No Hint of Lint – Ultra Quilting Thread

Lint can be the bane of a quilter’s existence.  A cotton thread that produces too much lint causes build-up inside the machine.   From the outside all looks serene,  but take a look inside and you’ll find the lint monster lurking.   Lint gums up the thread path.   It lurks around the bobbin case,  the bobbin area and the tension disks.  Lint causes your thread to lose tension in the middle of quilting. It makes your machine stitch erratically,  causing flaws in your design.  This insidious fluff can also throw the timing of your machine off or stop it from working entirely.  Lint looks fluffy and harmless but,  if allowed to build up,  it can create a number of problems for you and your machine.

Now it should be said that lint doesn’t only come from cotton thread.  Batting and fabric can also create lint,  which contributes to the build-up inside your machine.   Cotton thread, however,  can often be a huge culprit when it comes to lint production.   Because of the nature of the beast,  and how it runs through a machine, cotton thread can create a ton of lint.

So,  given that we know lint is bad,  and cotton thread is one of the primary causes of lint in a machine,  how do you avoid this linty dilemma?   Some people will tell you the solution is not to use cotton thread at all,  and there are quilters who choose to do just that.   Instead of cotton,  they use a polyester,  like Iris UltraBrite Polyester,  to create their quilts.   As we know from experience,  the results when polyester thread is used can be quite stunning,  but that option isn’t for all quilters.   Some like cotton and want to use it without any annoying fluff balls of lint.

For those quilters,  Ultra Quilting Thread is the perfect option.  It is 100% long staple Egyptian cotton.  This thread is double mercerized,  which means it has been treated to allow the dye to better penetrate the fibers.  Mercerizing also increases the strength and luster of the thread.  Ultra cotton thread has also been gassed,  a process which exposes the thread to high heat and results in a dramatic reduction in lint production.  The end result is a thread that is smooth and lustrous, one which is strong enough to run well during the most complicated quilting sessions,  and which produces little to no lint.

Now,  we understand that “little to no lint” is a subjective description,  so we have provided you with a visual aid,  the picture that accompanies this post.  That picture is of the bobbin case from the owner of EnMart’s sewing machine.  She is a beginning quilter and has now made two quilts with that machine,  and what you see in the bobbin case is the lint the Ultra Thread produced during the entire process of creating those two quilts. The small picture to the right of this paragraph is a close-up version of the bobbin case in the picture at the top of the post.   As you can see,  there’s little,  if any, lint to be seen.

We’re confident that Iris Ultra Quilting Thread is one of the lowest lint,  if not the lowest lint cotton thread in the quilting industry,  but we’re not going to ask you to take our pictures as proof.  We know that seeing is believing,  but trying cements that belief.  If you’d like to try a sample of Ultra thread for yourself,  just comment on this blog post or contact us with your name and address and we’ll get a sample out to you.

Banish the lint monster once and for all.  Get your sample of Ultra Quilting Thread today!

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Time Travel Tuesday: Hand vs. Machine

Hand_vs_Machine_AssemblyIn the history of quilting and embroidery,  there has probably been no bigger debate than that between those who chose to embroider or quilt by hand, and those who use machines to embroider or quilt.   When the disciplines of embroidery and quilting began,  there really wasn’t a choice,  in order to create an embroidered garment or a quilt to warm the bed on a cold winter’s night,  the piece in question had to be created by hand.

Those who continue this tradition maintain that something made by hand is more special,  more personal,  and should therefore be more treasured.   The process of hand embroidering or piecing and quilting a quilt by hand will most likely be a longer process than doing the same things with a machine, which proponents of the slow stitching movement say is to be desired.   Quilting or embroidering by hand also brings the satisfaction of creating something with your hands,  handling fabrics and threads,  and the ability to pay close attention to every facet of the process.

As time moved on and technology developed,  new machines were invented to do some of the tasks that were formerly done by hand.   Huge, often two story high Schiffli machines created laces and embroidery.  In later decades,  the Schiffli machines were joined by multi-head and single head embroidery machines,  giving the option of machine embroidery to anyone who could afford to purchase a machine.

In the quilting world,   sewing machines offered the ability to piece quilts using a machine.   Instead of hand sewing pieces together,  they could be stitched on a machine,  allowing the creation of a quilt top in less time.  The advent of long arm quilting machines provided the ability to quilt a top by machine,  sometimes finishing in a single day or week what had previously taken weeks if not months to complete.   Machines made the process of embroidery and quilting faster and easier but,  some argued,  the machines also took away the skill and the personal nature of the disciplines.

Today,  while the debate is still ongoing,  both sides seemed to have reached a detente.   Some people hand embroider or quilt,  others use machines to accomplish the same goals,  and yet others switch between one method and the other,  doing whatever best suits the needs and time requirements of the project.   In the end,  what matters most is not how a thing was created,  but that it was created at all.  Whatever method is used quilts and embroidery that bring beauty to the world are being made and that’s the thing we all must remember.