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Thread: When is thread too old?

  1. #1
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    When is thread too old?

    I know that if it breaks easy it is obviously too old, but what if you purchased a bag of thread on sale and misplaced it for five years and then found it this morning when you where looking for something else.

    The receipt is dated March 2007 and it is Gutermann cotton and cotton/poly thread, 14 rolls, wow, I used to be shopper . I have no recollection of this purchase and no idea why I put it in the back of the pantry. The thread seems fine. Would you use it?
    If you quilt fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise? Bernice Manning

  2. #2
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I think you've pretty much answered your own question. As long as it does not break easily I would think it should be ok. I've used thread much older than that with no problems and had issues with newly purchased thread.
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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I test mine by holding it in my hands and pulling on it. If it snaps, I discard it. It should be really hard to break.

  4. #4
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    It's easy enough to pull a foot or so off and see how easily it breaks by tugging. If it breaks easy--toss it. If not; I would try it on the machine for piecing but if it acts up--in the trash it goes.
    Beverly

  5. #5
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I use thread that is from 2007...and even older...that really isn't that old and know that I have thread that is a lot older...as long as it doesn't break easily it should be good for awhile yet....sort of like finding a treasure!

  6. #6
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    I still use some thread that only cost $.10 a spool...and it's still good! It belonged to my Mom, and I got most of her sewing things when she passed several years ago. It doesn't break easily, so I guess that's my main criteria for its use...if it breaks, out it goes. So far, no problems.
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  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Yup, the break test. Some of mine dates back to WWII (no, I'm not that old) and it's still sound.
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  8. #8
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I've found spools of thread, I KNOW I bought at least 20 years ago, and still use them.

  9. #9
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    As far as I know, some quilts that are over 100 years old are still holding together. So SOME threads will be just fine.

    Try sewing a bit with it - give it a tug or two - if it holds together - as far as I'm concerned, I would use it.

  10. #10
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    Glad this question was asked because I have no idea how old some of my thread is. The basic colors like white, tan, black and grey get used but alot of the other colors are for applique and things so they will last a long time.

  11. #11
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    I agree with everyone else. Unless it breaks easily, it is fine. Cotton threads and cotton fabric like the same living conditions we do: room temperature year 'round. So unless it's been stored in the attic or some similar place with horrible temperature fluctuations, it should be fine. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that thread is best stored in a 50% humidity environment. Congrats on the great find!

  12. #12
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    If it has any polyester content, it will be stronger, polyester lasts forever. Cotton is a natural product and does break down, but since it has been in a bag, that would have protected it. I would use it if it seems strong.
    Jean in MI

  13. #13
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    age doesn't really have a whole lot to do with it- i've used threads that were 20+ years old & they are fine- i've had others i bought last week- that are not usable...
    it depends on how they are stored, and the thread itself much more than the age- & just because you bought one last week does not mean it didn't sit around in a warehouse or store room for 10 years before going out on the shelves.
    do a strength test- if it's still strong enough to use it's fine to use- if it breaks easily it's time to replace it.
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  14. #14
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    A sewing machine repair man years ago told me 'if your thread breaks just put in the frig for a while and it will work fine' tried it and he was right,, give it a try....it just needs moisture in it.......

  15. #15
    Junior Member chatonne40's Avatar
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    I agree that testing is the solution. I am working with thread that are over 30 years old . I mostly use them mixed with newer one on the overlock m/c but sometimes with the rare colours I use in projects and so far so good :-)

  16. #16
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    Thanks for all the responses. The two I have tried seem to be just fine and it was a nice surprise, since I have been trying not to shop so much. Still can't figure out why I put them in the pantry or how I missed that bag for the last few years.
    If you quilt fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise? Bernice Manning

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