Review: Stainless Steel 4 ply


  • hand sewn 8” trace has a resistance of 3 ohms
  • machine sewn top thread breaks. Unable to sew 8″ trace.
  • machine sewn bottom thread 8” trace has a resistance of 3 ohms


  • easy to thread a size 24 crewel needle
  • frays and whiskers
  • easy to sew by hand as well as use as a bottom thread in standard home sewing machine
  • thread is wound on an industrial spool and has to be rewound on a bobbin for machine sewing

4 ply Stainless Steel thread is highly conductive, has a large diameter, and whiskers like a cat with static cling which unfortunately increases the likelyhood of short circuits. This thread is RECOMMENDED for both hand sewing and machine sewing eTextiles, soft circuit, craft-tech, or wearable computing. It’s low resistance is especially useful for long circuit runs as when weaving conductive fabrics.


Hand sewn LED circuit on cotton broad cloth with felt backing.
Positive and negative traces are 8 inches long.
3 ply Stainless Steel Conductive Thread Comparisons

Threads a crewel needle size 24 easily.
Jonh James Chenille Hand Sewing Needle Size 24

Hand sews a basic running stitch with minimal tangles or difficulties.
Conductive Thread Comparisons

1.8mm blue LED with 4 tight loops around the LED leads.
3 ply Stainless Steel Conductive Thread Comparisons

Use a fresh 3V CR2032 battery to power the circuit.
LED glows = empirical evidence that the thread is conductive
3 ply Stainless Steel  Conductive Thread Comparisons

The biggest fault with with this thread is that it frays and whiskers making it easy to short circuit the electronics.
Stainless Steel Conductive Thread 3 ply frays and whiskers

Spools of stainless steel conductive thread: left to right
6 ply, 4 ply, 2 ply.
Stainless Steel Conductive Thread 6ply,  4 ply, 2 ply Bekaert Corporation

Machine Stitching with a Schmetz Embroidery Needle 90/14
Schmetez Embroidery Needle for Berninia Home Sewing Machine

Machine stitching sample
top trace is Stainless Steel 4 ply thread as the top thread
bottom trace is Stainless Steel 4 ply thread as the bobbin thread
As you can see the 4 ply Stainless Steel breaks when used for the top thread in a standard home sewing machine.

3 ply stainless steel  as top thread  in sewing machinr Conductive Thread Comparisons

The reverse side of the machine sewing sample
Conductive Thread Review Stainless Steel 4 Ply on Sewing Machine Top Thread and Bobbin thread