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Jeff Twerdun
(westcoasthiker) - MLife

Locale: Vancouver Island Canada
thread and needle size for Momentum 90 on 04/02/2012 21:16:23 MDT Print View

So, i finally got my order for Thru-Hiker today. It's not that Paul (AYCE) stalled on the order (was sent out the day ordered), it was the customs people.Anyway, when i opened the box, i was greeted by 15 yards of both Momentum 90MR and MomentumT(taffeta-liner). This is VERY nice material! It is a 20d, which is extremely light and wispy, but to my surprise, seems quite durable. Under these two items, was also 15 yards of Climashield 5oz. The Climashield grew and grew(had to use 2 industrial garbage bags end to end, just to contain it until i am ready to put it to good use. Now my question is this-what needle and thread sizes should i use for the Momentum? I obviously want to use the lightest(thinnest) needle possible, to avoid creating large puncture holes in the material. I have read on a few forums(this included) that gutterman(?) poly thread is very good. But what thickness?(topstitch, etc. etc.) I am going to make 2 quilts, one down, one synthetic, and was curious if i can use same needle thread combo for both quilts? Now the six million dollar question.....does Climashield NEED to be quilted?(stabilized more than just the outer edges?) How will this effect the stability in the future from stuffing multiple times? If i do quilt it, would i gain or lose anything?(possibe warmth from the quilting lines compressing the Climashield). I know that there are those of you that have done this before, but what was the result? Anywho, any info would be helpful! westcoasthiker Forgot to ask, what is the best method for cutting, and finishing the edge of the Momentum fabric?(Have heard,read that some people use the hot iron(?) soldering type(hot) knife. does this work well? Does it stink like i just lit a plastic garbage on fire in my home? I have a rotary cutter(olfa) and self healing mat. The hot knife(?) obviously would create a finished edge., but would it "open another can of worms",creating melted plastic all over my rumpus room? Do i need to do anything special to finish the rotary cut edge? westcoasthiker

Edited by westcoasthiker on 04/02/2012 21:54:27 MDT.

David Scheidt
(dscheidt) - F
Re: thread and needle size for Momentum 90 on 04/02/2012 21:49:35 MDT Print View

Of easily sourced threads, I'd use gutterman Mara 120 (tex 25). i don't know a candian source, but in the US it's availabe from cleaner's supply as 5000 meter put ups. With that you'd use a 70 or 75 needle (10 or 11, singer size). You might, at the low speeds typical of a domestic machine, get away with a 65/9. The smallest decent thread thread available in most fabric stores will be some high-quality serger thread, probably T-27 weight. Again, a 70 or 75 needle. (though I'd try a 65/9, and use the smallest that works properly.)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: thread and needle size for Momentum 90 on 04/03/2012 01:04:16 MDT Print View

Rasant 120 thread with a #60 needle. Nothing heavier or thicker.
Hot knife cutting on a bit of cheap MDF. Little smell.


Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Re: thread and needle size for Momentum 90 on 04/04/2012 18:07:40 MDT Print View

Can you make a hot knife out of an ordinary soldering iron? I mean, mine has replaceable tips- and they come in different shapes. One I have is a fine point, the other is more chisel shaped. I'm thinking I could grind the chisel shaped one kind of more flatter (yeah, I said more flatter) and use it to cut with? Does the material drag on the cutter when hot knife cutting or does it slide through neatly?

How does the ordinary Gutterman thread rate as far is it's thickness goes? At my Jo-Anne's they have the ordinary Gutterman thread, and the extra strong Gutterman thread which is much thicker. I've been using the thin stuff for most of my projects. I don't know exactly what it's called, but "sew-all" seems to come to mind...

Thank- and forgive the layman lack of thread knowledge.


Khader Ahmad
(337guanacos) - F

Locale: Pirineos, Sierra de la Demanda
thread on 04/04/2012 18:41:55 MDT Print View

DualDuty/koban 120 (corespun) or Astra 120 (bonded) are appropriate. They are both from "Coats" brand.

David Scheidt
(dscheidt) - F
Re: Re: Re: thread and needle size for Momentum 90 on 04/04/2012 19:32:04 MDT Print View

Don't feel bad about not knowing about thread. Most people don't, and dealing with retail stores, it's hard to find out what they're selling you. (And most industrial suppliers are happy to tell you what they're selling you in mind numbing detail, but they expect you to know what it means, or just take their advice.)

Gutterman sew-all is, I believe, a Tex-30 thread. It's fine for most uses. The reason to prefer lighter weight threads for things like quilts isn't so much weight[1], but you can use a smaller needle and make smaller holes. That means less chance of insulation leaking out, and smaller holes to seal if you're waterproofing. Smaller diameter threads are also somewhat cheaper to use (thread is sold by weight once you start buying it from people other than the local fabric store in small put ups, and the price per pound doesn't change much going down to a smaller size (or up, to a larger one)), and more of it fits on a bobbin, so you have to change that less often. (or, if you're me, fewer seams where you discovered you ran out of bobbin thread half way through, and just poked holes in your nice waterproof fabric for no good reason...)

It's important to match needle size to the thread size. Too big a thread in a small needle will shred when sewing, and can lead to other problems, like skipped stitches. Too small a thread in a big needle will mean you have bigger holes than you need, and can cause cutting of the fabric. American & Efird, who are one of the big industrial thread suppliers, publish a handy chart that shows technical details about their threads:
(I can not find the page that links to that document any longer, which had some details about it.) Most of the threads that get recommended around here are equivalent to the perma core or perma spun polyesters or Anecord nylon. You can usually get away with using a needle a size smaller than their recommendation if you sew slowly (and if you're using a domestic sewing machine, you're sewing slowly). If you're using a needle that's two sizes bigger than the minimum listed, (for instance, it what's required to sew through webbing or heavier goods) you probably should think about why you're not using a bigger thread. Gutterman used to publish similar data, but I couldn't find it the last time I looked. (There's a bizarre tendency in textiles to lock useful information up in ways that don't make sense, since the competition knows it all already.)

[1] The tex number is the weight of 1,000 m of thread, in grams.(That's not exact, because there are defined weight ranges for the sizes, but it's close enough.) Essentially all thread sizing systems (and there are too many to count) are by weight because it's harder to measure the diameter of thread, but easy to weigh it, and easy to measure how long that weight is. If you use a kilometer of thread, using a T-40 thread, instead of a T-24 thread will cost you 16 grams. (A kilometer of thread is a lot more than you'd use in nearly anything you'd make.)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: thread and needle size for Momentum 90 on 04/04/2012 21:09:48 MDT Print View

> Can you make a hot knife out of an ordinary soldering iron?
Yes, especially if it is temperature-controlled.

I have a Weller with replacable tips. I used the lowest temperature tip and set a bit of 1 mm copper shim into it. And I put a crude knife edge on the copper.
Use copper rather than anything else, for thermal conductivity.


David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Re: Re: thread and needle size for Momentum 90 on 04/05/2012 11:52:23 MDT Print View

Follow-up to Roger's comment: I make hot knife tips for my Weller iron from solid copper ground wire--maybe AWG #3-4--about 3/16" dia. or thereabouts. Easy to find in US hardware stores. Flatten one end into a blade shape and file sharp, screw the other end into the barrel of the iron. If the copper is the right size, the barrel will cut threads perfectly in the soft copper--no need for a cutting die.

Keep the blade length and shape short and stubby, both for strength and for heat retention.