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Can thread be too old to use?
4fun2
4fun2
TN USA
Member since 1/14/11
Posts: 5
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Date: 1/19/11 11:15 PM

Can spools of thread be too old to use, and on new fabric specifically? How would you decide (age range fr. 10 - 25 yrs.)? Should my decision have anything to do with whether it is 100% cotton thread, or Dual-Duty, or 100% polyester (like serger) thread? Thank you!

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4fun2

goodworks1
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goodworks1  Friend of PR
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IL USA
Member since 7/19/03
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Date: 1/19/11 11:33 PM

It CAN be too old, but in my experience, it rarely is....

Test the spool. Remove several layers of thread and then see if it breaks easily.

I'd guess that thread is mostly likely damaged by fairly high heat or light exposure.

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bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
OR USA
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In reply to 4fun2


Date: 1/20/11 1:52 PM

I just went through all my thread spools by doing the snap test and I threw away about 1/3 of what I had. I did not pay attention to the fiber type but it was surprising that some much newer than others broke easily. I've got some all cotton button thread that won't break at all and it's decades years old.

sharkycharming
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sharkycharming
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MD USA
Member since 11/10/10
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Date: 1/20/11 4:05 PM

I asked this question a couple of months ago -- here is the thread if you want to read the responses.

Edited to add: no pun intended!
-- Edited on 1/20/11 4:06 PM --

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Heather in Baltimore

solosmocker
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solosmocker
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NY USA
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In reply to 4fun2


Date: 1/21/11 5:54 PM

Yes, your thread can definitely get too old. It can get dry rot and really just be worthless. What I did this past spring was take every spool of thread in my possesion and give it a hard yank. If it broke, it got chucked. I threw away at least half. If anyone has inherited a thread collection, just chuck it. These are not buttons and they don't last forever, or for that matter, even as long as fabric.

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BriarRose
BriarRose
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WY USA
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Date: 1/21/11 6:29 PM

Thread can deteriorate just like any other fabric. I inherited thread from my grandmother that is at least forty years old but can't quite bring myself to dump it. I seal the thread onto the spool so it won't unwind and use the spools as "found objects" in art projects.

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I've quit fighting my inner demons. We're on the same side now.

It's just fabric; we can out-think it.

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