VALDANI THREAD: Super Quality, Astonishing Price
By Addy Harkavy
Many years ago, before I got my first Bernina, I thought that thread was thread. In the intervening years, I’ve acquired some antique Singers (no Featherweights), a couple of Berninas, and a couple of Elnas, and I have tested, tested, and tested 100% cotton threads, which brings me to Valdani Threads, which I’ve been playing with for the past several months.
The short version is that I am impressed, seriously impressed. These are truly the best threads I have seen for the price, and they hold their own against any 100% cotton threads at any price.
My criteria for thread are simple. I use a lot of it, so it needs to be economical, but cheap won’t do it. It needs to be strong, must run well in a variety of machines (so I can use it on any machine I choose to work with), must leave very little lint (I am spoiled), and must be available on demand.
Valdani Threads met all these criteria and then some. Here’s what my tests involved. Each thread was used for hand sewing or quilting and was run in the following machines: Singer 201, Singer 301, Bernina 1008, Bernina 1260, and the Elna Heirloom Edition model 6005 (a sister machine to the Elna Quilter’s Edition). I tested only the 3-ply 50-weight 100% cotton sewing thread, 35-weight 100% cotton quilting thread, and 35-weight hand-dyed 100% cotton variegated quilting thread. I did not test the CottonLook poly and the size 12 Pearl Cotton.
The thread: Valdani says these threads spun from 100% long-staple, mercerized cotton and are suitable for hand sewing and for use on home and commercial machines. Available in a stunning array of colors and variegations, these threads seem to glow. They invited me to get cozy with them. When I wound off a little of the 3-ply 50-weight sewing thread, it appeared thin, and I wondered about its strength. Some pulling and jerking convinced me that it was at least as strong as any thread on my rack. Its silky texture impressed me. The quilting thread was similarly silky and also seemed very strong.
Both types of thread wound easily on bobbins and ran smoothly in all of the sewing machines.
Hand sewing and quilting: The 50-weight sewing thread was a dream to use in hand piecing and applique. It was strong, and it neither tangled nor shredded at the needle’s eye. The 35-weight quilting thread was a pleasure to use. It didn’t shred in my 11 between, and it pulled smoothly through cotton top, back, and 100% cotton batt.
Machine sewing: Here’s where both of these threads really shine! Not only did they run smoothly in my machines, they left very little lint. The 50-weight performed beautifully in straight stitching, decorative stitching, and embroidery. Just for the heck of it, I tried the 35-weight quilting thread with embroidery stitches (using 50-weight in the bobbin), and I was favorably impressed with my results. The 35-weight thread performed well when I used it to machine quilt a sample sandwich that had an intricately pieced block on top (scrap that I sewed together for the purpose, lots of small pieces, lots of seams to quilt through), a 100% cotton midweight batt in the middle, and plain cotton on the back. For this application, I used 50-weight thread in the bobbin and the quilting thread on the top.
Machine tension: The Valdani threads ran superbly in the Singers without adjustment. Minor adjustments were required on the Berninas and the Elna, which had been set for the thread I customarily use.
Cost: This stuff is a bargain. Super quality at an unbeatable price. Here’s the breakdown:The solid cotton 50-weight thread is available on 1625–yd and 3260-yd spools at retail price of $5.40 and $11.00, respectively. The solid 35-weight quilting thread is sold on spools of 1083 yds and 2167 yds for $4.20 and $7.80, respectively. The variegated 35-weight thread is a super bargain on 542-yd, 1083-yd, and 2167-yd spools for $4.99, $7.40, and $11.50, respectively.
The bottom line: I think this line of thread is absolutely super and think that if you’re looking for good thread, this stuff is worth a try.
Valdani Threads supplied for this review by Sew Thankful. Sew Thankful is an internet retailer & distributor of Valdani Threads. Wholesale inquiries welcome.
Copyright 2002 by
[Editor's Note: Addy Harkavy is a quilter and writer who lives in Maine with her husband and several fine German shepherds. She is co-owner of Pinetree Quiltworks in South Portland and online at http://www.quiltworks.com]
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