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How do i fix my machine, it's breaking the top thread all the time

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  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 7,365 Answers

The needle 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

Posted on Nov 28, 2012

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6 Suggested Answers

6ya6ya
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: thread breaking

If you are using a standard top tension of 4 or 5 and this problem has developed over time, the most likely cause is lint deposited between the tension disks....... if the top tension is loose, or in the tension spring of the bobbin case if the bottom tension is having troubles. In either case you need to remove the lint...... 
Raise the presser foot and with a length of scrap fabric, use an action like flossing your teeth to get between the top tension disks......in extreme cases a probe (old needle) may be used very gently to remove thread and lint, but be VERY careful not to scratch the polished surfaces. 
I have also written a tutorial on tension balance which may be of further assistance, particularly for bobbin tension issues: 

Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.

Ensure that all is clean and free of lint and jams, this is the most likely cause....now for tension troubleshooting .......

This solution is for tension problems...if you cannot form any sort of stitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me know if you need a different problem solved.....

It is quite long, but just work through each section in order.
The "knotting up" can reveal a lot. If you have loose threads on one side or the other, the tension on the opposite side will be the culprit.

QUICK SUMMARY FIRST:
Ensure sharp new needle, 
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.

TOP THREAD TENSION:
If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your 
projects). 

IS YOUR NEEDLE SHARP ?
If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !

TOP TENSION & GUIDES:
Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.

It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.

If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.

Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with 
a see saw / to and fro action.

In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to 
disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.

BOBBIN TENSION:
Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension. 

I would not recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screws and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean 
the hook race area (where bobbin case sits) 

...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....

just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.

Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.

If it seems likely that you ......really ....do .....actually .....need .....to adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned. 

TOP LOADER:
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....

4c76dc1.jpg ...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so beware....it is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !

FRONT LOADER:
....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all 
back properly.
165ca5c.jpg FINISHING UP
GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT:
When you are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.

Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.

Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension screw very little at 
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.

You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it cannot be correct to do this.....BUT....it is, 
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite quickly.....as a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)

OTHER ISSUES:
If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine 
case....no case ? then make some sort of cover ! 

Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.

Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with 
dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)

FINALLY, A WORD ON THREAD:
If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, .......it may seem to cost a little more at the 
time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistent diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !
 
 
www.bargainbox.com.au

Posted on Nov 30, 2008

  • 4 Answers

SOURCE: top thread keeps breaking

You may check to see if there is a burr on the surface of the hook. If there has been a needle break, it could have hit the hook and put a rough spot on it. You can use a very fine emory cloth of some kind to remove the burr

Posted on Nov 26, 2007

bilabon
  • 46 Answers

SOURCE: needle keeps breaking the top thread...

In general, there are three main causes for this...
wrong needles (Singer), low quality thread (dual duty or all purpose), incorrect threading. Be sure to thread the needle from front to back.

Posted on Sep 02, 2008

  • 5 Answers

SOURCE: The top thread keeps breaking on my White 1730, how can I fix?

go to the white website & email them from the contact us section. they'll email you back w/ PDF version of manual. they did that for me. goodluck!

Posted on Dec 16, 2008

  • 8 Answers

SOURCE: Top thread keeps breaking on my Janome 1600P.

I had a similar problem and then realized that the thread on the top had a **** on the spool it was catching on.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009

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1 Answer

My needle thread doesn't break, but when I go to sew, it unthreads itself.


make sure to keep long thread tail for the top & bobbin
of 4 to 6 inches & pulled behind the needle

Aug 04, 2012 | Kenmore 15516 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Fix tension on Singer 4552SW


The needle thread breaks
1. the needle thread is not threaded properly
2. The needle thread tension is to tight--if tension is too tight back
off one number or letter at a time, if thread is too loose increase
one number or letter at a time till you get the correct stitch
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.also check to make sure the top thread has not come off the thread
take up lever
if you don't have a manual, & want one, singer has a free pdf
manual to download

Go to the singer website

Click on customer support--there will be a drop down menu

Choose instruction manual

In the box type the model number( example 4552) do not put in
the sw

Click search

Jun 05, 2012 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Tension problems


you need to find a different sewing machine repair shop

have you tried a new needle
have you tried changing thread--top & bobbin
clean under the needle plate & in the bobbin area for loose threads & lint
make sure every thread guide is used
make sure thread is not hanging up some where on the machine

when you have to take the machine in 3 time & it's no better, then their not fixing the machine, I highly recommend a different sewing shop to check out the machine if my suggestions don't help. no since in throwing money away, when their not going to fix the machine like their suppose to.

Mar 14, 2012 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

The bobbin thread is loops on top of the fabric even when the top thread is loosened to 2


if you've taking the machine in 4 times to be fixed,,sounds like you need a different sewing machine repair shop.
have you tried changing needles?
have you tried rethread the top & bobbin thread
is it possible the bobbin thread in not correctly inserted in the bobbin case?
try a top thread tension of 5 & see what happens?

Jan 20, 2012 | Brother Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Thread breaking, not even threaded in needle anymore, thread gets caught on spool sometimes


Upper thread breaks
1.the needle may be bent or damaged--try rolling the needle on a flat surface to see if it's bent or not
Or the needle could be in backwards
Correct needle insertion
Correct needle insertion is mandatory for proper use of sewing machine.
Raise the needle bar to the highest point, then loosen the clamp screw to remove the old needle, place the new needle in the clamp with the flat side to the back of the machine or if using a round needle--the groove in the needle should face away from the shaft.
Push the needle all the way up to the stop or as far as it will go, then tighten the needle clamp screw
2.upper tension may be to tight--try 3 to 5
3.thread may be hanging up in bobbin case--check area for loose threads or lint
???
Lower thread breaks
The most probable cause of lower thread breaking is improperly wound bobbin
1.always start with a empty bobbin
Never wind one color over the other
2.choose thread that is identical in color & type as the one to be used for upper threading
3.wind the bobbin evenly across & in layers
4.don't wind the bobbin so full that it would be tight & hard to insert into bobbin case
5.bent bobbin--replace
6.lint built up in the bobbin case--frequent cleanings will eliminate this problem, the more often you use the sewing machine the more often it needs to be cleaned
7.thread catching on the bobbin spring or latch on bobbin case, check to see that the bobbin is inserted completely & correctly, & that you are using the right kind of bobbin

for the top & bobbin thread keep thread tails of 3 to 6 inches long pulled behind the needle before you start sewing

yes,sometimes the thread will get caught on the spool, you might think about getting a extra holder that sets behind the machine to hold those spool's that the thread get caught on, that's what I did.

Sep 15, 2011 | Brother PE770 Computerized Sewing Machine

1 Answer

The top thread keeps breaking. The thread pulls tight and breaks. I have removed a broken thread piece from the upper take-up lever, rethreaded (several times), cleaned out bobbin, moved thread spool on...


try a tension a 3 to 5 on the top tension
try changing to a needle or if it's a new needle make sure the flat side of the needle faces the back of the machine and pushed all the way up into the needle holder
make sure the needle & thread are correct for each other, if the needle is to thin or to heavy for the fabric it will not work

Aug 27, 2011 | Brother InnovIs QC1000 Electronic Sewing...

1 Answer

Whenever I sew the top thread breaks. The machine seems to sew but then jams when I take the material off the top theard is all cut on the underside of the fabric and the bobbin thread is just there. ...


to see if a needle & thread are compatable, take a strand of the thread your going to use & the needle your going to sew with & put the thread thru the eye of the needle & hold it at a 90 degree angle & see if the needle goes down the thread easily

check the needle plate to see if there's any burrs or sharp edges & the bobbin case also

make sure the top thread does not come off the thread take up lever,cause that can make it jam also

it also possible that the machine could be out of time & would need to be serviced at a repair shop

Aug 12, 2011 | Singer 2932 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

My Husqvarna diamond top thread keeps breaking while doing loop embroidery. It sews a couple of stitches and then you can hear when the thread breaks. Ive tried changing the needle and bobbin, and cleaning...


Hello

Primary causes of upper thread breakage:


-- misthreading: pull all the thread off and thread again, using the manual, step by step. Read each step aloud before you do it. (sounds dumb, but helps.) (And make sure you thread the takeup lever!)

-- thread has wrapped itself around a thread guide or spool pin from one of the breaks. Take the spool off the machine before rethreading.

-- bad or damaged needle. Replace with the right size for the fabric, turned correctly (backwards needles skip stitches)

-- dirty machine, especially in the bobbin case area: review cleaning instructions and do it, using brush and vacuum only

-- bad/cheap thread: should not be slubby or break easy. Try another spool.

-- top thread tension too tight. 4 is normal for most fabrics, most stitches.

Tips;

1) do a light cleaning (brush and vacuum) every day you sit down to sew.

2) replace the needle if you hear it hit metal, if you've got a really bad thread jam, if you see it deflect as you sew (for instance, sewing over the side seam on jeans when hemming). Replace every 3-8 hours of actual stitching time anyhow.

3) buy good quality thread

4) when your machine isn't sewing right, stop; take all the thread off of/out of the machine (bobbin out of bobbin case, spool off spool pin) and give it a quick cleaning. Rethread from scratch, carefully. If that doesn't fix it, do it again, then replace needle and rethread one more time, manual in hand (yah, even if you've threaded it 8 million times before). #4 is curative about 98% of the time. The other 2% often requires professional attention.

Jul 11, 2011 | Husqvarna Designer I

1 Answer

Top thread from spool somehow gets out of the needle when sewing. Sometimes top thread breaks; other times it just escapes the needle. I redid threading from top and from bobbin to see if that would fix....


Try loosening the tension and pulling a longer string of thread. Also, if the needle is not at the highest point, when you start sewing, the thread will pull out.

May 27, 2011 | Brother LX3125 Sewing Machine

2 Answers

The top thread continues to break once I begin sewing. I have done all the recommended changes (tension controls, etc.) Everything is threaded correctly. It appears the top thread or the bobbin thread...


I know you've said you have checked the tensions but that usually is the problem. When you pull on the top thread after it goes through the tension but before you thread it through the needle is there some tension but not so much that it breaks when you gently pull on it? It will be a bit harder to pull it at the point after it goes through the needle but it should have a bit of give there too without breaking.

Also check the bobbin again. Take it out of the machine and examine how the thread is wound around the bobbin. Is it all criss crossed or is it fairly evenly wound? Is it in the right direction and through the tension slot? Now dangle it by the thread while in the bobbin case. It should not just reel out to the floor but should slip a bit with some tension and hang there. A slight **** of the wrist should cause it to release a bit more thread and drop a bit more to the floor. It should allow slip but it shouldn't just reel out fast.

When you reinsert the bobbin case into the machine you should feel/hear a slight click as it catches into place.

Also check the needle though that usually isn't what causes this kind of problem.

The thread will break when it has no 'give'. Either the tensions aren't quite right or it is catching somewhere along the way through the various guides where you thread it. Oh and make sure the spool itself is freely turning on the spindle! Sometimes it is because of catching at that point and simply turning the spool upside down so it can't catch will solve the problem ! :)

May 24, 2011 | Simplicity Pioneer II SA200 Mechanical...

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