Can You Use Polyester Thread For Quilting?

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Choosing the right thread for quilting can seem like a daunting task with all of the thread choices out there. If you happen to have a spool of thread on hand, it’s likely polyester thread. You may ask yourself, “Can I use this for quilting?” Yes, yes you can!

A polyester thread is a great choice for quilting. Polyester thread has some noteworthy qualities that not only look awesome but can also help lengthen the life of your quilt. Some of the best qualities of polyester thread are its durability, the vast array of colors available, and the fact that it is virtually lint-free.

There’s been a rumor out there in the quilting world that polyester thread can cut into your fabric and cause holes in your quilt top. Let me tell you right here, it’s not true! While polyester is synthetic, it’s very soft and durable. It will not damage your quilt and it’s just as good, if not better in some ways than cotton thread.

Positive Qualities of Polyester Thread

Let’s touch on some of the qualities of polyester thread that make it a great choice for quilting.


Polyester is a synthetic fabric so it’s tightly woven and very strong. Polyester thread has a bit of stretch which makes it less likely to break as often as its cotton counterpart. The strength of the thread is a factor that many quilters like. Reliable thread is good thread!


If you compare a polyester thread to a cotton thread, you’ll notice that the polyester thread appears to be shinier. Whether or not you like the shine will be up to personal preference, but some quilters enjoy the look of a polyester thread more than a cotton thread. Next time you’re out shopping, compare the two to see which one you prefer!

(Almost) Lint Free

One of the main selling points for quilting with polyester thread is that there will be way less lint than if you were quilting with cotton thread. Lint is a natural part of quilt making but if it can be reduced in any way, that’s a great feature! It means less time cleaning your machine and more time quilting! 

Now that we’ve touched on all of the great things that polyester thread has to offer, let’s touch on a few potential drawbacks.

Not So Postitive Qualities of Polyester Thread

Most of the downfalls of polyester thread come from the fact that it is a synthetic fiber. While some cons are a complete preference, others may actually affect your quilt-making process. 

Synthetic Fiber

A polyester thread isn’t the most environmentally friendly option because it is made out of synthetic fibers. If being eco-conscious is important to you, you may want to stick with a 100% cotton thread.

Shrinkage Rate

Many quilters prefer to make their quilts out of 100% cotton because it is uniform. While mixing cotton fabric with polyester thread won’t make that much of a difference, you may experience different amounts of shrinkage between the cotton and polyester. Cotton will shrink at a higher rate than polyester.

It’s never been enough for me to notice, but if you’re very particular about your final product, it’s something to consider.

Melting Point

The melting point of a polyester thread is much lower than a cotton thread. While it won’t melt in your household dryer or under your modern iron, it could melt under a vintage iron or an iron that gets extremely hot.

You may also experience melting if you’re using an off-brand thread rather than a thread from a reputable brand. However, this isn’t something you need to worry about if you’re using a quality thread.

Overall, polyester thread is a great choice for quilting. Its durability and lint-free nature are exceptional features for quilters to consider when choosing thread.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong choice between polyester and cotton thread for quilting. You’ll have to try both and see what works best for you!

xo, Hailey

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