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, 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!

Selecting the Right Lifetime Thread

All 5 colors of Tenara Thread.

Tenara® Thread by Gore, is the original lifetime thread and is made of a unique fluoropolymer fiber construction. It is available in five colors on 8 oz. cones and 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 in some sewing machines, but is ideal for use with rotary hook sewing machines. In a rotary hook machine, the wax lubricates the machine too, and helps to create excellent stitch quality with very low stretch. We recommend Tenara thread for use with rotary hook sewing machines like the Sailrite 111, the Sailrite Professional Series and the Sailrite Big-N-Tall.

Selecting the Right Lifetime Thread

Profilen Thread in both colors and cone sizes.

Sailrite® Lifetime Thread (formerly Profilen®) is made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and also features properties that repel dirt and water and it is self-cleaning. Sailrite Thread is available in two colors on 4 oz. or 8 oz. cones and the thread size is comparable to a V-92 thread. Sailrite thread is softer than other lifetime threads, which makes it easier to sew properly. We highly recommend this thread for use in oscillating hook sewing machines like the Sailrite Ultrafeed®.

If you’re not sure if your sewing machine has an oscillating or rotary hook, our blog at (search #300118XHT) outlines how each type of machine works and tells you how to tell 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.

You can find both of these lifetime threads at

  1. Newton Collyar said:

    The profilen black sews well in the ultrafeed machine but is smaller then V-92 thread and just looks “undersize”. With the clear you run into the same problems as with the tenara, major skipped stiches. Is the a larger Profilen black available?

    • Nikki said:

      Hi Newton,

      Technically, yes, the Profilen thread is a tiny bit smaller than V-92. We actually measured their diameters and Profilen is .012 mm while Polyester V-92 measures.015 mm. So it is different but by a very narrow margin. Unfortunately Profilen is not made is a larger size that we know of, so it’s not something we’re able to carry.

    • Glenn said:

      Just came across your post after having sewing problems with profilen clear vs profilen black. I think that is what you were trying to say in your post but Nikki did not understand it I think. I can sew perfectly with profilen black and then make no changes to the machine and switch to profilen white and skipped stitches. I just can’t figure it out. Did you find any solution? Sailrite is a great company and I am using an LSZ-1 machine.

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