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thick thread problems re backpack 0- tips?
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Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: coming together on 02/29/2012 14:49:58 MST Print View

Hi Harald

> Now if we can get Roger to get very specific on the rasant types/model / name.

> am familiar with the tensioner innards, it's quite simple system mechanically, pressure
> plate pushes against disk that creates tension. Uses a spring, so there is a chance the
> spring wears out over time and fails to fully tension,
It is also possible that a good strip, clean out the junk and oil might restore the proper operation. It is also possible that there is an internal adjustment on the mech which could be tweaked.


Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
thanks on 02/29/2012 15:28:44 MST Print View

Had just seen that other thread, thanks.

I don't think there's any real issue with the tensioner, it tensions as expected, the mechanism is very solid and durable, easy to take apart. It's just not meant for threads that thick and weaves as dense as the nylons/dimension polyant stuff I'm using. But all the nylons that are thick do it.

It took me a while to figure out why, but now I see it, it's obvious after visiting enough fabric stores. What upholstery thread is for sewing is upholstery, which is a very loose woven material. If I were sewing such materials with that sewing machine, there would be no problem with the tension, the knot would push aside the loose weave, and go where the tension tells it to go.

I wish I had a real lens on the camera, it's totally easy to see what's going on with my 10x magnifier, the needle hole is simply too small for the knot to pass through, makes no difference how much tension I add. Was educational learning how to dismantle and understand that part of the sewing machine, but it's a very simple mechanism overall, need to find a schematic to figure out the specifics but overall it's simple, tighten, plate tightens, more pressure. But kenmore was not designed to sew cordura or other dense type nylons using thick threads, that's all. Sews them fine with thin threads, can easily get through webbing plus 4 layers of wv21 for example with a 16 or 14 needle for example, but I doubt I can get an 18 to got through what will be in some points 6 layers, or 8 if I use grossgrain as well. Which rules out thick threads anyway, glad I stopped in time to avoid wasting all that neat fabric.

Once I can see the actual specifics of the heavy thread you mention sans specifics, then maybe I can actually compare and see for myself if I can find it, but I'm giving up on all these thick threads, I agree with the other posters here, they don't work for my machine and are better used by industrial machines that can deal with the large holes required.

I did come across a mention of guterman tera 40, on a hammock forum, listed as much stronger than the comparably thick mara 70/100 I think, but the same thickness/tex number, but when I searched for it, all references are euro, so it might not be sold in usa, or is sold under a different name/model id. Again, however, no mention there was made of what thread that actually is, ie, where to buy, how to specify, etc, so just some more names/definitions to figure out what they actually refer to.

Again, all the input is greatly appreciated, I realize that this is actually a spot where rtfm really does not work because there isn't one, and too often vague terms are used instead of specifics, which is odd given just how specific every other area of gear making is. Nor do the vast majority of outdoor fabric vendors help clarify, they simply provide no information at all to let you determine if what someone says in a thread like this actually is what they sell, one assumes but one can't know, it's easy for me to see how this confusion came about.

Edited by hhope on 02/29/2012 15:35:59 MST.

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: thick thread problems re backpack 0- tips? on 02/29/2012 23:11:11 MST Print View


Gutermann Mara 70 (Tex 40) avail here for $3.50 for a 765yd spool (as mentioned by R Wilks in the other thread):

And the Tera 60 (Tex 50): (From the hammock forum)

Edited by jhaura on 02/29/2012 23:13:07 MST.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
one more thing on sewing Heavy on 03/01/2012 14:24:54 MST Print View

thank you Harold.

one more thing to add to the group detail inventory.

the "day may come" when you do in fact needs something sewed very very very heavy.
you can do it by hand with boot thread or whatever.. but i had good luck just walking into a auto unholstering shop (it did not hurt i'd know the fellow over 30 years), and they sew VERY stout stuff each and every day.
Dino clamped my adjustable hipbelt mounting assembly ( carried over 100# on that thing ) into his machine, and in about 30 seconds it was BOMBER.

perhaps a shoe repair shop (which respond well to waving money in the air) would also be a good choice.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: thanks on 03/01/2012 15:31:54 MST Print View

Hi Harald

> What upholstery thread is for sewing, is upholstery, which is a very loose woven material.
That's a very good point, and you have put it very clearly.

> Was educational learning how to dismantle and understand that part of the sewing machine,
> but it's a very simple mechanism overall,
You probably now know more about sewing machines than 99% of the population. :-)


Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
some summary and info on 03/01/2012 17:24:09 MST Print View

More excellent information, thanks for everyone's time and input re this thread thread. Very nice to see a true experience based discussion, and to see what people have learned.

I have to give diygearsupply, listed above, a nod for actually giving all the information needed to know what the thread is you are buying. He's added navy blue recently, so that's what I'll pick up. Now if we can just nudge them into carrying standard gray... Looking through my batch of thicker threads, I realized a few things:

1. I had assumed the standard guterman you get in fabric stores, or listed as standard, what also I think quest outfitters sells as regular, was the same as the diy tex 40

but I believe if I am understanding this right that it's not.

For stronger seams, I'll try the Gutermann Tera Thread, tex 50
and see how thick that is.

I'll look for the rasant online and give that a whirl.

The thick guterman from questoutfitters, #2705 extra strong, is guterman M782

This thread is not as thick as the 30 meter extra heavy guterman thread fabric stores have (the kind with the green spool), but is still a little bit too thick to sew on a practical level with my machine.

owfinc doesn't list as clearly the type of guterman as diy, but I have bought this from them, and can confirm that their 'Gutermann 100% poly use on standard home machine, T-PG403' is also the mara 70, tex 40, same type as diy sells, I have bought from both, and the 765 yard spools have this information on them, unlike the fabric store stuff.

All nylon heavy upholstery threads, or heavy duty threads, are too heavy for this machine. Exactly as Roger noted, the Clark and Coates heavy duty is very fuzzy, my magnifier confirms this quite clearly and visibly. Although I like Naraen in Berkeley, it appears times have changed since he formed his preferences for the more rugged C&C he uses and sells.

The sewsall guterman from fabric stores is NOT the same as the tex 40 mara 70 guterman from dyi/owfinc:
100% Polyester Thread. 100 meters. Tex 30 (Tex is the weight in grams, of 1000m of thread)

And I have to admit, I cannot tell the tex 30 a 40 apart using a magnifier, but now have learned that I've been mixing the tex 30 and tex 40.

So I have a bunch of tex 30 guterman too, but that's fine for clothing.

Once I find a rasant source, I'll post links to that as well, and the mettler, which I think local fabric store may have, I'll check.

it's unclear if that's the standard mettler metrosene, another case of no information on the technical qualities of the thread, leaving it a gamble to buy it. One has to ask, what's up with some of these online vendors, they list the sq yd weight and denier of all the nylons, why no information on the threads in many cases? But kudos to diygearsupply for taking the time to actually provide the data, they are the only ones I've found so far that do.

So it sounds like it's fine to proceed with the guterman mara 70 tex 40, and I'll definitely try the tex 50 tera thread as well from diy and see how that sews. And then I supposed after I find the rasant, and discover that roger is in fact correct, I'll toss it all, heh heh...

I think this largely summarizes the information so far, unless I misunderstand something, which is quite likely since it feels like my brain is going to explode. Maybe I can return some of the threads now....

Roger, I know just what you are talking about, the joy of meeting a true expert in a field, an old timer, is always the same, you were lucky to score that, of course it wasn't luck, one of the things that gets these guys talking and sharing what they know is the fact of meeting someone who shares their life interest, but it's always a real learning opportunity, now I see why you had difficulty saying the type/brand, wholesale pro stuff is so vastly different I see now.

Edited by hhope on 03/01/2012 18:06:38 MST.