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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Topics

FAQ Topics

Q. Where is The Thread Exchange Located?

A. The Thread Exchange is located at 24 A B Emblem Drive, Weaverville, North Carolina, 28787. It is about ten minutes north of Asheville, NC.

Q. Where does The Thread Exchange ship from?

A. All stock orders ship from our warehouse in Weaverville, NC 28787. Drop ship items ship from various locations around the United States.

Q. How do I get the right thread?

A. it depends on what you want to accomplish. Start with your end product and work backwards to the thread you need. We have product information pages for most of our products designed to help you decide. Use them to learn about each thread's uses, limitations, properties, and specifications.

Here are some other ways to find the right thread

  • Call Us - We are available Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern at 800-915-2320.
  • Keep thread labels - Even if the information is confusing or appears irrelevant, they can be a big help to our customer service people.
  • Machine Owner's Manual - Your manual often provides valuable information about capabilities and limitations of the thread sizes your machine uses.
Q. What are thread sizes and weights?

A. Thread Size - Thread size refers to the thread's thickness - not how much thread is on a spool. Our Product Information pages explain that selecting the right thread size depends on the material sewn, sewing machine capabilities, and the desired "look".

Most frequently asked about topics

Thread is spongy and its diameter cannot be measured with calipers. Also, the tightness of a thread's twist and the type of bonding can affect its perceived thickness. Because of this manufacturers sizes refer to the weight of a fixed length of thread. For example, 1,000 meters of Tex 70 thread weighs 70 grams. That said, we show U.S. military specifications for thread diameters on our information pages. Treat these diameters as approximations.

Weights - Most of our thread is sold by weight-not yardage. Because thread weight varies slightly (up or down) from spool to spool we cannot commit to delivering an exact weight. Instead, we set a nominal range for each size and do not increase or decrease the amount charged as long as spool is within these tolerances. For example, a "16 Ounce Spool" can weigh 15.6 ounces to 19.9 ounces.

Q. How do I get the right color?

A. We use color chips to show thread color on our site. Experience has taught us that this approach gets the best results because it avoids lighting and spool curvature distortions. We double check each chip to make sure that it accurately shows the thread's color. Here are some things you need to know:

  • Identical color names - Different manufacturers use the same color name even though the actual colors are not the same. We use separate color chips to show each manufacturer's color accurately.
  • Environment -Sometimes there are slight differences between the color chips you see on our site and the thread you receive. This happens because you lighting, monitor and color settings vary from ours. Also, there are normal, slight run-to-run color variations.
  • Color Cards - Manufacturers' color cards show thread before it has had a bonding coating applied. The thread you receive looks darker than the color card because of the bonding. Machine sewing removes the bonding and the finished work matches the color card.
  • Precise match - If you need a more precise color match, we are glad to send a reasonable number of samples so you can judge. Or, you can send us a swatch of material so we can do the matching and give you the results.
  • Mistakes can happen - If we make a mistake and show colors incorrectly, we refund both your shipping cost and the cost of returning the thread.

    Q. How do I find the right sewing machine needle?

    A. Needles can be tricky. The key is to know which needle system is designed for your machine. Look first in your owner's manual.

    Here are some other ways to find the right needle

    • Home sewing machines - Just about every home machines use universal, flat shank needles. We call them Groz-Beckert and Schmetz 130/705 needles; other manufacturers call them HAx1 or 15x1 needles.
    • No owner's manual? - If you know your machine's make and model our Sewing Machine Needle Use Guide shows needle systems for for about 10,000 makes and models of sewing machines.
    • Keep needle labels - Even if the information seems confusing or irrelevant, it can be a big help to our customer service team when you call.
    • Needle and thread size - We have a Needle and Thread Size Chart that tells you the range of needle sizes that work with a given thread size or weight.
    • Needle points - The right point depends on the material you are sewing and the way you want stitches to look. See our Needle Buying Guide.for help
    • Call us - We will need to know your machine make and model. In some cases, we may need to do further research to find the right needle. When this happens we ask for your phone number and call back with the answer.

    Q. How do I get the right bobbin?

    A. The key is to know which bobbin style fits your machine. Your owner manual is the best place to look

    No owners manual? - Machine / Bobbin Style Reference lists bobbin styles for over 1600 sewing machines and models. We also have a Bobbin Style Guide (PDF) that shows the exact size and height of our most popular bobbins for visual matching.

    Q. What if I need to return a purchase?

    A. We have a 30-day return policy. Please see our Returns and Refunds Policy  for details.

    Q. How much does shipping cost?

    A. We ship by USPS, UPS, and FedEx. We charge actual rates. Rates are calculated by weight, distance and package size. There are no hidden handling charges. See our Shipping Policies for details

    Ship collect - You are welcome to ship UPS or FedEx collect. Just put your account in the order message box and provide a physical address. We will refund shipping charges.

    Warehouse Pick Up - If you are located in our area you can pick up your order at our warehouse Monday through Friday between 9:30 and 4:30. Please type "Customer pick up" in the order comments or call us. We will refund shipping charges.

    Q. Does The Thread Exchange have a newsletter?

    A. Yes. We have a mailing list and prompt customers to subscribe. You can opt out when you place your order or unsubscribe with a click.

    Q. What payment options does The Thread Exchange accept?

    A. Currently, we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal. All prices listed on our site are in U.S. Dollars (USD).

    Net 30 terms - At our discretion, we give Net 30 terms to customers whose typical order is $100 or more. Customers must have verifiable ship-to and bill-to commercial addresses. Please note the approval process averages 3 days. Once you are set up you will automatically get Net 30 terms when you login. We also extend Net 30 terms to schools, fire departments, and other government agencies regardless of order amount. In this case we only ship to governmental addresses - not third parties.

    Requirements for Net 30 Terms

    • A steady history of online credit card purchases within a six month period.
    • Tax exemption certificate.
    • Credit application. Contact Us
    • Verifiable email corporate, government, or organization domain - Personal email domains are not accepted.
    • Verifiable commercial address.

    Some reasons for disqualification or termination of Net 30 Terms

    • History of non payment, or excessive average number of days to pay.
    • Excessive Paperwork - We understand there are necessary tax forms. We're glad to help with those. Please keep paperwork like supplier surveys and the like under 5 pages.


    No Credit Card? - If you do not have a credit card or PayPal, you can still buy from us:

    • Enter your order and go through checkout.
    • When you come to the Payment page, print the page.
    • Mail us the printout and a check for the order amount including shipping and tax.
    • Money order payments ship the same day; personal checks ship in five business days.


    Declined Orders - We use software that checks orders for fraud and blocks "high risk" orders. Unfortunately it sometimes blocks legitimate orders. If this happens please call us and we enter your order from our location.

The Thread Exchange, Inc.
Thread and Needle Selections Nylon Thread Nylon Thread Nylon Thread Strong and easy to use. Great for sewing fabric, leather, canvas, and vinyl. 10 sizes. Some sizes have over 100 colors. Most home sewing machines can use up to size 69. Nylon Thread Polyester Thread Polyester Thread Polyester Thread Looks and feels like nylon thread, but with a greater UV resistance. This makes polyester great for outdoor use. Most home sewing machines can use up to size 69. Polyester Thread Robison-Anton thread Lower everyday price. Robison-Anton Our flagship embroidery thread brand. The full line of Robison-Anton polyester, rayon, J Metallic, Moonglow, variegated and Twister Tweed embroidery thread, and color cards. Robison-Anton Machine Needles 2,000 different needles Machine Needles We make it easier to buy the right needle with our Needle Buying Guide, Needle to Thread Size Guide, Machine to Needle Reference, and Groz-Beckert publications. Machine Needles Nylon Thread Kevlar (tm) Thread Kevlar (tm) Thread Strong and Heat Resistant. Kevlar thread is about 2.5 times stronger than nylon or polyester. It comes in a pale yellow color. It has almost no stretch, it doesn't melt, and ashes at 800F. Kevlar Thread Bobbins - Prewound Prewound Bobbins Nylon and Polyester bobbins in styles A, G, L, M, U, and other styles. Embroidery bobbins, Half price specials, and new budget-friendly 12-packs. Bobbins Hand Sewing Needles Hand Sewing Needles C.S. Osborne needles for hand sewing upholstery, leather, canvas, carpet, fabric, and darning.C.S. Osborne needles for hand sewing upholstery, leather, canvas, carpet, fabric, and darning. Hand Needles All Specials All Specials Over 1,200 thread and sewing needle specials all in one place. Many products are about 50% off their original price. All Specials Cotton Thread Mettler Cotton Thread The full line of Mettler in 28, 40, 50 and 60-Wt, Aurifil closeouts, Valdani closeouts and more. The lower the thread-weight number, the thicker the thread. Cotton Thread Thread - Stabilizers - Bobbins All Embroidery King spool closeouts as low as $3 per spool, metallic specials, stabilizers, bobbins, and much more. All Embroidery Sewing and Serger Thread Sewing Thread Regular stock includes Maxi-Lock and Maxi-Lock Stretch. Also featuring spun polyester closeouts, polyester-core closeouts, and more. Sewing Thread Monofilament Thread Monofilament Thread Clear nylon "invisible" monofilament thread. Transparent so stitches are as invisible as possible for inconspicuous stitch appearance. Monofilament Sewing and Serger Thread Sewing Thread Maxi-Lock, Maxi-Lock Stretch, spun polyester closeouts, polyester-core closeouts, and more. Sewing Thread Waxed Thread Waxed Thread Maine Thread in 6 sizes, close out coils, beeswax, tapered waxed cord, waxed linen blend and more. Waxed Thread Imitation Sinew Imitation Sinew Imitation sinew made from polypropylene or nylon. Waxed and flat. Easy to split to make thinner. Imitation Sinew Hand Stitching Thread Hand Stitching Thread Use of tubes of nylon, polyester, and Kevlar thread for hand sewing and with speedy stitcher awls. Hand Stitch Thread Sewing Accessories Sewing Accessories Thread cone holders, thread sock. elastic, scissors and shears, tape measures, and tool kits and cutters. Sewing Accessories Polyester-Linen Blend Polyester-Linen Polyester-Linen thread has brilliant colors and a silky, smooth texture. Ideal for fine leather and upholstery. Polyester-Linen Thread 1 mm Hemp Twine Hemp Twine Hemp is the strongest of all natural fibers. It is also also ultra-violet and salt water resistant. Hemp Twine Highest Operating Temp. PTFE Fiberglass PTFE coated fiberglass thread - operating temperatures to around 1022 F (550 C) after the PTFE coating burns off. PTFE Thread For sewing bags shut Bag Closing Thread FDA Compliant to 21-CFR-177.1630(f), 21-CFR-177.2800 and 21-CFR-178.3570. Bag Closing Thread For tight knots and cordage. Bank Line Bank line is a black polypropylene twine that is like tennis netting. It is strong and UV resistant. Bank Line Great for levitation tricks Magicians Thread When you separate the yarn filaments you get a strong thread that is invisible to your audience. Magicians Thread About our products Buying Guides Use our buying guides to learn more about the thread on our site and get the right thread and needles. Product Information