Sewing thread from plastic bottles!

It was inevitable. We have clothing made from recycled plastic bottles, why not thread? Leave it to thread maker Gütermann to come up with technology for a stronger, more environmentally friendly thread. I enjoyed breakfast with the woman, Phyllis Dobbs, who was “manning” the booth at the Houston Quilt Market last week where this idea was launched. I’m going to keep a close eye on my local fabric shops so I can start using it. One bottle produces 10 spools of thread.

Here’s the scoop: no flying fibres when machine sewing, no thread twisting, it’s tear and abrasion resistant, non-fade and colorfast, and washable up to 95 degrees. I’m in! We all know how destructive tossed plastic bottles have become. Another good reason to recycle.

Leave a comment 8 Comments

  1. Judy Moore says:

    Good morning, Mary Jane, I met you at quit market and you so graciously posed for a photo with me and one with good friend Kristie in front of your charming Glamper. How I do want one, in pink, pulled along behind my cute little PT Woodie! Don’t know if Woodie has the horsepower to do so for a long haul, but it certainly is something I want to do. Also, I am mama hen of the Rabbit Hutch Chapter in Rogers, Arkansas. We are new, growing, and glowing! You mentioned that you had some things you could send our chapter that we might enjoy. Our members would be thrilled! I have your new Glamping book on my list to Santa. I am 69, live alone, and truly hope there is a Santa out there somewhere…he doesn’t even have to have a beard.

    Glad to see that our industry is taking recycling as seriously as we take up-cycling. The new thread you mentioned is certainly a viable alternative for specific and variable uses. I personally prefer Presencia Threads for quiltmaking, garments, and most home dec and stitching on cottons. I represented them at quilt market and have used them since my first of five books was published in 2001. They are a long-staple 100% Egyptian cotton, virtually lint free in your sewing machine, all 40, 50, and 60 weights are 3-ply. Other cotton thread companies have cut back to 2-ply for their 50 and 60 wt. threads, so Presencia Threads are fine and strong. This is truly not meant as a commercial, but is information that is good for those who prefer a natural product in their sewing. I certainly can see many uses for the new Gutermann threads, and appreciate your information. I will check with Colonial Needle Company and see if we can’t get you some samples of Presencia.

    Hope your time at Houston was most successful and great fun. You touch the lives of so many women in so many gracious and positive ways.

    Happy glamping,
    Judy Moore

    • MaryJane says:

      Hello Judy!!! I was hoping I’d hear from you. Send your address to me at and I’ll round up some fun stuff for your chapter. How many members? And yes, I’d love to get thread samples if you have some. New, growing, and glowing INDEED! Yes, Quilters were the original up-cyclers. Much love, MaryJane

  2. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Wow! I love the idea of recycling bottles into thread. I use Gutterman thread now & will look for this new thread in our area. Thanks for the information. 🙂

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What great news this is!! All of the gazillion water bottles that circle the earth can now have a better ending for humanity. I sounds like a solution to what to do with the plastic as well as a thread worthy of increasing the life of a garment too. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. jean says:

    I’ll have to check that out. Sounds like a great idea. I know they made carpeting out of the same materials. Makes sense to me.

  5. In addition to manning (wo-manning) the Gutermann booth at Quilt Market, I have also been sewing with these threads and love how they sew! They are fabulous with no breakage, fuzz, etc. I’m also delighted at the use of water bottles that would liter our country, if not re-cycled. Its amazing just to know that something so beautiful can come from a piece of plastic trash.

    I so enjoyed meeting you and our breakfast!

  6. Angie Robertson-Brown says:

    I’m going to look up this product too, can’t wait to see if it is a good thread. Have used that particular brand of threads for many years.

  7. Krista says:

    I love the idea of recycling old water bottles into thread. We can protect the world and in return make beautiful things. I will keep this product brand in mind next time I buy thread.

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