Our Fil Au Chinois all purpose sewing thread is a made of polyester. For those who wish to know what they are using, polyester is a plastic material obtained by chemical synthesis. It was patented by two English chemists, Rex Whinfield and James Tennant Dickson, in 1941, but the product was made public in 1946 due to wartime secrecy restrictions. Each country developped their own version, thus in the UK ICI produced Terylene, Dupont produced Dacron in the USA and Rhone-Poulenc brought out the French version, Tergal.
Cotton or polyester thread - which one? As a general rule, polyester thread is used on synthetic fabrics and cotton thread for cotton fabrics, so that they age well and wash similarly. However, many seamstresses swear by polyester thread and others by only cotton. Whatever the choice, for machine use, the same thread should be used for both the bobbin and the spool.
Here our Fil Au Chinois range on 100m spools.
Cocoons are an unusual way of presenting sewing thread. In fact, this presentation is very common in the textile industry: with a slightly different form they are used in the shuttles of industrial embroidery machines. The first time I visited Ets Toulemonde, I fell in love with these adorable cocoons and thought that, with a lovely label, they would be practical and amusing to offer on our site. This is how they ended up in our complete sewing sets. The small size and economical price make it possible to have lots of colours.
In my perpetual quest to find pretty packagings made in France, imagine my delight to come across these little metal boxes, just like those used for shoe polish. These contain miniature cocoons of sewing thread - ideal when travelling or for small repair jobs. See our complete collection of haberdashery products presented in metal tin boxes.
This is a textured polyester thread which is stretchy, resistant and puffy. It is used for sewing flexible fabrics such as jersey, Lycra and knitwear. This Fil Au Chinois thread is called overlock or serger thread, because it is used on these machines. It is also extremely soft which is why it is used for underwear, swimwear, clothes that are worn next to the skin and washable baby nappies. Attention: this thread can melt when ironed if you do not use a damp cloth.
Fil Au Chinois Cordonnet is a thick synthetic thread, perfect for topstitching, buttons, thick fabrics as well as for costume jewellery. Made from polyester, it is rot resistant which makes it ideal for tarpaulins and outdoor canvases. In French, cordonnet indicates that it is a thick thread, as it means "little cord". This thread is also available for professional use on 750m spools called Special Cordonnerie.