Industrial sewing threads are crucial to the footwear industry. They are the glue that keeps every component together be it the fabric, the mesh, the embroidery, the patchwork, the embellishment, the sole or just about anything else. These industrial sewing threads are the backbone that keeps the aesthetics of the shoe as desired in the first place and ensures the final product is not only durable but looks aesthetically appealing. 

The industrial sewing threads provide the footwear with optimal traction, stability, and proper safety in a variety of different work environments which the footwear is intended to be used for. 

In this blog, we will discuss the different types of industrial footwear threads – their composition, pattern and design, factors to consider when choosing an industrial footwear thread and their maintenance. 

Industrial footwear threads are employed to stitch separate components together via an industrial sewing machine, thereby resulting in strong seams with optimal elasticity which also look aesthetically appealing. 

Two primary industrial sewing threads heavily used in the footwear industry are bonded nylon thread and continuous filament polyester.  


  • Nylon sewing threads offer high tensile strength, excellent elasticity, elongation, and a smooth finish. These characteristics make it an ideal choice of thread in the footwear industry specifically for the parts of the shoe that are expected to undergo high degree of stress or bending. Nylon is sensitive to ultraviolet rays and long-term exposure could lead to discolouration and fading. 
  • Types of Nylon threads used in the footwear industry:
    • Lubricated Multifilament Nylon: It is made from pre-stabilised continuous filament nylon. When used correctly it prevents the transport of water via the needle hole. It is preferred for heavy footwear.
    • Bonded Nylon Thread: Bonded nylon sewing thread provides excellent resistance to abrasion on the sewn product.
    • Soft Nylon: Employed in sewing of delicate leather, boots and shoes.
  • These threads are widely used to produce casual shoes, boots, moccasins, sandals, etc.


  • Polyester sewing thread is durable and offers superior resistance to moisture, heat, mildew and harsh chemicals as compared to Nylon. Polyester sewing thread is more resistant to UV rays than Nylon sewing thread. This makes it the perfect choice for footwear that would experience a higher degree of sun exposure.
  • Types of Polyester threads used in the footwear industry: 
    • Continuous multifilament Polyester: It gives a lovely 2D embossed effect and therefore used for decorative embroidery on footwear.
    • Braided Polyester: Giving a soft finish and excellent lubrication it is the perfect thread for high-speed ornamental seams on footwear.
    • Continuous filament Polyester: It offers high breaking strength, good abrasion resistance and excellent stretch resulting in attractive, clean seams on leather footwear.
    • Trilobal Polyester: It gives beautiful seam look and vibrant shades for special pearl-like effect. It is used for embroidery designs and logos on sports and casual footwear. 
    • 100% recycled Polyester: More eco-friendly option
  • These threads are used for men’s formal shoes, women’s formal shoes, Slippers, etc.

With the advancement in technologies and a shift in demand towards more sustainable footwear options from the eco-conscious consumer, the manufacturer are also continuously innovating and adapting to these unmet needs and striving to create products that meet the end consumers expectations. For instance, 100% recycled polyester threads are a more sustainable option for the modern-day eco-friendly footwear. 

High-quality branded formal or casual shoes command an outstanding seam construction and an ornamental seam aesthetic based on the design and fashion needs of the time and segment. These shoes are manufactured on modern high-speed industrial sewing machines, the manufacturers must ensure superior production efficiencies, excellent product quality and proper care and maintenance of the sewing thread. 

In the end, it is crucial to understand about the various types of industrial sewing footwear threads that are available in the market to not only ensure safety, comfort, and performance in various intended end-use cases but also to make get maximum returns on the investment in material, machinery and labour. As a wrong sewing thread could lead to staining the fabric by leaking into it or break frequently under the intense needle heat. These issues can lead to losses at a huge scale in industrial manufacturing.

It is also vital to select the right thread for embroidery or logo on the footwear since they need to look attractive and shiny or vibrant. Taking a detailed look at the characteristics of the thread could help the manufacturers choose the best footwear sewing thread for their project.

As we have read in the blog above factors such as durability, resistance to abrasion, strength, traction, elongation, resistance to heat, UV rays and cold temperatures, moisture are paramount when selecting an industrial sewing thread as they are used to stitch footwear which experience a high degree of wear and tear and are used for high performance functional activities.

Nowadays, more sustainable footwear sewing thread options are also available in the market like 100% recycled polyester for the more environmentally aware consumer. 

Therefore, once you have a good idea about the various types of threads and their properties, you can make an informed decision to select the best thread for your project needs.

Image Source: Pexels

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What are the Different Types of Industrial Footwear Threads?

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