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Aurifill Thread

Aurifil Natural Threads, Collections and Kits from Italy

Additional Information:

Perfectly suited for every quilt project. Aurifil Thread, from Milan Italy, started out as cotton machine embroidery thread, but quilters quickly discovered that Aurifil Mako Cotton Thread was ideal for piecing and quilting. Coming to the US from Italy in 2007, Aurifil has quickly become the gold standard in 100% long staple Egyptian cotton quilting thread. Offering 12wt, 28wt, 40wt, 50wt and 80wt, Aurifil offers both professional and home quilters the perfect thread color and type regardless of your need. Aurifil's Eqyptian cotton is grown in the MAKO region of Egypt, on the river Nile. The production process is based in Milan, where the thread undergoes 15 stringent steps before it becomes a ready for use spool.

Aurifil’s 50wt thread is our most versatile and most popular Cotton thread and is wound on our iconic orange spool. The 50wt is strong and thin, and results in remarkably flat and crisp seams. While it is wonderful for piecing, subtle quilting & topstitching, and English Paper Piecing it also works incredibly well for Needle Turn Applique, Bobbin and Machine Lace, Machine Applique (Straight Stitch, ZigZag, Blind Hem and Blanket Stitch,) Machine Embroidery, Dense Machine Quilting, Subtle Machine and Longarm Quilting, Basting, Whole Cloth and Micro Quilting, and Dense Background Designs.

Aurifil is 100% Egyptian Cotton, grown in the Mako region of Egypt along the river Nile. When considering the unique qualities of cotton, it’s easy to make a comparison to wine; different geographic regions offer different attributes to the raw material. Aurifil thread is "long staple", which refers to the length of the fibers in the raw cotton boll. The length of the fibers determines the quality and strength of the cotton.

Long staple is at least 1.25" long and extra long staple is a minimum of 1.375" long. Alex Veronelli confirms that Aurifil staples are 1.40" long and could be referred to as extra long staple.

Although the cotton is grown in Egypt, the thread is manufactured in our warehouse in Milan, Italy. It takes 15 steps to transform raw material into a spool of thread. We manufacture and produce three types of thread: wool/acrylic blend, monofilament, and six different weights of cotton. Visit our Shop Resource Page to learn more about our thread weights and check out our care instructions for more info on how to care for your threads. Now, let’s talk production!

Step 1. SPINNING This is where it all begins… the first step of the journey to transform raw material into a spool of Aurifil thread. We like to call it the ‘secret step’, but are giving you the inside scoop today! Spinning transforms the natural cotton bolls (or cotton staples) into single strands of cotton. It consists of a series of steps like ginning, combing, & carding and is unique for each weight of thread. The process itself is key, but the specific details of what we do and how we do it remain a secret -- like our secret sauce that sets us apart from the competition!

Step 2. DOUBLING Once spinning is complete, the giant (36"-40") thread bobbins are loaded on the doubling machine to start the next phase, which takes 2 (or 3) individual strands of spun cotton and rewinds them side by side (parallel) onto a reel (or Rochee) to prepare for twisting. During this step, any lint produced is removed by a continuous jet of air… constantly working toward reducing thread lint in your sewing machine!
It’s interesting to note that the machine is called a ‘doubling’ machine independent of the number of plies it combines. In Italian, it’s called ‘Binatrici’, something more similar to a ‘combining’ machine.
Aurifil threads are mostly 2 ply as we’ve found it to be ideal for maintaining crisp flat seams and well-defined quilting lines with our beloved and modern sewing machines. However, in 2017 we introduced our first 40wt 3 ply thread (FORTY3) specifically designed for use in longarm machines.

Step 3. TWISTING Next, the thread goes through the twisting phase, during which the strands of cotton are twisted to a predetermined ‘twist per inch’. It enables multiple strands to act as a single 2 or 3 ply thread, which is fundamental to increase cohesion and strength. The number of twists per inch is decided by the manufacturer and it’s very important to keep this proportion consistent as it has an impact on the performance of the thread. It takes 4 hours to twist 1kg of thread.
The twisting process is done slowly to ensure ultimate quality and accuracy of the number of twists per inch. We hope that this informational series reaffirms that Aurifil favors quality over quantity. All of our machines run a bit slower than average to ensure maximum quality, executing every process in the best way possible.
It’s fun to note that when spun, quilting, embroidery, and sewing strands are twisted in an "S" (Left or Clockwise) direction. When combining multiple strands/plies the threads are twisted in a "Z" (Right or Counterclockwise) direction.

Step 4. THERMO FASTENING Once the twisting is done, the reels are ready for thermo fastening, a 22 minute steam bath that sets or fixes the twist on the threads so that the strands and twists do not separate. All thread weights are treated to the same steam bath! These are the first 4 steps of the journey from raw material to 1 spool of thread. Stay tuned for next week’s installment and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Step 5. SINGEING Once the thread has been doubled, twisted, and thermo-fastened, it’ll go in the singeing machine. During this step, the thread slowly unwinds from a reel placed at the bottom of the machine and is passed by a naked flame. This procedure removes excess fibers from the thread and is instrumental in creating a product with minimal lint. Aurifil users already appreciate how important this step is to the process!

Step 6. REELING The reeling phase is the transformation of the reels into skeins. 1 Reel or Giant Cone will result in 2 skeins. We do this procedure before dying because the colours are better fixed when on a skein than on a reel.
After the thread is put on the skein and the machine stops, a worker manually ties the skein in 3 points with a polyester thread to make sure the thread is secure. Why? Because polyester is not affected by the following steps including mercerization, dying, and drying. Accuracy of this step is of the utmost importance because if the worker makes a mistake, the entire skein must be trashed. There is a red light on the machine that detects the human presence so if there is a worker the machine stops. Safety is key for Aurifil.

LAB Lab processing ensures quality and continuity between dye lots processed with various crops. Each of the 270 Aurifil colors have a unique ‘recipe’ that includes dye colors and amounts, water amounts & temperature, and dying time. The department ensures that every time we dye the thread with a specific color we use a compound that is the result of that unique recipe. Remember that cotton is a natural fiber. Each and every harvest may be different from the previous year’s harvest, with varying levels of sunlight absorbed during the year, changes in heat, humidity, or rain levels… Before dying a large quantity of thread, the lab will dye a few yards of each crop to confirm that the result matches the color card, adjusting the recipe as needed. There is a dedicated desk where the thread is tested under different lights: blue, yellow, red and green. If it’s the same under every light then we may proceed.
Fun fact: Most colors take about 4 hours to dye except for black, which takes double that time!

Step 7. MERCERIZATION Mercerization is a very fast process, taking only one minute to complete, but also one of the most important. The skeins of thread are processed in a caustic soda bath which modifies the organic composition of the cotton to make it stronger and increase the sheen, resistance, and brilliance. It is completely automated and executed in enclosed units to minimize human exposure to the corrosive materials used. At the end of the process, the thread is washed with sodium hydroxide to remove all the dead cotton cells.
It's important to note that this soda bath doesn't affect the safety of the end product. Aurifil is OekoTex Certified, which means that it is free of harmful chemicals and completely safe for human use or consumption (but... we don't recommend actually eating the thread!)
Note: While the machine is built to hold 6 skeins, we generally upload only 4 so that the thread lays flat and the skeins don’t overlap. The overall high quality is always more important than producing a larger quantity of thread in a shorter time.

Step 8. DYEING After mercerization, the skeins are placed on arms and inserted into large dyeing wardrobes. Our biggest wardrobe can hold 320kgs (640 skeins) and the smallest holds 40kgs (80 skeins). Here, liquid dye is shot onto the skeins. Preparation and application of the dye is automated and the prepared dye ‘recipe’ travels through pipes to the wardrobe. Dying time is color dependent and varies from 4 to 8 hours.

Step 9. DRYING Once dyed, the skeins are removed from the wardrobes and transported to the dryers. Skeins of different colors can be placed on adjacent hangers without risk of colour bleeding as the dye is now fixed on the cotton. The drying process is intentionally slow, approximately 9-12 hours, using low temperatures to maintain a high quality result. This step is often completed overnight so that when the workers arrive in the morning, the skeins are dry and ready for the next phase.

Step 10. UNWINDING In this next step, the skeins of thread are unwound and put back on the reels. Two skeins of 500 grams are put together to obtain a unique reel of 1 kg. There is one textile (aka fisherman’s) knot hand tied and trimmed in each reel which results in 1 knot per 33 large spools of Aurifil 50wt thread. The knots are small and should not cause issue with sewing or quilting. Stay tuned to discover what’s next on the journey from raw material to 1 spool of thread. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway

Answers to Aurifil's Top FAQ Thread Troubleshooting

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Aurifil AG5028SSCP10 Seventy Six - Cool Thread Collection by Alison Glass, 10 SMALL SPOOLS COTTON 50WT & 28WT
$46.00
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HUGOSHALFINCH Hugos Clear Amazing Tape 1/2'' x 50ft, No More Unraveling Thread Spools
$7.99
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Aurifil Seventy Six - Neutral Thread Collection by Alison Glass
$46.00
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Aurifil AG50SS12 Seventy Six Thread Collection by Alison Glass, 12 Large Spools 50wt Cotton
$129.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil CG50GE12 Glowing Embers Thread Collection by Cheri Good Quilt Design, 12 Large Spools 50wt Cotton
$129.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil CW50PQC12 Piece & Quilt Collection: Colors by Christa Watson Quilts, 12 Large Spools x 1095 Yards of 50wt Cotton Thread
$99.99
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Aurifil CW50PQN12 Thread Piece & Quilt Collection: Neutrals by Christa Watson Quilts, 12 Large Spools of 50wt Cotton Thread
$99.99
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Aurifil JK50FC12 Fresh Catch Thread Collection from Italy by Jackie Kunkel, 12 Large Spools 50wt Cotton
$129.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil Splash of Color Thread Collection by Jackie Kunkel
$39.99
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Aurifil RSQ4012 Rose of Sharon Embroidery Collection 40wt Cotton Mako 12 Spool 1094yd Threads Kit
$99.99
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Aurifil Wild Rose Thread Collection 10 Spool 220yd/Spool Thread Kit
$39.99
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Aurifil Brilliant Thread Collection by Sue Marsh (Small Spools)
$39.99
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Aurifil Autumn Collection 10 Small Spool Thread Kit
$39.99
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Aurifil Seascape Collection 10 sml Spool Thread Kit
$39.99
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Aurifil SN50SC12 Seascape Collection 12 Large 1422 Yard Spools Thread Kit 50wt, Cotton Mako Thread Kit 50wt by Sheena Norquay
$99.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil Scottish Highlands Thread Collection by Sheena Norquay
$39.99
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Aurifil Sarah Vedeler SV-5012 Silk Hearts Thread Collection Kit 12 Large Spools x 1422 Yards Each, Cotton Mako 50wt
$99.99
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Aurifil TP50TP10 Tula Pink Premium Collection 10 Small Spools 220 Yards Each of 50wt Egyptian Cotton Thread Kit
$49.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil Tula Pink TP50TP12 Premium Collection 12x1422Yd Spools 50wt Cotton Threads Kit Italy
$99.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil Coastal Mist Thread Collection by Tammy Silvers (Small Spools)
$46.00
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Aurifil I Can FlyBlue Kit 10 Small Spools 50wt Cotton Thread Kit
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MLBC5012 Art Mark Lipinski 50wt Cotton Basics Threads Collection Kit, 12 Spools x 1422 Yards Each in Case
$99.99
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Aurifil I Can Fly Citrus Kit 10 Small Spools 50wt Cotton Thread Kit
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil Fruits N Veggies Kit 10 Small Spools Cotton 50wt Thread Kit
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil FV50PS12 Fruits N Veggies Kit 12 Large 1094Yd Spools Cotton 50wt Thread
$99.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil LA12VA48 Valigia 12wt Lana Wool 48 Spools x 383Yds Thread Kit ITALY
$269.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil SAS50K12 SAQA Signature Thread Kit 12 Large 1094Yd Spools 50wt Cotton Mako
$99.99
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Aurifil Everyday Colors10 Small Spools 50wt Cotton Thread Kit
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil PQ12MS12 Prism Kit 12 Large 1094Yd Spools 12wt Cotton Thread Kit
$99.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK12VA48 Valigia 12wt Cotton 48 Colors x 383Yd Thread Kit Italy
$319.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil Homemade by Tula Pink Thread Kit from Italy, 50wt Cotton Quilting, 5 Large and 10 Small Spools *Tin Not Included
$99.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil TP50CC20 Curiouser and Curiouser Thread Set by Tula Pink
$99.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil HK50QR6 Hollyanne Knight Quilting Rockstar Thread Set, 50wt Cotton, 6 Large Spool of 1422 Yards Each
$76.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil TP50HH5 Tula Pink Holiday Homies Thread Set, 50wt Cotton, 5 Large Spool
$25.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil GE50CE6 Gudrun Erla Christmas in Europe Thread Set, 50wt Cotton, 6 Large Spool of 1422 Yards Each
$77.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil BM30CV10 Beverly McCullough Colorful Vintage Thread Set, 6-strand, 10 Small Spool
$50.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil TP50DB10 Tula Pink Dragon's Breath Thread Set, 10 Spool, 220 yards each
$50.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil TP50DB10 Tula Pink Dragon's Breath Thread Set, 10 Spool, 220 yards each
$50.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil SA30SB10 Susan Ache Seaside Blues Thread Set, 10 Small Spool, 18 yards each
$50.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil SA50JIQ5 Sarah Ashford Jump into Quilting Thread Set, 5 Small Spool, 50wt
$25.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil JA12SW10 Jo Avery Stitching with Wool Thread Set, 10 Small Spool
$50.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil WS5030WGI10 Wendy Sheppard Indigo Thread Set, 5 Small Spools Floss and 5 Small Spools 50wt
$25.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil JK5012JE5 Jen's Essentials Thread Set, 3 Small Spools 12wt and 2 Small Spools 50wt
$25.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil DB50BB6 Deb Tucker Bellingham Bay Thread Set, 6 Large Spools 50wt
$77.00
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil Color Builder Florence Brown 3pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil Thread Aurifloss Cotton 45 Small Spools
$270.00
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Aurifil Color Builder Carrara Black White 3pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil Color Builder Tuscany Orange 3 pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
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Aurifil Color Builder Amalfi Purple 3 pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
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Aurifil Color Builder Sicily Yellow 3 pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
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Aurifil Color Builder Milan Grey 3 pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2785 Very Dark Navy, 40wt 3Ply Poly 3280yd Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2710 Light Robbin's Egg, 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2310 Light Beige, 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2783 Delft Blue, 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-1135 Pale Yellow, 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2784 Dark Navy, 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2021 Natural White, 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2311 Muslin, 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2615 Aluminum, 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2600 Dove, 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread , 40wt Poly 3280 yd. Cone Thread
$39.99
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-4670 Silver Fox Cone, 3-ply 3,280 yd.
$39.99
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Aurifil MK40-3CO-2370 Sandstone, 3-ply 40wt Cone, 3,280 Yds.
$39.99
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Aurifil LightWork 4 Pk. Large Spool 50wt Thread Collection
$52.00
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Aurifil Kitty Wilkin Color Crush Thread Collection
$139.99
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Aurifil SPECIAL ORDER Mako 40wt 5140yd Cone, Natural White Thread Collection
$49.99
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Aurifil 40wt 3-ply Cones 3,280yd Aluminum Thread Collection
$39.99
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Aurifil Perfect Box of Colors 50wt, 12 Spool Thread Collection
$139.99
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Aurifil Black Cotton Underthread, 60wt 1531 yd. 6 ct.
$59.99
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Aurifil SPECIAL ORDER Mako 40wt 5140yd Cone, Dove Thread Collection
$49.99
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Aurifil SPECIAL ORDER Mako 40wt 5140yd Cone, Marrakesh Thread Collection
$49.99
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Aurifil Bee in My Bonnet Aurifloss 10 Small Spools Thread Collection
$49.99
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Aurifil Polysheen Christmas Gift Pack 8 Spool Thread Collection
$22.99
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Aurifil Color Builder Como Blue 3pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
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Aurifil Color Builder Capri Teal 3pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
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Aurifil Mighty Ten Thread Collection
$49.99
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Aurifil Color Builder Verona Mauve 3 pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
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Aurifil Glorious Kantha Thread Set 2 Thread Collection by Kaffe Fasset
$99.99
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Aurifil Color Builder Dolomites Green 3 pc. Thread Collection
$38.99
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Aurifil Home Collection Classic 12 Large Spools Thread Collection
$139.99
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Aurifil It's a Boy Aurifil Thread Box Thread Collection
$49.99
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Aurifil It's a Girl Aurifil Thread Box Thread Collection
$49.99
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Aurifil Bee Basics—Aurifloss, 20 Small Spools Thread Collection
$99.99
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Aurifil Lori Holt Granny Chic 50wt Thread Collection
$50.00
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Aurifil Black Diamond Thread Set Thread Collection
$43.98
Free Ground Shipping to the Contiguous USA
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Aurifil AC40CP3-001 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Sumatran Elephant
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-002 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Red Panda
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-003 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Sea Turtle
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-004 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Iberian Lynx
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-005 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Pink Land Iguana
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-006 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Whale Shark
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-007 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Sumatran Tiger
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-008 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Blue-Throated Macaw
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-009 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, African Wild Dog
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-010 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Cross River Gorilla
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-011 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, Pangolin
$38.99
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Aurifil AC40CP3-012 3 Pc. Color Builder Set, African Penguin
$38.99
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Aurifil LH50PC10 Prim by Lori Holt Thread Set
$49.99
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