Below are some commonly used threads throughout the awning and outdoor fabrics industries. Although they share some common traits, each type of thread has characteristics that make it superior for specific applications. Most threads range in sizes from V15 – V554 (going from smaller diameters to larger). The most commonly used & suggested sizes for assembling awnings are V92 & V138.
When selecting a thread, be sure to specify one that will last the lifetime of the fabric or longer. Keep in mind that exposure to the sun and common cleaning chemicals can greatly decrease the strength and expected life of most threads.
PTFE & EPTFE Thread
PTFE Thread is manufactured from 100 percent polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the chemical name for Teflon® from DuPont. Expanded PTFE (EPTFE) is two to three times stronger than conventional PTFE. PTFE threads have a few characteristics that make them superior for outdoor applications like: Unaffected by UV, organic substances and mildew, high resistance to most common cleaning chemicals like chlorine and high abrasion resistance. PTFE & EPTFE threads are available in single or braided strands and in many different colors.
Polyester thread has a high resistance to sunlight (UV), mildew, and abrasion. Its resistance to sunlight (UV) is superior to nylon but, there may be some loss of strength with prolonged sunlight exposure. Polyester thread is usually available in many colors.
Nylon thread has high strength-to-thickness ratio, good abrasion resistance, ease of sewing, high mildew resistance, and is relatively low cost. However, Nylon thread is not highly resistant to UV or harsh chemicals like chlorine. It is usually available in many colors.
Kevlar™ thread is one of the strongest commercially available threads. It is about 2½ times stronger than nylon and polyester and has almost no stretch. Kevlar™ thread has a good abrasion resistance, resists mold and mildew but does not fare well when exposed to UV and cleaning chemicals. Kevlar™ thread is only available in “Natural” color and can not be dyed.