Thread for buttonholes

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What kind of thread are you supposed to use for buttonholes?  (It's
for a men's cotton business shirt, if it makes any difference.)

Allan.

Re: Thread for buttonholes
Just Allan wrote:
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Standard cotton machine sewing thread will do, but you can also get good
results with embroidery thread.  It's finer and will need a closer
stitch.
--
Kate  XXXXXX
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
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Re: Thread for buttonholes
On Sat, 22 Nov 2003 14:00:49 +0000, Kate Dicey

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Thanks Kate - so we shouldn't use nylon or something else
"artificial"?  The reason I asked is, my wife has an old Singer 99K
and I bought a buttonhole attachment for her on ebay.  I spent HOURS
yesterday, fiddling with it to get it right.  The top stitching looks
"ok" now, but the underneath (inner) stitching is also "ok", but it's
sticking out more than the display side.  I've lubed the machine
according to the manual, fiddled with the bobbin tension and set and
tried every thread tension setting...  It doesn't seem to affect the
stitching underneath - except - when I set the bobbin tension a little
more tightly than it is, the thread breaks (not sure now if it was
needle or bobbin that keeps breaking).

Allan.

Re: Thread for buttonholes

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I find that I need to loosen the needle tension when I'm stitching
buttonholes
Liz



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Re: Thread for buttonholes
Just Allan wrote:
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Cotton shows up better, nylon stretches.  Poly is OK on poly fabric...
I often use silk thread on wools.

I have a couple of those old button hole Heath Robinson jobs!  Fun,
aren't they!  Set the tension as close to normal as you can get: the
stitch should lock JUST on the underside of the fabric for the best
results (for seams you want it to lock in the middle of the layers).
Experimentation has shown that I need fairly normal tension (a tad
looser than for seams), and heavier foot pressure is best: there should
be a knob or screw on the top of the machine to alter the foot
pressure.  I find my two older machines work best on wool and cotton
fabrics, though they will sew anything from deck chair canvas and dress
leather to silk chiffon with ease!  They like cotton or silk threads
best, too.  I usually use Guttermann (it's dead easy to get hold of
here) cotton and silk, Sylco cotton, and threads from Empress Mills.

You can see my Singer 66K and my singer 15-88 on my web site - URL
below.  Not doing buttonholes, unfortunately!  I use the Lily for those
as a general rule!

If you are getting a LOT of thread breaks, consider the age of the
thread: old thread can deteriorate, especially if the light has got at
it!  Try a new reel of good quality thread.  Also, in straight
stitching, the top thread will give you loops underneath if it is too
loose, and the bottom thread will give you loops on the top!  If the
bottom tension is too tight, this can drag the top thread down and give
you a false reading, so if the thread is looping on the bottom at the
mid point on the dial, look at the bottom tension.  If you look at the
bobbin case, you will see a little leaf spring that puts the tension on
the thread: this is held in by a tiny screw.  You can adjust this (you
need to use a jeweller's screwdriver and be very careful not to lose
that tiny screw!).  When you have BOTH threads adjusted to give a good
quality stitch locked between two layers of crisp cotton, THEN try your
buttonholer on the fabric you are using, and adjust the TOP tension to
give the result you want.  Standard practice is to lock the stitch just
UNDER the fabric so that no bobbin thread shows on the finished
buttonhole.

If you still have problems, it may be worth disassembling both the top
and bottom tension mechanisms and giving the whole shebang a good
clean!  I had to do this with my 15-88, and dug out quite an amazing
volume of fossilized crud from between the disks and under the leaf
spring!  I also cleaned off some rust from the disks...  Now the tension
works perfectly, so I shall have to experiment with the buttonholers!  I
will take pix...
--
Kate  XXXXXX
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Thread for buttonholes
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If possible, I prefer to use cotton embroidery thread (size 60 or smaller)
for good cotton shirts' buttonholes.  Less bulk, a smidge more sheen.

Kay Lancaster   snipped-for-privacy@fern.com


Re: Thread for buttonholes
There used to be something called buttonhole twist, but I've not seen it at the
local fabric stores for a long time. It might be at someplace like Banaschs,
but it didn't occur to me to look the last time I was there.

In general, it's a sad state of affairs for sewing supplies here in Cincinnati.
I went into Hancock's last week, looking for a couple of 7" black zippers, a
pretty basic staple, one would think. There was not a single black zipper in
the store except for the outdoor, separating type. I was astonished! The clerk
offered to special order one for me, if you can imagine!!


Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati


Re: Thread for buttonholes
SewStorm wrote:
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Buttonhole twist is great for sewing buttons on tough fabric, but is too
stiff for buttonholes in anything less tough than canvas!  You get
better wear out of finer thread that's closer to the wight of the
fabric.  Even on heavy fabric, it's sometimes better to use a lighter
thread and give it two passes!
--
Kate  XXXXXX
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Thread for buttonholes
Kate Dicey wrote:
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Buttonhole twist is lovely for top-stitching, but only for
hand-sewing buttonholes.  It's too heavy for a machine
buttonhole, IMNSHO.
--

http://members.tripod.com/~bernardschopen /
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Re: Thread for buttonholes
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Actually, Kate, you know I think it was meant for hand sewing buttonholes.

Reaching WAY back into the store of useless knowledge for that tidbit.

Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati


Re: Thread for buttonholes
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That was my understanding also.  Plus it is good for sewing buttons on to heavy
fabric (preferably backed up by a small button on the back).

Olwyn Mary in New Orleans.

Re: Thread for buttonholes
SewStorm wrote:
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Hay, it WORKS for that, but it IS a bit like sewing with string!  On
most things a silk thread looks nicer...  BUT, if you have a machine
that will cope with button thread, or the poly top stitching threads, it
is GREAT for sewing eyelets in tents, where the metal one has popped out
and torn the fabric a bit...
--
Kate  XXXXXX
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Thread for buttonholes
On 23 Nov 2003 21:46:33 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comspamless
(SewStorm) wrote:

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Right on!  Because buttonhole twist is thick, you don't have
to take so may stitches.   And it's usually thick fabrics
that get hand-worked buttonholes.

I use my usual 100/6 cotton thread when I hand-work a
buttonhole, since it's always a repair job worked over a
machine-worked buttonhole, and the machine thread is what's
handy.  

Buttonhole silk is also really neat for hand embroidery.
You can't buy size D (buttonhole twist) silk thread
anywhere, but on the Tire website
( http://www.silkthings.com/threadsindex.asp )
there's a thread said to be the same.  I think it's #8 or
thereabouts; they don't explain anywhere what their numbers
mean.

Joy Beeson
--
http://home.earthlink.net/~joybeeson/ -- needlework
http://home.earthlink.net/~beeson_n3f/ -- Writers' Exchange
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Re: Thread for buttonholes
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Just this past Saturday several of my old friends from the pro sewing group
here went to the local art museum to see a great exhibit. Dressmakers in
Cincinnati from about the mid-1800s to about 1930.

One of the many gorgeous gowns on display was this exquisite wedding dress from
about 1903, with tone on tone hand embroidery all over it. The dressmaker used
what looked like four-strand silk embroidery floss to make some padded
stitches, plus a border of brick stitch all around the entire bodice, and down
the front panels. Breathtaking.

There was also a lovely print Gibson-era gown with tiny pin tucks shaping the
entire dress. I looked very close to see if they were machine made. Nope, all
hand done. The poor woman who made it must have been blind by the time she
finished it. Same with the wholly beaded gowns, and the one with miniscule
sequins scattered all over the skirt and bodice.

We were able to really get close without touching the garments, which was very
nice, but unusual. Most of the time this type of exhibit is behind glass, and
if they don't give you a way to see the back of the garment you're just out of
luck. It would have been a shame to miss some of the more "delicious details"
on these gowns!
Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati


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