Brambleberry Meadow

Farmstead Living, Good Stewardship, Home Comforts

Thread Polish

Thread polish, or thread conditioner, or whatever you prefer to call it, refers to some sort of waxy substance used to coat threads before sewing or embroidering with them. Whether or not to wax your thread is a lively debate among stitchers of all sorts. The topic comes up when discussing anything to hemming skirts or hand piecing a quilt to cross stitch and surface embroidery. Strong positions exist in either camp. There are those who feel that wax is a “contaminant,” especially when used on embroidery pieces that won’t be washed. Then. among the camp that DOES use some sort of wax, type and brand loyalty is just as fierce. I admit, I really liked the old Thread Heaven product – that sadly is no more. I’m not quite as fond of the Thread Magic that is marketed as the replacement. And both products contain silicone, which some people will raise objections to. If you’re trying to stick with natural products, it might be something to avoid.

The classical, historic product used for waxing thread is beeswax. You can find all sorts of decorative waxers in museums, dating back to at least the 15oos, probably even earlier. And you can get them modernly as well. Even the Big Box sewing stores will have beeswax in plastic holders that allow you to wax your thread. Personally, I find beeswax tends to be a bit too hard, can abrade fine fibers like silk, and tends to shatter as it dries out.

But I DO like to use some sort of conditioning agent. It smooths the thread, cuts down on knots and taggles, and reduces the degree to which fibers begin to “fuzz.” Especially silk. And, given the long, looooonng history of the use of wax on threads for fine embroidery, I’m not really worried about damage to threads of fabrics in my work. Even if I DO hope someone will appreciate it enough to keep it after I’m gone.

I’ve come up with my own blend, after much testing. And I’m pleased to say the recipe is available in the Willow and Sage Natural Home issue #5 that just appeared on news stands April1, 2024. Go get you one. You’ll find that there are all SORTS of fun things to make in the magazine, too! Then make yourself some thread polish in your favorite scent. And don’t forget to share it and tag me on social media!

Cover of Willow and Sage Natural Home issue
Thread Polish article photo


Then, once you have your copy, don’t forget to visit my resource library for the printable labels I used on the tins! The downloadable pdf file has 4 peony labels, 4 violet lables, and 12 soft quilt pattern labels. They’re sized to print on Avery waterproof round 1 – 1/2″ labels that fit the Presta template 94506. Enjoy! And check back, because I may put some Christmas labels in there a little later, in case you’d like to make some festive scented thread polish for your favorite stitchy friend!