Depending on who you ask, 8wt threads are either beautiful, bold and dazzling, or intimidating without any obvious uses besides hand stitching. We’re here to tell you the latter is simply not true! Even though they won’t fit through the eye of a machine needle, you can still use these beauties in your sewing machine and even your serger. 8wt threads can be used by just about everyone. Here’s just 6 applications for them!
Click to watch our video to see how to do the techniques below first-hand.
This is a technique where you lay the heavy 8wt threads over the fabric, then stitch over them to hold them down. You can create some amazing textures and patterns, and experiment with changing the colours using variegated threads, or using a super fine 100wt thread so that only the couched threads show. We used our Razzle™ rayon thread for couching in the image to the right, with Mirage™ variegated 30wt thread in the needle. Who could resist those colours?
2. Bobbin Work
Another way to use 8wt threads in your sewing machine is to wind them on your bobbin and use a finer thread in the needle, such as an 80 or 100wt thread. You can then sew upside down on your fabric so that the bobbin thread is on the right side of the fabric. This is a great way to create gorgeous textures and shading, especially on art quilts!
3. Decorative Serger Stitch
This is an incredibly fast, easy, and beautiful way to finish the edges of a project as an alternative to binding. Simply load the 8wt thread in the upper loopers (and lower loopers too if you wish) with a regular serger thread in the needle. Using a rayon thread with a bit of sparkle, such as our Dazzle™ rayon and metallic thread, will create a gorgeous, touchable finish.
4. Crochet & Knitting
8wt threads are actually thick enough to be used for crochet and knitting, which actually opens up a whole new world of project options. Unlike wool, a rayon thread has a glossy shine to it that reflects the light, which can totally change the look of a crochet or knit project. We used Dazzle™ 8wt rayon and metallic thread in a crochet machine to create this shawl. Also consider crocheting or knitting espadrilles, hats, toys, or any number of projects that you’d like to add a little more “oomph” to!
Tassels, bracelets, jewelry, earrings, macrame, play food… the possibilities are endless. Even if you’re not sewing with these threads, you can still use them for all kinds of crafts and fun little projects! We used Eleganza™ thread to make these super simple tassel earrings.
6. Hand Embroidery
8wt thread is most commonly used when doing hand embroidery and we recommend this size if you’re just starting out. This increasingly popular technique is a great way to relax and can be used for anything from embellishing quilts by hand, to stitch meditation, to doing visible mending on your clothing. Hand embroidery is very easy to get into as all you need is a hoop, a needle, and some thread! Pictured on the right is the Chick Play pattern by Sue Spargo using Eleganza™ perle cotton thread.