Tuesday Treats: "Little green threads"

Or should that have been little green men?

Aurifil cotton Mako' spools formatted in a four lead clover

I am a day ahead for a change as St Patrick’s day was too good an opportunity to miss when I had a photo to share of my favourite threads.

I’ve often talked about how Aurifil’s Cotton Mako’ 40 thread weight is my “go to” thread for general sewing, patchwork & quilting.

I think of it as the “all purpose” thread in my collection as I like the fact that it has a little more body than Cotton Mako’ 50, while still being fine enough to stitch a spot on 1/4″ seam when piecing and have ditch stitching lines disappear into the seam line when quilting.

I know lots of people use, & blog, about the Cotton Mako’ 50 threads and I often wonder if this is because they think the Mako’ 40 is a thicker thread, like many of the other 4o weight threads on the market.

With this in mind, we conducted a test at our last staff meeting.

It was a very subjective test, but a comparison test none the less, using as many other threads that we could scrounge up in our sewing rooms.

Comparing the Aurifil Cotton Mako' threads with other threads on the market.

With some of the threads it was immediately easy to see that, although they were designated a size “40”, they were different and often much thicker and, or, rougher than our Cotton Mako’ 40.

Others required a blind (eyes closed) touchy feely assessment to see if each of us could feel the difference between different threads when we didn’t know what we were touching.

In each case we came back to the fact that when handling Cotton Mako’ 40 it  was

  • smooth
  • fine &
  • strong

When talking to groups I always say that, like women’s dress sizes, there is not a single definitive international standard measuring system for thread.

Rather there are many different ways to express thread measurements,  so measurements within a brand relate to each other but do not relate directly to measurements in another brand.

Not very helpful when you first start choosing threads but you quickly learn to choose threads by feel, choosing the ones that give you the result you want for your stitching.


As I said earlier, for me the all purpose general sewing , patchwork & quilting thread is Cotton Mako’ 40.

And the reason why St Patrick’s day was the perfect opportunity for my shout out about Cotton Mako’ 40?

Cotton Mako’ 40  is the thread weight that is packaged on the green spool spindles.

PS:  I could resist including a photo of the green hair bow worn by one of the entertainers at a street parade this month.