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Restoring Old Thread

Can anyone tell me how to restore old thread? It doesn't break or look furred, but it seems dry and dusty. I've inherited a lot, of all sorts, and I'd like to save money by using them.

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By Helen from Northern Ireland

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February 2, 20110 found this helpful

Use your vacuum hose to get rid of any dust, or dust if off with a dry cloth. Get some resealable sandwich bags and an eyedropper. Run a line of water from top to bottom of each spool and put it into a sandwich bag. When the bag is about 3/4 full, seal it and put it into the refrigerator for 24 hours; if you leave it sealed longer than that the thread may mildew.

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February 2, 20110 found this helpful

In the sewing groups I'm a member of, I've read articles about leaving the container of thread beside an open window overnight. Obviously, this wouldn't be a good time of year to do that! The idea being, that the thread would absorb moisture and it wouldn't be brittle. That wouldn't solve the dust problem, but might help with the rest. I've never tried it. The refrigerator idea sounds good too.

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February 3, 20111 found this helpful

My suggestion would be to take all your spools and put them in a pillow case with a damp hand towel and put that in the dryer on low or air heat. Tie the pillow case closed with an old panty hose or such. Put in the dryer for about 10 minutes. This should tumble off all the dust. You could throw in a dryer sheet to freshen, too!

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March 12, 20111 found this helpful

I tried putting the thread in a pillowcase in the dryer with a little moisture, and it worked! Only the pillowcase opened (memo: use a cotton one ) and there was a bird's nest of unravelled thread!

I don't mind; I'll be able to use it all somehow.

But the results! Clear colours, dust gone from where it had been embedded on the tops of the cones (except for 3 stubborn ones) and though the thread is more feathered, I reckon it is much more usable.

Of course the top layers of thread unwound and that might account for the colour difference, but not for the clear layers now on the cone tops.

If anyone else is going to try this I'd recommend using a facecloth with quite a lot of moisture in it to provide the steam, and a cotton pillowcase knotted at the top as synthetics do unravel. Also securing each spoolor cone with a bit of sellotape might help.

Thank you for a very good tip!

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