One of our customers had problems using King Tut black thread this week. The thread broke more than King Tut threads of other colors, and since she was doing a large quilt, we ended up frustrated before we finished.
I have since done some research on black thread and want to share what I learned. In general, it seems like black thread is more over-dyed than other colors, in order to get the black color. This applies not only to quilting threads, but other black threads, such as embroidery threads, as well. Cotton threads tend to be more fragile than other colors because of the amount of dye used.
There are a few ways to deal with breakage of black thread. Some quilters suggested putting the thread cone in a plastic bag and storing it in the freezer for several days. This won’t solve problems in the moment, but if you plan to use black thread, let me know a few days before your appointment, and I’ll try this.
Other suggestions include liberal use of Sewer’s Aid and a larger than normal needle, storing the thread in the original wrap to keep the moisture content in, slowing the stitching down, and loosening the quilt sandwich. And if you want to use black thread without the risk of breakage, I also stock Superior Thread‘s OMNI thread – a poly-wrapped poly core thread.