2006-11-12

a small rant about Mettler


I do not like Mettler thread.

I have bought it on several occasions, usually because I am unprepared for a project and need thread in a hurry. The first time was during a hawaiian quilting class-- I brought my fabrics to the class, but seeing as it was held in a quilt shop, I thought I could buy thread there. I had never done needle turn applique before, nor had I sewn with sharps. Thinking back on it, I learned a lot from that class. I'm glad I took it. One thing I learned though, is that Mettler breaks when used by hand. The spot where the needle pulls the thread becomes quite worn after just a few stitches and either you end up with a broken thread before you tie your knot (thus having to take out stitches in order to have enough thread to knot properly), or your the end of the thread is very weak right before or in the center of the knot.

I know some people will think that I'm just making the begginer's mistake of trying to sew with thread that's too long. But no. I think it was Mrs. K who taught me never to cut thread longer than your forearm. That's why it pisses me off that the damn Mettler thread breaks after less than 12 inches!!!

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson and just not buy Mettler anymore. But sadly, this simple solution is harder than it seems. I prefer Gutermann. I love Gutermann. It's so strong and consistent, and as an added bonus, it's made in Greece! I have not found ANY quilt shops (or fabric shops even) in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island that carry Gutermann. Everyone carries Mettler! When I ask shopkeepers why, they say it works better in the computerized sewing machines. Hmm.

I should clarify and say that for machine piecing I'll use any brand, so long as it's 100% cotton. For hand quilting I prefer Gutermann, but Coats & Clark is also nice. I haven't used Sulky yet, so as of now I have no opinion. For applique it's gotta be Gutermann though. I won't enjoy the experience as much if it's not. My current headache and the reason for this rant is that I spent the past week hand sewing the binding to the back of my Postcard Stripe quilt. I wanted 100% cotton thread in bright red. I'll admit I was in a hurry-- I wanted to sew before the motivation left me-- so I stopped at The Fabric Place on my way home from work one night. Goddammit my only choice was Mettler. (the other brands didn't come in bright red) I knew I'd regret it. It only makes me feel worse that the damn spool of 500 yards cost over $6. And I don't usually sew with red. Whine whine whine.

A positive result of this experience though, is that I finally decided to create a webring for hand quilters. I'm tired of feeling alone in this ultra-fast, instant gratification, machine quilted world. I'm not knocking machine quilters, of course. I just want to find some like minded hand quilters, and I hope the webring will help. If you're interested, please click this link.

thanks for listening to my rant. what pisses you off about the quilting world?

4 comments:

Lucia said...

Poor little Jessica...I also hate thread that breaks. It breaks a lot of joy in quilting :*(

Kathie said...

Mettler is my overwhelmiing thread of choice for machine stitching. Have never had a problem with it in hand-stitching--although my handsewing is mostly limited to things like hems and quilt bindings.

Have you tried embroidery-weight (I think it's 60-weight) Mettler for your applique?

My quilting pet peeve is fabric manfacturing that keeps narrowing fabric width. It's the quilting equivalent to the shrinking "pound" of coffee.

Judy said...

I will add that I use nothing but Mettler for machine pieceing, but when I sew my applique I always prefer Sulky rayon. I wish I could use the cotton but it snags and tangles and you are exaclty right that right where the needle sits, it break. I tried moving the needle placement but no good. The rayon slides right into the fabric and slips to being almost invisible. I read loads of info and it's supposed to hold up just as well as cotton, so who knows.

I haven't tried the green writing applique weight, Mettler thread yet, but it is smoother and thinner, so that will be my next choice. I've heard that Aurofil is great also for hand applique stitching, but it's hard to find some places and no where locally. I've found packs online that I may try.

Anonymous said...

I use nothing but Mettler and love it. I have never had a problem with Mettler and would recommend it to anyone. I've used it for hand quilting and machine quilting. I wish I had a quilt shop close so I could buy more.

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