How to Use Large Thread Cones on a Home Sewing Machine

If you have a home sewing machine that can handle sewing heavier fabrics, you probably will want to use a heavier thread, too. Most domestic sewing machines can sew with V-69 thread, but the machine probably doesn’t have a place for you to set such a large cone of thread. We have a couple of quick tips that will help you get the best feed off your cone of thread on a home sewing machine.

Cones vs. Spools

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First, let’s talk about why these large cones of thread need to be treated differently than the typical spool. Large cones of thread, like the ones we sell at Sailrite, require the thread to be pulled off the top of the cone for smooth and consistent tensioning in your sewing machine. Conversely, on smaller spools of thread, the kind that are traditionally used for home sewing, the thread pulls off the side of the spool. These smaller spools can sit on a post on your sewing machine but this situation isn’t right for the larger cones.

Thread Stand

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What to do? The best way to get clean feeding off the cone is to use a thread stand behind your machine. We have two options of thread stands, one with a plastic base, and another with a sturdier metal base. Both of our thread stands are under $10 and will be great for this application.

Cone on the Floor

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If you’d prefer to not invest in a thread stand or you can’t wait until it arrives, we have a trick for you. Set your cone of thread on the floor behind your sewing machine and pull the thread off the cone and up over the back of a chair and then thread it into your machine.

If you’re not sure if your domestic sewing machine can handle heavier fabrics or thread, it’s always good to do some test sewing. We have tips for this in our post “Can My Sewing Machine Sew Canvas?

Do you sew canvas on a domestic sewing machine? What have been your challenges? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? We want to hear from you in the comments!

4 comments
  1. Bill Goode said:

    I’ve been using my Mom’s 1957 Singer Mod. 704 now for years using V-69. The only problem is the dust coming off the needle, as it chaffs the thread. A # 18 needle is the largest available for most home machines and I think the V-69 needs at least a #20. Other than shorter thread life it works fine. I use it on Sunbrella and it does fine. If it had a walking foot I wouldn’t have put it in semi-retirement. I love my LSZ-1. Oh yea I forgot to mention I’m a DIY. Take an 18″ piece of bailing wire, bend it back 1″ from the end with a pair of pliers, bend it tight. Now pull the plastic stick thread holder out of the top of your home machine and stick the bent end of the wire in the hole. This may need to be tweeked a little. Now bend the top of the wire over your spool of V-69 (sitting behind and to the right of your machine) and bend a loop or hook in the end of the wire to hold the thread up. The wire has to hold almost no weight and bingo you just saved $10.00 plus shipping. Have fun…..Bill

  2. Peggy Caynor said:

    A quick thread stand in a pinch is an empty pickle jar. Use a jar larger than the spool. Cut or drill a 1/4 hole in the jar cap. Insert an inch piece of plastic soda straw in the hole. Put the spool in the jar, thread the sewing thread thru the straw and fasten the cap on the jar. Thread the machine. The spool will sit upright and dispense thread and is tangle free.

  3. John Hughes said:

    You can do wonders with a wire coat hanger stuck into any convenient spot on the machine, with the other end bent into some sort of loop for the thread to feed over. All that leads to another question: on my Juki, there’s an upright post with several holes in in, an then a horizontal tab with three holes in it. In each, I suspect I’m supposed to lead the thread through some number of holes before reaching the tension disks. How many? Why? How do you decide? Any thoughts?

    • Nikki said:

      Hi John, that sounds like a thread stand for bobbins. The holes may be used for feeding thread or just holding the bobbin in place–it’s hard to tell without looking at the machine. In any case, usually you will find a “Thread Guide” very close to the upper tension. That thread guide will typically have three holes in it to run the thread through. We usually recommend going through the first hole and last (so the thread looks like a candy cane stripe). This thread guide takes out any kinks or twists in the thread before it reaches the tension assembly. Hope that helps answer your questions!

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