No, Invisible Thread Will Not Melt And Other Myths That Need To END!

There's a lot of misinformation about invisible thread. And I get it! If you are a longtime sewer and remember the nylon thread of the old days, you know how hard that was to work with - it melted, it yellowed and it broke up over time. But what these quilters don't know is that today's polyester invisible thread has none of those problems!

1. NO it will not melt! Really IT WILL NOT MELT! In fact, the melting point is higher for monofilament thread than for fabric, so if your thread melts, your fabric will also be scorched! This also means you can wash and dry your quilts that uses invisible thread and they will be just fine!

2. YES, you can use it in your bobbin. It's softer and more pliable than the old stuff so it winds very well on the bobbin. But there is a caveat - only wind the bobbin about half full, less if your machine uses plastic bobbins. Invisible thread does stretch as it winds, so it constricts the bobbin and can make it hard to get off the winder.

3. No it won't "cut" into your cotton fabric. I've been using invisible for almost 20 years now (along with regular polyester thread for piecing and appliqué) and NONE of my appliqué has EVER come off or been ruined by polyester thread. I'd like to know where the rumor that you can only use cotton thread with cotton fabric came from anyhow.

4. Invisible thread will not ruin your machine. I hear this every time I teach appliqué. Again, how does this stuff get started, and why do we believe it!?

Early on in my appliqué quilting days, I got tired of people telling
me the thread would melt so I made a potholder to prove that it won't.
You can see where the fabric is wearing away, but the stitches are still intact!

Some tips for using invisible thread...
  • Sometimes invisible doesn't want to play well with some machines. My No. 1 go-to tip for ALL machines is to make sure the spool pin is vertical. Most of us sew with thread in the horizontal position, but for some reason, most machines want invisible thread to be vertical. If you don't have a vertical spool, put the thread in a small jar behind your machine. That works too.
  • Practice first! Use scraps to sew on or make a practice block first. Each machine will react to invisible thread differently and you need to know how yours is going to handle it. You may have to mess with tension. I sew on Bernina machines and I have never had to do this, but some machines do. You'll know if you need to! Once you find the right settings, write them down. I put sticky notes on my machine so I'll remember!
  • Don't bother with smoke or any other colored invisible thread. Clear is perfect for 100% of projects - even on dark fabrics. (I think smoke is more visible on dark fabric than clear is.)
Close-up of my Invisible Zigzag Appliqué method. I use
invisible thread in the top and bobbin. You can barely see it! 
  • I use invisible thread and a zigzag stitch for appliqué, but you can also use it for quilting in the ditch or even FMQ! I've seen some beautifully quilted quilts with invisible! But don't use it for piecing! You won't get the same results that you do with regular thread.
If you own this, throw it away immediately!

For more on my Invisible Zigzag Appliqué method of quilting get my book, The Modern Appliqué Workbook. Click here for details.


  1. Agree 100%. Who knows where these goofy rumors start? When I hear them, I research the issue from reputable web sites. Superior Thread has a lot of good information on threads and machine needles. Thanks for spreading the word.

    1. Thanks Mary Ellen! I do a lot of research on any weird "rule" I hear - just because I want to know!


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