Links to Sewing Supplies

Copyright 2005   Ronald B. Standler

Table of Contents
Manufacturers
Stores


Manufacturers


Pfaff sewing machines
Schmetz needles


There are different measurements for sizes of sewing needles in metric and American (i.e., Singer Sewing Machine Company) practices:
metric 60 70 80 90 100 110 120
american 8 10 12 14 16 18 19
The diameter of the needle in millimeters × 100 is the metric size, so a size 65 needle has a diameter of 0.65 mm.   The relationship of one American size per 0.05 mm is true only from 0.6 mm to 1.1 mm.

Thread

reissfestes Garn = extra-strong thread

I routinely use extra-strong 100% polyester thread: Gütermann recommends needle sizes 100 to 120 with extra-strong thread, while Mettler recommends at least size 90.

Stronger Thread

There are two kinds of thread that are even stronger than the above-mentioned "extra-strong" thread.
  1. thread intended for buttonholes and top-stitching (in German: "Knopfloch- und Zierstich-fäden") that is sold: Gütermann recommends needle size 120 with top-stitching thread, while Mettler recommends at least size 110.   Alternatively, instead of using a Universal or Jeans needle, one can use a special Topstitching needle that has a large eye on a smaller shank (e.g., sizes 70, 80, or 90).

  2. When sewing heavy-duty (e.g., 1000 denier) nylon fabric, I have had good results with Coats Upholstery thread, which is 100% nylon, on 150 yard spools. Coats recommends a size 110 needle with this thread.

Notions = Nähzubehör

Notions (e.g., thread, needles, buttons, etc.) are called Nähzubehör in German.

Fabric

I tend to use heavy-duty fabrics. For example, I made a book bag out of Nylon Cordura® 1000 denier fabric that lasted through three years of law school with virtually no detectable wear, while many of my classmates purchased a new book bag every year. I made a car seat cover and a bedspread from cotton duck cloth, a light-weight canvas. These kinds of fabrics are not sold in local fabric stores, whose customers mostly make clothing, curtains, etc.

American fabric stores give the density of the fabrics in "ounces per square yard", which is often — and improperly — shortened to "oz." To obtain the density in grams per square meter, multiply "oz/yd2" by 33.8


Stores

I order most of my fabric from a store that specializes in outdoor fabrics: Rainshed in Corvallis, Oregon.

The importers for Gütermann, Mettler, and Madeira threads do not import into the USA the full range of their threads. Also, some sizes and types of Schmetz needles are difficult to find in the USA. For these reasons, I sometimes order from a store in Germany.

I have ordered from Faden Versand in Germany, which has all sizes of Schmetz needles, as well as Gütermann and Mettler (Amann) thread.   With Euro 30 (about US$38 in June 2010) shipping cost outside Germany, this is an expensive way to get exactly what you want.

Other Stores

There are two large chains of retail stores in the USA that sell fabric and notions (e.g., thread, needles, sewing accessories):
There are two big mail-order notion (e.g., thread, needles, sewing accessories) stores in the USA:
There are many small mail-order notion stores that sometimes have a better selection of specialty needles or thread than mainstream stores: Identi-Tape in Colorado sells 3M vinyl reflective material. I have sewn on fabric: 3M 6187R (yellow) and 6196R (red) with a width of two inches.

Jeffrey Lausten in New York State, ReflectivelyYours, sells reflective fabric and reflective vinyl sew-on tape.

The following fabric stores have interesting websites, but I have not ordered from them:
The following stores have closed-cell Neoprene and polyethylene foams, used for cushioning delicate objects:


http://www.rbs0.com/sew.html
webpage created 9 Sep 2005, revised 8 Dec 2014

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