Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wooden Spool Gift Making

I picked these increasingly hard to find wooden spools up last week at an impromptu garage sale stop. My oldest and I are working on a gift for his younger brother.

First we need to get the thread off. A task of great joy.

I've always been told that old thread is too weak to use for sewing. Any ideas on the shelf life of thread? Some of this thread is just too beautiful to part with. My oldest is enamoured with the color of thread as well and wants to make something with the thread. He says it will involve glue. I look forward to seeing what emerges.


  1. Hi Julia! Shelf life of thread is about a year, especially those made from natural fibers (cotton or silk). It weakens simply by being wound around those spools. This is not to say I haven't used thread older than one year, but it's almost always the newfangled polyester stuff (Gutterman is the brand to buy, not Coats & Clark). Nice blog, BTW!
    Melinda B.

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  3. Old natural fiber thread is really beautiful to leave out for the birds. I love seeing the colors woven into their nests. We used to do it with our snipped ends as kids. It works with natural yarns and ribbons, too.

    I love your blog, by the way! It makes me want to move out of this apartment as soon as possible!

  4. That surprises me. I had always assumed that the life of thread on a spool would be similar to the life of thread in a garment, except with out the wear and UV exposure.

    My family is full of extensive thread collections that date back decades and see intermittent use. The textiles sewn with this don't seem to fall apart particularly soon.

    All that aside, may I suggest making paper? Flax is a nice, drought-tolerant garden plant, and can be fermented into excellent, long-staple pulp. Thread in the pulp is one of the older anti-counterfeiting measures in US money, from the color perhaps they shred old silk flags..?


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