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Old 10-04-2017, 02:46 PM   #1
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Coats vs. Tenara thread

Whose an expert on thread for Bimini tops and Sunbrella?

My canvas on my small boat is 1 1/2 years old, and all three pieces have had the stitching repaired. One was done 6 months ago and currently doing the other two.

Sunbrella is recommending the Tenara thread... quite expensive, but guaranteed to last the life of the canvas, which is great. My supplier is using Coats, which I think is inferior, but don't really know. They are fixing it under warranty but it's a pain to remove and send back.

Wondering if I should insist on Tenara in the future. I've heard that Tenara can be a bit more difficult to sew, but if done right the first time, there will be no second time.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:04 PM   #2
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My canvas sewn with Coates Helios

Last summer I fabricated a drop curtain, extended bimini, and chair covers from Sunbrella+ and the Helios P PTFE thread. I had Tenara available but my Juki 562 did not like it. I could not get the machine adjusted to the Tenara, even with help from Sailrite. The Helios kept much tighter stitches and showed less shredding from the needle. The Helios I used was 2000d between the sizes offered by Tenara. It is PTFE and has the same warranty. My experience, others my differ.
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:22 PM   #3
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I have nothing of value to contribute here, but I must say I am always impressed with the real-life, detailed knowledge available on TF about such esoteric subjects as canvas thread. It would take a month of Sundays to find it elsewhere. Plus I learn something new everyday. Very cool.
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:36 PM   #4
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I have a Sailrite 111 machine. I never use anything but Tenara thread. It lasts forever and I have no problem sewing with it. I use a hot knife to cut binding and other stuff. I have had the Tenara thread go through the hot knife and not be cut. Sometimes it cuts, sometimes not. Keep in mind that the hot knife is red hot at the time. The cost is about $120 per spool vs about $15 per spool for the polyester. I am currently on my third spool of Tenara and I have made tops and covers for 3 boats plus restitched 2 boats. Therefore if you look at the cost per project the cost of thread is insignificant given that Tenara lasts as long as the canvas will. If you have to pay someone to restitch your canvas, you will wish you had used Tenara the first time.
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Old 10-04-2017, 05:11 PM   #5
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We had a new bimini and helm cover made in BC. Three years later it needed to be restitched. We opted to replace both using tenera thread instead of restitching. Five years later, after being in the tropics, the thread is as good as new. Yes, the thread is more expensive on a per foot basis but not in the big picture imho. I just took the pic. For exterior work, it would be hard for me to justify using polyester thread.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:05 PM   #6
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The Helios P thread that Alabama Boater mentioned is made by Coats and is PTFE like Tenara. Perhaps that is what your supplier is using?
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDreamer View Post
I have nothing of value to contribute here, but I must say I am always impressed with the real-life, detailed knowledge available on TF about such esoteric subjects as canvas thread. It would take a month of Sundays to find it elsewhere. Plus I learn something new everyday. Very cool.


Much agreed. Always learning on this thread.
Thanks all.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:03 PM   #8
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I know nothing about Coats thread. I had all new canvas for my Blackfin 25 made about 15 years ago. I specified Tenera thread. Hurricane Matthew got my cockpit shade on the Sabre. I had it resewn with Tenera thread. The Blackfin stitching is as good as new.
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