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4 hints it’s time to throw your sewing threads out


Yesterday we took a detailed look at 3 key weights of Coats Dual Duty XP thread and their benefits. What we sew with, makes a difference in our project, whether it’s purely practical, such as altering a garment, or a more creative one.

It’s sounds wasteful to contemplate throwing away sewing thread, but when you make something with your sewing machine, or hand stitching, good quality threads, and threads that are stored properly will enhance your work.


Spools of colorful Coats Dual Duty XP threads on a quilt
Fresh new threads enhance your creative as well as your practical sewing projects.


While I was working in a sewing store, a customer came in steaming mad because the thread kept breaking on her brand new machine. Since thread choice is key to successful sewing, I asked what kind of thread she used. Her answer? “I don’t know. I inherited this box of thread that had been stored in the attic years ago”.

When I explained that old thread may not be good thread and cheap thread is the worst, it was a big revelation. She eventually bought new thread and came back later to thank me. Thread can last for years if it’s stored properly, but exposure to direct or sunlight, moisture and extreme temperatures can compromise its integrity.

Pamper yourself this month and go through your thread box with the following in mind.

  1. Test your ‘old’ threads. Take a 38 – 45cm piece of thread, hold one end in each hand and pull on it until it breaks. If you feel some resistance, it’s probably okay, but if it breaks easily, it’s time to say goodbye.
  2. Look at the color of a few meters of your old threads. Do they start out light, then get darker? This is thread that has been discolored by light exposure and it’s probably time for it to go, too.
  3. Consider tossing thread with just a few meters left on the spool. It’s unlikely that you’ll actually have enough to use on a project when you need that color, so it’s really just clutter.
  4. Banish any ‘5/$1 bargain’ or thrifted threads and replenish your supply with fabulous new threads.


Coats Dual Duty XP spools of thread on fabric
Coats Dual Duty XP thread


Here’s a helpful tool for your shopping needs, a downloadable PDF of the Dual Duty XP 114 meter spool color choices. Print and stash this in your thread box for future reference!

Join me tomorrow for one more benefit to the Dual Duty XP thread collection I’m sure you’re going to like!



This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4:  3 key weights of Coats’ Dual Duty XP thread and their benefits

Annette Millard is passionate about sewing and has worked in the sewing industry for many, many years and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. She currently enjoys supporting the Coats & Clark community writing blog posts about products and projects for the Coats Sewing Secrets Blog.


  1. Etta

    Very glad to get this hint on testing thread. Time to clean out my thread box!

  2. Leeanne C

    I had no idea that I had to test my thread to make sure it’s still good. I’m glad I came across this article.

  3. Wendy R.

    There is definitely a huge difference between good thread and cheap thread. I try to only use the cheap stuff for paper crafting (sewing on paper). I also own some thread that could be called “vintage” that I should probably throw away! Ha!

  4. Cheryl MacPhail

    Wow something I never really thought about!! Great advise for me as a beginner quitter working with my grandmothers hand me down sewing box!!

  5. I inherited a bunch of thread from my grandmother and knew that some of it wasn’t great but didn’t know what to look for. Thanks for the times.

    Besos Sarah.

  6. Wendy Wagar

    I found this article very informative. I’m always sewing something and from time to time I’ve found that after the article is washed the seam has come loose. I had no idea that thread could be the cause. After reading your article I think that is very probable. Thanks!

  7. Calvin F.

    Very nice tip, really would never have thought of testing my threads if it wasn’t for this article.

  8. Debbie Erickson

    Thanks for the information on testing thread to see if it is still good – I have wondered about it!

  9. l p

    sounds like a great idea. how about donating them to the reuse/recycle centre or to a place that takes donations for people down in their luck? just as long as they aren’t being used on/in sewing machines. thanks

  10. Char

    Thanks. Good pointers 🙂

  11. Ryan B

    I’ve seen clothes disintegrate because of years of sun exposure but I would have never though of this for thread.

  12. Thanks for the great article! I really think it was useful and an important reminder to test your threads! I will now for sure! sewing of any kind is a true labor of love and it’s worth doing right and with quality materials.

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