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Tips & Techniques > Avoid snarled threads from bobbins and spools

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Posted by: arianamaniacs
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Member since: 6/11/04
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Posted on: 11/9/09 5:01 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 21 people   Very Helpful by 22 people   
Because I am a little unorganized about my sewing, and don't want to spend a fortune on special sewing storage cases, I tend to re-use old shoe boxes or tupperware to store my sewing notions.

This quickly became a problem for my spools of thread and half-used bobbins. Many of my spools of thread are only wound on a cardboard cylinder, with no notch to catch the end of the thread. All the thread would unwind and create a massive snarl of thread in the box.

Now I keep a roll of either Scotch or electrical tape in the tip-out accessories box of my sewing machine. (or the top drawer of my sewing desk). Whenever I change thread colors or bobbins, I cut off a small square and tape the loose thread directly on the spool or bobbin case before throwing it back in the thread box.

If I am switching to a spool that is already taped, I often just take it off the new spool I am using and use it to tape the old one before throwing it back in the box.

I find electrical tape leaves less residue, but I haven't had any problems even with a little stickiness from scotch on my bobbins. The first time I use scotch, I stick it first to my jeans, to take off some of the glue.

Important! Don't tell your family that you have roll of scotch tape in your sewing machine, or it'll be gone faster than cheap laptops on black friday ;)

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granny geek said...
Had to laugh at the scotch tape I buy tape at Costco by the bunches and stash them all around my sewing area for that very reason. I have a roll in almost every drawer and some stashed in really odd places...but I know where they are. Good tip and good thinking, Ariana!
11/10/09 1:33 AM
Alice said...
Good idea. Using that small amount won't matter since that part wiil be pullled up to the top anyway and never be in contact with the needle.
11/18/09 1:15 AM
JDpenelope said...
I have to hide my blue painter's tape, which I use for many different sewing-related things, for the same reason.
11/21/09 8:30 AM
tojoyamoto said...
This is a great idea. I use the blue painters tape-- it leaves no residue.
11/29/09 3:31 AM
laj0yeuse said...
Thanks Ariana - I also use shoe boxes and Tupperware and had the same problem, until now!
3/18/10 7:46 AM
fourkid said...
Hmmmm, great tip. I have to hide the tape too in order to hang on to a roll of it. Thanks.
3/18/10 8:17 AM
tgm and Kittys said...
Oh who would have thought ...I will try it. I do not use a shoebox...but I use ziploc bags & have them on the top of my sewing table. Thank you for the tip.
3/18/10 9:55 AM
Texas CC said...
If you use painter's tape or vet wrap you won't get any sticky reside. Vet wrap will only stick to its self so it is really the best thing. You can buy it at any farm supply store or from you local vet.
3/18/10 11:18 AM
cboots said...
Thanks for the tip! So simple and so useful!
3/18/10 8:53 PM
Gail in Western WA said...
... and if you get 1/2" Scotch tape, it also makes great guidelines for topstitching 1/4" on each side of a seam or center-lap zipper.
3/18/10 11:02 PM
JodieT said...
This made me laugh. I was looking for painters tape last night. I ended up using scotch tape. I have an old retro green/blue color heavy desk top tape dispenser from my fathers clinic. It's got to be 50 or 60 years old. I love it.
3/22/10 5:16 PM
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