Selecting the Right Lifetime Thread
Lifetime threads are more expensive than traditional polyester thread, but for projects that will be outdoors all the time, a lifetime thread is well worth the extra investment. Sailrite® stocks two brands of lifetime thread, Sailrite® Lifetime Thread (formerly Profilen®) and Tenara®, and today we’re going to break down the strengths of each so you can decide which will work best for you.
First, let’s go over what all lifetime threads have in common. They all carry a lifetime guarantee (hence the name) and are unaffected by exposure to UV rays, harsh cleaning agents, pollution, saltwater, rain, snow, cold and rot. These threads can be left outside all year round in all of the elements and they still will outlast the fabric they are sewn into!
Tenara thread, by Gore®, is the original lifetime thread and is made of a unique fluoropolymer fiber construction. It is available in nine colors on 8 oz. cones so you can match the thread to your canvas color. Tenara comes in two sizes: regular, which is similar to a V-92 thread, and heavyweight, which is similar to a V-138 thread.
Tenara thread is lubricated with a very small amount of silicone wax. This wax finish helps to provide lubrication during the sewing process. This extra lubrication can make the thread tricky to sew. Therefore, we only recommend using Tenara with rotary hook sewing machines, such as the Fabricator® Sewing Machine. In a rotary hook machine, the wax lubricates the machine as well and helps to create excellent stitch quality with very low stretch.
Sailrite Lifetime Thread is made from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and features properties that repel dirt and water. It also has self-cleaning properties and is available in white, black and clear colors. While Tenara is only sold in 8 oz. cones, Sailrite Lifetime Thread comes in both 4 oz. and 8 oz. cone sizes. Due to the fact that lifetime thread is more expensive than outdoor thread, the smaller cone size is a great option for sewers on a budget.
The thread size is comparable to a V-92 thread. Sailrite Lifetime Thread is softer than other lifetime threads, which makes it easier to sew properly. Sailrite Lifetime Thread can be used in both rotary hook and oscillating hook sewing machines. We've tested numerous lifetime threads on the market, and Sailrite PTFE Lifetime Thread performs the best in the Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Sewing Machine.
If you’re not sure if your sewing machine has an oscillating or rotary hook, our "Rotary vs. Oscillating Hook Sewing Machines" blog post (#300118XHT) outlines how the two types of sewing machines work and tells you how to determine which type of machine you have.
All in all, you cannot make a wrong choice with lifetime threads, but selecting the one that will sew best in your sewing machine will give you an easier sewing experience.