Monolon is a transparent polyamide thread. Transparent thread is ideally suited for quilting, when you want to achieve texture without visible color, which is especially important when quilting over patterned fabrics.
It is also very useful for quilting patchwork quilts in the ditch, as there are usually contrasting colors across patches and no single thread color would work over a whole quilt.
Piecing the block
To test the thread, I started with a single patchwork block. I pieced the block using the Madeira COTONA No. 50 both as the top thread and in the bobbin. The thread worked beautifully and is perfect for piecing due to its thinness.
I then sandwiched the block with cotton batting and backing. For quilting I used a Microtex needle, polyester Bobbinfil thread, and the MONOLON as the top thread.
The bobbin thread I fed through the bobbin case little finger, which slightly increases the bobbin thread tension.
This is required because Bobbinfil is rather thin. I also lowered the top thread tension to “2” on my Bernina. Other machines have different settings, so you would need the best setting for you.
First I quilted in the ditch using a walking foot. It was a very smooth and pleasing experience. Then I changed to my free motion foot and quilted the background in a variation of Mctavishing.
Well, I tried… Here the transparency of the thread became a problem as it was very hard to see the quilted lines and to bounce off them or to backtrack accurately.
I took a picture of the back of the block to show the magnitude of the issue. I do have very bad eyesight, and combined with working in the evening with artificial lighting, the problem was probably aggravated.
For me, this is not acceptable quality of work
This would be my only complaint – personally I find it hard to free-motion quilt without seeing the quilting lines. This is an inherent conflict of interest, which makes Monolon my favorite for stitch-in-the-ditch and straight stitch designs, but less ideal for free-motion.
Experienced machine quilters tell that they started quilting with transparent thread because of its very forgiving nature.
Using the bicycle metaphor they called the transparent thread “training wheels”.
MONOLON is the perfect “training wheels”. It simply disappears in the background and thus is extremely forgiving of novice mistakes.
The thread behaves beautifully in sewing – I hardly felt any difference between quilting with MONOLON and a cotton thread.
It is also well behaved when coming off the spool – it doesn’t tangle and does not require a protective net casing that is often used with other transparent threads.
MONOLON thread is transparent. Thread is slightly shiny when used on dark fabrics, and therefore not really invisible.
MONOLON comes in “clear” color which is appropriate for light colored fabrics and “smoke” (dark gray, Art. No. 9663) which works well on dark fabrics.
Click here for Additional information and tips, published in the MONOLON product description