Monday, July 6, 2009

Bob's Favorite Thread Story

Several years ago when our youngest son, Todd, was 14 years old, he was helping us pack some thread to be shipped.
He noticed the label on Vanish said "water soluble thread," and asked us why anyone would want thread that dissolves because most thread is used to hold things together.

We explained to him that many quilters use techniques such as trapunto, where they need a water soluble thread that will dissolve in water.
This got Todd to thinking . . . . water soluble thread and he asked us, "May I have a spool of that thread?"
We had great hopes. We could see our son taking interest in our business and perhaps he would become a famous quilter such as Ricky Tims or John Flynn.
We gave him a spool of thread and said, "Go and Create."

Todd went to his room and pulled out an old swimsuit and immediately began cutting it apart at the seams.
He then hand sewed the seams back together using Vanish thread.
Todd waited very patiently for about two weeks when a group of his friends came to our house and suggested they go swimming in our pool.
Of course, one friend needed to borrow a suit. "No problem!" Todd offered, "I have a spare!"
Within 20 seconds after the boys had jumped into the pool, imagine what happened to the borrowed suit? Poor Joe!!!
You can guess the ending to this story.
We need to mention that Mother Superior happened to be gardening in the backyard at the time.

  • We carry both Vanish-Extra and Vanish-Lite, available on spools and cones.
  • They need to be stored in a dry place and in resealable bags. Damp surfaces need to be avoided. Don't lick the thread before threading the needle.
  • Both products can be used in the bottom and top of the machine.
  • The strengths of Extra and Lite are different. Lite is about 1/3rd finer.
  • On Longarm Machines: We recommend Vanish-Extra if used as the top thread. Either Vanish-Extra or Vanish-Lite can be used in the bobbin. Use a #19 (MR4.0) needle. The thread requires soaking to dissolve.
  • On Home Machines: We recommend Vanish-Lite for home machines. Use an #80/12 Topstitch needle. You can spritz with water to dissolve.
  • Vanish can also be used to temporarily hold pieces in place, as in basting. In the old days we had to pick our basting threads out. Now they dissolve!


  1. I have used Vanish Lite as the top thread on my APQS machine with no problems.

  2. So, how is Todd? We're going to miss him at shows.