How to Tell if Your Thread is Expired

Did you know that thread can go bad? It’s true. After some time, thread begins to take on certain attributes that lower the quality of your sewing project results. How can you tell if thread is expired? Continue reading to learn the signs.

Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077

Top 3 Signs of Bad Thread

Before you throw out any spools of thread, be sure you know which signs to look for that tell you they have lost quality or integrity. The top three signs to look for are dust, light, and humidity.


When dust has settled on a surface, you know right away that it has been some time since it was cleaned. Well, the same circumstance can indicate the quality of a spool of thread. If a spool is particularly dusty, it is likely that the dust has settled deep into the fibers of the thread. As a result, sewing projects can suffer. Furthermore, it can damage your sewing machine since dust gets pulled directly into the tension discs. This will cause the discs to experience negative friction, which will immediately stop your sewing machine from working.


When you open a brand new spool of thread, it is bright and lustrous. But overtime, the dyes within the textiles will slowly evaporate, resulting in faded thread. Thread will fade faster if stored in an area with high light exposure, whether artificial or natural. Light fades thread, but so does time, so theses are two factors to consider when assessing the overall quality of your spools. If you use faded thread in your sewing projects, you can expect a lack-luster finish. Of course, if this is the artistic intention, then faded thread is a good thing! Just keep in mind that thread that has faded from age can also be weaker, which can cause structural integrity problems with your final sewing products.


Humidity, both in excess or lack-there-of, can negatively affect the quality and performance of thread. In areas where the climate is very dry, spools can turn brittle, which creates additional structural issues for a sewing project. In areas where the climate is very humid, spools can actually become sticky, or even develop mold. For these reasons, it is important to store your thread properly if you want to extend their lifespan. If you have humidity control issues in your home or office, you can consider a humidifier, which can help with your indoor air quality.

Professional Alterations and Clothing Repair in Indianapolis

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We offer clothing repair and custom tailoring services for men, women, children, and even home décor. We offer rush alteration and express tailoring services for emergency tailoring or clothing repair needs, and can even provide same-day alterations, while-you-wait tailoring services, free consults, and so much more! Get started with a free quote, today.

Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077