Stash Inheritance

Since a lot of my friends and family know that I am an avid stitcher, I tend to get quite a lot of miscellaneous stash handed down to me, with people saying ‘oh, my Nan/Aunt/Sister/Whoever doesn’t sew any more, can you use this?’ The answer is always a resounding ‘YES!’ because who in their right mind would say no to freebies?

A week ago, I acquired the mother-lode of stranded cotton stash:

Hundreds upon hundreds of colours!

Hundreds upon hundreds of colours!

Naturally, being a total neat freak and spreadsheet junkie, I immediately set about sorting, cleaning, de-tangling and organising. Look at how pretty they look all tidy and on bobbins!

The DMC threads sorted on bobbins

The DMC threads sorted on bobbins

However, I really started to struggle after I had separated out all of the modern threads. I was left with some Anchor / Clark and Co. threads that didn’t correspond to any numbered list I could find, even after hours scouring the internet for some sort of conversion list. They look like this –

Old Anchor threads - closeup

Old Anchor threads – closeup

In the end, I took a long shot and emailed Coats Crafts, who now own and make Anchor threads, seeking advice directly from the source. Amazingly, I received a response in less than 24 hours including a PDF converting all the old Anchor thread numbers into the new ones, which I shall include here, because I was totally unable to find it anywhere else online: Anchor Stranded Cotton numbers Old To New. I was so pleased with how helpful they were. They also included information on how to make these old threads colour safe for washing. and advice about their care.

I had run out of bobbins and boxes on the other major brands of thread by this point, but eager to complete my new filing and storage system, I grabbed some cigarette card holders from Robin Hood Direct on Amazon and filled a binder with the old Anchor threads, like so:

Sorted in binder

Binder filled with sorted threads in colour number order

Alongside this, I have completed a spreadsheet detailing what threads of each brand I have, how they correspond to each other, and in what box or binder they are each stored – because I am a massive nerd, apparently! I totally love how the binder looks, all filled with bright colours, and it really helps keep the threads clean and tidy, which is especially important given their age. I now want to transfer all my collection into binders, because it looks great and takes up so little space compared to the enormous bobbin boxes, which I now have 7 of!