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Information Topics


Kevlar Thread Buying Guide
Kevlar Thread Uses
Kevlar Thread Properties
Color
Kevlar Thread Sizing
Kevlar Terminology
How To Save
Alternatives to Kevlar
Kevlar Thread Spool Sizes
Nominal Spool Weights
Certificates of Compliance
No Medical Use
Kevlar Thread Specifications

Kevlar Selections

Size 46

Size 69

Size 92

Size 138

Size 207

Size 346

Size 415

Size 800

Size 300

Magicians Kevlar

Size 92 Metal Core

Clearance - Save 50%

Kevlar Thread Buying Guide
Kevlar (tm) is one of the strongest and most heat resistant commercially available threads. This buying guide helps you select the right thread by explaining: Kevlar's uses and alternatives to Kevlar, Kevlar properties, sizes, and color; and specifications for standard sizes.

Kevlar Thread Uses
Kevlar thread (also called Para-Aramid) is one of the strongest and most heat resistant commercially available threads. It is about 2.5 times stronger than nylon and polyester, has very little stretch, does not melt, and decomposes at 800F. This makes it a great choice for high stress applications including sewing seams on heavy duty clothing, conveyer belts, harnesses and bags, reinforcing plastics, and other fibers, and even providing high-temperature controls for model airplanes and rockets. To put Kevlar thread in perspective, here is a side-by-side comparison of Kevlar and three other middleweight (Size 92) threads:
Tensile strength
Kevlar: 30 Lbs.
Nomex: 9 Lbs.
Nylon: 15 Lbs.
Polyester: 15 Lbs.
Stretch before breaking
Kevlar: 2%
Nomex: N/A
Nylon: 26%
Polyester: 26%
Heat decomposition
Kevlar: 800F
Nomex: 700F
Nylon: 485F
Polyester: 483F
Kevlar Thread Properties
Kevlar thread is stronger, more heat resistant, less stretchy, durable than most other threads. But, thread is usually a very small part of material content. This means that using Kevlar thread with materials that do not have its properties is a waste and could be dangerous.

Decomposition - Kevlar begins to decompose (turn to ash) at about 800F  (426C). Much higher than nylon or polyester.

Melting - Kevlar thread does not melt. This is important in fire retardant gear.

Stretch - Kevlar thread stretches about 2% before it breaks. For example, a 100 foot piece of Kevlar would be 102 feet long just before it breaks. If you sew stretchy fabrics with Kevlar the seams will pucker.

Acids and Alkalis - Good resistance to dilute acids and bases. Degraded by strong mineral acids and to lesser extent, by strong mineral bases. This is important when Kevlar thread is used in a laboratory setting.

Bleaching and Solvents - Should not be bleached. Excellent solvent resistance. This matters when Kevlar gear is reused.


Mildew, Aging, and Sunlight - Excellent resistance to mildew and aging. Prolonged exposure to sunlight causes deterioration. Polyester thread works just as well in some cases.Abrasion - Good abrasion resistance.

Color
Nobody buys filament Kevlar thread for its color. It normally comes a color called Natural (yellow) and cannot be dyed after it is manufactured. Usually, color is not a problem because it takes a back seat to strength and heat resistance in most applications. There is some black filament Kevlar on the market. We sell it when available, but we do not have a steady source.

Color is very important when it comes to fire retardant garments, turnout gear, and racing suits. Use Fire Retardant Sewing Thread for sewing seams and attaching patches; use Fire Retardant Embroidery Thread for embroidering names and logos.
Kevlar Thread Information - All Topics
Kevlar Thread Sizing

Overview - Thread size is important because there are many considerations. The main ones are:

Machine Capability - Home, commercial and heavy duty sewing machines have different thread and needle size limitations.

Needle Size - Needles have sizes that are best suited for specific thread sizes and machine types.

Stitch Appearance - Are you looking for stitching to be inconspicuous, noticeable, very noticeable, or to be a focal point?

Strength - Is the thread a suitable strength for what is being sewn?
When Kevlar thread's size increases...
Commercial and Tex Equivalent numbers increase.
Machine capability requirements increase.
Thread diameter increases.
Thread strength increases.
Needle size increases.
Needle heat and friction increase.
Stitch visibility increases.
Fabric ounce per yard increases.
Yards per pound decreases.
Kevlar Thread Information - All Topics
Kevlar Terminology
We use several "technical" terms to describe our Kevlar thread. Understanding these terms is important because they affect how you can use the thread:

Bonded / Soft - Bonded means that the thread has a coating that reduces heat at the tip of the needle and prevents unraveling; soft means that the thread does not have this coating. Here are our recommendations:

Machine Sewing - Use bonded thread for Sizes 69 and higher; bonding does not matter with thinner size thread.

Wrapping and Whipping - Bonding may interfere with adhesives. It can be removed by soaking the thread in alcohol.

Hand Sewing and Hanging - It does not matter if the thread is soft or bonded.

Monocord - Monocord means that the thread is made with a single ply (like fishing line) and has a coating similar to bonding. This gives the thread a flat, ribbon-like shape and makes it usable in double-needle machines. Many of our lighter weight threads use this construction

Left Twist / Right Twist - When threads have more than one ply the plies are twisted to the left or the right. Unless we say otherwise our thread is left twist. This is because single-needle machines made for the U.S. market require left twist or monocord thread.
Use right twist thread with double-needle machines and some machines designed for Asian markets. Twist does not matter in hand sewing and non-sewing applications.

Loose Twist / No Twist / and Yarn - These kinds of threads are frizzy and almost impossible to put through a needle. Consider them for non-sewing applications such as wrapping and hanging.
Kevlar Thread Information - All Topics
How to Save
Kevlar thread is expensive. It should only be used to sew material that has similar qualities. Here are four ways to save:

Do you really need Kevlar? - Kevlar seems to have a cult following and customers buy it when less expensive nylon or polyester will do the job. Please, ask yourself or ask us if you really need Kevlar thread.

Buy what you need - Our junior spools in 1 to 4 Ounces, coils, and thread packs are a great value for specific, one-time jobs and hobbyists. They generally ship 1st Class to U.S. addresses so shipping costs are low compared to price.

Choose lighter weights - You get more yards per ounce with lighter weight thread. But, make sure that the thread has the strength you need.

Consider non-standard sizes and closeouts - These threads sell at a 25% to 50% discount compared to our regular thread. Our featured Tex 105 and Tex 300 Kevlar thread is on par with our standard sizes. But, we cannot provide certificates of conformance (CERTS) and will probably not restock them in the future. Our closeouts are old thread that sells at very low prices, but is not recommended for machine sewing.
Kevlar Thread Information - All Topics
Alternatives to Kevlar
Kevlar costs about 5 times more than nylon and polyester, and it is usually only available in yellow. There are times where other types of thread might be suitable:

Nylon and Polyester Thread - Use a heavier weight nylon or polyester thread instead of a lighter weight Kevlar. For example, a Size 138 nylon or polyester thread has about the same strength as a Size 69 Kevlar thread, costs about 80% less, and comes in colors. But, it is twice as thick, not fire retardant, and has 25% elasticity.

Information
Nylon Thread Buying Guide
Polyester Thread Buying Guide

Shopping
Nylon Thread
Polyester Thread

Fire Retardant Sewing Thread - Spun Kevlar and spun Nomex threads have about the same fire retardance as Kevlar thread and are available in many colors. This type of thread is the usually the best choice for sewing seams and attaching emblems and logos. These threads look and feel like cotton because they are made by wrapping cotton around a Kevlar or Nomex filament core.

Information
Fire Retardant Sewing Thread Buying Guide

Shopping
Fire Retardant Sewing Thread

Fire Retardant Embroidery Thread - Use Nomex embroidery thread to embroider logos and emblems for fire retardant gear. The thread looks like top-quality, 40 weight, polyester embroidery thread, but it is just as fire retardant as Kevlar thread. It is not strong enough to sew seams or attach emblems. It is very expensive and should only be used when fire retardance is essential.

Information
Fire Retardant Sewing Thread Buying Guide

Shopping
Fire Retardant Embroidery Thread

Filament Nomex Thread - This thread has about the same fire retardance as filament Kevlar but only 1/3 of its strength. It has a smooth, shiny feel. We are discontinuing this thread because reliable supplies are not reliable because of government priorities.

Information
Nomex Thread Buying Guide

Shopping
Nomex Thread

Cotton Thread - Cotton is not fire retardant, but it does not melt. It chars, then turns to ash similar to Kevlar. Its strength is comparable to regular sewing thread.

Information
Aurifil Cotton Thread Buying Guide

Shopping
Aurifil Cotton Thread

Kevlar Thread Information - All Topics
Kevlar Thread Spool Sizes
We sell most of our Kevlar thread in 1, 2, 4 and 16 Ounce (1 Pound) spool sizes or putups. The smaller putups cost more per ounce than the larger ones. But, they are a better choice for one-time jobs, casual sewing, people who need a stash of many colors, and experimenters.Kevlar thread is sold by weight (ounces, pounds) - not yards. This is because the number of yards-per-pound decreases as thread thickness increases. Selling by weight means prices for a given size spool are about the same across most thread sizes.

Spool Dimensions
All of our Kevlar thread is wound on king spools unless otherwise noted. Most of our 2 and 4 ounce spools are wound in-house, and the spool sizes are consistent for those. Normally, manufacturer spool dimensions are consistent. There are some times one-off occasions where manufacturers will wind 12 and 16 ounce spools with different heights, ranging from 6.5" to 7.5", but the base dimensions remain constant.

Average Spool Dimensions
1 Oz - Base: 2.5", Height: 4.5"

2 Oz - Base: 2.5", Height: 4.5"
4 Oz - Base: 2.5", Height: 4.5"

Average Spool Dimensions
8 Oz - Base: 3.0", Height: 5.25"

12 Oz - Base: 4.5", Height: 6.5"
16 Oz - Base: 4.5", Height: 6.5"

Inside Diameter
The inside shaft diameter of all spools
described, regardless of base and height,
is 1 inch.

Comments
For sewing machines not geared to handle these size spools, a Thread Cone Holder may be needed. It is designed to help machines bypass these limitations. There are also DIY thread cone holders that are can be made from PVC pipe, wire coat hangers, or coffee cups most notably. The advantage of a thread cone holder is that it is specifically designed for sewing.
We also carry Hand Stitching Tubes. They are not particularly designed for machine sewing, but customers have created Do-It-Yourself adaptors.
It is important to note that DIY  projects can cause machine damage or create tensioning issues if not made properly.

Nominal Spool Weights
Industry norms allow Kevlar thread spool weights to vary by plus/minus 10% from the stated nominal weight. This means that customers get slightly less or slightly more thread than the nominal weight shown on our site. This chart shows our nominal weights and the thread-weight range ( including the spool's weight ) for various sizes. When spools fall within these ranges, we do not charge for when they go over or refund for when they go under. It is important to note that we usually do not charge when a spool goes over the maximum tolerance, but we will always refund when they go below the tolerance.
Nominal 1 Oz Spool
Minimum: 1.3 Oz.
Maximum: 2.5 Oz.
Nominal 2 Oz Spool
Minimum: 2.6 Oz.
Maximum: 4.5 Oz.
Nominal 4 Oz Spool
Minimum: 4.6 Oz.
Maximum: 5.9 Oz.
Nominal 16 Oz Spool
Minimum: 15.6 Oz.
Maximum: 19.9 Oz.
Certificates of Compliance
We can email manufacturer's CERTS for our 16 Ounce, standard size Kevlar. We cannot provide CERTS for any non-standard size or closeout thread. CERTS apply to specific batch / lots. We wind our smaller spools from the 16 Oz standard size spools and do not keep batch or lot information for these spools. We can send a "representative" CERT for these spools that applies in a general way to the thread purchased. Please call if you must have batch or lot traceable CERTS on small spools and are willing to pay a $2 a spool up-charge.

No Medical Use
Our Kevlar thread is clean in the ordinary sense. But, it is not sterile and using it in any medical device could put lives at risk. We will not knowingly sell Kevlar thread for use in medical devices.
Kevlar Thread Information - All Topics
Kevlar Thread Specifications
Commercial sizing is most widely used thread size standard. Our Kevlar thread shopping selections are listed in commercial sizes. Occasionally we have some off sizes. When this happens, we use the closest Tex Equivalent to the commercial size. Government sizes fall under Military Specification A-A-55220.
Kevlar - Size 46
Commercial Size 46
Tex Equivalent: 40
Gov't Equivalent: B
Average Strength
Pounds 14.0
Kilograms 6.3
Average Thickness
Inches 8/1000" (0.008 In)
Millimeters 0.21
Needle
Needle Size Range
90/14 to 100/16
Nominal Yards
312 per Ounce
10,000 per Pound
 
Kevlar - Size 69
Commercial Size 69
Tex Equivalent: 60
Gov't Equivalent: E
Average Strength
Pounds 23.0
Kilograms 10.4
Average Thickness
Inches 10/1000" (0.010 In)
Millimeters 0.25
Needle
Needle Size Range
100/16 to 110 /18
Nominal Yards
418 per Ounce
6,700 per Pound
 
Kevlar - Size 92
Commercial Size 92
Tex Equivalent: 80
Gov't Equivalent: F
Average Strength
Pounds 30.0
Kilograms 13.6
Average Thickness
Inches 11/1000" (0.011 In)
Millimeters 0.29
Needle
Needle Size Range
110/18 to 125/20
Nominal Yards
312 per Ounce
5,000 per Pound
 
Kevlar - Size 138
Commercial Size 138
Tex Equivalent: 120
Gov't Equivalent: FF
Average Strength
Pounds 45.0
Kilograms 20.3
Average Thickness
Inches 14/1000" (0.014 In)
Millimeters 0.36
Needle
Needle Size Range
125/20 to 140/22
Nominal Yards
209 per Ounce
3,350 per Pound
 
Kevlar - Size 207
Commercial Size 207
Tex Equivalent: 210
Gov't Equivalent: 3-Cord
Average Strength
Pounds 64.0
Kilograms 29.0 
Average Thickness
Inches 18/1000" (0.018 In)
Millimeters 0.46
Needle
Needle Size Range
140/22 to 180/24
Nominal Yards
131 per Ounce
2,100 per Pound
 
Kevlar - Size 346
Commercial Size 346
Tex Equivalent: 350
Gov't Equivalent: 5-Cord
Average Strength
Pounds 135.0
Kilograms 61.2
Average Thickness
Inches 26/1000" (0.026 In)
Millimeters 0.65
Needle
Needle Size Range
230/26 to 260/28
Nominal Yards
66 per Ounce
1,050 per Pound
 
Kevlar - Size 415
Commercial Size 415
Tex Equivalent: 450 or 500
Gov't Equivalent: 6-Cord
Average Strength
Pounds 150.0
Kilograms 79.2
Average Thickness
Inches 27/1000" (0.027 In)
Millimeters 0.82
Needle
Needle Size Range
280/28 to 330/30
Nominal Yards
56 per Ounce
900 per Pound
 
Kevlar - Size 800
Commercial Size 800
Tex Equivalent: 800
Gov't Equivalent: N/A
Average Strength
Pounds 225.0
Kilograms 102.9
Average Thickness
Inches 45/1000" (0.045 In)
Millimeters 1.14
Needle
Needle Size Range
N/A
Nominal Yards
32 per Ounce
500 per Pound
Kevlar Thread Information - All Topics