Monday, May 3, 2010

Confessions of a Dual Duty User

No matter how ashamed I am to say it, it's confession time. (Deep breath.) I use Coats & Clark Dual-Duty thread and I like it. Both the sewing machine thread and the hand-quilting thread.

Whew! That was a big one to get off my chest.

How did this happen, you ask? How could a so-called experienced quilter use Dual Duty? Well, it's like this, I'm a self-taught quilter. No classes; and although I've read many books, I don't recall much about thread in any of them.

When I first began my adventures in quilting, I bought many of my supplies at Wal-mart (back when they had a pretty decent sewing department), and Wal-mart carried Dual Duty. Truth be told, I thought thread was thread and didn't even realize there were any other manufacturers much less types of thread. My LQS did carry some thread, but it was specialized stuff, like metallics and other unusual types.

It wasn't until I started interacting with quilters on the internet, mostly through the newsgroup, rec.crafts.textiles.quilting, that I began to realize that thread was not always just thread, and that most quilters use 100% cotton thread. Names like Aurifil, Essential, Sulky, and Gutermann were bandied about. Hmmm. And I could read the unsaid disdain about Dual Duty in between the lines. Yessir.

So I bought some 100% cotton thread just to try. Eke! The thread frayed and broke. It was linty. My sewing machines just didn't like it one bit. Not impressed at all. And I'll tell you as one who bows down to my new Juki on a regular basis, and asks the sewing machine gods to smile on us, I'll do darn near anything to keep the sewing machines happy. They like Dual Duty. Okay, I'll admit, I don't even remember what brand the 100% cotton thread was, and it probably wasn't top of the line.

So there you have it. My confession. I still don't know what is wrong with Dual Duty.

Now, I'm trusting you all to set me straight. Please leave comments telling me what thread you like and why. I really am interested in learning.


  1. Howdy! Use what you like, like what you use. My little Janome was o.k. w/ the C&C DD; I used their handquilting thread for years. Then C&C changed, it's not the same dependable thread, imo. The Janome 6500 gets clogged w/ lint from C&C DD. My machine store sells Robison-Anton thread; their Super Stitch is great! - strong, consistent (no lumps), low lint, smooth, & 100% cotton. I've already told you about my preference for G├╝termann handquilting thread. Enjoying your blog & your attitude, Michelle. ;->

  2. Well, use what thread you like. For hand applique I like to use Mettler embroidery 100% cotton thread.
    For my machine I really like the thread that Connecting Threads sells. Not a lot of lint and no breaking. I usually buy it on sale too.

  3. I've used everything--plenty of C&C Dual Duty. It's all I ever used in garment sewing as I was growing up, but I think the thread was a little better then. I still have some of that "vintage" thread from the late '60s and '70s and use it. Mostly for piecing quilts, though, I'm using my mom's large cones of serger thread. That can be some linty stuff and I think my days of using it in the new Juki are numbered. Like you said, I want to keep that machine happy.

  4. That's funny, Michelle. I took a Hawaiian quilting and applique class in Waikiki in 08 and she used coats and clark - floored me!! I like the z twist thread best, and CC is s twist. There's more tangling with s twist. Superior threads have only z twist, so that's mostly where I buy thread anymore.

  5. I used to use CC for sewing clothing, but with quilting I always used cotton to match the fabric. I have both Auriful and Masterpiece by Superior on hand and like them both. They are fine so they don't take up room in the seam allowance and neither are linty threads. If the CC works for you, use it!

  6. I took a class from Handi Quilter. They said the thread you use doesn't really matter as long as it works for you and matches your quilt. So That's what I do.

  7. I use Dual Duty too, and I'm not ashamed, nor am I switching.

  8. I use DD sometimes for piecing. I like the CC craft and button weight thread a lot for hand-stitching things on. For quilting, I love, love, love Aurifil's Bottomfil thread in the bobbin. Now for a big, fat Boo-hiss: I bought a bunch of Valdani thread on huge sale a year or so ago. It's terrible. I haven't yet found a way to use it and I'm probably going to throw it away. Makes me angry I spent money on something that so far is worthless.

  9. I, too, have used C&C for quilting but I have changed to cotton, esp. Aurifil . A few years ago I was sewing with C&C and noticed in the bobbin area ( when I opened the little door to ck on it ) a lot of lint. I realized that my thread was old so tossed all the old stuff. The other day while using some C&C again I had the same type lint --powdery--so will again check some of my supplies and toss the old stuff. I liked sewing with C&C but I would not buy a lot of colors to keep on hand because of this factor ..but then again they do have a new version of it so maybe they have licked that problem. I just thought the cotton had probably disintegrated off the poly core although I'm not sure this could happen ! Just mho.


Your comments brighten my day. :-)