dyed because the first color was mis-dyed. Some companies put all the mis-dyed colors in a reject bin and over-dye them black. The excess amount of dye in these over-dyed threads can cause the fibers to weaken. (note: Superior Threads are never over-dyed.)
Q. What is the Tex measurement?
A. Tex is one of five standards used for thread measurement and, like the other measurement standards, can be confusing. We expect all 40 wt. (or Tex 25) threads to all be identical but there are too many other factors involved. A 40 wt. cotton will not equal a 40 wt. poly. A fuzzy 40 wt. cotton thread will be much bulkier and appear heavier than a quality processed and nicely twisted 40 wt. cotton. Some companies label a #50/2-ply thread as a 50 wt. Others label a #50/3-ply thread as a 50 wt. Both are incorrect because the number (#) system is not the same as the wt. system. So what do we do? Don’t pay too much attention to the numbers, whether they be wt. or tex. Realize that the numbers may not be accurate and use them as ballpark guidelines only. Use your eyes and your hands to choose the right thread for each work. Fine thread to blend, and heavier thread to show.
Q. It seems that most cotton thread is now being advertised as Egyptian cotton. Did Egypt all of a sudden increase it’s cotton production capacity?
A. No. Sadly, Egyptian cotton has become the generic term for long staple cotton even if it is not from Egypt. Long staple cotton is MEDIUM grade cotton. The HIGHEST grade cotton is extra-long staple (ELS). Egyptian-grown ELS cotton is the best type for thread. Only 1% of all cotton grown throughout the world is Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton. In terms of cotton production volume, Egypt ranks number eleven among cotton producing countries, behind India, China, Pakistan, and Brazil, to name just a few. Although long staple cotton grown in other countries may be labeled Egyptian cotton, it is not from Egypt. I suggest ignoring the advertising and make your decision based on quality and usability. Superior Threads King Tut and MasterPiece really are made from Egyptian-grown extra-long staple cotton. The cotton is transported from Egypt to Japan, which is the only place that can spin, process, and dye to our specifications.
I love using Superior Threads’ products and I love even more their standards of excellence and their efforts to educate. If you have questions about threads they are an excellent source of information.
Thanks for being, Superior Threads!!!!