Thread - A Needle’s Best Friend
I wrote (July, 2012) praises for the needle!! Today I look at the needle’s essential companion, THREAD. Callaway Textile Dictionary defines thread as “a fine cotton, wool, flax etc., spun to considerable length…Applied also to a similar product from glass, asbestos, a ductile metal etc. … Such a cord composed of two or more yarns twisted together and finished (mercerized) …Used chiefly in sewing.”
So you see, there are many, many types of threads from various fibers, in various weights ( called size, the higher the number, the finer the thread).
Early women’s magazines featured advertisements for spools and clothing manufacturers could order from sample books from thread companies.
Today, one can find spools of thread in hundreds of colors and manufactured for specific sewing requirements, whether hand sewing, machine work or embellishing.
Early sewing required the lengths of threads to be wound around a device called, appropriately, a thread winder to keep the strands from tangling. These implements ranged from very simple to elaborate ones made of mother-of-pearl or ivory.
Modern thread spools are usually plastic, although there are still wooden or glass spools to be found in shops with vintage items or in sewing baskets with other accessories. One caution, be sure to test the thread strength of old spools because the tensile strength can be compromised due to exposure to heat or simply, age.