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Pairing Costume Materials With the Right Thread

When sewing with specialty threads, it's important to match threads for optimal results. Here's our complete guide to fabrics and thread!

When it comes to using specialty fabrics and materials in your costumes and cosplay, you also need to keep in mind the thread you’re sewing with. Your choice of thread will differ between sewing through a thick leather or a sheer organza, so we’re here to recommend the right threads for the job. Whether you’re making your own costume for Halloween or prepping for the next convention, we’ll have you assembling your outfit in no time!

If you want to see just how well these threads pair with different fabrics, check out our YouTube video!

1. Leather & Pleather Material

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This thicker material is a must for any believable tool belt, scabbard, or leather armour look. Both leather and fake leather, also known as pleather, come in similar thicknesses and finishes, so you can apply the same thread and techniques when sewing with it.

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Because this material is thicker than your standard fabric, you’ll want to use a suitable thread. This is HomeDec and it comes in 60wt, 40wt, and 30wt options. You’ll want to use 60wt in the bobbin with itself, and this lighter weight is also a good option for when you don’t want the thread to show as much. The 40wt is your standard weight as a top thread, while the 30wt is a good option for top stitching, which is when you want to the thread to stand out as its own decorative element.

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This is a great thread to use for assembling armour pieces or leather clothing because it’s incredibly strong, which will hold those thick leather and pleather pieces together securely. It’s also good for sewing bags, backpacks, purses, or any other accessory that will need to endure more wear and tear.

Make your perfect leather armoured costume with HomeDec! Find this thread in our online shop here:

2. Fur and Faux Fur

Real fur will have a leather backing, whereas faux fur will usually have a thicker fabric backing.

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For both of these, you’ll once again want to use HomeDec thread because of the thickness of this material. In both cases, the hairs will usually run in a certain direction, however you may need to brush the faux fur to find it and correctly align the hairs before sewing.

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Keeping the grain in mind will help you understand the direction the fur will want to fall in for when you attach it to your costume. If it’s falling against the nap, the hairs will stick up and not look smooth.

Do you need a costume idea to make with fur and faux fur? Why not dress up as one of the characters from the hit TV series “Game of Thrones”! We’ve found this short guide on how the costume designer made Jon Snow’s fur cape here:

Transform into the ruler of the North with HomeDec! Find this thread in our online shop here:

3. Tulle, Chiffon, Organza, and Other Sheer Fabrics

You don’t want to use a regular sewing thread with these fabrics because not only will the thread really show up, but it will add a lot of extra bulk to the fine, lightweight fabric. When sewing with a sheer material, we highly recommend going small with your thread.

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This 100wt cottonized polyester thread is called InvisaFil, and it’s so fine it will really blend right in. This is a great option for rolled hems, blind hems, and anywhere you don’t want the thread to show up. Your seams will lay visibly flatter with fewer puckers as a result.

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Create a dreamy puff sleeve for a Glinda the good witch costume, or one perfect for a princess dress this Halloween. We’ve found this tutorial for creating a top with a puff sleeve here:

Create the most dreamy costumes with InvisaFil. Find this thread in our online shop here:

4. Lace

Whether you’re attaching lace to a project or constructing with it, you want to choose a thread that will hide in the material so it won’t distract from the beautiful design. Once again, InvisaFil is your best choice. Because this 100wt thread is so fine, it really disappears into the fabric without a trace.

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And because lace is so lightweight, the thread won’t be adding any additional bulk to it, so your lace will stay soft and flexible on your project.

Create a gorgeous lace trimmed veil for a bridal costume this Halloween, whether she’s bright and blushing, or… not so much! We’ve found a simple tutorial here:

Even a zombie bride deserves a beautiful veil for her special day! Find this thread in our online shop here:

5. Woven, Knit, Spandex, and Other Stretch Fabrics

Stretchy fabrics aren’t as intimidating to sew as they may seem at first. Using the correct needle and thread are the most important factors to make it work. For stretch fabrics, you’ll want to use a stretch needle to avoid skipped stitches. Choose a size 75/11 for lighter stretch fabrics and a 90/14 for thicker stretch fabrics.

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However, the thread you choose is also very important. In the needle and bobbin, you’ll want to use a polyester thread that has a little bit of stretch to it. Avoid 100% cotton threads as these have no stretch to them, so they won’t move with the fabric. We recommend using this 40wt all-purpose polyester thread called Designer in both the needle and bobbin. It has a maximum seam strength of 50lbs per inch, making it perfect for construction purposes.

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If you’ll be using these stretch fabrics in your serger, you can also use this wooly poly thread in the upper and lower loopers. This is SoftLoc, and it was designed specifically for sergers. The thread has a lot of stretch to it, making it perfect for use with stretch fabrics.

High fashion Halloween? We think yes! Find this thread in our online shop here:

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The best part is, this thread can be ironed even on high heat and is fully colour safe. To use SoftLoc, load it in the upper and lower loopers of your serger and use Designer in the needle with it for a beautifully finished edge.

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For the ultimate 80’s jazzercize costume SoftLoc is perfect! Find this thread in our online shop here:

We’ve covered a few different materials in this video, and hope to have inspired some Halloween and cosplay costume ideas for you!

Are you ready to make your own costumes? You can shop the threads mentioned in this blog in your country by visiting You can also sign up for our free newsletter to receive more educational sewing tips, tutorials, and free patterns. Register by clicking here! We’ll see you again next time!


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