Thread Matters: 80wt for EPP

Our 80wt thread launched in the Fall of 2016. Specifically manufactured with hand appliqué in mind, it is a super thin, 2-ply thread that is strong, smooth, and simply perfect for detailed handwork. It is available in 88 gorgeous colors, making it easy to match your thread to your project.

image by Carolyn Friedlander

Prior to the launch, we sent the 80wt out to a slew of trusted makers and found that while many were using it for techniques like needle turn appliqué, others were experimenting with machine embroidery, EPP, and free motion quilting (see below and check out our launch post for more gorgeous examples!) The thread took on a whole new life and we’ve seen it grow and evolve ever since!


Today, we tackle English Paper Piecing (EPP). Kate Brennan, in our Chicago office, started using it in her EPP projects as soon as the thread launched and hasn’t looked back since. It took the place of her trusty 50wt, something that we’ve seen happen with more than a few creative makers out there! Kate was kind enough to share some of her experiences and has some great tips for how to use our 80wt in your own EPP projects.

EPP in progress by Aurifil Designer Jo Avery


Hey everyone! I’m so thrilled to be back for another installment of thread matters, this time to talk about one of my favorite techniques in partner with one of my new favorite threads: EPP & Aurifil 80wt. I love the way the 80wt melts into the fabric, hiding a multitude of sins! The thread is strong enough to hold your piece in place and thin enough to be practically invisible.

epp 1
One of Kate’s in-progress blocks



Why use 80wt over 50wt

  • It is strong and thin!  Whether you use a double strand or single strand, the 80 weight will hold your pieces together all while the stitches melt into the fabric!
  • Because the thread is so fine and your stitches don’t show, you will not need as many colors… a few strategically purchased neutrals will go a LONG way!
  • The small spool holds a LOT of thread in a convenient size for hand stitching on the go. Repurpose a small tin to hold a spool, a few needles, papers, and scraps — you will never mind waiting at the orthodontist’s office again! (The wooden spool is pretty cute too)

Tips for use 

  • Thread conditioner: Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t. I have found that it depends on the fabric that I am sewing with more than anything.  I mostly use a natural beeswax conditioner when I am working with really fine fabrics (such as silk) or vintage fabrics (more of a rough weave).  I find that I do not need to use a conditioner with most of today’s quilting cottons.
  • Needles: To take full advantage of the thinness of the thread, I use a size 10 or even 12 hand stitching needle.  I love that over time, my needle will develop a curve and becomes very responsive – allowing me to be precise with my stitch placement.  Using a larger needle will create a bigger hole in the fabric and negate the benefit of the super fine thread.
  • Length of pieces: This is often a matter of personal preference.  I have gotten into the habit of using shorter pieces because they are easier to manage.  The more often a piece of thread makes a stitch, the more it rubs against the eye of the needle and abrades against the fabric it is stitching.  It can become weak.  I find that I have fewer issues with shorter pieces, even though I have to stop and start more often, it is worth it in the long run! General rule of thumb is no more than an arm’s length or roughly 18″.

EPP resources

Good luck and by all means, have fun!! I know am totally hooked on EPP now and always have something with me for my daily commute (don’t worry, I take the train!)

We love keep an eye on what the Aurifil Designers & Artisans are up to and noticed that a few of them have switched over to 80wt for their EPP projects as well.


Last but not least… your moment of zen;). We could watch this fab little video by Kylie of Willow and Trout on repeat!!


So, if you haven’t yet tried out the 80wt, we would urge you to run, not walk, to your favorite local quilt shop to grab a spool. You won’t be disappointed!

Happy Stitching! SaveSave







  1. I have always loved Puffin birds
    Where can I get the pattern for these 2 beautiful birds??

  2. I added 80 wt to my go to threads a few months ago and find it is the perfect weight for adding multiple layers of embellishments. Great blog, thanks!

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