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    old spools of thread

    I was recently visiting my Aunt, who has been sewing for decades. Knowing that I like to sew and quilt, she gave me a big bag of excess spools of thread. I didn't recognize some of the brands, including Talon, J&P Coats, and Americana Quilting Thread. There are prices on some of the spools - $0.60 and $0.70. Most all of them are cotton wrapped polyester. How old do you think these spools are? Are they still okay to use in a modern machine?
    Thanks for your contributing your sewing knowledge!

    #2
    Re: old spools of thread

    Thread gets old and brittle sometimes. Still, the cost of thread makes you hesitate to just throw it out. I would store it in a bag labeled old thread and use for basting your quilt sandwich together.I don't think I would use it for piecing though.

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      #3
      Re: old spools of thread

      I'm still using those brands, bought at those prices. Depends on how well they were kept. Out of the sun and in cooler dry air. Give it the "tug" test. Wearing gloves to protect your skin, run out a couple feet of thread, wrap it around a finger of each hand and give it a solid tug. If you aren't sure of the breaking point, do the same with a new spool and compare. I toss any that breaks easily.

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        #4
        Re: old spools of thread

        Unless it's polyester, I wouldn't trust it. I've gotten rid of all the old thread I used to have since I didn't know if it was cotton, polyester, rayon, etc. I don't know if it was necessary or if I've just been brainwashed by stuff I've read. To me, it's not worth taking a chance using something old that might not hold up well. I do not typically buy really expensive thread. I usually just buy what Joann Fabrics carries and only purchase it when it's on sale. I do use Superior Threads' mono-poly and I used some of their variegated on a project. I have also purchased a few spools of Isacord (Leah Day uses it to machine quilt) and I do like that thread a lot. Don't throw it away. Donate it. I'm a firm believer in recycling rather than tossing.
        Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

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          #5
          Re: old spools of thread

          I'm not prone to donating anything defective. It just isn't right.

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            #6
            Re: old spools of thread

            I use old thread all the time, even some from wooden spools. Do the break test. If the thread breaks when pulling, don't use it. If it takes great strength to break it, I use it. I use the unusable thread for basting hexagons or baste sandwiching quilts. That being said, I do not hesitate throwing really crappy thread in the trash. I hope the quilt police don't catch me!
            Robin
            My Pinterest Page of the Quilts I've Made: http://www.pinterest.com/rwmomto3/quilts-ive-made/

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              #7
              Re: old spools of thread

              check the Americana thread to make sure that is not hand quilting. I think that is a brand I used to buy for hand quilting, and it is not suitable for machine. Otherwise those all sound like something I would use up
              Dolores :lol::icon_heh:

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                #8
                Re: old spools of thread

                I have old spools of thread they work fine and the price thread is who can just throw it away? As said previously if stored out of sunlight it should be fine.
                sigpic:icon_hug: Iris Girl = April = fabric, Fabric FABRIC!!
                Time spent with cats is never wasted.
                Sigmund Freud

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                  #9
                  Re: old spools of thread

                  I had a bunch of really old thread on cute little wooden spools, more antique than anything useable. I donated them, thinking an antique collector might want them.

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                    #10
                    Re: old spools of thread

                    My problem is a little different than yours. I just wanted to mention though that I had ordered Mettler silk finish cotton mesc. thread from a dealer in S.C. and when pulled on it breaks. A sewing tech told me that this company probably had sent me old thread they had in their warehouse for a long time and I would need to throw it away. Unfortunately that is what I did. Needless to say they lost a customer.

                    I've got some old thread my mother had and it breaks easily so I threw it away, wasn't that much.
                    sigpicLinda :icon_wave:

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                      #11
                      Re: old spools of thread

                      all thread will break when you pull it. If you have to tug a little it is fine for sewing. If it snaps right away, use it for something else
                      Dolores :lol::icon_heh:

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                        #12
                        Re: old spools of thread

                        I went through my thread a couple months ago and ended up throwing away almost all of it. I had purchased a large quantity at a 4 for $1 sale back in the '80s and when I looked at it, the threads were fraying and when I pulled it broke (some with no effort). Some other thread from the same period was still in great condition (different brands, better quality). I decided that buying cheap thread wasn't worth the savings - I have no idea when it started disintegrating. It could have been as soon as 5 years later given how bad some of it was. I was impressed at the tread that survived though. One spool was a wooden one I got from my mother for a project that needed a heavy duty black. No idea how old it is, but I'm guessing the 60's or earlier. It's still in great condition today.

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                          #13
                          Re: old spools of thread

                          I don't use any thread but aurifil for piecing, which was recommended in my local shop. I have tons of other brands, but being a newbie, I was afraid to take a chance on anything that was in my stash. I use that thread for my serger and other sewing projects.

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                            #14
                            Re: old spools of thread

                            Originally posted by Kenz View Post
                            I don't use any thread but aurifil for piecing, which was recommended in my local shop. I have tons of other brands, but being a newbie, I was afraid to take a chance on anything that was in my stash. I use that thread for my serger and other sewing projects.
                            And your local shop, of course, sells aurifil.......

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                              #15
                              Re: old spools of thread

                              Originally posted by shirleyknot View Post
                              And your local shop, of course, sells aurifil.......
                              They sell others, too, actually. A close friend of mine works there and she said that's the kind to get. She's a veteran quilter. Everyone has their preferences.

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