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Thread: Why do machines "like" threads?

  1. #1
    Junior Member coffeebreak's Avatar
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    Why do machines "like" threads?

    I have been using 100% cotton in my new Singer Quantum. I sent it back for repair as the LCD screen went out and pulled out my old favorite Singer 2010 (28 years old!) and did some piece work and it was so nice! The pressure foot is exactly 1/4 inch from needle to right outer edge..no guide, no special foot like the new one needs. So I decided to use the 2010 for piece work and the 9960 for top quilting and other larger straight assembly.

    However... I did this one day with the 100% cotton, knowing that in the past cotton covered poly is all I used on that machine to minimize fluff...worked perfectly. But in quilting, hearing 100% cotton is so good, I decided to use that. Worked fine the first day. Few days later read that cotton in the bobbin and poly in the top was a good match for softness. Well, the machine didn't like that at all as it "bird nested" on the bottom and no change in the tension would fix it. I then put cotton/cotton back on it, and still bird nesting. I put poly/poly and still...those stupid birds!!! I tried the cotton covered poly in both and still..nesting. I went back to cotton/cotton and it is better, but I was so frustrated I stopped and havenn't gone back since my grand daughter was here this weekend...but this is my question

    I know that machines "like" different threads...but come on...its a machine for heaven sake...how much can it "like"?!?!?! It all goes through the same threading system no matter the thread content..and I know some thread is thiicker, stronger etc. But still... how tempremental can a metal machine be? And why? I figure the weight of the thread could be the biggest advisary...but I was using the same weight threads of each...30 wt just cotton or poly or both. I can see where the bobbin and the top being different, the threads might not stitch together right due to slipping or holding based on one being a slicker thread than the other (so to speak)...but still...why do machines like different threads? And if you have an all time fav of thread or combo there of...let me know that to! I use only 100% cotton fabrics (Keepsake Calico, Kona, Quilters Legacy etc) so the fabric is always the same...so ...any thoughts/suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Make sure bobbin area is clean of all lint, etc.
    I'll be watching here in hopes of finding suggestions as it's so frustrating to have to struggle.
    The newest of my three sewing machines is 37 years old so I'm not much help otherwise on the newer machines, but there is so much wisdom on tap among these folks, there are bound to be answers.

    Your [QUOTE:] "...those stupid birds!!!" [UNQUOTE] -- prompted one to wonder if maybe your sewing machines have been infected with that new 'angry birds' computer game and are gathering nesting components...?
    SORRY for the silly pun! It just led into it...
    Last edited by postal packin' mama; 11-04-2012 at 07:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    *If* there is indeed a reason that machines "like" one thread and not the other, I imagine the reasons are not in the threading, but in the bobbin works. The design of the bobbin case, the race, or the hooking mechanisms.

    I'm just guessing.

    I have experienced thread that my machine did not perform well with, but more than that I've experienced thread that I plain did not like.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  4. #4
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I think it's the 'stiffness' of the thread, that's why a lot of times black thread will cause issues. Its got so much die in it the thread is stiffer and jumps out of the take up lever on my machine.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  5. #5
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    If you think sewing machines are picky, try a longarm!!! Mine doesn't like a certain brand, but thankfully it likes the more economical thread!!! One thing we discovered when we were trying to figure out a problem. DH has a piece of equipment that actually measured the width of the thread. We found the more expensive thread would change "sizes" (in mms or smaller) within a 10" space. The cheaper thread was consistent!!!!!!! Maybe this is what is bugging your machine.

    Oh -- another thing --- I change the tensions if I have to use the one I don't like ------- and I slow down -- that helps. It's a PITA but it works.
    Dee


    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma View Post
    If you think sewing machines are picky, try a longarm!!! Mine doesn't like a certain brand, but thankfully it likes the more economical thread!!! One thing we discovered when we were trying to figure out a problem. DH has a piece of equipment that actually measured the width of the thread. We found the more expensive thread would change "sizes" (in mms or smaller) within a 10" space. The cheaper thread was consistent!!!!!!! Maybe this is what is bugging your machine.

    Oh -- another thing --- I change the tensions if I have to use the one I don't like ------- and I slow down -- that helps. It's a PITA but it works.
    It also took me a while to find the one thread that my longarm is happy with too. Fortunately the thread it likes comes in lots of colors.

  7. #7
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    My janome will piece with whatever I put in her, bobbin and top, mixed or matched. Now fmq is a totally different animal......no poly when quilting or thread breaks/nests...so cotton it is when fmq!

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Maybe I haven't tried enough different threads, but I haven't run into any that won't work in my Bernina or Innova.

  9. #9
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    My Bernina is so picky when it comes to thread. I've had to finally use just cones of Presencia thread. I have other cones that will work with it. It will not work with varigated thread at all. If I try spools, it says that the thread is broken, even though it's not, but Gutermann spools will work. It works perfect with cones, so I've spent quite a bit on cones and I'm not changing it.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  10. #10
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    My machine must not be an aristocrat since it "likes" any thread I use on it. It is a Janome and I have not had a bit of trouble with thread. Lucky me I guess.
    Sue

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