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Thread: How long do you keep thread?

  1. #1
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    How long do you keep thread?

    I started to ask this in a reply to another post but didn't want to hi-jack their post. How long do you keep thread. I have a couple bags of thread I got at an estate sale last year. I use some for small piecing like yo yos and hexies. One bag is nothing but polyester the other is a mix. Many on wooden spools. I've done a strength test on some and just not really sure how old the thread is. Most of it is Coats & Clark. Some of the spools still have cellophane around them apparently not used.

  2. #2
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I use it tell it's gone or it starts to shred and brake.

  3. #3
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    Forever. If it's old, I just pull on it. If it breaks, I thow it out.
    Penny

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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Until its gone. Thread can be good for many years- and new thread can be garbage.
    As long as it holds up to the tug- test I use it. When it is too weak for a tug it can still be used for hand basting hexies or other uses
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I have some pretty old and I'm still using it. If it would break easy or shred, I'd chunk it. I think in most cases, it's been stored indoors, and is good for a very long time. My neighbor retired years ago from a suit factory, and she has containers full of paper bobbins loaded with gray, brown, beige thread, and she gave me a bunch of it, I use it for hand sewing hexies, it's thin, but very strong, can't break it.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  6. #6
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I have been the fortunately recipient of quite a bit of donated thread. I'm using it all....

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennyhal View Post
    Forever. If it's old, I just pull on it. If it breaks, I throw it out.
    I'm with you, but I don't throw it out... i put it in a pretty glass bowl to decorate my sewing room
    Nancy in western NY
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  8. #8
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    Like the others have said - if it breaks easily - I don't use it.
    If it is still strong, I will use it.

    There are still some antique quilts holding together - so that thread seems to still be "good"

    Although there are some that will discard or pass on some brands after they start using another brand - even though the thread is still usable.

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    Until the spool is empty.

  10. #10
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paoberle View Post
    Until the spool is empty.
    I was thinking the same thing
    Nancy

  11. #11
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    Exactly as all the others have said...till it doesn't work anymore! Then either toss or use for decoration (I like that idea, btw).

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    If I have some doubt I will use it to baste - applique, hexies etc.....

  13. #13
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    For as long as I can pull on it and it doesn't break. I still use off spools I've had for 20-30,years.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    I'm with you, but I don't throw it out... i put it in a pretty glass bowl to decorate my sewing room
    Me too I agree

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    Super Member Girlfriend's Avatar
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    If there are colors you know you won't use, be sure to just throw away the thread - and keep the wooden spool. They are so cool and can be used to decorate your sewing room.
    Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.

  16. #16
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    As others have said when it becomes a pain by constantly breaking or shredding. The only thread I know with a short life is invisible thread which I was told lasts about 2 years . If the invisible thread snaps easily when you pull it with your hands the throw away.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  17. #17
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I agree. I have some of my Grandmother's wooden spools (I'm 63) and won't throwaway those pretty wooden spools. I occasionally use it for hand basting.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    I'm with you, but I don't throw it out... i put it in a pretty glass bowl to decorate my sewing room
    Wish there was a like button. Great suggestion.

  19. #19
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    Tug-test! Anything that passes the tug test is probably suitable for machine sewing. Anything that fails is still good for non-critical hand-sewing; like basting or putting together mockups or adding decorative whip-stitching.

    If the thread is terribly faded or really falling apart and on a wooden spool I'll strip off the thread and keep the spool. I find uses for them here and there. When I put cabinets into my sewing room I rustled up 10 small wooden spools about the same size, wound a layer of turquoise or orange thread onto each of them (my accent colors for the room), and used them as knobs for my cabinet doors! I love them!

  20. #20
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    Until spool is used or fails the tug test. Thread is expensive.

  21. #21
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    I have some spools that are at lest 50 years old and pass the tug test. I will use it until it is used up! froggyintexas

  22. #22
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    I do have some thread that belonged to my grandmother (forgot I had it). I thank you all for the replies because I counted 50+ spools, some not used. Would hate to replace all of it.

  23. #23
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    I pull on it and if it doesn't break I use it. I just finished up using a spool of thread that I used to make a bridesmaid dress in the early 70's and it was just fine. I remember the spool because of the unusual color which is also why it probably took so long to use up.
    I try not to waste thread. As a spool gets a little on it I use it for hand basting. I use the leftover thread on my bobbins for hand sewing or use the bobbin on the thread spindle on my machine and use it up that way.

  24. #24
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    If it still works, use it. I have saved and used some that is weaker for basting as it isn't permanent

  25. #25
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    Yep! Use the thread until it is gone. I have quilts that are nearly 100 years and they are still holding together nicely, so I use old thread that I have (after testing it).

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