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Demystifying Sewing Thread Sizes: Untangling Tex, Ticket, and Metric Numbers and how they are used in bag making projects.

Updated: Apr 12


Picture of 5 sewing threads that are used in bag making
A selection of various sewing threads

If you've ever ventured into the world of sewing, you know that not all threads are created equal. In fact, they come in a delightful array of sizes, and navigating the thread size landscape can feel a bit like deciphering an ancient script. Fear not, for I'm here to be your guide through the thread maze. Get ready to unravel the mysteries of tex, ticket, and metric numbers, and discover which threads are your trusty sidekicks for different projects and machine types.


Understanding the Numbers: Tex, Ticket, and Metric


Before we dive into the sewing specifics, let's talk numbers. Threads sizes are represented in three primary ways: tex, ticket, and metric numbers. Each of these systems offers insight into the thread's thickness, helping you choose the perfect match for your project.


Tex Number: This system measures the weight of a thread in grams per 1000 meters. Smaller tex numbers indicate thinner threads, while larger numbers denote thicker threads. So, a tex 30 thread is thinner than a tex 60 thread.


Ticket Number: This system, commonly used in the United States, assigns a number to threads based on their weight. Higher ticket numbers correspond to finer threads, while lower numbers represent thicker threads. A ticket 50 thread is finer than a ticket 30 thread.


Metric Number: Metric sizing follows a simple rule: the higher the number, the finer the thread. A metric 60 thread is thinner than a metric 40 thread.


Choosing the Right Thread for Your Project


Now, let's talk practicality. Different thread sizes are tailored to specific projects and machines. Here's a breakdown of how to match thread sizes to your sewing endeavors:


Finer Threads (Tex 30-60, Ticket 60-100, Metric 60-100): These threads are akin to the elegant whispers of a gentle breeze. They're perfect for delicate fabrics, intricate embroidery, and detailed topstitching. If you're working with lightweight cottons, silks, or delicate knits, opt for these fine threads.


Medium Threads (Tex 60-120, Ticket 40-60, Metric 40-60): This range is your go-to for a versatile thread that can handle a variety of fabrics. From quilting to apparel sewing, these threads strike a balance between finesse and strength. Your trusty domestic sewing machine is often best suited for these mid-range threads.


Heavier Threads (Tex 120-300, Ticket 20-40, Metric 20-40): When you're sewing thick fabrics, denim, canvas, or leather, it's time to bring out the big guns. Industrial machines and heavy-duty projects demand threads with the grit to match. These threads add that extra oomph to your stitching, ensuring your creations are as robust as they are stylish.


The Thread's Role in Machine Compatibility


Ah, the age-old dance of the thread and the machine. Domestic sewing machines generally prefer threads on the finer end of the spectrum – think tex 30-60. These machines thrive on the daintier stuff, ensuring smooth stitches and minimal tension issues.


On the other side of the sewing spectrum, industrial machines are more accustomed to tackling the heavyweights. Threads in the range of tex 70-120 are their jam. These machines are built to power through thick materials with ease, making them the heroes of heavy-duty sewing.


As you embark on your sewing adventures, remember that thread sizes are like the supporting actors in your blockbuster sewing story. They might not be in the spotlight, but boy, do they play a crucial role in keeping your creations intact. So, whether you're creating delicate masterpieces, versatile garments, or heavy-duty wonders, understanding tex, ticket, and metric numbers empowers you to pick the perfect thread for every stitch.


Until next time, happy sewing and may your bobbin always be full

Deb x

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