Author Topic: Storing Elastic?  (Read 2215 times)

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Storing Elastic?
« 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)

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Storing Elastic?
« Reply #1 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

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: Storing Elastic?
« Reply #2 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

So vacuum sealed & stored in a dark place would at least help. 

nkawtg

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Re: Storing Elastic?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2014, 10:17:39 AM »
A cool dark place