How to Find the Perfect Thread Match for Your Fabric

One of the most important things for achieving professional quality results on a sewing project is to use thread that perfectly matches your fabric. You want the thread to blend in so it can’t be seen unless you are looking really closely.

Typically, you should buy your thread the same day you buy your fabric. This way you won’t have to keep going back to the fabric store for additional notions. Of course, a small swatch of fabric will do if you forget to buy matching thread the same day.

Spool of all purpose sewing thread, closeup sh...

Steps for Finding the Perfect Thread Match

  1. Take a swatch of your fabric to the thread section at your fabric store.
  2. Hold your fabric swatch up to the section with similar colors.
  3. Pull out a couple spools of thread that look like they might match.
  4. Slightly lift the sticker off the top of the spool enough to see where the end of the thread has been secured.
  5. Pull the end of the thread off the spool until there is about three to four inches showing.
  6. Place the unraveled thread on top of the sewing swatch.
  7. Repeat this process until you’ve found a thread that disappears when it is on top of your fabric swatch. (Note: Make sure you secure the end of the thread and replace the sticker when you are done with each spool.)

Some Things to Keep in Mind When Matching Thread to Your Fabric

  • If there is not a perfect match, choose a darker thread because it will be less likely to stand out.
  • You can purchase clear thread, but I’ve never liked it personally because it is hard to sew with and I swear there is a shiny appearance when the project is in the light.
  • If your fabric has multiple colors in it, you can take a couple different approaches. You can match the thread to the darkest color or to the color that is used the most. Experiment with a couple different colors to see what works the best.

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