At our last “Serging Beyond Four Thread” class there were a fair amount of questions about threads so here is an attempt to answer some questions and give you a (somewhat) permanent reference.
In general, you want to stay away from cheap threads. Look at a single strand of thread and see how much lint is attached. Compare it with regular sewing thread. It will be hairier than regular thread but you want to minimize lint as it clogs up your machine.
The major brands easily available are pictured here.
Maxi-Lock is pictured in the Babylock brochures but we were told not to use it when working at Sew Amazing. I’ve been using it all along and have had no problems. Their variegated thread can give you some fun options if more decorative threads don’t work in your serger.
JoAnn’s stopped carrying Maxi-Lock about a year ago and started carrying Toldi-Lock which is a Gutermann product. At the top of the display is Bulky Nylon-their version of Wooly Nylon. There is a good assortment of colors-they seemed a bit more up to date than the Maxi-Lock available at Hancock.
JoAnn’s also carries a premium serger thread by Gutermann. The color availability is limited-at least at the Yorktown store. I buy this when I have a good coupon.
Remember, you can always use regular sewing machine thread in your left-most needle or your coverstitch needles to get a perfect match for the color of your fabric. Contrasting thread is also an alternative that can look nice on the inside of your garment as overcast edges.
Thread prices range from $2.99 on sale to $7.49 for the premium, but it lasts a long time.