Paper Cones & Tubes: What are the Different Types?

Posted by Conitex Sonoco Team on May 10,2019

Picking the right kinds of cones or customized tubes for your spun yarn and sewing thread is vital to ensure the quality of your end product is not compromised, and the result is a perfectly round carrier every time. But before you make your choice, it’s important to understand the different types of paper cones and tubes available to you. There are ultimately three different types, including:

1. Paper cones

2. Sewing thread cones

3. Paper tubes

Before we go into detail about each one individually, below you’ll find a quick overview of the key features of paper cones and tubes, plus sewing thread cones. Or if you’d rather review it later instead, click the image to open the PDF version.

Paper Cones & Tubes Comparison Chart

Now, let’s dive into the individual types of cones and tubes starting with paper cones.


1. Paper Cones

A paper cone is a type of yarn carrier with a tapered end. There are essentially eight main size variations to choose from, including:

  • 1-degree 51-minute cones
  • 3-degree 51-minute cones
  • 5-degree 57-minute cones
  • 3-degree 30-minute cones
  • 4-degree 20-minutes cones
  • 9-degree 15-minute cones
  • 9-degree 36-minute cones
  • 7-degree 22-minute cones

Between these eight types of paper cones, the most popular choice for many of our clients is the 5-degree 57-minute cones.

But, let’s take a step back. Do you know what “degree” means when it comes to paper cones? The degree of a cone is simply the taper of the cone itself. 

paper cones with yarn

When picking a paper cone, it’s extremely important to pay close attention to the outside surface. Some carriers have a flocked surface, which is a man-made material that has been glued to the surface. The problem with this flocking material is that the fiber can be released into the air causing extra wear and tear on the machinery. Also, when this fiber is in the air, your operators could breathe it into their lungs. Both of those scenarios aren’t exactly ideal.

Additionally, these fibers can cause small un-dyed spots in the fabric, which negatively affects the quality of your end product.

So, what type of surface should you look for? A plush surface, like what we use on our paper cones, results in a soft, clean surface and quality yarn. No loose fibers here!

Want to become the resident paper cone and tube expert at your company?  Download our free guide, and learn all you need to know


2. Sewing Thread Cones

A sewing thread cone is used for the finished product. Unlike plastic cones, a sewing thread cone can only be used one time before being discarded. But don’t worry – our cones from Conitex are eco-friendly and made from 100% virgin pulp or recycled corrugated material. That means they are 100% recyclable too!


paper tubes3. Paper Tubes

Paper tubes have become the yarn carrier of choice for many of our customers. Ultimately, paper tubes are easier to spin and fit to machinery. Plus, there are over 4000 color choices to pick from, which makes yarn identification quick and easy.

Just like we have a plush surface on paper cones, we also feature this on our paper tubes as well. The difference is instead of being sanded, with paper tubes, an outer paper is applied to create that plush surface, which is great for air jet spinning.


Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s talk paper cone and tube customization. At Conitex, we take customization very seriously. We focus on the features our clients need, whether it’s notches at the tail-end, or colors and custom printing for yarn identification. We’ll even print a customer’s logo on their paper cones and tubes for branding.

We also think it’s important to take a few other factors into consideration when working with clients, such as:

  • What type of adapter is being used?
  • What type of cone or tube will work best?
  • What type of material is being spun?
  • How is that material being spun (i.e. twisting, winding or spinning)?

At the end of the day, when you work with any paper cone and tube supplier, make sure they make it a personalized process. That will help you achieve the quality end product you’re looking for every time.

Have more questions about what would be the right cone or tube solution for you? We want to help! Contact us today.


Looking for more information about paper cones and tubes? Check out free brochure!

Download the Conitex Sonoco High Performance Cones and Tubes Brochure


Tags: Textile Packaging

Conitex Sonoco Team

Conitex Sonoco Team