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Thread: How can you tell how old thread is?

  1. #1
    Super Member dyer804's Avatar
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    My mom got a box of thread from a neighbor moving into a retirement home. She would like to give some to me but I'm not sure how old it is. Is there a test you can do to see if the thread is still usable? The lady did some quilting and some of the labels look fairly recent, but I would hate to sew something only to have it fall apart after washing because the thread all broke! Have you any suggestions to test its strength?

  2. #2
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    The first thing I would try would simply be to pull on it hard and see how easily it breaks. If it is old and brittle it will probably snap very easily.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    That is how I test thread too :D:D:D

  4. #4
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    It also a good idea to keep you threads in a drawer and out of the dust as this will make it weak. I spray my threads with water now and then or silicone....

  5. #5
    dls
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    I was told at a quilting class that if it is on a wooden spool it is too old to use.

  6. #6
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Some of that old thread on wooden spools is still good. I do the snap test. If it breaks easily then I unwind a full layer and try again. If that one breaks easily throw it away or if it's on a wooden spool I glue the end of the thread down and use it in a glass bowl for decoration.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I would be particularly suspious of wooden spools. I once made a lined Blazer with a spool of thread given to me from my grandmother.... and the thread shrunk! I had never heard of thread shrinking but this spool did .
    I was broken hearted as it was a difficult pattern and the hardest thing I had attempted , at that time.

  8. #8
    Super Member earthwalker's Avatar
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    I just do the snap test or maybe sew a sample block and throw it in the wash a couple of times.

  9. #9

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    Nancy Zeiman says that old thread dries out and you can rejuvenate it by putting it in your freezer. Usually the black thread breaks the easiest and I tried this and yes it works. Try it what do you have to lose.

  10. #10
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    My quilter cousin told me that you can use that old thread for basting. It sure would save your expensive quilting thread for the real thing (quilting).

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