Two questions we hear frequently are “What’s the best way to store my threads” and “How can I tell if my thread is old?”
These questions tend to go together because properly storing threads will increase their ability to run smoothly in your machine for years to come.
The best way to store threads is out of direct sunlight and away from air vents. Sun can fade colors and cause some threads to become brittle over time. Air vents can cause dust collection on threads. The dust doesn’t affect the thread as much as it will affect your machine. Imagine dust covered threads running through your tension discs. Not a pretty picture. It’s a good idea to keep your threads in a drawer, closet, or in a plastic holder.
Threads made today are of higher quality and last much longer than they used to. Man-made threads, like polyester, can last 100+ years without compromising quality. High-quality threads made from natural fibers like silk or cotton have a lifetime of 50+ years.
The best thing to do if you’re using older natural fiber thread (grandma’s thread stash) is to try the snap test. Hold a strand of thread in your hand 8-10” apart and break the thread. If you get a clean break, the thread is good and can be used in your sewing or quilting project. If the thread feels like it just pulls apart, the thread is bad and should be thrown out.