[balloon-makers] thread de-mystified

Micki Killingsworth micki at balloonrepair.com
Tue Jul 2 01:46:02 CDT 2002

I'm wondering if the company you are dealing with has something to do with 
the way they want you to order thread (differences is the way they spec 
their thread).

As an example, I have used Synthetic Thread out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 
for years. I have always ordered #69 bonded thread for sewing balloons 
(white or grey). Using bonded thread nullifies the need for right or left 
threaded thread (for the top thread or the bobbins).

#92 was always what I ordered for accessory thread, and I used #18 - #20- 
needles to sew accessories (basket covers, tank jackets, etc.).


At 03:33 PM 7/1/02 , you wrote:
>Found this one in my archives.  It's the closest thing to a complete answer
>I can find.
>Greg Winker
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Tom Deering [mailto:hot-air at deering.org]
>Sent: Friday, April 20, 2001 6:23 PM
>To: balloon-makers at deering.org
>Subject: [balloon-makers] thread de-mystified
>Until recently, thread had me stumped.  I read about thread sizes
>"E", #69, Tex 70, #24, and a few others.  I spoke to several thread
>suppliers who treated my inquiries like I was a big dumb "MAN".  I
>kept digging, and with a pointer from Phil McNutt, have figured out
>what's going on.
>The simple answer is, ask for "TEX 70".  That's what the sales person
>will understand.  Here's a bit more detail.
>Turns out the US has dozens of different thread sizing schemes.  What
>do you expect from a country that insists on using yards and furlongs?
>What some have called a #69 is more properly called "ticket 69".  The
>same thread was known to the US government as size "E".  The term
>denier was also used.  And that's just for nylon thread.  There's
>weirder schemes for cotton, linen, silk, etc.  (Six different schemes
>for cotton thread alone.)  See
>http://www.industrialsewmachine.com/webdoc3/thread.htm for several
>dozen different sizing standards.
>Recently, the Europeans outlawed the term "denier" and came up with
>"TEX", which is the gram weight of 1000 meters of undyed thread.
>That's it.  Every place I called understood this term.
>So these are equivalent, I believe:
>TEX 70
>630 denier
>Tkt #69
>E (Government)
>#24 (spun polyester)
>I could be wrong somewhere, and will be happy to be corrected.
>PS: A similar sane metric system was established for needles.  The
>hole size is given like "120" which is just a measurement of the
>hole, in this case 1.2mm.  The following are equivalent: Singer 16 to
>19, Union Special 040 to 048, and metric 100 to 120.
>Please do not assume I know what I'm talking about.  Pretend I know
>nothing.  It works for my wife.
>This list is archived at http://www.hombc.org/balloon-makers
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