Years ago I was once in a class with a teacher who pointed at my thread and said ‘throw it in the bin’. It seemed pretty extreme when looking back, it was insulting, but did the teacher have a point? I think not. Where possible, I will always try and use up old threads.
I love thread. I love buying thread as much as I love fabric. My stash includes lots of different threads in all imaginable colours. I have plain, variegated, invisible, glitter, holographic, embroidery, quilting, sashiko, fine, thick, polyester, cotton and silk threads. Like fabrics, the threads you use are a personal choice.
Some threads are indeed better for different tasks, and some jobs require a particular thread. However, there is something inherently wholesome in the making do with what you have. For example, I wouldn’t use a sashiko thread for invisible machine applique, but I may decide to hand applique using the sashiko thread instead.
In terms of an old thread, why not use it? Like old buttons, I get a real kick out of using thread that was my bought by a family member a long time ago. It’s like remembering them in every stitch. If the threads you have are of reasonable quality, I would advise you to use them. I only throw away thread if it is dusty, fluffy or breaks with just a small amount of pressure Dust and fluff are bad for your sewing machine and thread that breaks easily is not going to hold a seam in place.
Next month I will be sharing which threads I like to use and why, but remember that old thread can be put to good use and shouldn’t be thrown away just because of its age.