Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Tag: needlework care

Washing Old Cotton Embroidery Threads


Last week, we discussed using old embroidery threads on hand embroidery projects. I proposed that using very old threads that have not enjoyed decent storage conditions and that are showing serious signs of age (brittle, thin, victims of Thread Rot) are not worth using on embroidery project.

Today, I’ll explain what I do to wash old cotton embroidery threads to see if they can be returned to The State of Usability. It’s really just common sense – but for those who are shy about handling threads, maybe this will encourage you!

Washing Old Hand Embroidery Threads
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Thread Talk: On Old Embroidery Threads


I have a Thing about old embroidery threads.

An explanation of a Thing might be in order, so you understand me correctly.

I often say, “I have a Thing about needlework books.” Or “I have a Thing about good embroidery scissors.”

And if you’ve been reading Needle ‘n Thread a while, you probably gather that I like needlework books, and I’m attracted to good embroidery scissors.

But my Thing about old embroidery threads is slightly different. The fact is, I don’t really like them the same way. I like the idea of them. I like looking at them, examining them, contemplating them.

But I don’t like embroidering with them.

Cleaning Old Embroidery Threads
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