New serger owners often get scared when they realize they need FOUR spools of thread to sew the most common 4-thread overlock construction seam. They say, “It is going to cost me a fortune in thread to run a serger!”
Below are 5 Serger Thread Tips for selecting serger thread colors all while saving a few dollars.
This video is what inspired this blog. I was in the middle of filming the Sewing Mastery tutorial videos on the Bernina L450 serger and noticed that the serger thread I was using was getting used up at an uneven rate. So I filmed a bonus video about what to do when two of the serger cones are thinner than the other two.
As a serger teacher I have discovered that new serger owners first need to understand how their serger works before talking about thread color selection. In our classes, we require each student to bring four different colors of serger thread (BLUE, RED, GREEN and YELLOW) so they can learn which thread does what operation. This is a quick way for students to understand how their serger works and when they go home all their samples are color coded for easy reference in the future.
The serger students also quickly learn that only the thread color in the outside needle is the one that actually shows when a seam is opened. The rest of the thread colors will often never be seen. Think of making a pillowcase. The thread colors used for the 4-thread overlock construction seam will hardly show. I have been known to sew multiple pillowcases with the same multi-colored serger thread collection left over from the serger class. Kids love colorful seams!
But, if I was making something that the seams where going to show or the item would be judged (4H competition), I would definitely take the time to match all serger threads to the project fabric. See the tips below to learn how to get away with only buying two spools of serger thread instead of four spools to save money.
Serger Thread Tip #1
The most basic serger thread pallette every serger owner needs is:
4 White Spools
4 Neutral Colors – creams or grays or mix and match a combination of each
4 Darks – 4 blacks or 1 black, 1 navy, 1 chocolate brown and 1 charcoal gray
These basic colors will cover you through most serger projects. Having a set of all white thread will make sure there is no shadowing through when sewing on white fabric. Having a set of four neutral colors is like being a quilter – they use cream or gray thread colors to sew on just about every color of the rainbow. Having four dark serger thread will cover just about everything else.
Serger Thread Tip #2
Serger loopers are thread hogs. Use your two fullest serger spools in the upper and lower loop positions. Save spools that are almost empty for needle positions.
Serger Thread Tip #3
If you only have two spools of serger thread but want to serge a 4-thread overlock stitch, wind the serger thread on to two bobbins. Place the full bobbins in the right and left needle positions and place the two spools of serger thread in the upper and lower looper positions.
Serger Thread Tip #4
When serging on a unique fabric color that you do not want to own four spools of serger thread, reach for a regular sewing thread size of spool. Place the matching spool on the outside needle. The outside needle position is the one that needs to match the fabric.
Serger Thread Tip #5
Quality serger threads make a difference. Elimination frustration by skipping past the bargain brand serger thread. It is OK to pay a little more for quality serger thread. Give your serger a fighting chance to do its best work for you by feeding it quality thread.
We currently stock the following two brands of serger thread in our store. They both pasted all our serger thread quality tests on both the economical level of sergers and the top rated high-performance sergers.
Madeira Aerolock premium serger thread – 2000 yards
Mettler seracor Serger thread – 2743 yards
In other words, don’t cheap out when it comes to purchasing serger thread.
In conclusion, you do not need to spend a fortune on serger thread to get started. With some basic understanding of how a serger works you will quickly see that the thread color choice is not as crucial as most serger owners think. Simplify your thread purchases with these serger thread tips and treat yourself with your savings to a few of our recommended Craftsy serger classes below.