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What are the different types of threads?

What are the different types of threads?

27 March 2024

Thread Classification

Thread can be categorized in various ways. Typical classifications include:

  • Material
  • Structure
  • Construction

Thread classification based on Material

  • Natural Thread: The use of threads made from natural materials has significantly decreased in industrial applications. Yet, cotton thread remains the most widely used among the
  • Synthetic Thread: Owing to the constraints of natural fibers, users have shifted towards synthetic fibers for their threading needs. These synthetic threads boast outstandingly high tenacity, superior abrasion resistance, and robust chemical resistance. Furthermore, they remain largely unaffected by moisture, rot, mildew, insects, or bacteria, making them a preferable choice. Synthetic fibers are made from various chemicals or a combination of chemicals and natural products, like polyester, nylon, rayon, etc.

Thread classification based on thread structure

  • Spun thread: Spun thread refers to a type of thread or yarn made by twisting and binding short staple fibers together. These fibers can be from natural sources like cotton, wool, or flax, or synthetic ones like polyester or rayon. The spinning process involves drawing out and twisting the fibers to form a continuous thread or yarn.
  • Corespun thread: Corespun thread blends staple fibers and filaments. Typically, this thread employs a multi-ply construction, where each ply features a core of polyester filament encased in a wrap of either cotton or polyester fibers. This unique construction combines the robust strength of polyester filament with the excellent sewability offered by the cotton or polyester fiber wrap. Predominantly utilized in high-speed sewing operations, corespun thread is especially favored for garments that demand superior seam strength.
  • Filament thread: Filament threads exhibit greater strength compared to spun threads made from the same fiber and of identical thickness. The following are the main types of filaments:
    Monofilament thread, made from a single filament of synthetic material like polyester or nylon, is smoother and more uniform than spun thread, which is composed of twisted short fibers. However, its stiffness, limited flexibility, and coarse texture mean its use is typically limited to applications such as hems, draperies, and upholstered furniture.
    Multifilament thread is made from multiple continuous strands or filaments of material, usually synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, or rayon, twisted together to form a single thread. r. It is commonly used to sew shoes, leather garments, and industrial products.
  • Textured filament thread is a type of synthetic thread that has been processed to create a rough, irregular surface, unlike the smooth surface of standard filament threads. This texturing process adds bulk, elasticity, and a soft, natural feel to the thread, making it an excellent choice for cover stitches.

Thread classification based on thread Construction

Twists are important when it comes to tenacity values. Because twists highly influence tenacity in a positive way, meaning a high twist makes a strong yarn - which is true up to a certain point, as a twist too high on the other hand can make a yarn break.

  • Twist: Thread twist refers to the number of twists per unit length in a thread, which is typically measured in twists per inch (TPI) or twists per meter (TPM). It is a crucial aspect of thread construction that affects its strength, durability, elasticity, and even the final appearance of the fabric or garment.
  • Twist direction: Direction of twist is identified as ‘S’ for left twist and ‘Z’ for right twist. 
    • Most staple yarns utilize a Z-twist because this twist direction is more naturally achieved on traditional spinning machinery. In fabric production, such as in twills and denim, Z-twist yarns are often used to enhance the texture and durability of the fabric.
    • The S-twist is more commonly used in textiles that require a specific texture effect or special treatment. For example, in some knitwear and handwoven textiles, the S-twist helps achieve the desired appearance and feel.
  • Ply and Cord: Yarns are twisted together to form ply thread. Most commonly used are 2, 3 or 4 ply threads. Threads are twisted together to give corded thread. Most commonly used are 4, 6 or 9 cord threads.
    • ply: "Ply" in thread context means the number of yarns twisted together to form the final thread. Each yarn is a strand, and twisting strands together creates a ply thread. Ply influences the thread's strength, weight, thickness, and texture.
    • A cord is a type of thread that is made by twisting together two or more ply threads. This process enhances the thread's strength and thickness, making corded thread much stronger and more durable than single or even multi-ply threads.