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Thread: Question about thread and age......

  1. #1
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    We are in the process of cleaning out the attic and I have found thread up there that has been there for 16+ years. Is it safe to use, or should I chuck it? Attic would have been cold in the winter and hot in summer, but with an automatic fan that would come on with hot temperatures. It has been in plactic containers and looks ok, but would hate to use it in a quilt and have it fall apart.

    I know all you quilting experts will have the answer. DH is making a dump run tomorrow, so would love some opinions by then. Thank you all very much!!

  2. #2
    Power Poster
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    have you tried breaking some threads? try some new thread and see how the old compares?

    old quilts have old thread in them - - -

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I would test it like bearisgray said, I was given some that was that old or older and it was literally rotten.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I have heard that old thread is sometimes dried out and brittle, and that it can be re-hydrated by placing in a plastic bag and freezing. Haven't done this myself, though, and it would not restore thread that has actually rotted.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    I have heard that old thread is sometimes dried out and brittle, and that it can be re-hydrated by placing in a plastic bag and freezing. Haven't done this myself, though, and it would not restore thread that has actually rotted.
    I have heard of this too, and I haven't done it, either.
    on another note...are these threads, on wooden spools? For some reason I just think of them as keepers. Reminds me of the good old days...whatever those were, lol! :D

  6. #6
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    I have used old thread lately but it wasn't in an attic just in my sewing box. So far it seems okay.

  7. #7
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    When my Mom died she left lots of unused thread on the wooden spools.
    I have used it on things that I knew wouldn't be around a long time and
    let the grands use it for their projects, seemed fine.
    However, if making a quilt I use new thread.

  8. #8
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Get a coupon and buy new. The heartache of having your hard work shred because of brittle thread is not worth it. That's what I think. Now if it doesn't break too easy, you could use it for basting.

  9. #9
    Super Member azdesertrat's Avatar
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    i would keep it just as an display item, if it is on wooden spools,but not to use for sewing.not worth your quilts coming apart because of old thread

  10. #10
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies. Do not think it is so old that it is on wooden spools - do have some of that though. This thread was used in my leotard making business and I have decided not to take a chance on it and it will go to the dump tomorrow. I have every color under the sun from connecting threads, so am fine color wise.

  11. #11
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    If it is on a wooden spool, I would display it in a canning jar and enjoy looking at it ....other threads...put it around your finger like you would dental floss, and pull to pop. Do a test one with new good thread first...
    If the old thread pops easy, pop it right into the trash. It will pop in you machine as you try to use it....

  12. #12
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I have hundreds of wooden spools of thread, many dating back to the 40's or before. Silk, cotton, rayon, nylon and combos. You all say to keep them, that they are collectibles. They are only collectible if there is a market for them...which there isn't that I know of.

    I do not use the last layer that has been in direct contact with a wooden spool because of the acid and I do test it for breakage before starting, otherwise, if the color is right, I use it regardless of age. Never had a problem yet. For heavy use, show or heirloom quilts I use new threads.

  13. #13
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    i wonder how we could find out if there is a market for them. i have a bunch of them too. guess could try selling them on e-bay and see what happens, huh. i sure would like to turn all mine into "dollars".

  14. #14
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dojo36
    i wonder how we could find out if there is a market for them. i have a bunch of them too. guess could try selling them on e-bay and see what happens, huh. i sure would like to turn all mine into "dollars".
    I sold some last year on Ebay. Make lots of them, like 15 for ?????, check to see the prices. Maybe the lot for $3.99. Don't list more than 2 sets at a time...you will be flooding the market...I wouldn't list more than 1 set, but all this is your decision.

  15. #15
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    thanks i might try it some time. but 15 for $3.99 - that's only $.25 apiece. i'd just as soon keep them or give them away to my friends.

  16. #16
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dojo36
    thanks i might try it some time. but 15 for $3.99 - that's only $.25 apiece. i'd just as soon keep them or give them away to my friends.
    I should have said, as a starting price.....Sorry for the opps.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    oh that's ok i did go look on ebay and there's tons of them for sale with nobody even bidding on them. maybe in another 100 years they might be worth something, lol.

  18. #18
    Junior Member himom122's Avatar
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    I had a lot of old thread given to me on wooden spools, I took it and put it in a basket and sat it in my sewind room. Just found some old needles in thier wraper which I think I will put with it.

  19. #19
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Yes, by all means, save any thead on wooden spools. They're collectible!
    that's what I thought! I have a few, and hanging onto them! :D

  20. #20
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    I hang onto my old wooden spools.. I have seen dolls made of them, also doll furniture made with them that was really cute.. besides, I'm a packrat.. and that's what packrats do... :P :P

  21. #21
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Anyone making "spool cabinets anymore"? they are stunning!
    what is a "spool cabinet"

  22. #22
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    I have a very pretty vase, just crystal, and put all the wooden spools in it , with all the pretty color threads. I even had a silk rose in it at one time. It just looks so nice on top of the computer desk. I got rid of the ones that I didn't want on Ebay. The chipped spools and some of the empty ones. Also colors that I didn't like.....

  23. #23
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    A Google search turned up some sites for Crafts made from wooden spools. Almost anything your heart could desire.

    I never throw away wooden spools! I have an old sewing basket full of old items, like Australian Crystal buttons that sold for 10C per card and old cloth tape measures. They will become the "treasures" of our children and grandchildren. They are also fun to collect at yard sales and flea markets. Everything old is new again! Care for those oldies! Begin to think in terms of "heritage" on these items.

    June in Cincinnati.

  24. #24
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    when you test the thread for breakage, it may seem okay now. but you no longer know how it will react to washings and normal wear and tear. why take a chance? add up your hours, the fabric, the batting, etc. and new thread seems a small investment to make.

  25. #25
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I am a packrat also, so I save the spools, plastic and wooden. Give the plastic ones to nursery schools and places where kids gather. Great for sorting activities and threading and building and just plain playing! :?

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