thread, a fine twist of fibrous material, distinguished from yarn in general by being smoother, stronger, and more pliable; it is also better suited to sewing, embroidery, and lace making. Sewing or spool cotton is made by twisting several fine strands into three-cord or six-cord thread, the latter being three two-ply strands twisted together. The size is controlled by the twisting process. The fine linen thread used in making expensive laces is spun by hand and is very costly. Synthetic threads, such as nylon, are most often used for heavy-duty sewing in carpets, shoes, and heavy canvases. Many ordinary sewing threads now contain some proportion of synthetic fiber.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.