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The reasons for thread breakage on domestic embroidery machines



Original text by: unknown

Every embroiderer has been in a situation where an embroidery machine that was running smoothly only a day before, suddenly begins to break the upper or the underthread almost every stitch. Such a problem, in case you eliminate the possibility of mechanical breakage, is connected with certain processes, and also with the quality of the embroidery materials you use in your work. If such a situation occurs, try to solve the problem yourself before calling a service engineer. In this article we tried to describe possible problems and their solutions, ranking from the easiest to the complex ones. Resume the embroidery process after having done this or that, to check if the problem has disappeared. 


Why does the thread breakage occur 

  • Upper thread 
  • Underthread 
  • Stabilizer 
  • Needle 
  • Shuttle 

1. Upper thread

Tension regulation. Check your upper thread tension. Often the reason for the thread breakage may be too tight a tension. 


Wrong threading may be the reason for thread breakage, too. In this case rethread your machine in accordance with the manual. 

An upper thread of poor quality. If breakage occurred after replacing the upper thread, get back the bobbin you used before that. If breakage stops, buy embroidery threads of some other brand.

Rayon thread. This thread often causes thread breakage trouble for beginners. Threads literally "leap off" the bobbins. This problem is very easily solved. Place a grid on the bobbin case and reduce the embroidery speed. 


Metallic thread. When working with this thread use a special grid, set a needle for metallic threads, and also reduce the embroidery speed. 

2. Underthread 


The wrong size of the bobbin. However strange it might seem, such a problem exists. Check your manual to see what type of the bobbin is recommended for your machine. 

Wrong winding may become the reason for thread breakage, too. In this case unwind the bobbin and rewind it after that. 

Wrong threading. One of the common reasons for thread breakage. Carefully read that section in the manual that describes how to insert the bobbin, and do accordingly. 

Thread thickness. One of the well-known reasons for thread breakage. Some of the sewing-embroidery machines just won't work with a very thin bobbin thread. In this case you should get a thicker thread. 

All sewing and embroidery threads have their own thickness, determined by the number. The greater the number is, the thinner is the thread, and vise versa. For example: An upper thread #200 is thinner than #30 

3. Stabilizer 


Glue particles adhere to the thread and the needle, holding back their movement, which causes the thread to break. If that's the case, stop the machine, clean the needle with alcohol, and rethread. Repeat every time your thread breaks until the embroidery will be completed.

After that refrain from using this particular type of adhesive stabilizer or spray adhesive in your work. 

On the internet you can find many recommendations on the original use of various materials. You can count the use of double adhesive tape and sewing stabilizers, which are not manufactured specifically for our purpose and may cause thread breakage. The problem itself, together with the solution, was described above. 

If the cleaning does not help and the thread continues to break, stop the embroidery and change the stabilizer. 

4. Needle 


A bent needle, burrs and a blunt needlepoint may also be the reason for thread breakage. In this case change the needle to a new one. 

Also if the needle type is wrong for the particular kind of fabric, this may lead to the thread breakage, too. Read the information on how to choose needles, in our future articles.

5. Shuttle


In some embroidery machines the bobbin case used for the embroidery is different from the one used for sewing. If you have encountered the problem with thread breakage, check the one that is currently in use. 

Burrs on the bobbin case are often the reason for the thread breakage. Take out the case and inspect it. If there are burrs and scratches present, polish them with a soft abrasive cloth. When it will be possible, buy a new bobbin case. 

Scratches on the throat plate caused by the needles hitting it may lead to the thread breakage. Inspect the throat plate from above and from below, and if you find burrs and scratches there, think of buying a new one. 



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By the visuals I think they mean a embroidery thread net. Some embroidery  machines come with them, some people get florists netting and use that. Each time they said "Bobbin" they were referring to a spool of thread, not the bobbin....different language.

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19 hours ago, lone said:

one solution was to place a grid on the bobbin case. I don't know what a grid is.

A grid is netting you place over the spool of thread to keep it from "backlashing" on the spool. A spool of thread is referred to as a bobbin in some countries, not to be confused with the bobbin in the bottom thread.

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