Making clothing and other great projects on sewing machines can be rewarding and fun, unless thread breakage becomes an issue. Whether experiencing problems while working on models like the Janome 2212 sewing machine or breakage happens after the fact during wear or washing, many people point to the age of the thread as a primary culprit.
Old thread may not be as durable as new thread. Although there are definitely two sides to this argument, read on to learn how to tell if thread is too old as well as how to prevent related problems with any Janome sewing machines.
Can Thread Be Too Old?
Indeed, it can. The reason why is because as thread ages, its fibers are affected in various ways that change its condition and durability. Thread that is more than a few years old can degrade and decompose due to effects from light, humidity, dust, and other environmental factors.
When this happens, the fibers become dry and brittle, breaking easier during or even after use on sewing machines. It can also slowly decompose and lose strength from being too humid. Old thread may also produce more lint during use, although the amount of lint shed is related to quality.
These are the reasons why many sewists avoid working with older or even antique thread despite the attraction of using these special supplies to make a memorable item. Doing so frequently results in much frustration and a lot of effort put into projects that do not stay together as well as those made with a fresh, new spool of thread.
How to Test Thread Condition
All older thread does not need to be tossed. Some older spools do stand the test of time if properly stored and protected from any conditions that could destroy them. So how does anyone know if the old antique spools handed down from their grandmother are still usable? Test the thread using this simple method before hand sewing with it or putting a spool onto a Janome 2212 sewing machine.
Draw out an arm’s length of thread, tie a knot in the middle, and then pull on it. Don’t yank; just pull. If it breaks from hand pulling, it’s probably too old. Breakage suggests it’s too brittle or the fibers are beginning to decompose. If necessary, compare by performing the same test on a fresh thread of comparable type and quality to see the differences in breaking points.
Keeping Thread in Great Condition
Anyone sewing on Janome sewing machines should always begin with a high quality thread that will endure stitching, wearing, and washing. Better quality threads last longer when properly stored. To get the longest life from any thread, store tightly wound spools out of the light and in a humidity-controlled area. Spools that are not in current use should be kept in opaque bins or boxes. Sewists should avoid keeping spools in attics or basements, which is often where old thread and fabric stock, unfortunately end up.
While every sewist will have their own experiences when attempting to use older threads with their sewing machines, the general rule of thumb is to be cautious as thread condition can change over time. For best results, test older stock before threading it onto a machine like the Janome 2212 sewing machine and discard or repurpose any spools that fail the test. Most importantly, preserve beautiful threads by storing them correctly so they last for future projects made on quality Janome sewing machines!