Specialty sewing threads exist in a number of materials, including meta-aramids, para-aramids, steel, and Vectran.
Types of Specialty Sewing Threads:
Aramid Sewing Thread:
Para-aramid sewing thread:
Para-aramid sewing threads have significant temperature resistance benefits over sewing threads made from traditional materials like cotton, wool, polyester, or nylon. At the same time, para-aramids can provide significantly highest tensile strength and tensile modulus characteristics than those more commonplace sewing thread types. Para-aramid sewing threads are available with Kevlar, Technora, and Twaron.
Meta-aramid sewing thread:
Meta-aramids, like Nomex, are particularly well-suited to high temperature applications where flame resistance is required. In addition, many meta-aramids can sustain moderately higher temperatures continuously than para-aramids, meaning that a meta-aramid sewing thread may be a better choice for sustained high temperature operations.
Para-aramid and Steel Sewing Thread
Para-aramid and steel sewing thread combines the characteristics of its constituent materials. Like cotton and steel sewing threads, the para-aramid and steel sewing threads have more grip than bare steel threads. Unlike cotton, however, the para-aramid will remain intact at higher temperatures and only begin to fail at exceedingly high ones. These sewing threads are available with Kevlar and Steel, along with Twaron and Steel.
Cotton and Steel Sewing Threads
Cotton is significantly less resistant to most challenging environments than steel. However, this can still be a particularly useful type of technical sewing thread; while stainless steel sewing thread may be difficult to sew on its own, it can be significantly easier to process when it is mixed with cotton thread that allows it to grip the fabric it is sewn through more. The cotton itself is not relied on once processing is complete, meaning that it can be left in place or burned away without damaging the steel.
Stainless Steel Sewing Thread
Bare stainless steel sewing thread is very resistant to high temperatures; stainless steel sewing thread can withstand temperatures up to 700°C. It is exceptionally smooth, meaning that it is highly resistant to abrasion. Additionally, bare stainless steel sewing thread is electrically conductive, meaning that it can be used to sew electrically conductive fabrics together for use in antistatic applications. We have written abut other antistatic yarns before.
Vectran, which is a branded type of Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP), has similar tensile strength and tensile modulus properties as para-aramids. It also has significant resistance to fatigue and does not lose strength after repeated exposure to high temperatures, within reason.
Uses for Specialty Sewing Threads
Specialty sewing threads can be used in multiple ways. As always, the decision on which sewing thread to use depends on the specific application.
The first use for such specialty sewing threads to bond fabrics in high temperature applications or where they may be exposed to corrosive substances. This is particularly useful for use in high temperature filtration or filtration in corrosive environments, like in the filtration of hot industrial waste gasses. Specialty sewing threads with strong temperature and flame resistance could also be used to bond fabric fire insulation materials, particularly where weight is an important factor. Meta-aramid sewing threads, for example, can be used to sew the seams of firefighters’ and racing drivers’ fire- and flame-resistant clothes. Aramid sewing threads, along with steel and para-aramid sewing threads are well suited to such challenging environments.
Specialty sewing threads like these can also be used to bond fabrics where there will be a high degree of strain placed into the fabric. Sewing threads with high tensile strength and moduli are vital in situations like these, to prevent the seams between fabrics from tearing. Sewing threads with para-aramids and Vectran are particularly well suited to applications like these. We recently wrote an article about the important role that aramids play in maintaining the longevity of boat sails, thanks to their excellent tensile moduli.