Tips for Working with Invisible Thread by Barbara Shapel


Many of the projects in American Quilter call for invisible thread. So we asked Barbara Shapel for some tips. Barbara said that since invisible thread is sometimes temperamental, try these tips for problem-free use:

Don’t wind the bobbin more than half full. Wind bobbins slowly and with less tension than what is normal for regular thread.

You may need to tighten your bobbin tension for good stitch quality.

When using invisible thread on top, reduce the top tension to the lowest setting and then slowly increase until you get good stitch quality.  If the thread coming out of the needle is curly, the top tension is way too tight and the thread will eventually break.

My favorite machine needle when using invisible thread on top is the Sharps 60/8.

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R Andrews

What type of thread should I use in the bobbin? I have been trying to quilt a tabletopper with monofilament thread on Bernina 730 with BSR and keep breaking needles. 5 in a few hours. Started on the other end with some Isacord and it works fine. What brand of monofilament to you recommend?


Superior Threads has tips for working with monofilament.

Gena Cahill

I have a bernina 780 and I use bottom line int the bobbin top tension at 1 or 1.5 and a size 70/10 needle. It works like a dream.

Hello! I’ve been trying to hand sew with Coats Transparent thread and I can’t even make a knot! I tried using it many years ago on my machine and couldn’t get it to wind on the bobbin. Am I just a klutz, or what? I know there must be tips and tricks because so many people use it. Help!



how to hand sew with invisible thread, like the lady above I can’t make a knot so how do I get started?

I have been trying to use transparent thread to put a Yo Yo quilt together, I am like the other women, I can not even tie a knot. I am fairly new to this sewing. I retired and my dt-inlaw got me into sewing. I like it but this invisible thread is something else. HELP