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Does Sewing Thread Go Bad? (Answered & Explained)

As we all know to sow two pieces together you need yarn. A sewing thread is a piece of yarn that we use when we sow two or three materials together. It can be of the same material and fiber as the garment we are sowing, or it can be different.

It needs to be strong and durable because it is the piece that will keep the garment in one piece during movement. In most cases, the thread should be the same color as the fabric you are sowing, but there are cases in which you can make an exception. So, does sewing thread go bad? Well, in this article today we’re going to talk about several key aspects that gloom around this famous question.

Key Takeaways

  • A sewing thread is not timeless if not taken care of properly
  • It is susceptible to damage from humidity, direct sunlight, water, and insects
  • The biggest enemy of sewing threads is poor storage conditions
  • Natural sewing threads are stronger and more durable

Does sewing thread go bad (Is it timeless?)

No, the sewing thread is not timeless. It does not have an expiration date per se, but it will expire eventually after some time if it is not protected and kept safe in optimal conditions. The longevity of the sewing thread depends on how you take care of it, and how pristine the conditions of the space where they are stored are.

Why does sewing thread go bad

Well, as with many other natural materials and fibers the sewing thread is susceptible to damage from:

  • Humidity
  • From direct sunlight
  • Water
  • Insect damage

And many other natural causes which might destroy it. It can rot from the humidity. Or it can be dried out from the sun or insect damage and eventually start to break down. It will not hold.
It usually should last from 20 to 50 years, but once again it all depends on the conditions it was kept in.

You can reuse old, damaged sewing thread, like in DIY projects, or something around the house or garden. But you cannot use it to sow anymore, because the garment will not last long. If you don’t know how to check if the thread is old, expired, or damaged /dried out, you can check it by making a knot in the middle of a long string of thread and pulling it both ways.

If the knot tightens it means the thread is safe to use. But if the thread breaks by the force of you pulling it to tie a knot, then the thread is too weak and brittle to be used.

Store the threads properly

Poor storage conditions are the biggest enemy of the sewing threads, as we mentioned above, if you are not careful where you store and organize your threads, you will be having a bunch of unusable threads and a lot of wasted money.

How to store sewing threads:

1. Store the threads in separate containers, so that the spools don’t touch each other, and the thread does not get tangled up. There are special boxes for separating spools of thread, but you can also DIY one from any kind of clear container. And put the container somewhere in a drawer so that the UV rays of the sunlight don’t get to them.

2. You can wrap them with little plastic sheets to protect them from tangling up and matting. Also prevents them from getting dried up quickly.

3. You should also consider the humidity in your living area.  If you live in a climate that is more prone to humidity, you should consider investing in a good humidifier not just for your health, but also for a home without mold, which will protect the sewing threads from rotting away.

4. If you want them to be on display where you can see them easily, and don’t have to search through cabinets or drawers to find the right shade of color, then the place where you will organize your threads should not be too hot and dry as it will damage and dry out the fibers. Yet not too humid because it will rot them and cause them to break down.


Which thread is stronger and more durable?

Even though sewing thread in general is stronger and more durable than other threads, among sewing threads, there are some that take the highest rankings of durability.

Natural sewing threads

Threads made from natural fibers like cotton, linen silk, wool, and rayon make the perfect smooth stitches, but they are more prone to damage, and the fibers break down faster. They are very sensitive.

Natural threads are usually used more in combination with natural fiber fabrics, they have a silky-smooth stitch, and they look and feel wonderful. Although they will not handle well the stress and tension during movement time on the garments.

They are suitable for clothes that are not worn all the time, garments that are not meant for everyday use, and for garments that won’t be handling a lot of stress. If you are planning for one of those projects, then natural fiber is the choice you should go for.

Synthetic sewing threads

While natural fibers are susceptible to faster damage, there are synthetic fibers that have a longer durability period. Among those are synthetic fibers like Nylon, Polyester, and Acrylic fibers. Nylon Sewing Threads are used to sow upholstery, vinyl, real leather, and other materials that are very hard to sow.

While polyester threads are used mostly for stretchy fabrics, because of the waxy finish of the thread, they glide through the fabric like a knife through butter, so it does not damage the fabric while sowing.

When you think of a more durable and strong thread for clothes you might want to consider using Polyester threads. They are the best choice, it is a thread you will use in many sewing projects, and it is a thread that is worth buying and having in many colors as you will need them.

But if you think of sowing harsher fabrics, meant for a higher commotion area, or high traffic area then you should consider Nylon, since it has a stronger grip, and it can hold harsher materials together even through a lot of stress and use.


Final Thoughts

Not knowing whether a sewing thread has an expiration date or if it goes bad is something you and many other people have in common. If you are into sewing, every bit of information is a plus, especially if it evolves around the most important aspects of sewing.

I hope that in today’s article I was able to help you understand better the main aspects of a sewing thread.

Further Reading

You can carry on and read some other blogs if you like what you have read so far.

There is a list of the best serger threads. also, another list includes some of the best scissors made in the USA.

There’s also a list of computerized sewing machines that you should check out.

Another one compares Singer 4411 vs. Singer 4423

And the list goes so on.

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