Can You Use Cone Thread On A Regular Sewing Machine

When embarking on a sewing venture, it’s important to know exactly what kind of thread you plan to use. Traditional thread works well in most sewing situations, but using the wrong type can lead to problems, like tension issues and a weaker stitching quality. Fortunately, there is an alternative – cone thread – suitable for a range of materials, both thick and thin.

Cone thread is a continuous-length thread that is wound around a spool-like reel. It is made from natural and synthetic fibers and comes in several thicknesses. Because it comes in a continuous length, it can be used for extended periods of time. This makes it ideal for any project requiring larger applications, such as forters, quilts or curtains.

So, the question is – can you use cone thread on a regular sewing machine? The answer is yes, but with a few precautions. A regular sewing machine can handle cone thread, but the machine must have some special features for it to work properly. The bobbin area of the machine must be large enough to accommodate the wider cone thread, and the tension settings must also be adjusted.

Using the correct settings, assembling the right attachments and using the right needles is also essential. Machines with aluminum bobbins should be avoided when using cone thread since they often cause tension problems. The machine’s thread tension must be just right, not loose or too tight, or the thread may skip stitches or break. Keeping the pressure of the machine’s presser foot light will also help.

Experts suggest that if you’re a beginner, start with a cone of cotton thread until you get used to the machine’s settings. You may also want to practice with shorter lengths of thread, as longer lengths can cause issues, such as tangles and knots. With practice, you will soon learn how to use the machine to get the best results.

In addition to that, always remember to clean your machine regularly and oil it as recommended by the manufacturer for smoother sewing. This will help maintain the optimal level of thread tension for your machine. And, if your machine is having trouble with cone thread, it is probably the sign of a mechanical issue that needs to be addressed.

Materials Suitable for Cone Thread

Cone thread works best on Natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk, as well as synthetics like spandex, nylon and rayon. The heavier thread can be used to stitch curtains and awnings and make them stronger. The lighter weights can be used to create delicate designs and lacy effects on fabrics. Cone thread is also great for quilting and embroidery projects.

In regard to weight, thicker cone thread is better for heavier fabrics, while lighter is best for lighter fabrics. If the thread is too thick, it can cause the fabric to pucker or bunch, while too light thread won’t be strong enough to hold the fabric. You should match the thread type to the thickness of the fabric for best results.

When selecting a cone thread, the color is also important. Most fabric stores will have a wide selection of colors to choose from. Selecting a thread that is similar in color to the fabric will help it blend in better, while a contrasting color will help the stitches stand out for decorative stitching. You should also consider the texture of the thread; matte or shiny threads have different affects on fabric.

Cone thread is also extremely versatile. Not only can it be used in a traditional manner, but it is also suitable for quick repairs, as well as creating stunning embroidery designs. Just ensure you have the right machine settings and the right type of cone thread and you’ll be good to go.

Maintenance Requirements

Regular and proper maintenance is essential for any sewing machine that uses cone thread. It is important to properly clean and oil the machine, as this will help keep the thread tension at the right level and maintain the quality of your sewing for longer. Regular cleaning and oiling is also important for protecting and prolonging the life of the machine.

Additionally, it is vital to inspect the needle and thread regularly. Worn or bent needles will cause thread problems, as will dull or rusty needles. Thread can also break more easily if it is old or poor quality, so ensure you check it regularly. If a problem is encountered, it is best to replace the needle or thread immediately.

In conclusion, using cone thread on a regular sewing machine can save time and money, allowing you to get the job done faster and with the quality you desire. Just make sure you adjust your machine settings, select the right materials and practice regularly.

Special Techniques

When using cone thread on a regular sewing machine, it is important to develop special techniques to help achieve perfect results. For instance, use the backstitch to secure the thread at the start and end of a seam. This will help hold the fabric in place and reduce puckering or gathering of the fabric.

Also, using a spool net or small catcher can help prevent thread tangles. Place one of these over the spool of thread and it will help prevent snagging and tangles while the machine is stitching. This is especially useful when using longer lengths of thread.

Certain techniques can also help you get the most out of your machine when using a heavier cone thread. It is recommended that you use the same type of needle several times before replacing it, as this will help prevent unnecessary strain on the machine. In addition, increase the stitch length when using heavier thread, as this will ensure smoother stitching.

It is also important to use a walking foot attachment when sewing with heavy thread and fabric. The walking foot helps evenly distribute the fabric and the thread, allowing for a smoother and more even stitch. You may also want to use a seam guide when stitching long lengths, as this will help keep the seams even and straight.


When having trouble with cone thread on a regular sewing machine, it is important to first check the machine settings. Make sure the thread tension is set correctly, not too loose or too tight. Also check the needle to ensure it is the right size and type and that it is properly inserted into the machine. Finally, ensure the right type of thread is being used and that the correct spool catcher is in place.

If the machine is still having problems, it may be time to make some adjustments. Check the machine’s pressure plate and the presser foot pressure, as too much of either can cause tension problems. Additionally, check the bobbin case. Repair or replace parts as needed to ensure optimal performance.

If adjustments don’t work, it is probably best to take the machine to a professional. A technician should be able to easily identify and fix the issue, allowing you to get back to sewing quickly. Consider investing in a good quality thread stand, as this can help prevent knotting and tangling.

Other Sewing Accessories

Other items you may need when using cone thread for sewing include: a thread stand, which will help keep the thread off the floor and make it easier to work with; a thread cutter, which is helpful for trimming off excess thread; and bobbins, which are a great way to store smaller amounts of thread.

In regard to needles, it is important to use the right one for the job. Ballpoint needles have rounded tips and are great for stretchy fabrics, while universal needles have slightly sharpened tips and are good for woven fabrics. Sharps are good for finer fabrics and topstitching and will help prevent skipped stitches.

It is also important to have the right types of scissors when using cone thread. Select a good quality pair of shears and keep them sharpened, as dull blades can pull or fray the fabric. Don’t forget to choose a pair of pinking shears for finishing seams, as this will help prevent fraying.

Finally, invest in a quality seam ripper and spare needles. While seam rippers are helpful for making mistakes and fixing punctures, needles can also wear out or break. Having a few spares on hand will save time and frustration in the long run.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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