Superior Education

Does Color Affect Strength?

  • Dye
  • Thread Color

Are all black threads over-dyed?

Q. I was told from a teacher at a guild event I attended that black threads are black because they were dyed incorrectly (such as a purple thread dyed with the wrong shade of purple) and then are re-dyed as black to help reuse what would normally be wasted thread. Does this twice dying method make the thread more prone for breaking and is black thread just weaker than other colors?


King Tut cotton thread in black and green

A. While there may be some truth to what your teacher said, I'd take the response with a grain of salt. Not all black threads are over-dyed and I am not sure which thread companies and manufacturers sell black thread which has been over-dyed. Over-dyeing is the process of subjecting a thread to multiple dyeing treatments, if the thread was mis-dyed and ends up an incorrect color the first time. I've heard of unnamed textile manufacturers setting aside mis-dyed colors in a reject bin and over-dyeing them black to reduce wasted materials. The excess amount of dye in these over-dyed threads can cause the fibers to weaken due to exposure to the multiple dye treatments. Our threads are never over-dyed.

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