Gutermann thread gets highly recommended by many kite makers.. I use Gutermann Toldi-Lock a lot..
Regardless of brand, use 100% polyester thread.. Cotton content in the thread will encourage breakage and dry rot over time and exposure to the elements..
Find a few Youtube/Vimeo tutorial videos on basic sewing machine handling. Beginning with practice sewing on rags (or really worn clothes that soon would be used during some painting project or similar) sounds like a good start. If you can’t find any rags to practice on, sew on an ordinary (A4/letter) piece of paper. However you should not go directly to kite repair after this. IMO you should be familiar with the slipperiness of the ripstop before dealing with any kites (well the look of the kite bag on the other side might (?) be less important and the fabric is probably not ripstop). Just before doing the real repair job, practice on something as similar as the real job as possible, at least once! Other hints: Learn how to balance (upper/lower) the thread tension and don’t turn that wheel backwards ever. When you put the thread through the needle eye, the thread should go in the direction such that the thread goes along the long (almost needle long) grove of the machine needle.
I also feel that I must make some advertising for a topic from earlier this year:
There I covered unknown issues when building a small first model kite and mostly found out about the unknowns and put it into a context. Pointed at what was tricky and what seemed to work well. No, it is certainly not a guide from an expert, more the curious persistent rookie guide. Lot of links to external resources.
Apart from the building process and material/equipment list, there you’ll also find explanations about the ways that needle dimensions are described, thread dimensions and fabric. Discussions on how heavy a seam is relative to the fabric. A thread combustion test is briefly performed (watch out for any remaining embers/glow). @Paul LaMasters contributed with various ways on how to attach the panels during the sewing process. Lot of links to external resources. Handling hints and some sewing exercises. Images on surprisingly blunt needle tips that worked...
I have two kites that need stitching repaired and a kite bag that’s getting tired of being overloaded and needs a couple seems repaired. My question is when sewing seems on kites do I need to use a specific thread or use the all purpose thread? I just bought a sewing machine and some all purpose thread to practice with. I started using the machine tonight and will practice on rags and such before I repair my two kites. And recommendations to a new sewing machine user will be greatly appreciated.
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