The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Homesteading and Self Reliant Living => Needles & Strings => Topic started by: Frugal Upstate on January 10, 2014, 08:25:35 AM

Title: Storing Elastic?
Post by: Frugal Upstate on January 10, 2014, 08:25:35 AM
One of the things I've been doing for the last few months is stocking up on my sewing supplies, on the theory that having the ability to sew, mend and alter clothing during a medium to long term event would be useful.  My sticking point is elastic--while I know it will store quite a while, I also have purchased enough older clothing at thrift stores and even mixed bags of old sewing supplies to know that elastic degrades far more quickly than fabric, thread etc. 

Does anyone have any information on longer term storage of elastic?  My Google-fu is usually pretty good, but I haven't come up with much on this one.  Will excluding air and/or light increase the lifespan?  What is it that actually causes it to break down?

(ps--yes, I know that in a true emergency one could always just revert to drawstrings etc--but there is a reason elastic is so ubiquitous in our lives--it's just easier & more comfortable on many things, like underwear)
Title: Re: Storing Elastic?
Post by: AvenueQ on January 10, 2014, 08:54:36 AM
Elastic is a polymer, which just means that it is a long chain of smaller, identical molecules. Most plastics are polymers. My Google-fu has turned up the following results for polymers:

-Keep at consistent room temperature
-Reduce exposure to light and oxygen

And, obviously with elastic, keep it stored without tension. If you really want to dive in, here's the Wikipedia article about polymer degradation (it's pretty technical, my materials engineer boyfriend would probably be able to understand it): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer_degradation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer_degradation)
Title: Re: Storing Elastic?
Post by: Frugal Upstate on January 10, 2014, 09:54:01 AM
Elastic is a polymer, which just means that it is a long chain of smaller, identical molecules. Most plastics are polymers. My Google-fu has turned up the following results for polymers:

-Keep at consistent room temperature
-Reduce exposure to light and oxygen

And, obviously with elastic, keep it stored without tension. If you really want to dive in, here's the Wikipedia article about polymer degradation (it's pretty technical, my materials engineer boyfriend would probably be able to understand it): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer_degradation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer_degradation)

So vacuum sealed & stored in a dark place would at least help. 
Title: Re: Storing Elastic?
Post by: nkawtg on January 10, 2014, 10:17:39 AM
A cool dark place