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Old 02-03-2013, 04:22 AM
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I was just wondering if cotton thread can become to old to use?
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:35 AM
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the best way i know to tell if it is too old is to pull on a length of it. if it breaks easily, i wouldn't use it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
the best way i know to tell if it is too old is to pull on a length of it. if it breaks easily, i wouldn't use it.
I agree with Nan...it gets brittle. If its on a wooden spool, I keep for display purposes. After that, it gets tossed.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:46 AM
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I read on QB, that if the brittle thread snaps, you can freeze it and it will become stronger. I tried it, and it did not work. Myself, I would not use it. It would break my heart if my project came apart.

I unwind old brittle thread, and donate my empty spools to a elementary school teacher for craft day use with kids.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:19 AM
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Yes it can. Take a length of new cotton thread and wrap it a couple of times around your hands with a few inches of slack between your hands. Now holding onto the thread wrapped around your hands, yank them apart and see how much pressure you have to use to break it. Now try that with the older thread and you will be able to see if it is close to the same strength or to old to use.
P.S. I got out some older cotton embroidery floss this week and it was to old to use. I started sewing with it and one of the strands broke. I thought what the heck!! and pulled on a length if it and ended up throwing it away.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:47 AM
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As a general rule I find all thread on wooden spools to be to old , if its not too old today.. it won't be much longer that its age will show up in the strenght. The next batch is thread on styrofoam spools, alot of thread from the 70's was on stryofoam , particularly the cheap then 5 for $1 spools.
The break test is a good indicator for any thread.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
the best way i know to tell if it is too old is to pull on a length of it. if it breaks easily, i wouldn't use it.
I agree, if it breaks easy it is to old.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:12 AM
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any thread can become --- not usable----age is not always the reason- i've had brand new thread that was weak- not usable- i've had 20 year old thread that was still strong and just fine---there are lots of reasons for your thread to be no longer (good) storage, humidity, or lack of, temperature, manufacturing process....

it's generally a good idea to do a little *tug-test* on every spool of thread before using- regardless of what fiber it is...just to save yourself the aggravation of threading your machine to find the thread breaks every inch...
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:15 AM
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I agree too. The break test.
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