In honor of Aurifil USA’s 10th Anniversary (and of National Sewing Month) we are pleased to introduce a brand new brochure, chock full of helpful thread info accompanied by some stunning thread eye candy. <3 We thought the best way to present it, in all of its lovely glory, would be to launch a mini series, dedicated to a bit of thread education. So, settle in and turn your attention to our Creative Technical Creative Specialist, Kristi, for All About Aurifil!
Welcome to All About Aurifil! This is a series dedicated to teaching you about the different threads we offer and how best to use them.
One of the most common things that we hear at the various trade and consumer shows we attend is: “I thought Aurifil was on an orange spool!” Well, it is. But it’s also on red, grey, green, and wooden spools. And that’s just for our Cotton threads! Today we are going to talk about the thread that comes on both the red and the grey spools: 12wt & 28wt.
First, let’s get a little background on the thread in general. Aurifil is 100% Egyptian Cotton, grown in the Mako region of Egypt on the river Nile. When considering the quality of cotton, we can make the comparison to that of wine; different geographic areas offer different attributes to the raw material. Aurifil thread is “long staple”, which refers to the length of the fibers in the raw cotton boll. The length of the fibers determines the quality of the cotton.
Although the cotton is grown in Egypt, the thread itself is manufactured in our warehouse in Milano, Italy. In Italy, it will undergo 15 steps before being transformed into a spool of thread for you to use. We manufacture and produce four types of thread: wool/acrylic blend, polyester, monofilament, and six different weights of cotton. Let’s learn a little more about two of our lesser known weights now.
Our 12wt thread comes in all 270 colours, on a red spool. It is the heaviest weight thread that we offer and is perfect for hand applique, hand embroidery, hand quilting, cross stitch, embellishment, handmade lace, machine applique, blanket stitch, machine embroidery (especially for designs that use a longer stitch length), machine art quilting, Sashiko, redwork, lower looper serging, and longarm quilting. When using 12wt thread by machine, we recommend using a much thinner thread in the bobbin, like our 40wt. Your machine, seam ripper and sanity will thank you!
It is important to use the proper needle size with the thread weight you are using. In this case, it is best to use 100/16 or 90/14 Topstitch needle. Longarmers will want to use a 4.5 needle and 28wt in the bobbin and should quilt slowly, using a longer stitch and silicone conditioner where necessary.
12wt comes on three different sized spools: Large, Small and Cone. Our large spool holds 356 yards (or 325 meters), the small spool holds 54 yards (or 50 meters) and the cone has 1,914 yards (or 1,750 meters).
Our 28wt thread comes in all 270 colours, on a grey spool. It is the second heaviest weight thread that we offer and is perfect for double strand cross stitch, blanket stitch, hand applique, hand piecing, hand quilting, bobbin and machine lace, machine quilting, longarm quilting, machine embroidery and lower looper serging.
It is best to use a 90/14 Topstitch, Quilting or Denim needle when using this thread by machine. You should use either 40wt or 50wt in the bobbin for best results. Longarm quilters should use a size 4.0 needle and 40wt in the bobbin, and go a little slower than normal-especially when creating curves.
28wt comes in four spool or skein sizes: small, large, cone, and skein. A small spool of this weight has 109 yards (100 meters), a large spool has 820 yards (750 meters), a cone has 3,609 yards (3300 meters) and a skein has 87 yards (80 meters).
Some of our favorite designers have included these weights in their collections including Anna Maria Horner, Victoria Findley Wolfe, Sarah Fielke, Christopher Thompson, Carolyn Friedlander, Karen Miller, Mister Domestic, Kaye England, Annie Smith, and Sarah Maxwell.