Question about Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Embroidery problems thread gets wrapped around spool device and causes needles to break. I am using foam pad on spooler but it seems to soft. I have tried foam pad from my babylock which is firmer but still have problem. My bobbin tread sometimes shows on top of embroidery thread. I also have a problem with loops appearing on final stitching.

Posted by on

1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 1,388 Answers
Re: embroidery problems

You are speaking of two conflicting problems, when the bobbin thread shows, loosen the top tension, when it loops underneath, increase top tension.
It seems you are using different weights of thread for the different projects and this will require slightly differing tensions for each.

Are you sure you have threaded through all the guides, as the foam pad is only there to increase friction to prevent thread spool from rattling wildly (esp winding bobbin)

Take a look at this below to exclude the possible issues you face:

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.

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

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

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 !

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

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 .....actually .....need 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....

53ce8f6.jpg ...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so 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
back properly.

a780819.jpg FINISHING UP
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 is,
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite 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 ? 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 !)

If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, 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

Posted on Feb 24, 2008

Add Your Answer

0 characters

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add


3 Points

Related Questions:

1 Answer

Brother750e in-no is dowloaded photo transferred to stitches using foil thread or embroydery thread , top thread keeps breaking, I've changed the needle don't know what else to try . Please help

Metallic thread is often easier to break when sewing. Make sure the thread is not brittle and old; It may also require "Metallic Embroidery" needles that have a slightly larger needle groove and eye spaces. Also, make sure your thread does not have additional tension on it when being fed from a vertical spool. allow the thread to flow horizontally off of the thread spool into the machine.Or place the spool bottom down on the table next to the machine and let the machine pull it up and over through the machine which needs to be very properly threaded.

Embroidery Services
San Diego, CA

Jul 09, 2016 | Brother Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have a Elna excellence 7600. Why does thread keep breaking while chain stitching fabric?

Thread breaks
first check to see if there is an actual thread break, then check the threading-both needle and thread
Sometimes the machine will signal a thread break when there really isn't one, at least not technically. For example, a mis-threading can cause the thread break sensor to think there is a problem because it is not sensing the proper thread tension. This can also happen if a loop of thread forms suddenly resulting in slack in the thread.
a thread break signal are really a "thread out" indication most often triggered by an empty or low bobbin or the needle becoming unthreaded.
rethread the machine and correct any low thread conditions.
Actual Thread Breaks
Examine the thread break. Is it a clean snap or is it shredded?
Next, examine the thread path. Did the thread get caught on something
A common problem with embroidery thread is that due to its slippery nature, it can slide down the spool and get hung up underneath causing a sudden jerk on the thread. Rayons will probably just snap at this point but some poly threads may be strong enough to resist breaking and instead flex the needle resulting in a broken needle.
Metallic threads often cause more breaks and shredding because they tend to form loops and kinks as they come off the spool. This is exacerbated by small spools with narrow diameters and short thread paths from the spool to the first thread guide. A simple solution for this is to extend the thread path.
Thread Factors
Lets look a little closer at thread. Embroidery threads are more fragile than those used for garment construction or quilting. Start with quality thread and know how to care for it.
Embroidery threads can dry out when exposed to light, heat, drafts, and air conditioning. They can become "bruised" if dropped or handled roughly. As they age, they become more fragile. Due to dying and other processes, certain colors break more easily than others. Check this for yourself. Try breaking a white thread and then a black. Also notice that the black is slightly thicker than the white.
Rayon tends to break easier than poly. Metallics are more temperamental and finicky
Needle-Related Possibilities
On a single needle machine, if you are getting continuous thread breaks with multiple colors and you are sure you can eliminate the thread, then look at the needle.
Is it the right size? For 40 wt rayon or polyester thread, a 70/10 or 75/11 works well on most fabrics.
Embroidery needles have a slightly larger eye to reduce friction on the thread. High quality needles have a well-polished eye that won't snag, abrade, or shred the thread. The thread can pass through the eye of the needle 50 to 60 times before it is laid down on the fabric. Any rough spot on the needle or thread path can literally saw the thread in half
The broken needle is the least of your problem! If your machine doesn't stop the instant the needle breaks, it may severely damage your fabric. Needle breaks can cause scratches and rough spots on the throat plate and in the hook area that can shred thread. Until these problems are smoothed out, thread breaks will be your reality.
It is possible for the fabric and/or stabilizer to the source of thread problems. For example, heavy, stiff fabrics can easily strip some metallic threads
If the lower thread keeps breaking, open out the bobbin hatch and check that there is no lint buildup that is hindering the smooth flow of the thread. If there is any lint, remove the bobbin and clean the area thoroughly with a brush. Also check that the bobbin is wound correctly and that the tension of bobbin thread is even. Poor maintenance and incorrectly wound bobbins are the culprit more often..

Mar 22, 2016 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

The top thread keeps breaking

Is the thread feeding freely from the spool? Sometimes thread can get caught on something on the thread spool which causes it to snap at the needle. I suggest unthreading, and running your finger around the rim of the spool to be sure there is nothing for the thread to catch on. Then be sure to use your spool pin disks to ensure the thread is feeding well.

Mar 03, 2015 | PfaFF Creative 7570

1 Answer

Singer sewingmachine how to stop thread from breaking on the top

Thread breakage is often caused by a burr on the needle. Whenever i have a problem with thread breakage, I unthread the machine, replace the needle, and rethread.
Sometimes thread will wrap around the spool pin, so I use the upright spool pin or use a mug or water glass to hold the spool upright behind the machine.

Jul 19, 2014 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Brother pc 8500 upper thread breaks

Check the spindle the thread is mounted on and see if it\'s wrapped around it. Sometimes thread will catch and wrap around the spool spindle and break.

Check thread guides to be sure there are no nicks that might be catching the thread or damaging it.

Replace the needle.. a burr in the eye can cause upper thread to break. Needles should be replaced often, modern fibres can be hard on them, they get dull and that\'s no help for anything either.

Make sure the thread spool is mounted on the spindle with the thread coming off as directed in the manual. Some machines only work when the thread feeds in the right direction from the spool.

It can also be a tension issue.. tight upper tension or tight bobbin tension. Bobbin tension may be adjustable manually, but it\'s pretty rare for it be a problem. Upper tension, I don\'t know. I\'ve yet to get into computer machines so am not familiar with how they set upper tension.

But the mechanism that produces the tension can wear out or break and need replacement.

Jun 25, 2014 | Brother PC-8500 Pacesetter Embroidery &...

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...


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.


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

Embroidery machine needle breaking

make sure your top thread is feeding properly and not catching on the spool or twisting as it comes off the spool. When i use metalic thread, i put it in a small can beside my machine and it works great.

Jan 02, 2009 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Brother Embroidery machine thread keeps breaking

It doesn't matter so much the thickness of the stabilizer but more a matter of it being taut like a drum and the proper stabilizer for the fabric you're using. Couple of reasons the thread breaks...the thread gets caught on the edge of the spool in the crack where the thread originally starts, you're not using the right size spool cap or the upper thread is wrapping around the spool pin. When I use my 170 for embroidering I always use the vertical spool pin to eliminate this problem. Try it and let me know how you make out.

Nov 18, 2008 | Bernina Artista 180

1 Answer

Thread get's tangled and attached to plate while embroidering

Just a thought. Is it possible that your thread is wrapping around your spool post or snagging on your thread spool?

Jun 09, 2008 | Bernina Artista 180

Not finding what you are looking for?
Sewing Machines Logo

Related Topics:

234 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Sewing Machines Experts

Bargain Box
Bargain Box

Level 3 Expert

1388 Answers

Douglas Plant
Douglas Plant

Level 2 Expert

165 Answers


Level 2 Expert

176 Answers

Are you a Sewing Machine Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides