By this point, it’s probably no longer news that ThreadHeaven is no more, but as you work through your stash, have you wondered what to use as a replacement?
ThreadHeaven was fantastic as it was both a wax, and a conditioner, and whilst a lot of people think they’re the same, they have two different purposes. Wax makes the thread stick together, and through the fabric easier, whilst the conditioner stops the thread fraying. We’ve looked at all the different options on the market to see which we prefer, based on these two features, using normal and metallic threads, which are MUCH easier to use with thread conditioner. Note that there are other claims, such as protection from UV rays, but we’ve yet to see the science behind that so we’ve not taken it into account.
Our Pick: Thread Magic
I’ll hold my hands up and say I’m not surprised by this. Initially, when TheadHeaven was all the rage I thought Thread Magic was the ugly step-sister; it turns out, I was wrong. So wrong in fact, that I would say Thread Magic works better! Its conditions and waxes like a charm, doesn’t build up over time and has no scent at all (although one can develop if stored for a long time). The packs it comes in with holes for the thread also make it super user-friendly, and whilst it is MUCH more expensive than all the alternatives on the list, it lasts far longer than any of them. A true winner in our eyes.
Close Second: White Bees Wax
When it comes to wax, not all are equal. We should note that I’ve said WHITE beeswax here, you can see below for a little bit about why that is. Beeswax is actually a bleeding wax, meaning it penetrates surfaces, such as threads whereas other waxes don’t. Therefore it not only waxes the surface but conditions at the same time. It can get a little waxy after a while of use, but it also smells great, so it’s worth it! It’s worth noting though that beeswax is extremely flammable; so be careful when ironing if you don’t want to wash your work beforehand.
Surprise Third: Candlemaker’s Wax/White Unscented Candles
We expected the standard candle to be an out and out flop in our tests, but it turns out, it worked quite well. Unlike beeswax, it isn’t conditioning, but it waxes well and doesn’t build up on your fingers over time, which is a big plus. Thanks to the shape of a candle, it’s also super easy to wax up your threads.
In A Pinch: Water
Yeh, you heard that right; water. So to be more accurate, a damp sponge, however, you’re only actually using the water. This idea came from a commenter, and damn is it good. I tried it last night and it worked a treat. However, a few things to remember; don’t use it on specialty threads, they often use metal, which can rust if you’re not careful. And try finding natural or pH neutral sponges to make sure you’re not picking up nasties.
Some success: Silicone Ear Plugs
Before I begin with this one, not all silicone-like earplugs are made from silicone; get the pure silicon ones. However, if you find them, silicone can be a good idea. The one thing to say is silicone cannot be washed out. At all. It stays permanently on the thread. Whilst this can be great (it protects the thread long term), it means any dust caught in there, or sweat from hands can’t be washed out. I would use this with some caution for now. We’ll do more tests.
JUST DON’T BOTHER: ‘Natural’ Bees Wax
We mentioned above that white beeswax is fantastic for threads, however, don’t be tempted to get DIY or ‘natural’ beeswax. These aren’t the same. The DIY ones can include some seriously iffy colorants (and could actually be toxic), however, even the natural ones aren’t that good for threads. In natural beeswax, they often don’t filter off the impurities. Whilst most are perfectly fine, you don’t know what chemicals are hidden away, and you don’t want your work ruined.