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Why does thread keep bunching then breaking. Does this when I do freehand quilting. Worse On auto upper tension.Goes for a while when on manual settings #3.But still breaks thread.

Started after I found a small tubellar plastic piece about 1/8" big fallout of machine. I haven't been able to find where it belongs. Machine is totally clean. Puzzled. Hector

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Sewing Machine Thread Is Tangling, Bunching, or Breaking

Having the thread not cooperate as intended is a problem that can lead to stress among those who sew. The good news is that thread problems usually arise from very fixable issues.
Thread Looping and Bunching Thread looping problems that occur on the bottom side of the fabric are typically issues with the upper threading, not the bobbin threading. Looping or bunching that occurs on top of the fabric tends to a problem with the bobbin threading. For any thread issue, it's best to begin by checking that the machine is threaded properly according to the machine's specifications. If the machine was not threaded with the presser foot up, it will not have the needed tension for sewing. Also check that there is no lint or debris in the area and that moving parts are oiled. Finally, check the needle for any damage.
Thread Breaking Thread that continually breaks may be an issue with the quality of the thread or obstructions within the machine. Inexpensive, bargain threads typically shed more lint, contain knots, and break more often than good, quality threads. Lint and knots can obstruct the thread from feeding through the machine. Also check the path the thread travels through, including the bobbin and needle, is free from burrs, nicks, or any sharp points that may cause a break or snag. Polish these areas with sand paper or steel wool. If the spool itself seems to be jamming, try changing the direction from which the spool is unwinding. Some fine threads used for embroidery may be more prone to breakage; it is best to use a specified embroidery needle for these projects.
Tension Adjustments Most sewing machines require very little altering of the tension settings or disks. However, if all other thread issues have been resolved but the problem is still reoccurring, not having proper tension may be the problem. Changing the tension can affect the timing of the machine as the pressure exerted on the upper thread and bobbin thread needs to be even; therefore, its best to review the machine's manual for tension specifications. Upper tension is user adjustable, but the setting should be in a medium range for most sewing projects. Tension problems with the bobbin threading are particularly intricate and should be repaired professionally. Using different color threads in the upper threading and bobbin is a good way to determine which area is having tension problems.....or try this link...
Six Common Sewing Machine Problems Solved

Posted on Dec 09, 2016


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I'm having trouble properly threading my Elna 1010. Could you please help? The bobbin thread keeps bunching up and breaking

bunching of thread under the material is an indication of insufficient tension of the needle thread
increase the needle tension until the threads meet at the center of the materialbeing sewn

Jul 26, 2016 | Elna Sewing Machines

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How to thread my juki quilt virtuoso pro mid arm machine - thread breaking

#1 cause for upper thread breaking is machine is incorrectly threaded. #2 is worn or damaged needle.

Threading the TL 2200QVP Quilt Virtuoso Pro

Answered elsewhere on
Nancy Blecke Contributor8 Answers Re: BREAKING THREADS
First, check your thread. Give a strand a yank. If it breaks, it's too old. Then check your tension on the machine. Loosen a little and try again. Sometimes, I have to rethread the upper to make sure it goes thru smoothly; it sometimes gets hung up in the space from the spool thru the front section. It will pull until I rethread. If all else fails, have it cleaned and serviced at your local center.
Posted on Nov 26, 2014

Helpful 0 Not Helpful Comment Flag

Dec 12, 2015 | Juki TL-2200 QVP Quilt Virtuoso Pro Long...

1 Answer

I am quilting and the thread keeps breaking. What is the problem?

Not sure if you are piecing or trying to free motion quilt. If FMQ, try using an Embroidery needle (it has a groove in the shaft that helps protect the thread) or a Topstitch needle. Make sure the thread is not too thick for the needle's eye. Check to make sure the upper and lower tensions are not too tight. You might try changing brand/type of thread.

Here's a needle guide:
SCHMETZ Household Needle Chart

Or review suggestions for breaking thread here:
Why is my thread breaking

Hope this helps!

May 20, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer


First, check your thread. Give a strand a yank. If it breaks, it's too old. Then check your tension on the machine. Loosen a little and try again. Sometimes, I have to rethread the upper to make sure it goes thru smoothly; it sometimes gets hung up in the space from the spool thru the front section. It will pull until I rethread. If all else fails, have it cleaned and serviced at your local center.

Oct 03, 2014 | Juki TL-2200 QVP Quilt Virtuoso Pro Long...

1 Answer

I have a janome 1600P, it will not sew without either the top thread breaking or the bobin thread breaking. It will sew for about a quarter of an inch and then the thread breaks, I have changed the bo

My experiences with thread breaking with machine on a quilting frame make me look at the upper tension being set too high, the needle being worn or movement of the machine is too fast. Reduce the upper tension first, then sew in straight lines at first. See if you can sew slowly, in straight lines and reduce the upper tension until the thread stops breaking. If so, try some 1-2 inch circles, again going slowly. If the needle thread is pulling to the back, you will need to increase the upper tension again until the stitches meet in the middle of the fabric. If you can't locate a balanced spot where the needle thread is not pulling to the back side and thread doesn't break, try taking the machine off of the frame and sewing on a table. If it won't sew this way, it needs some professional help. If it does, you will probably save a lot of time taking it in for service, making sure to explain to the repair center that you have problems on a quilting frame, not while sewing normally. When the machine is adjusted to sew normally on a table and you move it to the frame, you will probably need to reduce the tension by 1-2 complete turns of the tension knob.

Nov 17, 2011 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have an husqvarna Viking mega quilter18x8 with the imperial frame. I am having problems with the tension and the tread keeps breakingms with. The tension and the tread keeps breaking. HELP!!

If the thread breaks at the needle and is feeding smoothly from the spool, you may have the tension too high. It is impossible to say what the setting should be because the knob rotates all the way around several times. Loosen it off until you see needle thread pull to the back of the quilt, then tighten until it just balances the interlocking of the stitch in the fabric. Test with little swirls, that's most likely to pull needle thread to back.Also, check that the needle is properly installed and that the hook to needle timing and clearance are good.Nesting of thread underneath usually happens if the foot lifter is left up or the tread is not fully in the disks of the tension unit.

Oct 25, 2011 | Husqvarna Viking 1

1 Answer

Thread keeps breaking and thread sometimes

I am guessing here because I don't know what kind of thread you are using but, I am guessing that you have something in the upper tension discs causing the thread to not have tension, first I would recommend if you can see in to the disc put the foot in the up position and and blow out the disc. If this doesn't work take it to you local dealer and have the tensions adjusted, also look at the needle plate and see if there are marks in the hole, if there are it would be wise to either clean them out or get a new needle plate they will severely affect free motion

Oct 26, 2009 | Husqvarna Sewing Machines

3 Answers

Thread bunches up on Singer HD-110

my wife's hd110 singer machine is not keeping tension. what can I do/ look at to try and help this

Jul 07, 2009 | Singer HD-110 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

MegaQuilter Tension

Try at least 2 new needles first (HLX5, preferably Schmetz). If same, look for any rough edges on the needle plate and feed dog cover.
Beyond that, this does not sound like you are doing anything wrong. You should take your machine in for adjustment by an authorized technician. You should have about 1/2 to 1 full turn of the upper tension knob between too loose/ugly on back and too tight/breaking on the top.

May 10, 2009 | Husqvarna Viking 1

2 Answers

Free motion quilting skipped stitches, breaking threads

Might be that you need to lower the tensions quite a bit, you'll have to juggle with top and bottom tensions though, and experiment for just this operation with the Sensormatic.

Mar 27, 2017 | PfaFF Sewing Machines

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