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Perfectly suited for every quilt project, Once you go Aurifil you don't go back!

When I first started quilting thread wasn't really a top priority to me. At the time I didn't realize the utmost importance of quality thread. I had concern for my fabric quality and always tried to purchase the best quality fabric my money could buy, but never took into consideration the quality of my thread and always purchased whatever was on sale at Joann's. Well I continued sewing wondering why machine after machine I was having tension issues, breaking thread, etc.

Look at the goodies I got in the mail! Want to guess what this is for? You shall see :) @aurifil #aurifil

When I participated in the Patchwork Prism Quilt Along, I won a sampler pack of Aurifil thread. The sampler pack came with a few different weight threads, cotton, wool, and variegated thread. I didn't really know anything about thread so I just stared at the pack thinking what in the world am I going do with this, I don't know the difference in weight or where to even start. I had heard wonderful things about Aurifil so I was pretty excited, but knew it would take some researching and learning to really take advantage of what the thread had to offer. I later decided to contact Aurifil to see if they wanted to participate in the Totally Groovy Quilt Along, and sponsor with a giveaway. Alex at Aurifil was incredibly helpful and was more than happy to participate. One day UPS dropped a medium box on my doorstep. When I looked at the return address and saw Aurifil, I was thinking, "wow thats a big box for such little thread". Well Aurifil had generously donated 13 packs of Aurifil Samplers for the QAL, and some other amazing threads for me to test out and play with. So yes, I was given this thread to play with, but believe me when I tell you this review is completely my opinion, and I was under no obligation to write this post it was my choice to write this review. This is my honest opinion! My first goal was to learn everything I could about Aurifil, what makes their thread different, how to use the different weights, what the pro quilters who use Aurifil say, etc. Here is what I learned.

All About Aurifil

Aurifil is an Italian company based near Milano, with a full-grown experience in producing superior quality cotton threads for professional and domestic quilters. It is made with Egyptian Mako Cotton, which is grown much like wine grapes in climate that nurtures the quality and makes for great sewing thread. This ensures very little breakage, and makes it virtually lint free. Which in turn can leave you with a very happy machine, less broken needles, and tension issues.

Thread Weight

Aurifil comes in 4 different weights. The Ne.50, Ne.40, Ne.28, Ne.12. The higher the number the thinner the thread. As stated on the Aurifil website here are the common uses for each weight
  • Ne. 50 - Hand Appliqué, Hand Piecing, Long-arm Quilting, Machine Appliqué, Machine Embroidery, Machine Piecing, Machine Quilting.
  • Ne. 40 - Cross Stitch, Hand Piecing, Long-arm Quilting, Machine Appliqué, Machine Piecing, Machine Quilting, Machine Embroidery, Serging
  • Ne. 28 - Cross Stitch, Hand Piecing, Long-arm Quilting, Machine Appliqué, Machine Piecing, Machine Quilting, Machine Embroidery, Serging, Under Thread
  • Ne. 12 - Cross Stitch, Long-arm Quilting, Machine Appliqué, Machine Quilting, Machine Embroidery, Machine Sashiko, Redwork, Hand embroidery, Hand Quilting, Hand Applique, Embellishment
  • 6 Strand Floss - six-strand divisible thread to be used in place of pearl cotton or embroidery floss

Thread Material

Aurifil comes in a few different materials.
  • 100% Egyptian Mako Cotton- All Purpose
  • Invisible Monofilament - for Invisible Stitching
  • 100% Lana Wool - For Folk Art and country style stitches

Thread Color

Mako Cotton Thread Color Card

One of the amazing things about Aurifil is the unbelievable color selection. As you know I am a huge fan of using color cards. Aurifil has two wonderful color cards. One for the Mako Cotton with all 250! Mako Cotton colors, 216 of which are plain solids and 36 variegated. One for the Lana Wool with 192 colors, 180 plain solids and 12 variegated.

Lana Wool Thread Color Card

Thread Collections

Aurifil sells thread collections which have been put together by designers and Aurifil experts. Pat Sloan, Pat Bravo, Mark Lipinski, are some of the designers who have chosen their favorite "go to" threads and have created a collection to purchase.

Thread Spool Sizes

Each color comes in a few different sized spools.
  • Small Spool - 220 Yards
  • Large Spool - 1422 Yards
  • Cone - 6452 Yards
  • Skien - 109 Yards (40wt, 28wt, 12wt only )

Beautiful Aurifil

So when Aurifil states that their thread is perfectly suited for every quilt project. They aren't lying! The options are endless. To learn more about how to properly use Aurifil with your machine, project ideas you can visit Aurifil's website and watch a plethora of videos.

Playing with Aurifil

Once I was done getting a thorough run down on Aurifil thread I wanted start playing. For the last month or so I have been using Aurifil on most of my projects.

Hexie Tree Bag

For my Hexie Bag, I used Aurifil 50wt. to whip stich my hexies together. When I assembled the bag, I really wanted the stitched to look solid and heavy duty, so I used a 28wt thread. Embroidered Summersville Crayon Roll

After embroidery was done, I finished up sewing the crayon roll with 50wt thread.

Interior of Pleated Bohemian Tote

For my Pleated Bohemian Tote I used 50wt thread.

Modern Medallion Round 3

For all machine quilt piecing I have been using a 50wt thread It is very important to remember that when you are using different weights and materials you must make sure you are using the proper tension settings, needle size, and bobbin thread. Aurifil gives suggestions on their website. For machine quilting here are the suggestions.
  • Ne. 50 - Machine quilting : Use for very detailed machine quilting with a lot of back tracking such as feathers and heavy background quilting . Perfect for quilting that creates texture when you don’t necessarily want to see the quilting lines. Use the same thread in the bobbin. Titanium Top Stitch 80/12 needle
  • Ne. 40 - Machine quilting : Perfect for quilting when you want to create texture, and also when you want to create a quilted motif that stands out a bit more. Same wt or Mako 50 wt in the same color in the bobbin. Titanium Top Stitch 80/12 needle.
  • Ne. 28 - Machine quilting Good for machine quilting when you desire the thread to add an extra visual impact to the patchwork top. Use a slightly longer stitch length. Use Mako 50wt in the bobbin, loosening the top tension to adjust for the difference in weight. If necessary, tighten the bottom tension by threading the bobbin as if for embroidery (if applicable on your machine). Titanium Top Stitch 90/14 needle.
  • Ne. 12 - Machine quilting : Good for art quilting when heavier thread effects are desired . Beautiful on linen and jeans fabric . 90/14 topstitch needle
  • Ne. 12 Wool - Machine quilting : Suitable for quilting wool fabrics. Use a 90/14 topstitch needle.
Each quilter has their own preference of desired thread weight. I personally have always liked the look of a thick stitch for hand quilting and machine quilting. So to test the thread weights I decided to make some quilt sandwiches and get sewing.

Testing Thread Weights

Now I don't do a lot of free motion quilting, my machine just wasn't made to do it and doesn't handle it well, but I decided to give it a whirl to test the thread out. So my stitches are incredibly even, but that is operator error :) In the picture above you will see the different weight threads labeled. I used an orange thread for Ne.40, because I didn't have white or cream. For all of these examples I was using 50wt. in my bobbin.

Testing Thread Weights

In the above straight stitch example, I have labeled the weight. For the 40wt. I used a green variegated thread.

The Verdict

So after all of my testing, I am leaning heavily to using a 50wt for piecing, a 40wt or 28wt for machine quilting, and a 12wt for Hand Quilting and Embroidery. I am truly very happy with Aurifil thread, and my machine which doesn't always like to corporate seems to love it too and is working much better. Now that I am starting to make more items to sell on Etsy, I feel like when I use Aurifil the end result is very high quality and I am proud to sell items made with it. Some of you may be thinking well wait a minute you haven't really tried any other comparable threads, so how can you tell me to use Aurifil. Well that is true, but I am so satisfied with the Aurifil, I don't need to try anything else! So there you have it folks, my new favorite thread. I would love to hear your opinions on thread brands, weights. If you want to give Aurifil a try. I will be giving away 12 sampler packs in a few weeks for the Totally Groovy QAL, otherwise here are a few shops you can purchase from online.
  • Fat Quarter Shop - They sell the Pat Bravo Collections, Invisible Thread, and 15 colors in the 50wt cotton.
  • Pink Chalk Fabrics - They sell 10 of the neutral colors of the cotton 50wt. And a Thread Basics Collection.
  • Pink Castle Fabrics - They sell 4 Neutral colors in 12wt, 2 neutral colors in 28wt, 2 variegated colors in 28wt, 12 colors in 40wt, and black and white in 50wt.
  • Follow that Thread - Has basically the whole Aurifil collection, wool, cotton, color cards etc.
Do you use Aurifil? I'd love to see the projects you have made with it!


Aurifil threads provides complementary threads for me to review, as with all reviews I vow to give my honest true opinion no matter what the compensation (see blog disclosure).

    Post Comments

  • Ann Mrozek says...

    Thank you for such an informative article! I am pretty new to quilting, but I do a lot of embroidery on various weights of material.
    I just ran out of my first large cone of bobbin thread for my Bernina 180 embroidery machine, and I am not sure what kind it was, but I would like to go with an Aurifil thread. I have read many positive comments about it.
    Could you please recommend a weight for embroidering on cotton, quilting on cotton, and applique on cotton? There is so much information on bobbin thread that I am confused. I see many 60 wt spools for sale, but that size is not even mentioned in your article.
    Any information concerning the bobbin thread weight and usage, will be greatly appreciated :)

    On March 12, 2015

  • Michelle says...

    Thanks for all this info. I just won 8 spools of Aurifil thread and wanted to know how to use it. This post came up and it was very helpful.

    On August 26, 2014

  • Pam E says...

    Thank you for this post! I am about to start machine quilting a wall hanging that has a daunting (!) amount of negative space. Free motion wavy lines is the most I’ve ever done on my machine so reading about thread weight and seeing your colorful examples has helped to give me the boost I needed.
    Yes, I like Aurifil products too! To really look at the thread and compare it to others really opened my eyes (haha) to the difference the thread can make. Love your blog and your creative efforts!

    On August 20, 2014

  • Nancy Gross says...

    I have just started using Aurifil thread, my Bernina’s love it. It is so smooth & no breakage & looks absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the great info. I have only used the 40 weight so far, but I Love it.

    On August 20, 2014

  • Chris Teague says...

    Yes! I do use Aurifil for both my piecing and machine quilting. I have a New York Beauty that was quilted using almost every color from Pat Sloan’s Eat Your Fruits and Veggies collection.

    This post is every informative and I would like to ask your permission to hotline the URL to our newsletter next week. I write a weekly mailing for my LQS in Louisiana. We sell and promote Aurifil threads as well and I think our readers would enjoy seeing your results.

    On August 20, 2014

  • Alyssa says...

    Let me know how you like it! My go to for ordering is she is super quick, has all the colors and weights, and offers free shipping on orders over $30 in the US. :)

    On August 20, 2014

  • Melanie says...

    Thank you for such an inclusive and in-depth post about thread. I am just beginning my adventures in quilting and know next to nothing. However, I have been sewing clothing and various crafts for years now, and like you, I began with the cheapest threads. I never could figure out why my incredible sewing machine wouldn’t perform as promised. Well, needles and thread were the answer. I’ve been researching thread, and Aurifil is the one that has been winning that battle with my research (which is how I discovered this post). So thank you, truly, for taking the time to write this and include wonderful photo examples. I think you’ve just tipped my scales and I’m off to order some Aurifil!

    On August 20, 2014

  • Wendy Gontier says...

    I am like you, I have recently discovered Aurifil, I am about to start to hand quilting projects a minature I am calling Gelato and a storm at sea quilt I am calling love calms the seas. Both of these projects will be well under way by the end of the weekend. I am also excited with the vibrancy with their colours

    On August 20, 2014

  • Jenn Hess says...

    I too had no idea how important the thread was to your projects until I talked to one of my best friend’s mom who had been quilting for a very long time. She told me to use Aurifil and to never use anything else, simply for the fact that it had little to no lent and that there was no breakage and it was a high quality thread which I needed to have on all of my projects. I love this thread and couldn’t imagine using anything else! Thanks for this very informative post and now I know which weights to use for my Free Motion Quilting!

    On August 20, 2014

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Alyssa Lichner from Pile O' Fabric

Welcome to the Pile O’ Fabric blog, my name is Alyssa Lichner, I live in sunny Gilbert, AZ. I am a freelance web and graphic designer turned avid sewist. I write modern quilting tutorials and share techniques and inspiration here at Pile O’ Fabric… Read More

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