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confessions of a thread licker

thread licking self portrait

You guys. I lick my thread and embroidery floss.

I mean, not like, just for fun. I promise I only lick it to thread my needles.

Yes, I know I could use a needle threader. I even made my own!

And yes, children do get grossed out if you do this when you help them get started with their own embroidery.

Yes, there are other ways to do this. (I'm amused by this "manly" site!)

And really, yes I do know that supposedly it can cause your needle eye to rust.

I just don't see me changing any time soon.

How about you? Are you a thread licker?

49 comments:

  1. Hello, my name is Irina and I'm a thread licker.

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  2. Yup I do this! I also run the thread through my mouth to separate it, which is apparently what Jenny from Sublime Stitching does, so I don't feel as bad! :P

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  3. yup. me too. sigh.

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  4. Me too! *whew* Glad I got that off my chest! ;o)

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  5. really, is there any other way ;)

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  6. I honestly thought everyone did it!

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  7. Totally a thread "licker"

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  8. Definitely a thread licker...which can be a problem 'cause I'm usually drinking coffee while stitching ;P

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  9. ....is there another way to thread a needle??

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  10. Shauna8:53 AM

    I'm a licker too. Should we start Thread Lickers Anonymous??? Do we need a 12 step program? :)

    I love your needle threader! Somehow I missed that tutorial... I will be making one of these soon! :)

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:14 AM

      Someone should start a blog named Thread Lickers Anonymous.. hehehe

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  11. Surely everyone does this? :-)

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  12. Anonymous9:14 AM

    I learned to embroider in 4th grade. The teacher taught us (boys too, though no boys finished, it was too "girly") with a needle threader. It was one of the floppy-ish foil ones that have the head on them. The teacher however hot glued a flat button (slightly larger than the threader) on both sides of the foil, so that it would last a bit longer in the hands of 4th graders. Even though I learned with a threader I still do lick my threads. I think those who do not are those who use silk or other unwashable materials, or are just germ-a-phobes. In my opinion, if it is washable, I am okay with that since it takes less time than grabbing your threader and all of that. So when is the Thread Lickers Anonymous meeting?

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  13. lol, yes I lick my threads to thread a needle, and when knotting the end of my threads. I tell non-quilters that it takes a lot of spit to make a quilt :)

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  14. What I chiefly need is a minion ready to thread needles and bury ends and other boring jobs. The minion could also untangle threads and yarns and keep the craft room organized. But I couldn't stop at one minion, and they're too cute so I'd never get anything done.

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  15. My mom taught me and she licked the thread. I have always done it that way and was all shocked to learn it was seen as a bad habit. But, I swear I have never had a needle rust.
    I also use knots even when I am not supposed to!

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    1. Anonymous10:06 AM

      Same here, no one ever informed me that it would rust needles and knots were forbidden.... In my opinion, once a hobby gets too fussy, which varies by individual, it is no longer a hobby, it becomes work that we are not paid for, so I don't worry about it. :-)

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    2. You stole my post!! My feelings exactly!!!

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  16. I lick. I always think if a needle actually rusts, it's probably time for a new needle anyway, right? :)

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  17. The only time I lick my thread is if I have stitched too far and have to unthread to knot or bury. I recently got one of those thread hooks so my licking is now almost zero. My Go-To method for threading an embroidery needle is to make a tight little loop. It slips through the hole like a breeze. I am amazed that I have never read this tip on line. It is so much better than licking. There is no drag or yuck factor. I have posted a tutorial on my blog.

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  18. Yes. Every time.

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  19. Oh yes I'm a thread licker! I do it every time!

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  20. I've been a thread licker for 25 years so I guess I always will be.

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  21. I do. It seems I'm in good company :)

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  22. Me too! I also love "The Art of Manliness". I've perfected how to sew a button on thanks to them.

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    1. Anonymous10:20 AM

      I wonder if more men or women visit the Manliness blog. It might not look good for all the men out there with all of the ""machismo"" they claim to have, that more women visit a manliness site. :-)

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  23. Thread licker and habitual needle-threader-misplacer here >_<

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  24. Absolutely a "thread licker". I didn't even realize there was another way until a few years ago. I started sewing when I was 5 years old, not once have I seen a rusted needle, so I think that's bologna! :) So once a "thread licker" always a "thread licker"! Glad to know there are so many like me out there...

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  25. I used to be a thread licker. But then I found a gizmo at a craft store of a little wet sponge in a tiny plastic container. It works even better for wetting the thread! I highly recommend this alternative.

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  26. I read some where years ago to wet the needle and keep the thread dry and the wetness of the needle helps draw the thread in easier... really works, with a difficult thread too.

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    1. I read that too, fairly recently, and tried it. It did work, but not for the sewing machine needle! I still lick the thread or use a needle threader if that fails. I love the auto threaders on machines!

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  27. I never knew any other way existed! Both Grandmothers were thread lickers too!

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  28. I was a thread licker for 40+ years ... until a few weeks ago. I read an online post about licking the head of the needle and then thread your needle. It has worked everytime for me. I just hope I don't accidentally swallow it. Try it!

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  29. Yes, and I keep a bottle of water next to my coffee cup for just this reason.

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  30. I'm sure it's time to start a thread lickers help group, don't you? And yes, I am also a thread licker!!

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  31. I and my 3 boys lick the thread and I expect my little girl will too when she is old enough to start sewing , the boys got the habit from me and I from my mum . I guess it works so we will all keep on doing it , so glad we are not alone .

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  32. Yep. Also a thread licker. Did it in an embroidery class once, and everyone gasped - I hadn't realised before then that not everybody does it. I threaded my needle much faster than everyone else in the room though *lol*

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  33. I'm a thread licker! No one's ever said anything to me, but I've got my defense ready -- that part of the thread gets thrown away anyway! :>

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  34. Me, too.
    But, I did have to go cold turkey for a while when I was sewing labels onto pieces in a museum collection - no taking chances, since saliva can cause damage to antique textiles.

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    1. I'm a licker too unless I am sewing for my job at a frame shop. I mean, most of the "art" we get are pretty worthless, I still try to make sure I don't leave my DNA behind. I find sometimes just pinching down at the ends, or use distilled water.

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  35. Hello I am Chan, I am a thread licker, I am often tempted to lick my sewing machines thread when I can't thread it.

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  37. Anonymous1:17 PM

    no I do not lick.. I was told that the acid in spit can destroy the integrity of the thread and the material you are sewing into.. never put it to the test ... fold thread between thumb and 1st finger and slide needle down to catch thread... or lick needle... and check the needle is facing the right way up.. yes it has a definite right and wrong side =) enjoy your site

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  38. Anonymous4:19 PM

    Once a thread licker, always a thread licker. And I am one, too! :P (like my licking-the-thread face?!) And..... I don't see any problem with licking your threads to get them through your needles.

    (what else am I supposed to do? Just keep trimming the end of the thread until it goes through the eye of the needle and end up with a thread that is five inches shorter than I intended it to be? LOL)

    I don't care what it does to the needle (it'll most likely get dull or break before it rusts out, anyway). I don't care what it does to the thread (it's never affected my work). I'm a thread licker.

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