Isacord, manufactured by German thread company Amann Group, and ARC embroidery thread, recently discontinued by Melco, are two brands of embroidery thread. Both are strong threads that will last for years. When closely comparing the two, there are many minor differences that may impact your choice.
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When considering which brand of thread to go with, consider what the thread will have to endure. When you look at the specifications for each thread, they are identical. Both are 40-weight thread. Both have rayon and polyester. When it comes down to it, both are made the same way. But if you are going by reputation, Isacord is well known for its durability on items that go through heavy wear and tear and for few thread breaks during the embroidery process.
When looking at the quality of these brands, one can rest assured knowing that both Isacord and ARC make quality threads. If treated properly, both should last you a long time. Many times, the embroidery will outlast the garment. Both brands of thread are 40-weight thread (meaning 40 kilometres of thread weighs 1 kilogram). But if you need something to last through many wash cycles, Isacord is more reputable for heavier duty wear and tear than ARC.
The colours available in each brand of thread may play a large role in your decision making. Isacord makes more than 300 different colours in both its 1,000 meter spools and the 5,000 meter spools. The ARC brand, discontinued by its manufacturer, had threads in 288 colours according to its colour chart. So although there isn't a large difference in the number of colours available, if you're looking for a particular colour, examine the exact colour offerings of each to make your choice. Particularly where ARC is involved, availability may be a concern.
Both the Isacord and ARC threads come in 1,000 meter and 5,000 meter spools. Obviously the 5,000 meter spool is more expensive than the 1,000 meter spool, but when you look at the cost gram for gram, buying 5,000 meter spools is more cost-effective. Between the brands, Isacord is generally more expensive as it is made for heavier-duty uses. ARC is more of an average-to-delicate use thread, so it is less expensive.
Sometimes, a strong thread can be inexpensive and durable but hard to find. And sometimes the most expensive thread seems to be the only thing out there. Isacord is generally easier to find from a retailer, whereas online retailers and auction sites selling old stock might be the only outlet to find ARC thread.
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