Thread breakage is a common issue……..not a problem……..issues have solutions! I am asked very frequently : ” what is wrong……my thread keeps breaking?” I thought it would be a good to offer a trouble shooting CHECK LIST to help you deal with this issue if/when it arises.
- What thread are you using? Is it good quality or bargain basement? It is very important to always use a reputable brand of thread as well as a thread appropriate to the application: for example it would not be a good idea to use a rayon thread to sew the seams on a pair of denims. Rayon thread is a lovely embellishment thread with a great lustre but it is not strong enough for a seam. First thing to check is: is the thread the right one to use? Is the quality good? Poor quality thread will often let you down and cause frustration.
- What needle are you using? Needle choice is very important. We should always be choosing the correct needle appropriate for the fabric and thread for that project. For example: if your thread keeps shredding, check if the eye of the needle is perhaps too small & is therefore rubbing against the thread causing it to shred OR is the fabric super thick or tightly woven? Or is the thread too fine & delicate for the task you are putting it through? All these issues have a distinct bearing on successful sewing. Please do consider our JANOME PURPLE TIP NEEDLES – see the link to previous blog posts about these needles. They prevent skipping and other issues with thread and sewing.
- Choosing the correct stitch program for a project can be key: if you are getting very frustrated with constantly breaking metallic thread when you are trying some elaborate or tight decorative stitch like a satin stitch, you might like to reconsider either the type of thread you are using or switch to a more open & less tight stitch which would, in all likelihood, work much better!
Sometimes the aggravation can be self-induced as we are simply being far too ambitious expecting our delicate threads to perform tasks much better suited to a thicker or stronger thread!
- Check that the threading in ALL thread guides is correct. It only takes one missed thread guide for things to start going wrong. Often all that is required is a simple re-threading of the needle thread and bobbin area. We sometimes think we have done it correctly, but in our haste or familiarity, we might have missed one guide. I do this more frequently than I would like as I switch thread types & colours so often. So my go-to checklist has re-threading at the top of my list. Simple but effective.
- Now none of us (maybe some?) like housekeeping. I tend to ignore those dust bunnies under my lounge sofa for as long as I dare, but eventually I have to get my broom or vacuum cleaner out! So it is with housekeeping on our machines. If we neglect to clean the lint build-up on our needle shaft, in the tension area and in the bobbin area, we will eventually run into trouble. Perhaps I should have drawn a comparison to keeping my car clean: water in my radiator? oil topped up? battery OK? etc – you get the picture. Do yourself a favour and regularly practice a bit of simple cleaning of your machine. Excessive lint & fluff build -up including bits of broken thread – can definitely lead to thread breakage issues. Ask your local Janome dealer to advise you where & when to put oil in your machine – VERY important. AND, of course, make sure you have your sewing machine regularly serviced by an authorized Janome dealer/technician. I would NEVER dream of driving my car for 8 years without taking it in for a regular lube & tune-up. So it is with your sewing machine. Simple preventative maintenance.
- Needle plate & bobbin case: Sometimes we can damage our needle plate and/or bobbin case when we get a nasty jam-up and don’t stop sewing immediately. The needle can strike the plate and/or bobbin case, break & cause a little nick. When the stitch is being formed, if the thread catches on this little ding or nick, it can result in shredding and thread breakage. If you are not sure what to look for or don’t see anything “suspicious”, I would recommend you ask your local JANOME dealer to look at your machine.
- Thread delivery – this is a BIGGIE! What I refer to here is the manner in which thread is delivered to the machine – specifically the tension discs. If you are using the incorrect spool cap; OR the thread gets caught up on the end of the spool or gets all “kinked” up, there are bound to be issues with breaking thread. Not all spools are the same size, nor are they all wound in the same way, so we would expect there to be a few hiccups along the way. Fortunately, we have an ideal solution: where possible we highly recommend you purchase and screw a JANOME SPOOL STAND into the back of your machine. Ask your local JANOME dealer about the correct one for your JANOME machine model. Some of our models have the spool stand which fits onto the carry handle. Either way, they all have a tall telescoping antenna which takes the thread from the spool up & then brings it back down to the machine, through a thread guide & then horizontally to the left & into the threading system of the machine. I CANNOT STRESS ENOUH HOW WELL THIS WORKS. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU ENSURE YOU HAVE GOOD THREAD DELIVERY. I have tested machines which have been sent in to us for thread breakage issues. MOST of the times, poor thread delivery is the culprit. That high antenna gives the thread a chance to “unkink”, has a smooth spooling off the spool no matter what type of spool; and by the time the thread reaches the tension discs, it is tamed and behaving like a good child! Try our JANOME SPOOL STAND(S) and you will be beyond pleased with the results for this and other reasons.
So………check list done…..now I can sew knowing I am going to have a fun, happy sewing experience rather than a frustrating one. And we all want that, right?