Cotton Sewing & Machine Embroidery Threads


  • Cotton Thread
  • 550 yards / 500m per thread
  • 3 ply 50-weight thread
  • Suitable for sewing machine all-purpose sewing, quilting, decorative stitches and embroidery.
  • Suitable for embroidery machine embroideries and free-standing lace.
  • Suitable for hand sewing
Bulk deal
Quantity Discount Discounted price
2 – 500 20% £2.76

20% Off For 2 Or More Individual Threads

Sewing Bee Fabrics And Haberdashery Shop


These cotton threads are truly multipurpose. Strong and light enough to be used in embroidery machines to make beautiful matt finish designs, perfect for quilting and general sewing with natural fabrics like cotton, and suitable for hand sewing too.

Each cotton thread spool is approximately 550 yards / 500 metres long and comes in a choice of 26 colours.

We recommended that you use the following needle sizes for use with this thread: 80/12, or 90/14, and #100 topstitch needles.

These threads have been made from 3ply 50-weight long staple mercerized cotton. But what does that mean? It means that this thread is a strong and light cotton thread, making it perfect for sewing projects like quilt piecing and quilting, and sewing projects with woven cotton like quilting cotton or cotton poplin.

These are part of our own range of threads. We work closely with the manufacturers to ensure that each thread in our range is both affordable as well as being the same high quality that you would expect when shopping with us.

These threads are available for purchase either individually or as a set.


What makes a good cotton thread?

  • Strength & Durability

Natural fibres are not as strong as polyester threads, but there are plenty of other factors which can affect the strength of a cotton thread. Threads made from long cotton strands like these threads will always be stronger than those made with inferior short strands. Rather than a single thicker strand, 3 smaller strands have been spun together to create the overall thread, which increases the strength further. These strands have undergone a treatment process called mercerization. This helps to straighten the fibres, giving them a smoother surface and improving their tensile strength. Not only does this make them silkier to the touch, but this makes them less prone to fraying and breakages. The process also adds more dimensional stability, meaning that these cotton threads are less prone to shrinking when washed or distorting when pulled, helping your project hold the shape you have sewn much better than a non-mercerized cotton thread would.

  • Stitchability

How well a thread stitches can make a big difference to how professional-looking your sewing project turns out. These threads are perfect for 2 uses:

    • General Sewing – These cotton threads can be used for hand or machine sewing. Being lightweight, they are perfect for blending your stitches into your fabric making them hardly noticeable when they are colour-matched to the fabric. This is especially perfect for “stitching in the ditch” where you are sewing along a seam line in quilting or similar projects to hide your stitches, for sewing appliques, or you want your topstitching and hems to look discreet. Cotton threads are often the preferred choice when sewing with cotton because they have the most similar properties to the fabric itself. By matching these natural fibres, the fabric and thread will move in a similar way when they are stressed which means that the fabric is less likely to tear (as can happen more often over time if stronger polyester threads are pulling at cotton fabric). Cotton thread also creates less friction as they are sewn. This makes it easier for the needle and thread to move through the fabric. This smoother gliding means you are less likely to get stitch puckering or distortion, meaning more even neat stitches, and easier precision sewing or for beautiful dense stitching when using decorative stitches.
    • Machine Embroidery – These cotton threads are perfect for creating a nice even matt embroidery finish either with decorative or free motion stitching on a standard sewing machine or when stitched out by an embroidery machine. This thread also works well for making free-standing lace on your embroidery machine.

The multiple strands of cotton fibres spun together and the mercerization process also means that they are less prone to creating lint inside your machine as you sew – which often causes problems like missed stitches and birds-nest-thread-messes.

Remember that natural fibres aren’t as strong as polyester fibres, so if you are stitching through thicker fabrics or multiple layers, you may want to sew more slowly to get a better finish.

  • Colour Fastness

These cotton threads don’t just start off as bright and colourful. They have been tested to make sure that they hold their colour well even after many washes.

  • Certifications & Product Safety

These threads have been certified to OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100. This means that the threads are tested at every stage of production by an independent lab every year to make sure that the threads do not contain any materials or chemicals which could be considered as harmful to health.

  • Special Features

Cotton has a higher temperature tolerance than polyester threads which are prone to melting when exposed to heat. That makes cotton threads a much better choice when creating sewing projects like microwavable heat packs, oven gloves, place mats, pot holders, ironing board covers, tea cosies, coffee cup sleeves and other similar creations that might get very hot. It also makes them a good choice for items that might be laundered at high temperatures like tea towels. Cotton threads are also suitable for dry cleaning.


Should I sew with cotton or polyester thread?

Both thread types have their place, but knowing their advantages and disadvantages can help you pick the best thread for every job.

For general sewing, it is usually best to match the thread type to the fabric type, so cotton thread for natural fabrics like cotton, and polyester threads to synthetic fabrics. This is because they will move in a similar way as the fabric and sewing are put under strain, which means that you are less likely to get thread breakages and rips in your fabric as a result. The exception comes if you need more strength for example to hold together heavy-weight natural fabrics like cotton canvas, denim, or multiple layers of fabric. You may find that a heavier-duty cotton thread or polyester thread may work better for you.

Cotton fabrics and threads are preferable for exposure to heat (like oven mitts etc), but they break down quicker when they are used outside, so in this case you may want to pick synthetics for both your fabric and thread for more durability.

Cotton threads are more breathable and absorbent than polyester threads, so you may need to keep this in mind if you are making something moisture dependant – for example, a beautiful cotton embroidery directly on your waterproof coat may cause a big damp patch to come through every time you get rained on! Or alternatively, maybe you are embroidering towels or wash cloths and don’t want them to lose their function by reducing their absorbency with polyester! Cotton embroideries on summer clothes will also help them to stay more breathable than if it were stitched out in polyester.


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