Aurifil Thread: A Comprehensive Guide

Oct 1, 2018

Hello and HAPPY OCTOBER! My favorite month of the year! As a new 2018 Aurifil Artisan, one of the most requested posts my followers asked for were comparisons on the different weights of Aurifil and why they are better quality than the typical store bought thread.

All thread information can be found at, but I have broken it down for you in shorter, easier to understand terms and put it all in one place. I've also included some stitch examples and I have recently published a trouble shooting guide if you're having issues with thread wether in hand stitching or machine sewing so check that out as well!

If you're here for the info on Aurifil keep reading!

The basics of Aurifil

Aurifil is 100% Egyptian Cotton grown in the MAKO region of Egypt on the River Nile. The thread production process begins Milan, Italy where it goes through a 15-step process before completion. Aurifil thread is mercerized which is a process that not only strengthens the thread but also provides it with a beautiful sheen.

Aurifil has many thread weights...

Below are the lists and brief summaries of each Aurifil thread type / weight as well as links to color charts that are available.

  • Cotton Spools come in small, large and cone sizes. They are available in the following weights: 12, 28, 40, 50, in 270 colors. (more on weights below)
  • Cotton 80 Wt. available in small spools only in 88 colors.
  • Forty3 - Long arm thread cones in 50 colors.
  • Aurifloss - 6-strand embroidery floss available in smalls spools, 270 colors.
  • Wool - (50% Wool, 50% Acrylic) in small and large spools and cones, 192 colors.
  • Poly Longarm - Variegated cones in 10 colors.
  • Monofilament Invisible - 2 shades available in large spools and cones.
  • Bobbin - 60 wt. large spools in white.
Side note: Needle selection is just as important as thread selection. Checkout this great guide for pairing the right machine needles with different thread weights.

Understanding thread weights...

Most of you will already know a little about thread weights and how important they are to each project you're making. Below is a direct quote from about how their thread weights are determined, and since I couldn't write it any better (and they're the expert on their own threads, lets be honest LOL) I've included it here.

Our thread weight is determined by something called Number English or Ne. Ne is a measure of linear density and refers to the number of hanks (840yd or 770m) of skein material that weigh 1lb. For instance, 50 hanks (42,000yd or 38,500m) or our 50wt thread (Ne 50) weighs 1lb. Under this system, the higher the number, the finer the thread. 

How to choose the right thread...

Many Aurifil thread weights work for the same purposes. I have done countless EPP (English paper piecing) blocks in 80, 50, and 40 wt threads. I just grab whatever color is right, in whatever weight I own that specific color. They are all great for hand piecing, you just have to choose what your preference is. Just remember, the higher the weight, the thinner the thread!

When it comes to quilting or top stitching, my personal preference is either 12 wt, 28 wt, or 40 wt thread. They all give a great defined stitch. Below are the thread choices from Aurifil and the best uses for each product.

  • 12 wt. - Hand quilting and embroidery, cross stitch, machine sashiko, machine quilting, top stitching
  • 28 wt. - Cross stitch, hand quilting, hand or machine appliqué, machine quilting and embroidery, top stitching
  • 40 wt. - Cross stitch, hand piecing, machine piecing, quilting and embroidery, top stitching
  • 50 wt. - Piecing and providing super flat seams, and for quilting or hand sewing, appliqué, and all sorts of machine sewing.
  • 80 wt. - English paper piecing, hand appliqué, machine embroidery and appliqué
  • Aurifloss - Cross stitch, embroidery, tatting, needle point, crochet, applique
  • Cotton Forty3 - Long arm machine quilting
  • Wool - Cross stitch and hand embroidering, machine appliqué and quilting, serging, long arm quilting.
  • Poly Longarm - Machine embroidery, quilting, satin stitching, thread painting, decorative appliqué 
  • Monofilament - Invisible seams, stitch in the ditch, couching, attaching invisible binding
  • Bobbin - Umm... the bobbin! :) Pairs well with many different top thread weights.

Did I miss something? Have a question?

I'm all about learning new things. If you believe I missed something or even have a question please don't hesitate to comment below.

That's all, folks!

Whew! This was a lengthy post. However, I did get lots of requests for this sort of content from newbie quilters on my Instagram and Twitter. I hope I've helped in some way. 

Please stick around and follow my blog and social media accounts for more posts like this including upcoming giveaways and tutorials! Have an awesome day!

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