Sewing With Transparent Thread Without Going Insane

I’ve had a lot of quality time working with transparent thread so I thought I’d give a few tips on how to sew with transparent thread and troubleshooting issues you may come across.

What exactly is this strange invisible thread? Transparent thread is made out of clear nylon or polyester and is classified as a “monofilament” thread. That means that it is one thread, a very thin solid skinny piece of plastic. “Regular” thread is made out of a bunch of small twisted threads. Regular thread has a lot more stretch because of this. Clear thread has little to no stretch.

Things I’ve Figured Out:

  • Keep close track of your thread ends when beginning a seam. Rouge threads can cause a big tangled mess.
  • When using transparent thread on apparel the ends of your seam can poke and be uncomfortable. You can avoid this by pulling the bobbin thread up and making a tiny knot on the outside of the garment or hiding the knot in your seam allowance.
  • Winding the bobbin can be frustrating. Before you start winding hand-wind the end a few more times than you usually would to make sure it doesn’t come undone. When your nylon thread comes undone while bobbin winding it can make a big mess. Watch the bobbin carefully and make sure the thread is getting wound on the bobbin and not everywhere else.
  • Experiment with the tension on a scrap piece of fabric. Make sure there isn’t any bunching.
  • Don’t use clear thread on seams that will be stretching a lot (like an elastic waistband).

Where You Can Find Transparent Thread:

  • Walmart. Sometimes. Clear thread at Walmart tends to be the first to go out of stock.
  • Your local fabric or sewing store.
  • I’m a fan of YLI’s invisible thread:

sewing with transparent thread
YLI Corporation Wonder Invisible Thread Size .004 1,500 Yds: Clear