Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Playing With Aurifil Monofilament Thread

Today I trialed Aurifil Monofilament thread. This is the first time that I have used this super fine, invisible nylon thread.

First of all, the cone is huge!

It comes with a thread 'sock' rather than a net. I was unsure whether to remove that, but here it is...a word of warning! Be extremely careful when you remove it because the thread instantly untangles from the cone and gives you a bit of a mess. There is nothing you can do other than to unwrap it to the point where you only have one thread hanging off. Of course, I did that!
I did try it initially with the thread sock but found that it was just so tight. It seemed to stitch fine, but I felt it was just too tight from above...the sound of the stitching just was not right. That's when I took the sock off and put a normal thread net on. This felt much better, the thread was looser and it sounded alright. The Aurifil Monofilament thread is a nylon thread whereas the Superior Monopoly thread that I usually use is a polyester thread. Did I notice the difference? They are both super fine threads. The only thing that I felt was that the nylon thread appeared to be more stretchy when it was coming off the tight thread sock and you could feel and see that.

In terms of settings it was not too difficult. I had my tension set really low (0.75) with an Aurifil 50/2 thread in the bobbin. I did not change my needle even though I read somewhere that this performs best with a 90/14 Topstitch or a 100/16 Universal. I had a 75/11 Quilting needle in there and had no problems.

So, I thought I do something useful and stitch out Natalia Bonner's February block as a bit of a practice exercise because I had a block left over that had gone wrong.
You can see the thread sock in the left corner...very tightly woven material. 

I had no problems stitching with the skipped stitches or broken just stitched very nicely. I later did adjust my bobbin tension a bit and made that a bit looser and also trialed the thread sock again. Definitely too tight for me with that thread sock, although I did notice that it was better when I rolled the sock down a bit. May need to ask somebody about this. It is no big deal to change over to the thread net other than - if unprepared, you are risking a thread mess and a bit of wastage of thread, but if you are careful, it is preventable.

Looking at my sample though I did notice one big difference...this is the first time that I thought that I should have chosen a thread like this for my Natalia Bonner quilt. The quilting looks lovely. I thought that the thread sinks in better than others and gives you this very refined look (which would have been ideal on the dark/light colour combo). The thread itself is shiny and you can see this under the light of the machine obviously, it was only afterwards when I looked at the completed block that I thought that this would be perfect if you wanted to do some almost invisible background quilting on a quilt where only the texture would be a feature (also really good for scrap quilts). I will keep this sample to compare next time I stitch with Monopoly thread to see whether I am not just imagining things, but I was really taken aback a bit when it was finished. It looks absolutely flawless and this would have been the first time that I thought about using invisible thread for something other than stitching-in-the-ditch.

As you can see I did all sorts of things on my block, which are not all part of Natalia's instructions for this block, but I thought I may as well give the thread a bit of a workout. I did some ruler work, pebbles, feathers swirls...I used Manual as well as Regulated mode and went pretty fast and sloppy at times. In the back of my mind I thought that the thread would get stuck on the thread net or sock, but just kept going, so overall was very reliable. 

Would be good to hear whether somebody has used this and how they managed the thread sock. 



  1. I haven't quilted with the Aurifil Monofilament. Nylon monofilament does stretch more than the polyester monofilament. (I tried another brand of nylon monofilament.) I do like the texture the thread provided. I haven't used monofilament to quilt other than quilting in the ditch. Kudos for you trying it out!

  2. I'm definitely interested in leveraging what you learn about that thread sock vs net, as well as ultimately, with more time & experience, what you think about the Aurifil vs Superior invisible threads.

  3. Oh my gosh, YES!!!! I LOVE invisible monofilament thread for all the reasons you mentioned! It's great for learning because it hides all of the oopses, especially with things like feathers with backtracking that might not be 100% spot-on with every single stitch. Like you, I slide that thread net down a bit and tuck the excess inside the bottom of my cone. However, I think the advice you got about using big, giant needles with this super-skinny thread is backwards. Try a size 60 needle with your monofilament next time. It's even MORE invisible with a tinier needle hole. You can cause skipped stitches by using a really large needle with a really fine thread, because the skinny thread is swimming around inside a giant needle hole so it MIGHT be in the right position for the hook to catch the thread and form a perfect stitch, or the thread might be too far to the side of the needle hole and the hook might miss the thread completely. Only caveat is that the size 60 needle is easier to break for someone who is just learning FMQ and getting the hang of how fast to move the quilt sandwich under the machine. I think you would be fine with it.


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