The serger business is booming. Although this type of machine has been around for decades, with the upcoming new innovation amongst serger machines, the self-threading serger, you might want to know all the tricks of the trade to operate your (new) machine as smooth as possible, with the right tools and knowledge.
Many factors come looking around the corner when using a serger machine, including the correct type of serger threads to use on all the different loopers and places in your serger – or – overlock machine. It is commonly known that a serger rushes through the threads and is not very frugal – especially on the loopers – you’re going to need a lot! Luckily, serger thread is often sold in the form of spools, large cones, that will stick with you for a while. This way, you can efficiently finish off your sewing projects with a professional-looking seam.
Given that most people are likely to reserve a somewhat bigger budget for the thread they use in a regular sewing machine, we would like to state that it is equally important to invest in good quality serger threads for your serger machine as well. This, and more, is what we will talk about in this article. Not only will you find many helpful tips and tricks on how to improve your serger game even more, but we will also discuss the best serger thread, what to keep in mind when choosing the appropriate thread, and where to buy them.
Below our personal Justcraftingaround’s choices on the best serger thread, you will find a detailed buying guide that hopefully answers all your burning questions around this topic!
Top Rated: The Best Serger Thread
Now that you have read our crash course on the serger thread, let’s delve into the different types of threads that we have reviewed below. For this review, we have considered specifications such as price and quality to ensure you make the correct choice in the available options to purchase right now.
#1: American & Efird Maxi-Lock Cone Royal Blue Polyester Serger Thread
American & Efird’s Maxi-Lock line is not indispensable in the world of good quality thread. It is trendy and popular, and that’s for a reason. This 100% polyester thread is exceptionally soft, and the color is a stylish finish to all your projects. If the color is not your thing, no worries; the maxi-lock line contains many other beautiful colors, and each one of them is UV-light tolerant and mildew resistant. The large cone includes 3000 yards of serger thread, ready to use.
#2: Mandala Crafts Polyester Sewing All Purpose Thread Polyester for Serger and Overlock Machine
As cream, neutral colors always do the job so well, purchasing a beautiful color like this in quality like these will never bore you. This multipack of serger thread in high quality, 100% polyester includes four large spools of not 3000 yards, but no less than 6000 yards each and does the trick on sewing, hemming, and seaming upholstery. If you seek to bulk up a little, their brand offers 21 other color shades to add to your collection as well.
#3: Mettler Seracor Polyester Serger Thread 2743 Yard Cone
Mettler is another well-known manufacturer added to the list. This 100% polyester thread is outstandingly strong and carries many traits that will contribute to beautiful finishing on your projects. The thread doesn’t shrink after washing and has an appropriate tensile strength, matching with what your serger needs. Not to mention, it seams evenly, and the Island Green color is one out of ten bright shades.
#4: American & Efird Maxi-Lock All Purpose Thread Large Spool Pack
If you’re a big fan of Maxi-Lock, you will love this serger thread pack by American & Efird as well. Another 100% polyester option, that is perfectly suitable to use on light to medium-heavy weight fabric types. A go-to choice for all your overlock project for hemming and stitching, being UV-light tolerant and mildew resistant. The large cones of thread have a luxurious shiny finish, and each spool contains 3000 yards.
#5: Coats & Clark Thread & Zippers Surelock Overlock Thread in Oxford Grey
100% polyester is the quality the big names in sewing and embroidery go for, including Coats and Clark. This oxford grey overlock thread is made for high-speed sewing without leaving your project with bulky seams or uneven stitches. The cone contains 3000 yards of this beautiful smooth thread and is very strong.
Our Verdict: What is the best thread to use in a serger?
As you can tell from our above-reviewed serger thread types, the most expected quality at first seems to be 100% polyester. Polyester thread is known to be extremely durable, strong, and combined with the right thread weight, this material will last a lifetime. However, when you are seeking a serger thread for special projects that require a more extreme tensile strength, such as swimwear, activewear, or lingerie – a material like nylon or even woolly nylon will be your best choice.
In short: our preference goes out to the brand American & Efird, and moreover to the Maxi-Lock product line. The reliable quality is dependent and is recognized and used by many professionals in sewing.
The Buyer’s Guide
Are you looking for a bit more information before choosing the right serger thread for you and your machine? In our detailed buyers’ guide, which you will find below, we have collected all the things to consider before you buy and many other facts and tips that will be of good help when you are looking for a thread for your overlocker or serger.
Do Sergers need a special thread?
Yes, they do. An overlocker, or a serger, needs a thinner, smoother type of sewing thread than is regularly used for the classic sewing machine. This is critical to avoid built-up lint in your machine and bumpy stitches and seams. As the thread travels through the machine at high speed, a smooth thread is the best choice.
Speaking of other differences between serger thread and regular thread, is that regular thread is often a little more expensive and bought in smaller amounts. Regular sewing thread that is fuzzy for example, can be used in a sewing machine without any problems. All-purpose thread will only have you spending money, as it runs out quick and costs more.
What is the best quality thread?
The best high quality serger thread is most likely polyester, but the most important is the smoothness and evenness of it. A serger thread with these traits is known to be strong, which is exactly what you need when seaming and hemming your projects.
How many spools of thread do I need for a serger?
Looking at your beautiful serger machine and finding out you’ll probably have to buy so much serger thread for a big price; it happened to all of us. However, depending on your serger type, with a common 4-thread overlocker you do need four spools, but you don’t really need to use four of the same kind of threads. Because the spools used on the loopers go the fastest, choose to go for a bigger spool in that case. Other stitches that are not visible on your project can even be done with different shades or similar shades.
Expert Tips on Serger Thread
There are always these little things that you wish that someone told you from the start. Little tricks of the trade to save you a lot of time and frustration by figuring it out the hard way. Justcratingaround loves to be the helping hand that does provide you with tips like these. Read on below!
Top Tip #1: Don’t compromise on thread quality
This is not a commandment for you to come up with a filled up wallet to shop the most expensive threads available; not at all. High quality thread just makes a huge difference in your sewing projects, but will also save you a lot of frustration and time. Last but not least, this adds up to the longevity of your beloved serger sewing machine as well.
Top Tip #2: Clean your serger regularly
Some TLC will make and keep your serger – and eventually, you – happy and reliable. That’s why cleaning your serger is a chore that you simply can’t ignore to do. This type of machine needs more cleaning than a sewing machine because of its sewing speed and its cutting function, which brings the built-up lint, and dust with it. Luckily, many sergers come with a small cleaning kit that include a small lint brush to get rid of this. Cleaning your machine is recommended after every 5 hours of serging.
Open up that workhorse, clean it out, give it some TLC and expand the smooth serging hours it will bring you.
Top Tip #3: Please, please: mind the pins
Using them is OK, but make sure to leave enough space between them and the seam lines. Running over a pin is just the last thing you want as it can do much more harm than you might think, and no one wants to end up with a fully jammed machine!
Top Tip #4: Rotate and switch between thread spools to even out
While we are speaking of frugality, a good tip on saving thread and using it in the most optimal way we recommend to you the following, as not all instruments in an overlocker use the same amount of thread in the same amount of time, make sure to rotate between them.
It is commonly known that the loopers are the ones that swallow the most thread; and for a little hack that is likely going to make you run out of cones at the same time, rotating your needle cones with the looper ones, for example, will allow you to buy and replace your 3000 yards or even 6000 yards cones all at once.
Top Tip #5: Just starting? This is what you need.
Starting off with the right tools and avoiding any of those frustrating bad buys is what you wish any newbie to serging. That’s why we have provided below a list of basics in threads that will help you to achieve a good start. In case of a regular 4-thread overlock, make sure to stock up on the following:
- Enough whites; four large cones in total – usually all come in 3000 yards or more.
- Enough darks; also four in total. Think navy, black, dark grey, for example.
- Neutrals! We love neutral colors, as they blend so well with any type of color palette. Neutrals can be peachy beige, tan, cream, and/or different shades of grey.
When finding yourself the perfect basics, you can avoid ending up with all those big spools of bright colors that you’ll only use for one or two projects.
Serger & Overlocker 101
To answer the question, “What is the difference between an overlocker and a serger?”: Well, in short: not much. A serger sewing machine and both an overlocker are specific types of sewing machines that are primarily used to finish off your sewing projects. The machine uses multiple threads to seam, hem, and overcast frilly edges. While you sew, the machine cuts as well. In a nutshell: a dream come true for any sewist, and choosing the right machine can take up some time as well..
Choosing the Right Quality Serger Thread
There are a few essential rules when it comes down to serger thread, speaking of quality, fiber type, but also smoothness and color. When using a serger, you likely wish to go after some high-speed sewing (as the stitches per minute of this machine can go up a bit!). Optimizing your serging experience starts here.
When in Doubt, Go With Smoothness
Smoothness can almost be stated as the most crucial characteristic of a serger thread of good quality. This is vital because you will avoid awkward situations while serging, such as lumpy, bumpy, bulky seams, and a big pile of built-up lint in your machine. By smoothness, we mean: stay away from all the hairy threads and fibers as the thread has to pass through all of the tension disks of your machine without any problems.
When a thread is not consistent in its volume and thickness, you are likely to have to deal with issues such as breaking, skipped stitches, or fraying edges to your sewing project. And a serger is just the machine that needs to ease that part out for us, right?
Serger Threads and Their Weight
The term weight is used to indicate the thickness of the thread. Options in serger thread weight may vary, but the most common thread weight used is Wt 40. However, if you prefer, you could also opt for a Wt 50 or other weights. Remember that the higher the number, the thinner the thread is.
Good quality serger thread comes in different fabrics and does vary in tensile strength, something essential in serging. The most common types include polyester, cotton, and nylon. Below, we’ll give you a speed heads-up on every other kind of fabric.
A multi-use type of thread. It is the most common one on the list because it is a strong fiber, lasts a long time, and is known to be extremely flexible to work with. Next to that, polyester serger thread is reasonably priced.
It is recognized as another firm type of serger thread. Because of its broad tensile strength, nylon works well on stretchy fabrics, especially elasticized fabrics, lingerie, swimwear, and activewear.
As the name states, this type of thread has a nice and fluffy feel to it. It stretches well and recovers almost immediately. A good option to seam a rolled hem or a ruffled finish. Applies well on sportswear, swimwear, and knits.
100% Cotton Thread
Less strong than the above-mentioned thread types, and is therefore often used on woven materials or solely on the loopers of the machine, combined with a more powerful thread type as nylon or polyester for the needles.
Wrapped Poly Core
This type of thread is a perfect match with your serger machine when you are looking for high-quality threads to sew applications.
It is essential to invest in good quality serger thread, so you won’t encounter any problems while you are finishing off your sewing projects. However, this doesn’t mean that you will have to spend a fortune! With many different options available on quality and price, finding the right serger thread for you will hopefully be much more comfortable with our detailed guide. Make sure to take the time to find not only the right color thread but also the appropriate quality for your project’s needs.
Have you found your favorite, best serger threads already? Feel free to leave a reply to share your questions and thoughts with us below! Click here if you are looking for a coverstitch machine.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.