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Thread breaking insanity!

Posted by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:47 AM
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I'm going to go nuts! I have my grandmother's 1950s Singer Slant Needle Rocketeer, and my mom's 1960s Singer (name slipped my mind) that both work beautifully, other than the fact that the thread is constantly breaking in both of them! I can't figure it out and have already checked everything I can think of.
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by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:47 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Ellen.Keith
by Group Admin on Nov. 19, 2012 at 7:35 AM

How old is the thread?  

MyGiftsFromGod
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM
I don't think it's old. I could be wrong. How old is too old? How do I know that if I buy new thread it hasn't been sitting on the shelf for too long at the store? I am going to go buy some today and try that. If it doesn't work and I'm still breaking thread, you can find me at the insane asylum.
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Ellen.Keith
by Group Admin on Nov. 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM
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To be honest I am not to sure but since both of your machines are doing it I would look at it. Usually for me when my thread is breaking it had something to do with my two year old messing with my tension dial. I also change out needles incase it has a burr that is messing up the thread.

I hope you can find out what is causing it.
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xtwistedxlovex
by Jenny on Nov. 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM


Quoting MyGiftsFromGod:

I don't think it's old. I could be wrong. How old is too old? How do I know that if I buy new thread it hasn't been sitting on the shelf for too long at the store? I am going to go buy some today and try that. If it doesn't work and I'm still breaking thread, you can find me at the insane asylum.

Be sure it's a good quality thread (cheap stuff will break easier and leave crazy lint buildup) as well as matching the thread to the needle. You should not use a heavy-duty thread in a tiny needle (it will not fit through the eye properly, so it will fray and break) nor should you probably use a super-fine thread in a large needle.

Also, be sure the machines are clean and well-oiled and the bobbins are wound properly. And check the tension too.

MyGiftsFromGod
by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 4:50 PM
Tension looks fine. Every time I try to loosen it to see if that helps, stitching is obviously too loose, and still breaking thread. I swear I have looked everywhere possible for barbs snagging on both machines. I have changed needles several times, and bobbins look normal as far as I can tell from my experience (though I'm no expert and don't sew consistently). I took the throat plate off to see if it was catching down there somewhere because it seems to suddenly get really thin before snapping, not gradually, and I think it happens when the needle goes down into the throat plate, not when it's above. It looks like the needle goes so close to the feed dog and I am going to try the center needle position to see if keeping it from that helps. Isn't right needle position standard? I will definitely try to avoid cheap thread. Is there a type Walmart sells that isn't cheap? Because I really don't have time to drive to the sewing stores today. I know I've never been good about knowing what needles or presser feet to use and when, but I guess now is a good time to figure that out. Thank you all for your suggestions. You've given me motivation to keep trying instead of giving up, and I really need to sew more diapers and lots of other things too.
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xtwistedxlovex
by Jenny on Nov. 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Just a thought - another possibility, though this would not occur below the plate, is that the tension is being thrown off in the process of threading. It's essential to lift the presser foot when threading the upper portion of the machine. It opens up the tension plates so the thread can settle properly between them.

Dual Duty XP is a little on the fuzzy side, but a pretty good thread. I'm fairly certain Walmart carries it. Of my 3 machines, two are center-position (but do a left offset that works fine) and the third is set to the left. None of them have problems with rubbing; I think any zigzag-capable machine should be designed so that the needle won't rub in any position.

It might help to know more - where exactly is the thread breaking? Before passing through the needle? After? It is the upper thread rather than the bobbin thread that's breaking, right?

perfect01
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

I've been sewing for years and just a few years ago found out some really good info about thread breaking.  When you said that it seems to get really thin just before breaking I believe is a solid clue about what is going on.  Can you tell me what you are sewing?  is it always the same thing or are you sewing different weights of fabric and different thicknesses?  The reason I ask is this - If you are sewing a heavy duty area (like a lot of our diaper sewing is), the needle needs to be at least a 14 and it will be better if it is a 16.  The reason is that the thread rides in the little groove at the side or back of your needle and if it is too small for the type of thread and weight of the fabric, it will actually shred the thread twists, getting thinner and thinner until it breaks.  Almost always if it is the thread getting thinner and thinner, it is a matter of too small a needle for the fabric weight and the thread weight.  Also, something that helps me is to use a ball point sewing needle because it pushes the fibers apart on the fabric you are sewing instead of cutting a hole in the fabric like a "sharp" style needle does.  If you are sewing denim, PUL for diapers, diaper inserts from many layers of fabric, etc. go to a size 16 needle and a size 40 or 50 weight thread.  I think Walmart actually carries the Coats and Clark cotton thread for quilting, but if you are sewing diapers you want to get a 100% polyester thread to prevent wicking and to increase its strength.  Hope this helps.  Also, you might google the Bernina or Huskvarna sites or any of those, (maybe even the Singer one) for helpful tutorials and videos about the type of problem you are having.

MyGiftsFromGod
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 2:41 PM
I always lift the pressed foot, not sure exactly where it is happening because it's hard for me to watch for it while in the middle of sewing, and yes, it is upper thread that is breaking. Bobbin thread is perfectly fine. I was thinking that a zigzag machine would also make sure that it wasn't rubbing wrong too. Thank you! Taking a break from looking at it until after this weekend. I'll let you know what happens with new thread. Happy Thanksgiving!

Quoting xtwistedxlovex:

Just a thought - another possibility, though this would not occur below the plate, is that the
tension is being thrown off in the process of threading. It's essential
to lift the presser foot when threading the upper portion of the
machine. It opens up the tension plates so the thread can settle
properly between them.

Dual Duty XP is a little on the fuzzy side, but a pretty good thread. I'm fairly certain Walmart carries it. Of my 3 machines, two are center-position (but do a left offset that works fine) and the third is set to the left. None of them have problems with rubbing; I think any zigzag-capable machine should be designed so that the needle won't rub in any position.

It might help to know more - where exactly is the thread breaking? Before passing through the needle? After? It is the upper thread rather than the bobbin thread that's breaking, right?



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MyGiftsFromGod
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM
Thank you for all of that! I will hopefully get back to it after the Thanksgiving weekend and let you know, and will look into all of your suggestions! Have a great Thanksgiving.


Quoting perfect01:

I've been sewing for years and just a few years ago found out some really good info about thread breaking.  When you said that it seems to get really thin just before breaking I believe is a solid clue about what is going on.  Can you tell me what you are sewing?  is it always the same thing or are you sewing different weights of fabric and different thicknesses?  The reason I ask is this - If you are sewing a heavy duty area (like a lot of our diaper sewing is), the needle needs to be at least a 14 and it will be better if it is a 16.  The reason is that the thread rides in the little groove at the side or back of your needle and if it is too small for the type of thread and weight of the fabric, it will actually shred the thread twists, getting thinner and thinner until it breaks.  Almost always if it is the thread getting thinner and thinner, it is a matter of too small a needle for the fabric weight and the thread weight.  Also, something that helps me is to use a ball point sewing needle because it pushes the fibers apart on the fabric you are sewing instead of cutting a hole in the fabric like a "sharp" style needle does.  If you are sewing denim, PUL for diapers, diaper inserts from many layers of fabric, etc. go to a size 16 needle and a size 40 or 50 weight thread.  I think Walmart actually carries the Coats and Clark cotton thread for quilting, but if you are sewing diapers you want to get a 100% polyester thread to prevent wicking and to increase its strength.  Hope this helps.  Also, you might google the Bernina or Huskvarna sites or any of those, (maybe even the Singer one) for helpful tutorials and videos about the type of problem you are having.


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perfect01
by on Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:41 AM
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