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QUESTIONS and ANSWERS about THREAD

Here are some typical questions we are often asked about our business. Somebody may have already solved a sewing thread problem you have encountered. Either browse through the following or use CTRL+F to search for a specific topic. If you have any further questions don't hesitate to call us on 0800 50 40 60, or (09) 527 4017 or click here to send us an email.



Q1. What is the cost of thread used to manufacture a woman's jacket?

  • Calculate the price per metre of the thread and multiply by the number of metres used in the jacket. [Eg. One 5,000 metre cone of Sapphire 120 currently costs $NZD10.50, which equals $0.0021 per metre]. The average amount of thread used in a woman's jacket ranges from 108 metres to as much as about 200 metres, so therefore the minimum amount of thread required would be 108 x 0.021 = 0.2268... less than 23 cents!


  • Q2. How do we know how much thread is used in our garments?

  • We have charts and tables showing thread usage of most common garments, footwear etc. Contact us for advice about your thread requirements.


  • Q3. Why do buttons come off my garments?

  • There are a variety of reasons. Could be: wrong type of stitch, chafing from button shank, incorrect length of tail, or unsuitable quality of thread. We recommend using Alterfil-S which has a special heat-activated coating to help keep buttons secure and ensures excellent seam strength.


  • Q4. What is a 'gimp'? How do I use/make one and with what?

  • Eyelet or Keyhole Buttonholes can use a thread or cord as a gimp. This is closely wound with a finer needle thread. Sapphire 30 or 80 do a fine job in combination with 80 or 120 in the needle.
    For further explanation, click here for a helpful PDF on another website.


  • Q5. I need a fire retardant thread which will satisfy international ISO standards suitable for flame resistant mattresses. Can you help?

  • Yes! We have a meta-aramide thread 'Nomex' made by Dupont, which is ideal for use in the manufacture of heat protective gloves, safety shoes, aircraft seats, airbags and various kinds of filters.
    Click here for information about Nomex applications on the Dupont website.


  • Q6. How can I guarantee you will have the correct colour in stock when my CMT needs it?

  • We endeavour to predict colour demand from fashion trends and seasons wherever we can, based on our years of experience, - however - it is difficult to have ALL of the colours in ALL the weights and sizes, in stock ALL of the time. Our most experienced customers prevent last minute [and costly] panic by ordering the thread weeks in advance, usually when the fabric has been chosen.


  • Q7. My current brand of polyester thread will not work properly on my multidirectional machine, especially when operated at high speed. How do I fix this?

  • Use a high-quality, "core-spun" thread such as Alterfil-S, which has a special, high-tech coating to ensure top performance on even the most tricky machines. Core-spun thread offers the best construction for maximum performance, and because it is made of high-quality polyester it can withstand even the most demanding manufacturing tests. Eliminate both the high cost of down-time, as well as the stress factor. Click here to view our page about Alterfil-S.


  • Q8. Do you have a thread that will retain it's colour and strength for a long time exposed to New Zealand's demanding UV outdoor conditions?

  • Yes! Use Gore 'Tenara' ePTFE thread. Tenara is guaranteed for 15 years against damage caused by sunlight, water or weather. It's available in 12 common colours and used typically in demanding situations like shade sails, marine applications, outdoor umbrellas and lawn bowls mats. Click here to visit our page about Gore Tenara thread.


  • Q9. My 20 head embroidery machine keeps breaking the thread and causing costly production run delays, what do I do to fix the situation?

  • Try a better quality of embroidery thread such as Polysoft. Rayon based embroidery thread does not have high tensile strength, and also often has colour-fastness/dying problems. Polysoft is a continuous filament, 100% polyester embroidery thread and so is more resistant to drycleaning, washing and bleaching than non-polyester embroidery threads.
    Click here to visit our page about Polysoft embroidery threads.


  • Q10. I need a good value [but high performance] monofilament for overlocking mats, do you have anything suitable?

  • Use 'Softnyl' monofilament. It's popular with our bulk-users in industrial and manufacturing situations. Available in either smoke or natural monofilament colouring in denier range 150-700.
    Click here to view our page about Softnyl monofilament.


  • Q11. I want the best blindstitch hemming that is possible. What do I need to know?

  • You need an ultra-fine thread that is strong, yet soft and supple. We recommend Ultimo 120/2.
    Click here to view our Ultimo 120/2 page.


  • Q12. What are the care instructions relevant to thread?

  • See the international symbol method for washing instructions:



  • Q13. What is the difference between as cop and a cone?

  • A cone is a larger makeup for usually 5,000m of thread, whereas cops are smaller, uniform tubes usually only holding around 1000m of thread. Sapphire is available on 2,500m (half sized) cones instead of cops. See illustration below:


  • For more information, phone 0800 50 40 60, or (09) 527 4017
    or click here to send us an email.

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