What to do with Thrums

We all hate to waste an inch of our thread even though most of us have enough to last for 3 lifetimes. Here are some tips garnered from the internet on what to do with thrums.

  • use weft thrums (wound onto paper quills or plastic drinking straws) in subsequent work. When weaving a piece with a lot of colors or textures ply them with other yarns
  • use cotton thrums in the smoker — a device to produce smoke which calms bees
  • use for knotted pile handbags, hats, mobile phone bags, etc
  • use only 100% cotton, 100% linen or 100% wool thrums to leave out for birds — preferably chopped finely. Silk is a monofilament and is dangerous to birds, as are most synthetics
  • put wool thrums onto the compost heap. It rots down nicely and then feeds the garden
  • give long cotton and silk thrums to students to try as weft
  • keep the amount of warp waste at an acceptable level by winding very long warps suitable for multiple projects. 24″ on a 5 yd warp is a lot more than 24″ on a 30 yd warp
  • another alternative is a dummy warp, so you can weave to the bitter end of your good yarn, leaving thrums that are waste yarn to begin with
  • plan fringed ends where the waste occurs
  • use warp waste as choke ties on long warps and as binding string for household uses
  • if you’ve got wool thrums and you know how to do nålbinding, you’ve got the best of all worlds!
  • save thrums for crafters and stampers to use in projects
  • save all such bits of things for, kindergartens, schools, day care places and others doing different kinds of fibre art
  • on page 140 of The Magic of Handweaving by Sigrid Piroch is the Caterpillar Bench Mat which has been designed to use up weftovers. The warp is 4 yards of various yarns, sleyed 8 in one dent, skip 6 dents, 8 in one dent. Each of the 8 is then sleyed in it’s own heddle. After plain weaving this warp, you leave a skeleton tie-up and cut the warp to create chenille. You then warp on, again using misc. yarns, and use your newly created chenille as the weft
  • thrum pot holders in Sept/Oct Handwoven — a fun project
  • toss them. Calculate the waste into the required yarn for that warp as part of the cost of the items produced
  • double corduroy is a way to utilise thrums
  • rya weaving also incorporates thrums
  • donate cotton or silk thrums to papermakers
  • donate to felters, embroiderers, surface design classes, doll makers, book artists and fly tiers
  • just tie them together and either knit with them for a very interesting scarf weave them as weft, knots and all which makes very interesting throws
  • at least one witch and one vamp strolled around my neighbourhood last October with thrummy hair… even if they (the thrums, that is) ended up in the garbage, there was at least one recycling!

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