Nylon Vs Cotton Weaving Thread: Know the Difference
Updated: Jan 22
Many people have heard of the two types of weaving thread, but rarely understand the characteristics of each.
Cotton weaving thread has been traditionally sold to use for many weaving techniques including full sew-ins. However, it has been discovered that nylon weaving thread is far superior….
NYLON THREAD FOR WEAVING
Nylon thread is strong, durable and moisture resistant. It has become the thread of choice for most professional stylists and wig makers. Its thin and smooth texture assists in creating tangle-free stitching and flat, seamless sew-ins. Unlike cotton weaving thread, the nylon thread does not absorb moisture, so it is less likely that your client will experience immense itching on the scalp as a result of mold and mildew build up. Also, the stitching will remain strong. No need to frequently tighten the loose thread after weeks of wearing a hairstyle.
Nylon weaving thread is great for making custom wig cap construction, securing lace wigs to the hair, seamless sew-in hairstyles, dreadlock maintenance, clip-in extensions, toupees, toppers, hair enhancers and more!
Hair weft being sewn in with nylon hair weaving thread.
*Nylon thread for weaving is suitable for sewing machine use.
*Nylon thread resists moisture and UV rays and has a shorter drying time.
*Wig caps should only be constructed with nylon thread. (Whip stitching with a hair ventilating needle cannot be performed using cotton weaving thread.)
COTTON THREAD FOR WEAVING
Cotton weaving thread is relatively inexpensive. This thread is available in a variety of colors and can by tinted to match the desired hue. Cotton weaving thread can be used in many hair extension services as well. However, it is common to experience difficulty in the following areas:
Woman with itchy scalp scratching her head.
Unraveling when threading the eye of the needle
The cord of the thread will swell and break when exposed to moisture and weight
Accumulation of mold and mildew due to moisture. Many clients will experience a scalp itch. The cotton thread will also absorb dirt and oil from the scalp. (Hence the infamous “head pat”)
Tangling and matting while stitching. (Some stylists will coat the thread with beeswax for a smoother sewing experience)
Longer drying time after being submerged in water
Cotton thread for weaving is not suitable for a sewing machine. (Cotton weaving thread is not the same as cotton thread sold in fabric stores. Cotton weaving thread is primarily sold for hairstyling purposes.)
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE TYPE OF THREAD IF THE SPOOL IS NOT LABELED?
Nylon thread is smooth and has a slight shine.
Close up picture of Nylon weaving thread.
Cotton thread has less of a shine and you will be able to see small fibers extending from the spool.
Close up picture of black cotton hair weaving thread.
WHICH THREAD SHOULD YOU USE?
Both types may be used for styling services. As we do not discourage the use of cotton weaving thread, we believe it is a matter of preference. If you are using cotton hair weaving thread, we suggest that you inform your client on what to expect after the service and discuss proper maintenance. However, if you are extending high-dollar, high-quality services, we would suggest using nylon thread. Also, wig caps should ONLY be constructed using nylon thread.
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