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Sustainable sewing-is recycled thread the future?

Posted on January 24 2020

Sustainable sewing-is recycled thread the future?

If there was one product you could switch out from your sewing tool box to a more sustainable version, would you do it?
This is something I asked myself when I read about the recycled thread range
rPet from Guterman.
As a professional Costumier, I always use 
Guterman threads, because I know they perform well across the wide range of unusual fabrics I come across. For me performance is key, and so before making a switch to the recycled threads, I needed to test them to see how they compare. 

 

Over the last month I’ve used this recycled polyester across a range of projects with lots of different fabric types. The rPet range consists of sew all threads for machine sewing, and a top stitch thread. I use top-stitch for hand sewing which is a good benchmark for testing performance. There are many threads that just don’t cut it when hand-sewing, so I was really curious to see how the thread compared. 

 

Experiment 1- Cotton 

A simple tote bag from some gorgeous striped Guterman fabric. Thread performed really well with no difference from the regular sew all. Cotton is however the most forgiving of all fabric, and even a poor quality polyester often sews up well so further experimentation was definitely required 

 

 

Experiment 2- Waxed oilcloth 

One of my Christmas presents was this wash bag in Millerain wax cloth. This cloth is treated with oil, and can be tricky to sew with. Again thread performed very well, with no difference. Since this is a robust fabric despite the oil, further testing on trickier fabric was needed. 

 

 

 

 

Experiment 3- Jersey 

 

Another recent gift was a waterfall cardigan in a gorgeous teal Ponte Roma, since this has a little lycra I thought it would be a good challenge for the rPet thread. Again, no difference! 

 

 

 

Experiment 4- Silk 

 

My final machine experiment was sewing up a silk satin pyjama shirt. It wasn’t the best quality silk, so this was a good challenge for the thread, but again the thread performed well 

Hand sewing 

 

Since I hand sew a lot, I’m very particular about my threads! I tested the top-stitch on button and hems, and enjoyed using the rPet version just as much as the regular thread.  

 

 

So in conclusion I am totally going to swap my threads over to the recycled rPet version. Still need convincing? Here’s some hard fact and figures 

  • One plastic bottle makes 1000 m of thread- that’s one bottle out of the ocean or landfill 

  • The cost of these threads is THE SAME as the regular version - currently £1.49 at Jaycotts for a single 100m reel

As a heavy thread user, it makes no sense for me not to use the recycled product. At the moment the colour range is only 40, but as more people take up using this product, then the range will expand. This one little switch really could help reduce plastic waste.

View the Gutermann rPet recycled range  here :