Question about Sewing Machines
Am FMQ and after several good hours of quilting the thread has begun to shred and break. Changed needle with no help.
Could be a bad section of the thread
check for burrs around the needle plate area and also in the bobbin
area and on the thread guide close to the needle.
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 Dec 10, 2012
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
Ensure that all is clean and free of lint jams....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
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.
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.
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....
...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 !
....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
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 !?!?!)
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 consistant diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !
If you want any more help with this, just post back here, or, drop a line through the "Contact Us" page at www.bargainbox.com.au
Posted on Feb 26, 2008
SOURCE: janome 1600P
My husband and I worked for months trying to solve this problem and FINALLY we did it. I even had a YLI varigated thread in the top and Coats and Clark varigated in the bobbin. The machine Janome 1600P DB makes a beautiful stitch. This is a long posting and if you have questions I'll be happy to help if I can. email@example.com
1) I give credit to piecemealquilts.wordpress.com for their recommendations.
Most of which I list below.
2) First of all make sure that the frame is level in all directions, side-to-side, top to bottom. That includes the table that it is setting on.
3) Bobbin tension: This is much looser than you normally have it set on. The bobbin should fall steadily to the floor. Read your machine manual to learn how to loosen the tension. Be sure to go in small increments. Don't be afraid. It also helps to use a different color thread in the bobbin than the top to see the problem. Is the bobbin properly inserted into the bobbin case. Is the bobbin case properly inserted into the machine?
4)Use the correct needle for your machine.
5) Use at least a 14 and a 16 or 18 is even better. Size 20 for specialty threads if you can get a size that large.
6) Make sure that the needle is inserted properly. My machine doesn't have a flat side so proper insertion is challenging. If you can find a straight pin small enough to fit in the eye do so as this helps to determine if the needle is in at the correct angle. The eye of my needle is left to right so I use a sturdy piece of thread, some spray starch on the thread helps it to stay straight. This makes it much easier to determine if the needle is in properly.
7) The pressure foot dial is set on 0
8) The stitch length is set on the longest stitch length. I know that you actually determine the stitch length and some people tell you to have it set on 0, but I found this to work.
9)Threading: Make sure you have the machine threaded correctly. Inoticed that when my thread was breaking that the thread in the take uplever was either out of the thread guides or had crossed each other. Also, sometimes the thread had wrapped itself around the first smallthread guide and/or the outside hole on the pretension thread guide hadwrapped around the bottom of the thread guide. When your thread breaks pull a good 12" out and then cut it off assometimes it has frayed higher up. This will help to reduce continuedbreakage and your frustration. This sounds dumb but still make sure the thread is sitting on the spool properly, that the thread spills off the spool as shown in your machine manual. I found it helpful to place a felt pad underneath the spool of thread. This was just a scrap of felt with a hole cut into it. Check the retractable thread guide which is right over your spool that it is correctly positioned and not twisted around. The thread should easily pull off the spool. I found that my machine worked better if I onlythreaded the two guide holes closest to the machine on the pretension guide.
10)Thread tension: I found that my needle tension had to be much looser than what I was used to anywhere from 1 -3.
11)The quilt: Not too tight and not too loose,too tight and needles and thread break, too loose and it's difficult to move the carriage. Can you poke a finger from the bottom and grip it from the top? I found this a little too loose, but used it as a guide. The side clamps are to keep it straight and not tight.
12)The take up rail should just barely clear the bed of the machine. I found it more accurate to check this with the machine in the middle of the quilt as opposed to one of the ends. Can you fit your fingers between the quilt and the machine bed? Yes, but barely is the answer.
13) I was able to quilt in both directions, but make sure your carriage moves freely in all directions.
14) Make sure the feed dogs are down and ready for free motion.
15) Make sure the presser foot is down and ready for sewing.
16) Check both the bobbin area and the top thread tension area for stray threads. It happens.
17) My last help was to add thread lubricant, but make sure your machine allows it. I just found out that you shouldn't use this on the spool if you have plastic tension discs. Mine are metal, but still I use this sparingly. I run a couple of lines on the spool, let it sit for a few minutes then sew. I don't repeat this for at least an hour of constant sewing.
18) Strangely this also helped, every so often I pulled straight out on both the knobs of the pretension disc and the tension disc. Don't pull the knobs off. This just released the tension of the thread. I didn't adjust it, I just pulled straight out. I didn't rethread it, just released it.
19) Finally, I did discover that I had a burr on my tension disc.How to figure this out, well it works better with two people, but one can do it. Lift up the presser foot, needle is in the highest position, then manually , slowly pull the thread through the needle, listen to the tension disc. You shouldn't hear anything. Watch the tension disc, does the check spring move down? Does it stay down then bounce back up? It shouldn't. Feel the thread as it is being pulled does it have tension on it? If the answer to these questions is yes, take it to the shop and let them fix it. It literally takes 5 mins.
I hope this helps
Posted on Jan 12, 2009
Make sure the feed dogs are dropped (or feed dog cover is on - I can't remember which way this machine works). The stitch length on the machine has no function so ignore it. (I set it to zero so the machine doesn't have to work as hard). Hopefully this is all that's wrong. If not, use a shorter setting for the stitch length on the regulator, oil the hook and move slowly and smoothly.
Posted on Jan 31, 2009
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