If you've done any kind of hand sewing, beading or embroidery, you may have encountered different types of thread conditioners and wondered what they're all about. You may even be confused by what thread conditioner even is! Guest contributor Mollie Johanson is here to help.
Benzie Design carries three varieties of thread conditioners: Thread Magic, Sew Fine Thread Gloss and Beeswax Thread Conditioner. All three help your thread glide through your fabric, resist tangles and even make it easier to thread a needle, but they aren't all the same. Let's take a look at the differences as well as how to choose the best tool for the job.
This synthetic conditioner is similar to Thread Heaven, which is no longer produced. Thread Magic is silicone-based and silicone is a lubricant, meaning this helps the thread slide smoothly through your felt or fabric while reducing the friction that also leads to knots. It's also great for working with metallic threads that can be especially troublesome.
An important feature of this product is that, while it does coat your thread, a single pass or two won't leave a dulling residue. That's vital for hand embroidery where you really want the embroidery floss to shine!
Thread Magic is ideal for hand embroidery and any time you want to tame tangles and reduce frustration. It's also suitable for use with thread on your sewing machine. You can attach the Thread Magic to your machine in such a way that the thread passes through the conditioner before threading into the needle.
Sew Fine Thread Gloss
Sewists and quilters have used beeswax to strengthen and protect their threads for years, and Sew Fine Thread Gloss is like an upgrade on a classic. This conditioner is made with natural beeswax and fragrance oils (that won't harm your fiber project) so you can enjoy some sweet scents while you stitch.
Thread gloss coats your thread so that it is easier to work with, while also making it stronger - a feature that's helpful for hand sewing.
Beeswax Thread Conditioner
Benzie's 100% Beeswax Thread Conditioner is just that, beeswax. And it's from bees that are local to Benzie. This is as close as you'll get to what your grandma might have kept in her sewing basket, and it comes in a cute rainbow shape!
Waxed thread is common for bookbinding and beading because the wax coats the thread, making it stronger and less likely to stretch. Similar to Thread Gloss, using Beeswax Conditioner is like making your own waxed thread and you get to decide exactly how much coating you want or need.
With any beeswax-based conditioner, the coating can dull the shine of embroidery floss, so it's not ideal for fine decorative embroidery. The more you apply, the more you'll see the coating. Beeswax is best for hand stitching. Using it with a sewing machine can gum things up, so avoid that.
Directions for Use
To use each of these types of conditioners on a length of thread or floss, place the thread or embroidery floss on the thread conditioner and hold it in place with your thumb or finger. While holding it against the conditioner, pull the thread through from end to end. Repeat as needed, then slide your fingers along the length of the thread to smooth it out before you start stitching!