Tip & How-To about Sewing Machines

Serger Thread

If you've bought cones of thread on sale only to discover that they break too easily when used for the needle, save them for this. Often thread that is not strong enough for the needle, can use them as "looper threads."

If you serge the edge of fabric prior to washing, then the edges do not fray. This is a great use of those thread cones which break too easily when used for the needle thread.

If you cannot even use them for "looper-thread" then either your looper tension is way too tight, you may have a burr somewhere snagging your thread, or that on-sale thread was not such a deal after all.

N.B.: Never put your hands in any machine with the power cord plugged in. If you are checking for burrs along moving parts along the thread path (with your fingertips) be safe, and unplug it.

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janome j3 20


The top thread breaks
1. the needle thread is not threaded properly
2. The needle thread tension is to tight
3. The needle is bent or blunt
4. The needle is incorrectly inserted
5. The needle thread & the bobbin thread are not set under the presser foot when starting to sew
6. the threads were not drawn to the rear after sewing
7. The thread is either to heavy or to fine for the needle
8. Try a different spool or cone of thread

Mar 01, 2014 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

top thread keeps snapping on consew 230b


Top thread snapping. Do you have an idea of there it is breaking?

First I would check the needle throat plate and needle. If you have stab marks on your needle plate, examine it closely for a crack. (get out the magnifying glass or jewelers loop) I recently fixed a problem I had with an old singer that kept breaking the top thread by replacing the needle plate. The old needle plate was so damaged it had actually made a knife edge which consistently cut the thread right at that location.

Change your needle and make sure it is the proper size for your thread. Too narrow of an eye can shred the thread causing it to break.

Next, check anything along your threading process that could be catching or snagging the thread. A worn or chipped thread guide can be a real problem.

Also make sure your thread hasn't dropped down below your thread cones and wrapped around the thread spindle. This would cause extra tension that might not be readily apparent.

Good luck

Aug 15, 2012 | Consew Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I am having a problem with thread breaking. as it's going threw the needle it starts to back up father up on the thread and then it just keeps getting thinner and thinner until it breaks. It is hard to explain. My thread is not catching on anything it just keeps unravaling.


try a different spool of thread & see if that solves the problem ,, I've gotten thread that would easily break & just used it for sewing quilt squares,,,if another spool does not help try a new needle

Sep 08, 2011 | Baby Lock Sewing Machines

1 Answer

needle keeps jamming, won't thread


Good day!

please try this simple tips:

Good day!

A sewing machine operator can often help themselves when their machine does not operate properly.
Here are some simple instructions, which if properly used can save time and mechanics service calls.
TROUBLE;UPPER THREAD KEEPS BREAKING;
This could be trouble;================Do this;
1.Top tension to tight================loosen tension 1 turn
2.Machine improperly threaded=========check threading
3.Thread twisted on guide post========"
4.Thread twisted out of tension======="
5.Take up spring bent or broken=======Check action of spring
6.Thread jumped off pull off finger===Check threading
7.Needle bent or burred===============new needle
8.Bad cone of thread==================try another cone
TROUBLE;LOWER THREAD KEEPS BREAKING;
1.Bobbin tensionspring to tight=======Loosen tension slightly
2.Bobbin threaded wrong===============check threading
3.Bobbin wound to tight or uneven=====try new bobbin
4.lint or thread on bobbin case=======clean inside case
5.Lint or thread inside hook==========clean inside hook
6.Bobbin case nicked bent or burred===check/change case
TROUBLE;MACHINE STARTED SKIPPING STITCHES;
1.Needle bent or burred===============change
2.Needle set in crooked===============Check
3.Thread jumped off take up spring====check threading
4.Thread jumped off pull off finger===check threading
TROUBLE STITCHES SHOWING LOOPS;
1.Forming loops on top of cloth=======Tighten bobbin tension
======================================or loosen top tension.
2.forming loops on bottom of cloth====Tighten top tension
3.Bobbin placed in case incorrectly===remove and replace
4.Bobbin thread slipped from under====check threading of
tension===============================bobbin case
5.Lint or thread in top tension=======clean between tension discs


Thank you and good luck.

Jun 07, 2011 | Janome D'cor Excel Pro 5124 Mechanical...

1 Answer

I have a new Viking Huskylock S25 and the serger tensions are off and I cannot get them adjusted.


How do you mean the tension are off? A serger should have 3 or 4 tension knobs (although yours looks like it is push button digital settings) and generally from new these will produce a standard stitch when all are set to 5. Are you sure that you've got the thread pulled into the tension discs fully? Check each one by pulling on the thread below the tension disc and feel for resistance, if the thread pulls very easily, then recheck and thread again.

Have you got the thread aerial raised up to the full height? Remember also to put the plastic cone holders under the thread cones as you want the cone to stay still and the thread to feed off it - it does this very fast, sergers sew at 1500 stitches per minute so the thread streams off the cones very quickly.

Using a serger is quite different to a sewing machine and your model looks like its one of the later computerised ones with multiple stitch options including coverstitch. I'd suggest that you go back to your dealer and ask to spend time with them for a demo, thread up in front of them for pointers or take a class to familiarise yourself fully with the machine. Then go home again, break out the manual, and go through threading up from scratch several times until you've got it off pat. Remember to thread top looper, bottom looper, left needle, right needle in this sequence always, then pull all threads under the foot, lower pressure foot and serge off a short chain. To change colour thread, you can always cut and knot on new threads, turn tension down and pull through the loopers, but you've got to thread the needles fresh each time you change colour.

There is some good videos on You-tube, Nancy Zieman has a several and she's also written several books on using a serger and obviously the manual is first point of reference.

Each fabric will behave differently so for each new fabric, you will need to adjust tensions and move the blade to get it stitch and just encasing the cut edge at a suitable width. To work out how it should look, break out some ready to wear garments and have a look at those seams, then test and practice with your machine to get a similar stitch. Always test serge two thickenesses if you are going to use it to construct your garments and pull open from the right side to ensure the needle thread is tight enough so the seams don't pull open under wear.

Good idea to keep your test seam samples in a notebook and write down the settings you used for reference next time. I have to say, I've done flatlock with silky decorative thread once in 19 years - but I do know how to set up the machine for this. However, rolled hem with wooly thread is very useful and I often use this to edge hems. I'm envious of your coverstitch option, this is great for hemming and necklines and is something early sergers didnt do.

Just checked out this model on an Ebay vendor's site and it mentions a training DVD, you've got several different stitch types to master with this machine so there will be some learning and practice involved to get it right. Good luck - I hope this is of some help but I'd be visiting the dealer for specific help if you can.

Apr 29, 2011 | Sewing Machines

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