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November 18, 2017, 10:08:38 PM
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Mojo
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« : July 06, 2017, 07:53:00 AM »

I am one of those people who is constantly seeking new information, techniques, latest fabric weaves, fabric finishes, etc. I am blessed to have several experts from manufacturers to suppliers that I consult with on a monthly basis. I do phone calls with them monthly to keep me up to date on quality problems some mills are having, changes in thread as well as educational tid bits and new techniques.

During a recent conversation I learned that polyester thread actually has a shelf life. I do not know if any of you knew this but I sure didn't. I had never read about this anywhere. When we got our serger I called our Thread consultant and he said to use Poly thread but to buy only what we needed for a 6 month production run. When I asked him why he said " because of the shelf life ". Apparently they have run tests on Poly thread lots of varying ages and found that poly thread degrades after a period of time. In some cases the thread looses considerable strength, even stored inside plastic bags. I believe he indicated that thread that is 2 years old or more has degraded significantly.

Our thread expert does a lot of testing for manufacturers and he was telling me about a test they are currently running on landfill enclosures which require size 400 thread. Hell I never knew they made thread that big and what kind of machine could sew it ? While I have no desire whatsoever to start a pit sewing operation I find this kind of large scale industrial sewing really fascinating. I cannot even imagine maneuvering that much fabric. The weight alone would require fork trucks or other machines not to mention one massive building and pit operation to sew it in.

So there you have it. Poly thread has a shelf life. Why didn't any of you ever tell me that ?  I am going to blame my Texan buddy Dennis for that one. :)

Chris
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #1 : July 06, 2017, 08:23:26 AM »

Shelf life isn't that big a problem in the furniture biz. Even thread that has degraded "on the shelf" will still last many, many years on an indoor sofa. Probably longer than the the fabric it's sewn to.

I buy a lot of close-out thread specials on ebay. I'm sure that they're on sale because they're "old stock".

It's strange that poly thread would degrade on the shelf so quickly, yet it seems to last for many years in active outdoor service.

So there you have it. Poly thread has a shelf life. Why didn't any of you ever tell me that ?  I am going to blame my Texan buddy Dennis for that one.
That's classified info. If I told you, I'd have to kill you.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
SteveA
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« #2 : July 06, 2017, 10:32:23 AM »

I pick up thread at estate sales - the first thing I do is try to break it.  If it breaks easily no sale
SA
Mojo
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« #3 : July 06, 2017, 01:16:58 PM »

I do not think I would worry either on indoor applications. Outdoor though ? Different story. The UV rays eat up poly thread like no tomorrow. This is why our sales volume is huge for Texas, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. Washington State is also a big territory for us due to the thread rotting out from mold/mildew.

The way my week is going Dennis, I may take you up on your invitation to shoot me. :)

Chris
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #4 : July 06, 2017, 02:27:46 PM »

I do try to buy fresh poly thread for outdoor cushions. But really have no way of knowing if my supplier is selling old stock or not.

Same with fabric. I probably don't want to know how long some of it has been laying around a supply house.

Customers that furnish their own fabric that they bought online or from a discount retail store are probably buying old stock as well.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
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