Typically when starting an outdoor fabric project substantial consideration is given to the quality of fabric used whether it is for a boat in a marina or an outdoor awning for a home or business. Often little consideration is given to what type of thread will be used. Unfortunately, the fabric is only as good as the thread that holds it together! The quality of outdoor thread is just as important as the fabric in any outdoor application.
There are two major causes for outdoor thread deterioration: Ultraviolet radiation and water-borne bacteria and fungus. Sunlight and micro-organisms cause outdoor thread to weaken rapidly, lose color, and deteriorate. Unfortunately, these problems are here to stay! The solution is GORE™ Tenara® Outdoor Thread.
Tenara Outdoor Thread is unaffected by sunlight. Extensive tests performed in full Arizona desert sun show that Tenara thread retains its strength for over five years. In fact, Tenara will probably outlast the material it is sewn into! During the same experiment (same duration and conditions), both polyester and cotton thread lost over 80% of their strength. These types of thread will fade, discolor, and weaken over time.
GORE Tenara Thread is also unaffected by mold and mildew. Tenara thread is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water. Without water, micro-organisms like mold and mildew will not grow in the thread. Both polyester and cotton threads attract and retain water so they can absorb colored dyes, but it also makes for a very attractive environment for mold, mildew, and algae. Over time, the natural progression of mold and mildew can cause polyester and cotton thread to rot, discolor, and lose integrity.
Tenara will add years to the life of boat covers, awnings, and other outdoor applications, and it is supported by a Lifetime Guarantee. However, choosing to sew with Tenara also comes with a few drawbacks. Tenara is significantly more expensive than standard UVR polyester thread, and it can be difficult to sew. Although the cost factor is for you to decide, we’ve put together a video full of helpful tips and tricks to use when sewing with Tenara thread.
Whether you live in the tropics or want outdoor covers and awnings that don’t need restitching every other year, choose GORE™ Tenara® Outdoor thread. Tenara comes in several different colors and two different weights. Standard Tenara is similar to a V-92 weight thread with an 8–10 lb. breaking strength. Heavy Tenara is similar to a V-138 weight thread with a 15 lb. breaking strength.