Aurifil Thread Weights For Quilting: Learn About the Different Types of Aurifil Thread Weights and Uses - The Jolly Jabber Blog

Aurifil Thread Weight Comparison

With so many thread weights on the market, it’s tough to tell which one is perfect for a project! We’re here to help you distinguish between those tricky little spools with some descriptions and up-close stitch comparisons of Aurifil threads.

Selection of Aurifil threads

Print out this post and keep it as a reference sheet in your crafting room, or bookmark it for the next time you’re at a fork in the road when it comes to selecting thread! We have a special week-long sale on all Aurifil threads that starts today! Read on for all the details.

Selection of 80wt Aurifil threads for quilting and embroidery

Aurifil 80wt Thread

  • 80wt Aurifil thread is their thinnest weight yet!
  • Ideal for machine and hand applique
  • Perfect for English Paper Piecing
  • It comes on a wooden spool
Selection of 50wt Aurifil threads for quilting

Aurifil 50wt Thread

  • 50wt Aurifil thread can be used for machine piecing, hand piecing, machine applique, hand needle turned applique, fine needlework, foundation piecing, miniature patchwork, detailed quilting, bobbin lace making, and machine embroidery.
  • Most popular cotton quilting thread
  • One of the most versatile threads
  • It comes on an orange spool

Selection of 40 weight Aurifil threads for quilting

Aurifil 40wt Thread

  • 40wt Aurifil thread is ideal for machine quilting, applique, embroidery, and hand stitching binding.
  • The most popular machine embroidery thread
  • Perfect for precise work on fine fabrics
  • Slightly heavier than 50wt thread, which allows the thread to stand out more
  • It comes on a green spool
Selection of 28 weight Aurifil threads for quilting

Aurifil 28wt Thread

  • 28wt Aurifil thread is ideal for blanket stitch, hand applique, hand quilting, and machine embroidery.
  • Gives some stitch definition and interest
  • On a sewing machine, use it with a Quilting or Denim needle with 50wt thread in the bobbin
  • It comes on a gray spool
Selection of 12 weight Aurifil threads for quilting

Aurifil 12wt Thread

  • 12wt Aurifil thread is ideal for hand quilting, big stitch hand quilting, and machine quilting.
  • Creates a defined look
  • When machine quilting with 12wt thread, use 40wt in the bobbin, increase your stitch length, lower your tension, use Topstitch size 90 needles, and stitch slowly for best results.
  • It comes on a red spool
Selection of AuriFloss cotton floss for cross stitch and embroidery


  • AuriFloss cotton floss is ideal for hand embroidery, hand quilting, cross stitch, and needlepoint.
  • 6-ply stranded floss
  • It comes on a pale wooden spool

Tip: You can separate the strands to achieve desired floss thickness and coverage.

Aurifil Thread Stitching Details

Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s get to stitching!

Here’s a close-up view of how each weight looks side-by-side.

What thread weight do you use the most? Tell us in the comments below.

You can find many brands of high-quality thread for sewing at Fat Quarter Shop, including Gutermann, Mettler, Sulky, Superior, and Wonderfil. We also carry a full range of cross stitch and embroidery thread.

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Happy Quilting!

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  1. I use the 50 weight thread for piecing and quilting. But after reading this, I may try the 40 weight for quilting. I love Aurifil thread. There is very little lint build up in the machine, and it sews like a dream. The only time it breaks is if the machine is threaded incorrectly. Thanks for such a wonderful product.

    1. I have a Gammill w/ statler, computer guided quilting on customer quilts. What should I use? On top? And bottom?

      1. Hi Frances!
        It sounds like this is something you may want to consult with your Gammill dealer for.
        Hope that helps.

  2. I use 50wt for piecing and quilting. I also have used 50wt for some hand sewing, but after reading this blog article I think that I am going to try other thread weights for quilting and hand sewing.

  3. I LOVE Aurifil thread! I have all weights in various colors. My go-to for piecing quilts is the 50 weight. The 80 wt. thread works great for stitching in the ditch. It disappears in the seams. I love using the 28 wt. for buttonhole stitched appliqué. I think of the 40 wt. as a stronger, utility thread and don’t use it as often. I didn’t realize the 12 wt. could be used successfully in the machine. I’ve only used it for hand stitching. I may have to try that. Thanks for the information!

  4. I’ve only ever used Aurifil 50 wt. and in a limited variety of colors…usually color 2000, 2021 and 2024. I’ve only stitched one quilt by hand and also used 50 wt. for that. The next time, I may try the 40 wt. based on your statements. I would love to have every color in many of the weights, but especially 50 wt. and Aurifloss. That would be a dream come true. Thanks for the review, I know this is something I’ve always questioned.

  5. This is a great reminder of weights! As someone newer to aurifil thread, i get confused using the appropriate thread based on what it’s made of. Are all of the above listed threads 100% cotton – material is not listed on all of them? I know aurifil makes polyesters as well.

  6. Aurifil 50wt is my staple thread for piecing and quilting, using mostly neutral colors. And I’m completely in love with Aurifil 80wt for hand appliquéing Lori Holts sew simple shapes. This weight of thread makes hand applique quick and simple and I never see the thread showing when I am done. Its so fun!

    1. I used Gutermann exclusively for sewing garments and crafts.That was the best available at Joann’s. When I decided to set up quilting with FQS, I started with Aurifil 50 wt.. The colors and quality are really worth the difference in price. Shop on sale.🙂

  7. So excited to learn about thread weights. Good information in your blog and from comment section.

  8. I love AURIFIL thread! I have about 6 boxes sets and a scrap bin full of the small spools that come in the boxes. I’ve purchased all the thread weights but 50wt is my go to. I’m buying the big spools with this discount. Thank You!’

  9. I use 50 wt aurifil for everything. After reading this I would like to try some different wts

  10. I have been using Aurafil 50 wt for piecing, but would like to try heavier wt for quilting . But I never know what size needles to use. I use microtechnology for piecing and nonstick for appliqué with fusible

    1. Hi Terri, we have an old post here on our blog about needles, but we are actually re-doing it later this month. Keep an eye out for it! Hope it will help 🙂

  11. I don’t understand why it’s become popular to use relatively thin (50 weight) threads for quilting. I’ve always used stronger threads for quilting. Superior’s 30 and 40 weight threads for machine, and YLI hand (glazed) for hand quilting… a strong thread for hand quilting – which use half the amount of thread. I can just imagine the sound of “pop pop pop” threads breaking when you pull a quilt made with 50 wt thread up to your neck the first night! 50 weight is find for piecing… not holding batting in place too! Just an old quilter’s experienced opinion!

  12. My Juki sewing machine manual says it can use as low as a 30 weight thread. Is there enough of a difference between 28 and 30 weight that I should not use 28? I’ve not tried it because I’m not a big risk taker when it comes to the possibility of messing up my expensive machine 🙂 but I really do want to try machine quilting with the thickest thread possible because I like the look of it. PS thanks for the discount on thread!

  13. You only mention the fiber content of the 50 weight thread as being cotton, but none of the other threads listed show whether they are cotton, polyester, rayon, or a blend, which would have been nice to include that information too in this article to save having to look each one up.

    Also, it would have been helpful to mention using these threads for other sewing, not just quilting, embroidery, but sewing clothing and bag making and home dec sewing too. What thread to choose for those kinds of sewing would have helped as well.

  14. I now know I should mostly be using the 50 wt so piecing will lay nice and flat. I was using 40 wt because it was on sale and I see why my results weren’t the best. Thank you for this post!!!

  15. Hi, I have used Gutermann too stitch thread for beading and now I would like to swab to Aurifil as I liked the range of colours. As there are not Aurifils products near me I am not sure which type of threads can be similar to top stitch. As per threads’ descriptions I thought 28wt or 12wt would be similar to Gutermann top stitch thread.