General Rule In Case Of Any Problem
- Make sure that your machine's embroidery arm can move to all directions, and nothing is disturbing it.
- Re-thread both top & bobbin thread.
Top Thread Breaking
- Try to re-thread your machine. While re-threading, make sure you hold the thread very tight and it doesn't have the slightest chance to loop anywhere. Then, BEFORE you start stitching:
- Make sure that your thread cone doesn't slide off the spool pin if the holder is horizontal.
In case it has tendency to slide off - secure it using spool holders (little plastic caps) that
come with your machine.
- Make sure that the thread ABSOLUTELY CAN'T wrap or catch around thread holder.
If your thread will wrap around it at some point - it will DEFINITELY break.
- Make sure that the thread doesn't catch on the spool edge. This problem always pops up when using small "mushroom" type thread spools (the 275-yard ones usually). What happens is that after unwinding normally for a little while, the "mushroom" edge starts preventing the thread from unwinding well any further. Naturally, the thread breaks. That's why so many embroiderers HATE
small spools. And for a good reason.
There are 2 optional solutions to this problem:
In case your machine doesn't have a vertical spool pin and you don't own thread stand either - consider getting a kit with normal thread cones. Because these stands cost $50 - $100, and for this money you may get a lot of really good thread cones.
- Avoid using small "mushroom" type spools. Whenever you can, purchase the good size,
economical 1100-yard cones. They never have these annoying "mushroom" edges.
- If you already have some small spools and are determined to use them - try using vertical
spool pin, and loosen top thread tension a little. You may also use separate vertical thread
stand, if you have one. It may help your thread to feed up well, and avoid it's friction with
plastic spool edge.
- Be sure your needle is appropriate for machine embroidery. For regular 40wt rayon and poly thread 80/12 needles usually work great. Yet, if you're using metallic or thick cotton - try using
metallic needles. They have larger eyes, often coated with Teflon, to help thick thread move smoother.
- Take thread end into your hands. Unwind a couple of meters and feel the thread between your fingers. It should be smooth, even and without knots. If it's not the case - try to unwind several more meters. It may be damaged only in a certain place on spool. If it's still inferior after you unwind several good meters - put that spool aside and take another one.
- If none of the above helps, and you're SURE that the thread isn't catching anywhere - try to lower top thread tension. Your machine's manual will show you how.
Bobbin Thread Breaking
- Take the bobbin out. Clean bobbin case. Insert the bobbin again and re-thread.
- If re-threading doesn't help - try to take a new bobbin.
Must say that our suffering with bobbin thread breakage ended happily the moment we started using pre-wound bobbins.
Apparently, factory made bobbins are winded much better than home made ones.
At least this is correct for several popular machines like Husqvarna Designer series & Brother ULTs. We suspect that this should be similar with other machines, too.
Anyway, we've come to conclusion that it's better, cheaper and a lot more pleasant to use quality pre-wounds than to wind bobbins. We're huge fans of plastic sided bobbins, and sideless also work very well.