What Color Is Your Basting Thread?

Green swiss dot fabric - basted

I’ve basted fabric together using thread that matches and thread that’s a contrasting color. When I’ve used a contrasting color I usually pick black or white for two reasons:

  1. I always have plenty of those colors on hand, and
  2. it’s easy to see and then remove the thread.

However, the benefit of using matching thread is that it’s not as critical to remove every single stitch of basting thread because it blends in with the fabric. And in some cases, you may just want to leave it in – something I never thought about doing until I read Natalie Chanin’s book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design. I made a tunic from that book, which features patterns for clothes that are all hand sewn, and it calls for you to baste stay stitches around the arm holes and neck area (still need to do a post about that hand-sewing experience). And she says you could just leave the stay stitches in place if you want – of course that’s assuming you are using matching  thread. When I basted this Swiss dot fabric for my Fall for Cotton project, I decided to go with matching thread. So what color is your basting thread? Do you use matching or contrasting thread?

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2 Responses to “What Color Is Your Basting Thread?”

  1. September 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    When I flat-line my pieces, I use matching thread because I don’t usually remove it.

    When I’m actually stitching two pattern pieces together or marking seam lines, I use a contrasting color to make it easier to remove later.

    • September 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      Interesting. I used to always use contrasting thread but now I think about what’s going to happen in the next step and choose what works best. For the three-collar blouse I’m working on, it could be a bit tricky removing basting because the fabric is delicate. So I switched to matching thread – just in case!

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