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Is Gutterman thread necessary?
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Daniel Russell

Locale: Creation
Is Gutterman thread necessary? on 12/17/2012 00:59:12 MST Print View

Is Gutterman thread necessary?
Does anyone know what makes Gutterman thread better than any other brand? I just ran out of a spool of 100% poly lightweight Gutterman thread that I bought from Quest. I need some thread tomorrow and my local stores don't carry Gutterman.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
No on 12/17/2012 01:22:59 MST Print View

It is a quality thread and all synthetic which is strong and doesn't rot. The weight of the thread is good for home machines and the low stretch of polyester makes it easier to
use in home machines.

Nylon works well too, but the stretch may be hard to compensate for with the tension settings on home machines.

Heavy cotton/polyester blends work too, but the lighter ones are not strong enough.

Something in the 4 to 7 lbs breaking strength is very nice.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Is Gutterman thread necessary? on 12/17/2012 08:04:21 MST Print View

My local fabric store carries Gutterman which makes it convenient

Maybe check other stores in your area to see if anyone carries it

Jordo _99
(jordo_99) - MLife

Locale: Nebraska
I like Guterman but. if you want to try something else... on 12/17/2012 09:46:20 MST Print View

Rasant or Metrosene might be worth looking into.

I still think Guterman is better for the price and how easily it can be found though.

I haven't used Rasant before but I'm using Metrosene now and it seems pretty good.

Daniel Russell

Locale: Creation
Found some! on 12/17/2012 10:46:08 MST Print View

A member over at hammock forums found a shop 30 minutes from home that carried Gutterman. Worth the drive.
Thanks for the help guys!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Is Gutterman thread necessary? on 12/17/2012 14:41:17 MST Print View

Um .... not sure I would have asked the question that way. I rather think I would have asked whether I couldn't find something better than Gutermann.

Gutermann is OK for making clothing out of a moderately heavy fabric like Taslan or Supplex. It comes in lots of colours which can match your fabric. But it is a basic consumer-grade thread, nothing special at all.

OK, it is infinitely better than any straight cotton thread, which you should never use for outdoors gear. And it is better than overlocker thread, which you should never use on anything other than an overlocker (if that).

Metrosene is a bit better than Gutermann, I think. And it comes in a range of colours.

If you want a high performance thread for making UL gear, then you should look seriously at Amann Rasant thread, about 120 weight for UL fabrics including silnylon. For seams which are critical you can go to a slightly havier Rasant - I use Rasant 75 on critical tent seams.

EDIT: Rasant 75, not 70. My mistake!

Edited by rcaffin on 12/25/2012 21:25:23 MST.

Daniel Russell

Locale: Creation
Thread on 12/17/2012 15:42:22 MST Print View

Thanks Roger. Your insight is always appreciated.... and sometimes makes my head hurt. Not this time though! :D

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
sewing thread on 12/17/2012 18:35:28 MST Print View

I spent a lot of time on the net and phone trying to get some of the Rasant thread.
All I got was a few false promises and kicks in the teeth from that company's US offices, and a lot of wasted time.

I think it is the same company that makes Isocord, which IS generally available here in the NE USA. The Isocord is quite a bit heavier (although not as much as the heavier Guttermann), and I am having my thread tensioners and springs worked on by a shop right now to see if the Isocord can be used on a pack - it's really more than I would feel necessary for a tent. For that, I think the Mettler Metrosene Plus is much better. Noticeably stronger than the lighter Guttermann, and easier to sew with.

I think the Guttermann is so popular because it allows a better mark-up for the retailers, not because it is any better then the usual Coats offerings at the mall fabric stores.

Like you, I much prefer the cotton covered to the polyester covered polyester thread, as it sews both thicker and thinner materials more readily. Used the cotton covered polyester DMC, a medium weight thread somewhere between light and heavy Guttermann; but it is now discontinued. Have enough left for some packs, though.

If anyone does know of a reliable retail source of the Rasant 120 and 70, in different colors, here in the US, I would very much appreciate your sharing it. Thanks.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: sewing thread on 12/18/2012 02:21:25 MST Print View

Hi Sam

Yes, I gather that the Amann company is not sure whether there is enough of a market in the USA to bother - which I find AMAZING! They do have a good office in Australia.

You can buy Rasant thread from Australia via eBay (but strangely not via Amazon).


Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
fabric store gutterman on 12/18/2012 13:07:48 MST Print View

Also be aware that the gutterman stuff you see in the fabric stores is exactly what roger says, only good for clothing. The gutterman that sells is much stronger, and they list the grade and type. Their heavy duty gutterman is very tough and thick but sews well on a standard machine.

While gutterman may not be as good as the not easily attainable (or totally non, which makes it an interesting in theory only suggestion) in the usa rasant, it''s pretty darned good. I have a fine collection of other threads that it is not just slightly better than, but hugely. It doesn't act weird when sewing, it's consistent, it's strong.

The tera is STRONG, as others have pointed out re these discussions in the past, show me a pack that fails with this stuff (in my context of trying to get the stronger nylons for strap connections etc), and after some tests, I agree, this stuff will not break if properly sewn. He's had more colors in the past, I stock up when he has them.

So if we forget rasant, unless they become easily available here (hint hint cottage gear supply dudes / dudettes), and assume roger is correct that metrocene is better than gutterman, that places gutterman as a fine top option, but NOT the gutterman stuff in the fabric stores, that's very thin and very lightweight, also those 110 yard rolls don't last long enough to warrant the price when for only $2 more you can get 500-700 yd rolls from or owfinc, which has the same stuff, but they don't list the mara/tex data the way diygearsupply does so you have to hope it's the same, at least that's how it was, so I suggest buying from diygear because he takes the time to list the relevant data on the site.

At some point I'll check the metrocene as well since roger knows his textile tech.

The above is what I found while wasting a big pile of cash on trying a variety of threads, my conclusion was to not buy gutterman in fabric stores unless for thin stuff that is used on lightweight applications like clothing or stuff sacks or whatever. Avoid the thick nylon threads, I found them too hard if not impossible to sew, and the gutterman tera is plenty strong for any application you guys will ever come across. The rolls are so cheap just buy each thickness and see which works best for your needs, if you get one of each he has it will cost you 20 bucks plus shipping, which is way less than I wasted experimenting on fabric store threads.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: fabric store gutterman on 12/18/2012 13:57:11 MST Print View

> Avoid the thick nylon threads, I found them too hard if not impossible to sew,
You may need a heavier sewing machine to handle the bonded nylons. I use an old black Singer, which is fantastic. That lets me sew pack fabrics and webbing, in layers.

Funny stuff, sewing thread. Turned out to be far more technical than I had assumed at the start!


Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
heh on 12/18/2012 14:31:27 MST Print View

>Funny stuff, sewing thread. Turned out to be far more technical than I had assumed at the start!

hear hear. However, the tera gutterman is truly far more than adequate for all needs anyone here will hit re strength, something I discovered while dismantling my first myog pack, there was truly no way that was ever going to fail due to thread issues. It was actually a useful exercise taking it apart, it convinced me that it was just as you said, you can do a much better job than most commercial type packmakers because you can sew a lot more seams. After I finished the second version, which worked fine, I understood why dan mchale notes that he uses much more thread than other pack makers tend to do, and also why he charges what he does, it takes time to apply all that thread.

I use the standard mara that diy/owfinc sells for almost all seams, and for heavy stress areas like strap attachments, I use the tera, that seems to work well.. I think i also used tera for the main seams connecting the panels of the pack, I don't remember anymore.

The one thing I'd stress is to NOT think that fabric store gutterman is what is being talked about on myog forums, or what is sold by the better gear suppliers, it's not. And if you don't see what type it is, assume in general it's the thin weak kind, particularly if it's the 110 yard spool size. I believe when I bought from quest outfitters for example, that was the thin kind. So unless it actually says what it is, just pass it by. All the small spools in fabric stores are the weak thin kind, except for their heavy duty version, which is thick and not that easy to work with, and is not the same as the good tera stuff diy sells.

The point is that you won't go wrong using the quality threads discussed here, but you will almost certainly go wrong using fabric store threads on backpacks or tents, except for practice and learning, then it doesn't matter, though with some brands, can't remember the standard cheap one they sell, you will certainly discover that in fact, yes, some thread truly sucks.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
gutermann redeemed? on 12/19/2012 20:03:11 MST Print View

"you will almost certainly go wrong using fabric store threads"

OK, Harald, I'll bite. Even though I've bought great threads, like the Mettler, in fabrics stores like Vacman and Bobbin in Laconia NH (They have a great batwing logo).

You say check the label, and don't buy the small spools. OK, does the label say, "Mara" or "Tera"? Or does it say something else. As for the large spools, we'll see about the cost/need ratio.

Thank you, Roger for the mention of eBay. Why didn't I think of that? MYOG fog or what! The web is too much info to process sometimes.

BTW folks, unless there are two different companies involved here, it is spelled Gutermann.

just Justin Whitson
Free stuff on 12/20/2012 15:10:22 MST Print View

I could send a couple of 100 Meter spools of Guterman thread to you for free. I had bought a case of like 20 quite discounted at Joann fabrics and doubt i will use all of it. If you have a color preference let me know and i will check to see if i have it.

Edit: It's the "weak", more for fabric version stuff so you may not want it.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 12/20/2012 15:30:36 MST.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
taylor supply store on 12/20/2012 15:18:39 MST Print View

If you can find a taylor supply store, the may have some bonded 33 nylon or polyester for sewing on buttons. This will work very well too.

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
gutermann on 12/20/2012 21:39:37 MST Print View

Samuel, it's a pain finding what the thread actually is, you can get the number of the spool then use I think gutermann's site to get the actual mara/tera of that product number, which I think I did as I was learning what Roger notes, it's not as simple as it sounds. The pain of discovering what the thread weight and type actually is why now if I buy, I'll only buy it if the vendor states that information explicitly. My assumption now is that if the vendor doesn't list it, or if the spool doesn't show it explicitly, I wont' buy it, unless I want the thin stuff. I actually don't enjoy doing this type of research, it's expensive and not really that fun, not to mention time consuming and materials wasting, so once I found something that seemed to be pretty good, I said to myself, that's fine for now.

I believe all the normal fabric store, and other 110/200 yd sizes, that's small and medium regular type spools, are the thin kind, except for one style that is heavy, but not as nice as the tera. Given that they cost around $2 for 110 yards, it's not really worth buying them compared to the big spools, on any project of any size, a backpack, a tent, you're probably going to use a big spool or so, give or take, especially with redoes.

You can also just compare them to the stuff diy/owfinc sells, which I also did. I actually noticed initially only by accident, because I first was using the fabric store guterman stuff, and was fairly easily able to thread 10 needles, even 9 with some effort. It's much harder to get those threaded with the heavier versions.

You're right that some fabric stores might have good stuff, but none I checked did, not small ones, not joannes, and not the local outdoor gear repair shop.

The big gutermann spools, 450-800 yds, show on the spool what it is, so if you can find those, you're set. Like, Tera 60, Mara 70 (I'm reading that off the ones I got from diygearsupply/owfinc), says on the top plastic of the tube it is rolled around.

I've bought the more consumer style in various roll sizes and all were the thinner version, that's 110yd, 200yd sizes I think.

For people wanting to check this stuff out, it's a cheap thing, just add on each of the tera sizes from diygearsupply, that's 3, and all of the mara colors, I think that's 3 as well right now, they cost like 3.65 each, then you can see the difference for far less than I spent on threads I will never use. I should sell that bag of too thick or not qood quality stuff on gear sales for 12 bucks or something, maybe someone wants it.

Oh I remember the bad brand, coats and clark, that's the one. Don't get it, it is not very good, and it costs the same or more, and for far smaller spools, than what diygearsupply offers.

the gutermann misspelling comes from actually knowing german, it's because I pronounce it in my head as gutter man, when of course, it's actually gooter man in german, sort of, so I spell what's in my head, not the actual word, lazy.

I tried going to all our local fabric stores, wanting to shop local and all that, and they just don't care about the myog market at all from what I can see, it's not something that even creates a blip on their financial radar, so they cater to their main market, clothes, cute embroidery done with those overpriced computer controlled sewing machines, craft projects, fashion dress makers, etc.

Edited by hhope on 12/20/2012 21:47:15 MST.

Siti Asiah Radzi

Locale: South East Asia
Rasant 120 WR on 12/21/2012 01:42:49 MST Print View


who knows the different between Rasant 120 and Rasant 120 WR ?. Things i know is WR stand for Water Repellent. Is it been treated by hydrophilic treatment?. Anybody had give a try for MYOG?

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Gutermann threads on 12/21/2012 16:42:22 MST Print View

Thanks, Harald, for taking the time to go over it all.

Will order some from DIYGS and see if it's any different from the junk sold everywhere else. What's a few bucks?

As Roger suggested, the Rasant is available on eBay, from Australia, no less;
but comes only in large expensive spools. So will hold on that. The DMC I have left is fine for packs, and the Mettler M+ is fine for tents. And I might be able to get the Isacord to work on packs, also.

Maybe the Gutermann from DIYGS will be the answer. But black only will not do for packs. So that leaves only the lighter variety for tents. Will order just a little to see how strong it is and how well it sews. Must ... be ... open ... minded.

Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Is Gutterman thread necessary? on 12/21/2012 19:57:36 MST Print View

Roger, please help.

From what I can gleen:

Gutermann Sew-all (the consumer grade stuff) is 100% polyester, two yarns twisted together. Tex 30.
Gutermann Mara 70 is 100% polyester, 'micro-core technology'. Tex 40.
Gutermann Tera 80 is 100% polyester, undetermined construction. Tex 35.
Rasant 120 is polyester core with cotton covering. Tex 25.
Rasant 75 is polyester core with cotton covering. Tex 40.

Threads seem to differ by raw material,yarn quality, weight, construction, binders and lubricants.
What characteristics of Rasant thread make it your personal choice, particularly since it's part cotton?

Thanks for your input.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Is Gutterman thread necessary? on 12/21/2012 23:22:35 MST Print View


I've used quite a variety of threads; 100% nylon, Nylon Upholstery thread, the standard Gutermann, Gutermann Extra Strong from Quest, Gutermann Upholstery Thread from JoAnn's and Gutermann Tera60-TX50 , Size: Tex 50 from D.I.Y. Gear.

Both varieties of the nylon gave me trouble with thread breakage.

The standard Gutermann sewed well. Extra Strong Gutermann from Quest was problematic on my machine. I cannot remember any issues with the Gutermann Upholstery thread from JoAnn's except that I ran out of it.

I have been using the Gutermann Tera60-TX50, size Tex 50 from D.I.Y. Gear lately. I have been happy with its performance on my machine and have not had any issues with its use or performance.

I looked at the AMANN Group - Rasant site and it does state that WR stands for water repellent. I see this as a good thing for outdoor gear.

Copied and pasted from their site:

"Rasant is a functional sewing thread with a wide variety of uses. The perfect synthesis of polyester core and cotton covering makes Rasant outstandingly efficient, not only in the sewing process, but in the seam as well."

The cotton part of this statement confuses me. I wonder what hydrophobic treatment is used on the cotton and how long does it will last. Is it a surface treatment or is it "soaked" through and through the cotton?

I'd hesitate to use any of the Rasant thread that wasn't rated WR for any outdoor gear.


Looking at the Rasant offerings on the AMANN - Group site I don't see any Rasant 70 listed. There is a Rasant WR50 and 75. Can you clarify please?

Party On,