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Thread: How old is too old ?

  1. #1
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I am cleaning up my sewing stuff and found a box of threads, at least 50 spools of Guttermann. Some of it might be 15 years old!! Should I just throw it out, or save it to use? Also, how do you tell if it is cotton or polyester on a bobbin? I used to use poly for clothing sewing, but now all my time is spent on quilting with cotton. I think that my time is worth more than an old spool of thread if it damages my handwork. What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Break thread from a new spool and then break thread from the older spools. If it has the same strength it's good thread. You can tell ploy from cotton by burning a little. Cotton will turn to dry ash, poly will leave a sticky globby ash.

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    If the thread is dry and brittle (the breaking test should determine this), you can revitalize it by placing it in a plastic bag in the freezer for a couple of months. This restores moisture to the dried-out old thread. Test it again afterwards, of course, to make sure it has become as strong as new thread.

    I think the burn test is the only way to determine if thread is cotton or polyester. If you hold a match to the thread, poly should melt into a blob while cotton should turn into ash.

  4. #4
    Clothfiend's Avatar
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    you can revitalize it by placing it in a plastic bag in the freezer for a couple of months. This restores moisture to the dried-out old thread.

    Wow! I've been sewing and quilting forever, and I did not know you could restore moisture to old thread. Thank you so much for this info.

  5. #5
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I found some that was bought at a store that went out of business over ten years ago. I wrapped some around my hand and gave a really good firm pull from the spool. Since it did not break, I used it. It was just fine.

  6. #6
    Super Member Pickles's Avatar
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    Wow..I didn't know about the Revitalizing of old thread either, thanks so much Prism99 for that Great Tip, I still say we need a{ Tip } section here on the board so everyone can see and find it easy so all can benefit from them.

  7. #7
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clothfiend
    you can revitalize it by placing it in a plastic bag in the freezer for a couple of months. This restores moisture to the dried-out old thread.

    Wow! I've been sewing and quilting forever, and I did not know you could restore moisture to old thread. Thank you so much for this info.
    This is new info to me. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    I thought keeping things in the freezer would dry it out? I was told not store certain things in the freezer as it would draw out the moisture.

  9. #9
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    just test it by pulling on it.

  10. #10
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clothfiend
    you can revitalize it by placing it in a plastic bag in the freezer for a couple of months. This restores moisture to the dried-out old thread.

    Wow! I've been sewing and quilting forever, and I did not know you could restore moisture to old thread. Thank you so much for this info.
    I've heard this before. Have you tried it?

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