Designers of sewn fabric dunnage need to choose the right thread for rack bags that deliver a strong return on investment (ROI). Lower-cost threads may seem like a bargain, but using a thread that’s too thin (and too weak) can cause rack bag seams to fail. Threads that can’t withstand part loading and unloading, kitting, or storage aren’t cost-effective either.
For example, a thread that won’t withstand water isn’t a good choice for reusable packaging that’s kept outdoors in the rain. Threads that won’t support rack bag cleaning can muddy your true costs, too. Choosing the right thread is just one of many design considerations, but rack bag buyers need to pay close attention to material selection to avoid problems like pockets that sag on WIP bags.
Hold-True, a Made in the USA manufacturer of rack bags, can help you to select the right materials for your returnable packaging. Importantly, we also create sewn fabric solutions that meet your specific needs. Here at our manufacturing center in Mansfield, Ohio, we’re ready to answer your questions about thread fibers, coatings, colors, and manufacturers. It’s just one of the ways that we add value.
Thread Fibers and Thread Coatings
Threads for sewn fabric dunnage can be made of Kevlar, nylon, polyester, cotton, or cotton blends. Kevlar thread is significantly stronger than nylon or polyester. Nylon thread is fine for general-purpose use, but it can’t withstand prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Polyester thread looks like nylon, but has better sunlight and moisture resistance.
Cotton thread is soft and durable, but it’s not as strong as polyester. Plus, cotton thread will rot in the elements. To maximize your fabric dunnage ROI, Hold-True uses thread with a UV inhibitor to reduce damage from sunlight when your rack bags are outside. UV inhibitors also prevent fading or spotting in the thread color.
Thread coatings can increase your sewn fabric dunnage costs, but these substances impart properties that can improve thread life and performance. For example, polyester and nylon threads that are bonded have a smooth, protective coating that strengthens the thread and makes it less abrasive. To reduce friction during winding, polyester threads are treated with a lubricant.
Thread Color and Thread Manufacturers
Most rack back threads are either white or black. White threads tend to be newer because they’re sold as they are, or dyed different colors to meet customer demand. Black threads tend to be older because some thread manufacturers re-dye their old, unsold colored thread so that it’s black. This business practice saves the thread supplier money, but it can cost the rack bag designer in the long run.
Unlike wine, rack bag threads don’t improve with age. Rather, older threads tend to be weaker. That’s why Hold-True only buys thread from suppliers who don’t re-dye old colored thread so that it’s black. Thread from the best suppliers costs more, but dunnage that lasts longer saves you money in the long run. Remember: if you’re not buying the best black thread, you’re better off buying white thread instead.
To avoid problems caused by improper thread selection, it pays to choose the right fabric dunnage supplier. At Hold-True, we add value to your sewn fabric dunnage through design assistance, help with material selection, and Made in the USA manufacturing. For the highest quality, our thread comes from Europe or is Made in America.
To learn more about fabric dunnage costs and thread selection, please contact us.