This experiment arose from necessity, as I needed to use my serger for a project that had a very unique color. However, I only had a 300 yd. spool of Coats & Clark all-purpose thread, rather than multiple 3,000 yard spools that I typically use. Since the color I was using was one I was only planning on using once, all that thread would’ve gone to waste. Below, I’ve detailed how I used regular all-purpose thread in my serger, and what my thoughts were on the finished project.
Using all-purpose thread with a serger
The main idea with using all-purpose thread with a serger is that it must be split up in order for each position to have something to feed into the machine. To do this, fill 2-3 bobbins with the desired all-purpose thread, depending on how many you need. For my project, I used a rolled edge. This only required 3 different sources of thread, so I used 2 bobbins and the regular spool as the third.
Then, proceed serging as normal. I didn’t make any changes compared to using serger thread. My bobbins and spool stayed in place while the machine was running, so I didn’t have to cap them.
This worked surprisingly well! The thread was just as durable as serger thread, and I couldn’t tell any differences. To be fair, I did use this for a rolled edge. If it was a seam that was serged as the only seam closure, the results may be different. As for long-term cost and cohesiveness, using thread designed for the serger is still the best choice. However, this method is extremely handy when it’s needed. The only downside is the now several bobbins of thread leftover, but it is significantly better than 3 or 4 spools of serger thread. I’ll probably end up using them for muslins anyway, so they will be repurposed well.