Thread Therapy

Bob's Favorite Story

  • Vanish Thread

Bob Purcell (Chief Threadologist of Superior Threads) tells his favorite story of when his son took Vanish water soluble thread and patched up a swimsuit using Vanish. The rest is history.

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Vanish Water Soluble Thread
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Video Transcript

Bob Purcell: Now I'm going to tell you my favorite all-time thread story. We have thread that dissolves in water. Have you heard of water-soluble thread?

Audience: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Bob: My son was 14 at the time. We're in the warehouse. We're packing an order. And he read the label, and it said: "Water soluble thread." And he said: "Dad, thread is to tie things together. Why would anyone want thread that would dissolve in water?" So, I gave him a quick lesson on trapunto quilting. I didn't know what I was saying. I didn't know what I was talking about. But I made it all up, and he was so impressed. He asked "Can I have a spool?" I said: "Yeah, you've been working pretty hard. Here's a spool. Go make a Trapunto quilt."

Well, he did, not. Went down to his room, opened the drawer, took out an old swimming suit. Cut it up at the seams. And he hand-stitched together a swimsuit with water soluble thread. Absolutely true story. He was 14.

Woman 1: Haha.

Bob: And he waited for the day when his friends were over. And within a couple of weeks, his friends were over. They were bored during the summer, and one had a bright idea. "Hey, why don't we go swimming?" And poor old Joe said: "I didn't bring a suit." And my son said: "Well, I have a spare. Want to borrow it?" "Yeah, okay." So, Joe borrowed the suit. They all four guys jumped in the pool. 30 seconds. It was off. True story.

I told this story a few years ago at a guild I was at. The following year, I was there and a lady came up to me and said: "Remember that story about the swimsuit? I got one better." I said: "Tell me."

Every year, four couples that are best friends, they spend their summer vacation together. They take a week and they travel together, and their all-time favorite spot is renting a houseboat on a lake in Oregon. And they planned it way in advance. The four wives got together. (They did this to their husbands.) They knew they were going to be on the lake for a week in the summer. They did four husbands' swimsuits with Water Soluble Thread, and they couldn't wait.

Day one. The men are showing off. Who can jump the furthest, do the best flip off the deck of the boat. They're just all showing off in front of the other ladies. The women go to the edge of the boat, and they're standing there just like this. Within a minute, all the suits were off. And those bad ladies made all four men walk up the ladder onto the boat. They were bad, bad, bad.

Woman 2: Good thing they were really good friends.

Bob: That's real funny when you hear it that way. But imagine had four men done that to four ladies.

Women: (Gasp) Haha.

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