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I recently bought a Pfaff 145 walking foot sewing machine. SO, now I'm hoping I can get some good feedback about what thread to use in it. At this point I'm really only interested in making automotive upholstery or outdoor items like awnings or umbrellas etc. BUT mainly automotive upholstery. I am under the impression that I should be using Polyester thread and not Nylon. I'm also thinking I could get by with 92 thread BUT I might be better off if I go with 138. Also, What is best for the top thread AND whats the best thread to come up from the hook and bobbin?? Please PLEASE advise me as to what I should go with AND WHY, I want to learn the science behind the decision so I can make the correct choice in the future. Also, any links or sites you can send me to so I can learn more will be greatly appreciated. Also Please advise and explain which needle size I should be using and why. If I Posted This Question In The Wrong Place PLEASE Forgive Me And Move It To The Correct Place.

Here is a little bit of information about the Pfaff 145 I bought. This might help your recommendations about thread. It's a Pfaff 145 H4 6/01 industrial walking foot machine. It has had some modifications to it. Those include: it's been fitted with a larger diameter hand-wheel pulley (for higher torque). It has a Large Hook/Bobbin from a Pfaff 545. It's a single needle, compound high lift walking foot (5/16 welt foot), adjustable walking foot height, special large Hook/Bobbin, it has reverse stitch and safety clutch. Complete new thread tension assembly, new Bobbin case, new needle plate with screws, new outer foot attach screw, new R/S hook slide cover. It's in nice condition and ready to go. It's on a nice base with a new table top and a servo motor.

That probably means more to all of you than it does to me since I'm new to all of this. Thanks Again! Mark
Michelle_Trillium liked this
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Welcome to the forum! I appreciate your wanting to put science behind why a #92 thread should be the thread of choice. From millions of stitches and trillions of butts rubbing into seats the #92 polybonded thread has proven itself among the trimming world as a choice thread. @Trimjobber has a line of threads that perform as well as @torriec . I think a lot of the brand choice is a personal preference but for what you are doing you need a UV guard thread.

Now listen, I am not thinking that Pfaff is really going to do the trick so I REALLY want to help you and will trade you for a powerful Kenmore 158 I have :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
TorqueMonster1 liked this
Thank you BigRig for the quick reply. I was just asking, however, I'm thinking that you are saying that 92 is the preferred/better thread size for automotive upholstery?!?! If 92 is the better choice, why? My thought process would tell me that a thicker thread might be stronger and have more substance to it for more wear and tear through the years. Could 138 be used and work out okay or even good, Or Not really? You mentioned "Trimjobber", I'm thinking you are meaning the eBay seller? And I'm not sure about "torriec". Also, what is the "@" symbol in front of those names for? Sorry but I'm not up on all of the latest internet stuff. AND, finally, What brands are Good, Great AND are there any brands I should skip using? Thanks Again, Mark
@TorqueMonster1 ,

The @ in front of a user name lets them know you have quoted them in a thread. @torriec @Trimjobber are experts in the field and are also members of the forum. Thread is tough and I will pass the thread portion over to @John or others. I have what I like now and the #92 produces a nice looking, strong stitch. Really if you are just starting by the most cost effective thread because you are just going to be burning through it for practice anyways. Also if you are thinking of doing this as a business look at the seat I just did in the project section. I had a timeline of life proposed in my head for the material etc... I would like to see that seat back in a few years for a re-do :innocent:
Hey @TorqueMonster1 Welcome to the forum! Were are happy to have you! Great questions.

Ive been doing automotive and marine upholstery for a long time now and what I use %90+ of the time is size 92 UV protected bonded polyester. The only reason I use a thread bigger than size 92 is for aesthetics on a decorative top stitch. For the projects your talking about sewing there are really no reasons you would ever need a bigger thread than 92. You would even be fine with size 69. I use and recommend 92 because its easy to find and most supply stores in the most amount of colors.

I will usually use the same size thread in bobbin as what I'm using in the top. If I go above size 92 on the top thread I will usually still use size 92 in the bobbin. Because like I said above 92 is for looks not strength and by keeping 92 in the bobbin you can sew longer.

As far as the science goes... I think people complicate it way more than it needs to be. Bottom line you want your thread to be stronger than the fabric. Size 92 poly is WAYYYY stronger than any material you will use in auto / marine. If it will be in the sun you want UV bonded polyester if it will be inside you can use nylon but I still use polyester because I don't want to have both laying around.

For useful sites. Here is already a great start your welcome to ask any questions you have. Our goal is to build the best online resource for upholstery and every question helps. Our other site TheluckyNeedle.com has a lot of great information. Our YouTube channel has a bunch of how to videos https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLuckyNeedle https://www.sailrite.com/ has a lot of info I dont want to discount The Hog Ring http://www.thehogring.com because they really do have a lot of good info but they don't welcome beginners

For needle size watch this video.

and here are some guide lines for thread and needle size
Size 15 / Tex 16 / Govt. 00 - Use needle sizes 70 / 10 to 80 / 12
Size 33 / Tex 35 / Govt. AA - Use needle sizes 80 / 12 to 90 / 14
Size 46 / Tex 45 / Govt. B - Use needle sizes 90 / 14 to 100/ 16
Size 69 / Tex 70 / Govt. E - Use needle sizes 100 / 16 to 110 / 18
Size 92 / Tex 90 / Govt. F - Use needle sizes 110 / 18 to 125 / 20
Size 138 / Tex 135 / Govt. FF - Use needle sizes 120 / 19 to 140 / 22
Size 207 / Tex 210 / Govt. 3-Cord - Use needle sizes 140 / 22 to 180 / 24
Size 277 / Tex 270 / Govt. 4-Cord - Use needle sizes 180 / 24 to 230 / 26
Size 346 / Tex 350 / Govt. 5-Cord - Use needle sizes 230 / 26 to 280 / 28
Size 415 / Tex 410 / Govt. 6-Cord - Use needle sizes 280 / 28 to 330 / 30
Size 554 / Tex 600 / Govt. 8-Cord - Use needle sizes 330 / 30 to 360 / 32
I got this from here. http://www.thethreadexchange.com/miva/m ... creen=CTGY&

Sounds like you have a great machine! very similar to my Juki lu-562

@torriec work for Albrights supply https://www.AlbrightsSupply.com/?Click=3957 a great online store for upholstery supplies and full of knowledge!
@Trimjobber owns Bry-tech distributors another good supplier and full of knowledge.

As far as brands go I have always used COATS bonded polyester. Amann Serabond Thread is supposed to be even better. There is some info here. Amann Serabond Thread - Is it really that good???

This video will hopefully help also

No worries on not being up to date on the internet stuff! I did a little video that goes over how to use the forum here.
How To Use The Forum and Its Features

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Most of all don't be to afraid to just jump in and try things. The most important thing is jumping in and learning and getting comfortable sewing and using the tools. You'll learn the rest along the way.

@BigRig Great info and answers as well!
Michelle_Trillium liked this
Thanks for the feedback guys! BigRig, thanks for the info AND the generous offer of swapping my Pfaff for your Kenmore. While I was really tempted I think I'll hold on to the Pfaff for now. :grin:

John, thanks for all of the information you gave me. I have watched many of your videos and will be buying the beginners courses as soon as I can figure out how to burn them on a disk to watch again and again.

John, as you recommended I'm gonna get 1 lbs spools of Beaver, Black & White, bonded Polyester, Coats brand. Where do you recommend I get it? I've looked and haven't found what I consider a good deal. AND, will they have the bobbins prewound?

How do I figure out Exactly what bobbin I need to order for my Pfaff? Do you recommend I use the same thread in the bobbin as what I'm using for the top thread??

Any specific brand, type, design of needles I should get for my Pfaff using #92 bonded polyester? I'll be using vinyl & leather for automobiles interiors mostly. MAYBE some type of material for a cover over a porch swing or a Grill.

Thanks Again!! This site ROCKS! Mark
@TorqueMonster1 ,

Once you order your courses archive your e-mail. I do not copy anything and just go into my archived e-mail open the link for my videos and watch away. You can look on e-bay for your thread, did you go to the thread exchange for coats? You would be using that #92 in the bobbin casing pretty much all the time. I sew under a timeline and it would be beneficial to buy a case of pre wounds but still just wind my own bobbins it really only takes 03 minutes. You could call the service that sold you the machine and ask which prewound bobbin size you should buy. @Revv Up has tried a variety of needles and may have some good advice. I have ORGAN NEEDLES 135x17 SY3355, 140/22 loaded in my machine and for me these are a good needle to sew with and good for a beginner. There is a very retired trimmer in my area that sewed his whole career with that size needle and he did some amazing HOT ROD interiors.

A pound of thread is a lot of thread to start out with(especially if you or your machine is not liking it) , you can buy smaller spools. Black is essential and I found the Beaver in Coats has been handy to have for some work I have done.

I hope this helps!

For thread I use Sun Gaurd 92 bonded polyesterthe most, just because it has a feel I like (it’s stiff and almost wire like) lots of others prefer a softer thread so a certain amount of personal preference comes into play. My machine also seems to prefer this black as It just seems to lay it down nicer than the colours.

As far as bobbins go I buy a couple dozen and let them wind while I am sewing, usually I have 2 spools of my most popular colours which allows for 1 for the top thread and another for winding bobbins.

If I don’t have 2 spools of a particular color I just notice what color bobbins I’m getting low on and wind while sewing with a different color. Hope that helps
John liked this
@TorqueMonster1 Happy it helped!
This place carries coats http://www.perfectfit.com/ you can always start of with small spools to stay in budget.
You probably have a G bobbin. measure yours. should be around 7/8 of an inch
Yes use the same thread top and bottom.
I don't have a specific brand of needles I prefer. That video about needle I posted shows how to find the right size for your machine.
Thanks again everyone! I did watch the video and learned a Bunch, it answered many questions. And, as suggested, I do think I'll order 4 oz rolls of Black, Beaver & White in Coats bonded #92. That size roll should last me a while.

If I'm shopping for and buying "Coats" brand (or any other brand) of #92 polyester thread, do I need to make sure it's UV protected/treated or if it says "bonded" does that mean the same thing?? I'm really wanting to keep things simple for awhile. What I mean that I want to use a thread that's rated for UV and weather exposure ALL the time. That way me & my machine get to know each other really well. I get to see how it performs in many different situations on many different projects, using many different materials. Being new to ALL of this, not having to make a start up business succeed and knowing that if I run into one obstacle after another I'll just give up, lets me come into this trying to set myself up for success so I'll stick with it.

I have many questions about automotive leather, vinyl & fabric. I'm going to try to find some videos to watch and learn from. If I have more questions I'm thinking it would be best to start a new topic. Thanks Again! Mark

@TorqueMonster1 ,

Call Bry-Tech Distributors ask for one pound of the thread i just posted a picture of and have them send you needles as well. In a previous post I mentioned the needles I sew with and they will be just fine for this thread.

The reports are that this thread is even better than coats. You will cover all bases with this thread.
I believe all bonded polyester is UV protected. But not sure.
@BigRig has a good point. That serabond is supposed to be better than coats an is cheaper.
Try not to get caught up in the details to much. Its important to just jump in and have fun. Sew some things, make mistakes and learn.

Yeah feel free to start a new topic anytime you have a new question. This will make it easier for others to learn and find the information.
I’m looking at 4 oz cones of Serabond Bonded Polyester B92 (T-90). Brand says ”Amman Group”. Is this what you guys are referring to? I’m wanting #92 thread, I guesss the B92 means #92? Just wanting to get it right before I order some. There are a number of different colors available from this seller. It’s on ebay if you want to read the description. One of the ebay item numbers is 162150239837. Thanks Again!! Mark
The ebay seller is actually "fabrics_and_more" , coming from El Paso TX. BigRig, So you say that's the same thread your talking about and that's it's good stuff?? If so I'll give it a shot. I'm totally new to all of this. I'm using a Pfaff 145 I'm not familiar with, on different types of materials I've yet to choose using techniques I've yet to develop. :thinking:
@TorqueMonster1 ,

I suggested the thread because advanced trimmers who use coats have shown interest in the thread due to quality and price. I think you are safe to start with a higher quality thread that really is priced much lower than some. A pound is the same price I paid for a 4 0z spool of coats off e-bay. Just call Bry-Tech in Florida 1-800-329-7283 and order your thread. Your looking at a huge job with that car. I would go to the wrecker and get a car seat to do a practice seat. Your machine is going to be just fine, those can always be upgraded but remember some of the most amazing trim work comes from the oldest machines out there. Practice Vinyl is something you need to consider for price. Denali Automotive Vinyl is priced really good for you. When beginning I made some mistakes when sewing the backstitch at the end of my seams and my thread ripped through the vinyl. I have learned that even the best vinyl without a proper backstitch is going to rip if pulled at. If you are in the U.S shipping of orders over a certain purchase amount is free which is dynamite!!!

You are an audio tech by trade?

Try not to invest too much too soon. There are hidden costs like adhesives, oil, staples, equipment and REPAIRS. I have a great machine but it has to seen the repair shop a lot which brings my costs up. I would kill to have that BMW to work on. I love sewing welt cord and pleats to me that car is a dream. I am a million miles from being a trimmer for those jobs :joy:
LeatherJohnny, John liked this
I have used sixty nine nylon thread on cars since I have been in business and that's a long time. I don't know why anyone would go to ninety two, it seems like overkill to me. Decorative stitching is another subject. One of my sewing machines is a Pfaff 145 circa 1963. I don't know about you, but mine is very temperamental about what thread it lets me run through it. If your machine is like mine, I would start with a small amount to see if it runs through the machine first.
LeatherJohnny liked this
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