Everyone likes a bargain, and good thread can be expensive. So when you see a nice lot of vintage sewing notions, with those pretty wooden spools of thread, who can resist? Unfortunately, thread deteriorates over time, and a lot of vintage thread is not in usable condition. If you want to test your vintage thread, here’s what to do:
Unroll about 6-8 inches of thread. Wrap it around your fingers on each hand and pull. If it breaks easily, it’s too weak to be used. For a baseline understanding of how tough thread should be, try this with a new spool of thread. It takes a lot of strength to break new thread, but most vintage thread snaps easily. You might find that some vintage thread can still be used, but most of the time you’ll be disappointed.
Most vintage thread is purely decorative.