What is the Difference Between Thread and Yarn?

It a common question among the students and newcomers - the two terms 'Thread' and 'Yarn' used in in the garment and textile industry - whether they are same or different.

A thread and yarn are similar but not the same. First yarn is made from fibre or chips (for filament yarns). Then yarn is processed further to make a thread. Threads are made by plying multiple fibers by applying twist (for staple fibers). Textile yarns are used in weaving and knitting fabrics. 

In garment stitching, threads (spun yarn like cotton or filament yarns like polyester) are used joining garment parts. Threads are called as stitching threads and sewing threads. Threads are processed to sustain heat and elongation during sewing process. A thread spool and yarn package are shown in the following images. 

Textile threads spool
Image: Threads Packages 

textile yarn packages
Image: Yarn package


The difference between thread and yarn

Differentiation between thread and yarn can done for technical points and usage of tread and yarns.  
  • Threads are stronger than yarns. 
  • Thread are used for stitching sewn products. Where yarn are used for weaving fabrics, knitting fabrics and making threads.
  • Yarns are used to make fabric sheets where threads are used in joining ply of fabric during making garments. 
  • At home for sewing or repairing garments thread tube are used. For example, at home the thread spool you have for repairing garments, attaching buttons and hooks that is a example of thread. 
  • Generally, yarns are sold in bigger package and thread are sold in smaller packages.
  • Yarns are consumed by textile mills and knitting mills. But threads are consumed by sewn industry (e.g. garment manufacturers).
Another major different between thread and yarn is - yarn is only used in textile and fashion industry. But the thread is used in other industries as well.  

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