What is Invisible Thread Used For? (Quilting, Sewing Machine)

Its not just for sewing. Invisible thread has been used by magicians for centuries to help them complete their magic acts. For sewers, it is a thread that can enhance their quilts helping them be stronger and look a lot better.

What is invisible thread used for? Invisible thread is another tool sewers can use to help make their sewing projects a lot better. Normally, invisible thread is used to help make quilts because it is impossible to find a thread color to match all the colors used in making quilts.

To find out all about invisible thread just continue to read our article. It goes in-depth to find all the information possible about invisible thread. Despite the myths invisible thread works well when called upon.

What is Invisible Sewing Thread


Invisible thread goes by several names. It can be called clear thread or monofilament thread. It gets these names because sometimes the thread is without color. Or it has a darkish gray color that helps camouflage it from view.

The thread can be found in some other colors as well and those colors help hide stitches. The trick to using invisible thread is to use a name brand. Don’t try to save a few pennies.

Those name brands should be YLI, Superior Threads, Sulky and Madeira. Anything else and you may end up with an inferior type of invisible thread that may ruin your sewing project by turning brown. Something this thread did about 40+ years ago.

You can iron food invisible thread on low heat. That should help avoid any melting issues that comes with using this thread type.

What is Invisible Thread Used For

One sewing area that invisible thread is used in is the topstitching method. This is the style where you can’t keep the thread from displaying all of its glory. You may not want that situation to take place, so opting for invisible thread is a wise move.

Another sewing spot where invisible thread comes in handy is when you are quilting. There are so many colors in a quilt that it is impossible to hide the thread and the stitches used.

Invisible thread lets you hide both and bring the focus to your finished product, its design and great craftsmanship. Unless you have used a very innovative stitch that has done a very good job of holding your quilt together, most people do not want to see the thread they use stick out like a sore thumb.

Invisible thread comes to the rescue and keeps people’s eyes on your results not your process.

What is Invisible Thread Made Of?


First off, there are not a lot of strands to invisible thread. That is why it is called monofilament with the term mono meaning one or single. You only need one strand of thread to make it invisible.

Most people usually use a clear nylon thread as their invisible thread. Nylon holds up very well and has lots of strength to it. Some people worry that high temperatures will melt the nylon but so far no real reports have surfaced to indicate that claim is true.

Of course, you can always use low heat when washing, drying or ironing clothing articles with nylon invisible thread to avoid that issue. Other people like to use polyester. This thread seems to handle high heat better than nylon.

Also, polyester is a strong thread that should hold up to daily wear and tear under normal conditions quite well.

Is Invisible Thread Strong?

This is a yes and no question. Yes, both nylon and polyester are quite strong threads to use. They hold up under a lot of extreme conditions quite well. Even when those threads are not used as invisible thread, nylon and polyester handle weather elements and come through like a champ.

But with that said, invisible thread is also very fragile in a sense and does break very easily. The reason for that is because if it didn’t break easily, the thread would cut your fabric like a hot knife going through butter.

The trick to using invisible thread is to find a good brand that has a soft and pliable feel to it. You also do not want it to yellow on you so choose the brand carefully. As long as the thread feels soft and pliable in your hands, it should cut down on the breaking issue immensely.

Can Invisible Thread be Ironed?


For the most part, yes invisible thread can be ironed. There is some concern that nylon may melt if it comes in contact with an iron but if you take the right steps, you should avoid that situation.

This issue is why some sewers prefer to use polyester invisible thread. Polyester seems to handle high heat better and can be ironed a lot more easily. If you use low heat on your iron, you can avoid any issues that may arise and keep your invisible thread in top shape.

Your use of invisible thread will depend on your preference. If you happen to be absent-minded and forget what type you used in your quilt, etc., you should keep your iron temperature on low at all times.

Just be careful when you iron as heat can do a little damage when you go too high on the temperature setting.

Does Invisible Thread Melt?

That is the myth many women and men hold to when they think of invisible thread. The myth got started many decades ago when nylon thread was first introduced to the sewing world. Back then the quality of the thread was not that good.

The inferior quality of the nylon thread yellowed broke and melted so it is not hard to see why many people still view nylon thread in that way. But times change as do production standards and the invisible threads of today do not melt.

In fact, the melting point of a monofilament thread is supposed to be higher than that of fabric. If your thread melts, your clothing item would be ruined as it would be very damaged by the heat.

What this means for everyone who sews is that you can iron, use hot water in your washing machine and higher heat in your dryer and your invisible thread should not melt or be ruined.

We say should as we cannot speak for those off brands that may continue the old tradition and use inferior nylon, etc. To make their invisible thread.

Can Invisible Thread be Used in a Sewing Machine?


Yes, it can but you would need to make a few adjustments so the thread runs through your machine a lot easier. The first thing you need to do is adjust your top tension. The reason you do this has been explained earlier.

Good invisible thread breaks very easily. If it didn’t, you would probably have a difficult time completing your sewing project. The thread would cut your fabric into pieces.

When you adjust the tension you want to make it a bit looser than normal. Then do some test stitches to see if the thread breaks, etc. It is going to be a trial by error as different sewing factors that come into play will have you loosening or tightening the tension till you get the right amount.

A little patience is called for when you use invisible thread in a sewing machine.

Can You Put Invisible Thread in The Bobbin?

It is possible to put the invisible thread in a bobbin. You should wind it slowly to make sure you have no difficulties later on. Not every person who sews has success with this procedure as it can be a bit touchy.

One key would be to loosen the bobbin tension a bit to make sure your project is not interrupted by continual breakage of the thread. Another option is for you to buy a separate bobbin case and dedicate that to your invisible thread.

This way you do not have to continually readjust your bobbin tension. The adjustment may slow your sewing down and make it a little more difficult and frustrating to do.

So take the right steps to ease the difficulty and frustration and spend the money on a new bobbin case. Some experienced people tend to avoid this altogether and just use regular thread in their bobbins.

How to Use Invisible Thread in Sewing Machine

We have already discussed key points when it comes to using invisible thread in your sewing machine. Following that information should make your use of that thread a lot easier.

The third key element in using invisible thread in your sewing machine lands on the needle. To be successful in using invisible thread in your machine, you should use the smallest needle possible.

If you find that needle is hard to thread, just use a marker and color the end of the invisible thread until you get it through the eye. You can always cut that mark off once you are successful in threading the needle.

To reduce snarls, make sure you lock the stitches at both the start and the end of your seams. Then be careful of your thread path. The invisible thread has a tendency to get tangled at the top of your machine.

If this takes place, use a safety pin and tape it to the side of your machine. Then re-route the thread through the safety pin while avoiding the built-in thread path on your sewing machine.

How do You Hide Thread When Sewing


When you are using invisible thread you actually have a couple of color choices available to you. A lot of people who sew use the clear invisible thread as it is very difficult to see on light-colored fabric.

But when you switch to darker colors, shaded or toned fabrics clear invisible thread may actually not be invisible. It will show up and ruin the look of your clothing item or quilt. The way around this problem is to use a smoked color invisible thread.

Some of the top brands make a nice smoke color that disappears when used on darker colors. Others just make a dark smokey color that looks like a solid color rather than a clear tint.

To find out which one works best for you, bring a sample of the color or colors you will be using in your sewing project to the thread store and place some invisible thread on it. See for yourself before you buy it.

What Needle do You Use for Invisible Thread

You may have a little choice in this area of sewing. Some top stitching needles would be okay to use. Or you can use the 70/10 or 65/9 microtex sharp needle. Some people who sew have had success with those sizes.

But the experts we checked have also said that you should use the smallest needle possible. The reason for that is that monofilament invisible thread does not relax when it goes through the holes left by the needle.

You have to remember that invisible thread is a very fine thread and only uses a single strand of fiber. That makes the thread very small and a bit inflexible when it comes to filling needle holes.

If your eyes are not that good, you can use a magnifying glass to make the needle eye larger and easier to see. Or color the thread end to make sure you can get the thread through the eye without hesitation.

How to Knot Invisible Thread

If you or your husband are good at tying fly fishing flies then you may have an easy time knotting invisible thread. Both procedures use nylon to create their knots. Here is one way to knot invisible thread:

First, take about 12 inches of thread and put it through the eye of the needle.

Second, hold the needle in your right hand while holding the thread in the other.

Third, create a loop in the middle of the thread and hold that loop in your left hand.

Fourth, curl the bottom of the thread into a second loop. This should go over the first loop automatically.

Finally, hook the end of the thread over the fold and pull the needle tight. This should create your knot.

There are a variety of methods you can use to knot your invisible thread. A little research may help you find one that is easier for you to do.

How to Use Invisible Thread for Quilting

The first thing you have to do when starting your quilting project is to decide which invisible thread you are going to use. Nylon is one choice but it can be a little more difficult to use as it is a little stiffer than polyester.

Once you made that choice, you will need to wind the bobbin if you are using your sewing machine. You should hand-wind it but do not pull the thread tight nor should you stretch the thread as you wind it.

Also, don’t forget to choose the right color for your quilt. That choice is between clear and smokey colors. You need the right color in order to hide your stitches throughout your quilt. Remember to take stock of all the colors you are going to put into your quilt and pick the color that works best.

Plus, you should use the smallest needle possible and the reason for that choice has already been explained. Finally, you may want to use a thread nest to make sure the invisible thread unwinds off the spool evenly.

Tips for Using Invisible Thread

Despite its value invisible thread suffers from some bad raps due to some unfavorable experiences or misunderstanding how to use this type of thread. Here are a few tips to make suing it better for you:

  • Put the invisible thread spool in the vertical position. This should work on all sewing machines.
  • Practice Practice Practice- you want to see how your machine handles invisible thread. The way to do that is to do practice runs on spare fabric to get a feel for how your sewing machine works with this thread.
  • The clear invisible thread may be the best of both invisible thread options even for dark colors.
  • The invisible thread will not ruin your sewing machine. How that rumor got started is anyone’s guess.

Some Final Words

Invisible thread can be a great help to you if you know how to use it right. It is a great thread style that helps enhance the look of your quilts or other sewing projects. What you need to do is forget about the myths you have heard and follow the right information to get the best results when using invisible thread.

This thread is okay to use in sewing machines as long as you make the right adjustments to the machine. There is nothing to be afraid of when turning to this thread to hide your stitching.

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