There are a number of reasons thread can break in an embroidery machine, ranging from the age of the thread to the maintenance of the machine. When a thread continues to break during a project it can be exceptionally annoying, so finding and solving the problem early on is essential. The first step in identifying the problem is as simple as trying a different thread, which will allow you to ascertain whether your current thread is of a poor quality/too old, or if there is an issue with how the machine itself is being used. A number of common issues will be discussed in this blog so if your patience is hanging by a thread, we can stop it from breaking.
A high level of upper thread tension or bobbin tension can cause thread breakage. The fix for this problem is loosening the upper tension knob or bobbin. Loosening the thread a great deal to begin with and then testing stitches until you reach the right fit is an effective way of finding the best tension level. This particular problem is another reason why test stitches are so important before tackling a new project.
One of the simplest answers could be that the thread being used is either too old, or it could be of poor quality. Old thread quite often dries out and becomes more fragile. An old thread can be revitalised using thread lubricant, although a simpler answer may be just to replace any thread that begins to become brittle with age. If you have a newer thread that is repeatedly breaking for no apparent reason this may just be a section of the thread that needs to be removed and discarded or the whole thing may need to be replaced. Delicate or weaker thread material is obviously more likely to break than heavier materials, so it is important to test multiple thread cones to differentiate between one bad batch and possibly the wrong choice for the current project.
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It’s important to ensure the needle is installed in the machine correctly as this can cause the thread to break. If an incorrect or damaged needle is being used this could also be at fault. To read a blog outlining which needle to use for which thread/material click HERE. The size of the needle eye can also become a factor, as too small an eye will slice the thread causing frequent thread breakage.
Possibly the most common cause of thread breakage is incorrect threading. Check the path the thread is taking through your machine to ensure that it is not catching on anything, as friction and edges can cause a break.
Inspect your machine for burrs or imperfections on the hook assemble, the needle plate and the thread guide, as thread catching on any of these small knicks will cause tears or breaks. You will be able to find maintenance information in your user guide for whichever brand of embroidery machine you own, and some parts may need to be replaced if damaged beyond functionality.
A thread repeatedly breaking during a project can be a major headache, but it is important to go through and check all possible issues before giving up on the project all together. It is also important to remember that some thread is just difficult to work with and occasional thread breaks will happen.
[…] Sweet Pea Embroidery has a wonderful checklist for when you have thread problems. She has listed the top reasons for thread breakage on an embroidery machine! Even if you aren’t using an embroidery machine, her tips are very helpful when you feel like you’re in the land of splitting threads. […]
Loved this post! This has happened to me more times than I would like to count. May I suggest a sixth possible cause? Make certain that your table that the embroidery machine is sitting on is level. That made a world of difference with one of my machines! I would take my troubled machine into the shop and they would call me a few days later and tell me that the machine worked just fine. Hhhhmmmm, I thought – it had to be me then – I was the problem it kept on shredding and breaking thread. Then, my brilliant husband, said,”let me try it” – he moved the machine to his work room – and it worked great! He announced that the problem must be my table. Who would have thought? He leveled my work table and I have been sewing up a storm!! Oh, yes, once in a while, my thread shreds and breaks – but, it is usually the needle needing to be replaced!