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Thread: I'm convinced, my machine hates cotton :'(

  1. #1
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    I'm convinced, my machine hates cotton :'(

    I have a Janome 1600P and I am seriously staring to hate it :'( I've had soo many thread problems I want to cry, the most annoying and stressful thing is it breaks thread like crazy! as I am making a pass across my quilt I swear it will fray/snap the thread 3 times before I make it to the end . My tension is just right so there are no peeps. I've tried Superior thread and Tri-lock thread they both do the snap thing! agh! when I am doing a cotton quilt...but I will be darned if every time I make a flannel little baby blanket I can use whatever brand thread I want and it won't snap once! agh, my machine must hate cotton I have also used coats & clark and it seems to do ok with that but I can't find spools big enough because I don't want to buy a thousand little spools just to do one quilt I am soo tired of this machine...does anyone recommend another brand mid-arm quilting machine because I don't know how much longer I can stand having this machine in my house :'(
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  2. #2
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I have the same machine and never had such problems after I started using King Tut. It did shred certain threads, but once I put King Tut on it, it purred along great.

    Have you made sure to check the ENTIRE thread path for obstacles and burrs? Replaced your needle? What size needle are you using? I found anything smaller than an 18 and the thread would break.

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    Thanks ladies, I will try that King Tut brand thread. Where can you buy it and is it in large quantities? I am also starting my at home quilting business so yes thread breaking slows me up soo much I just don't have time for it. I have a size 90/14 needle, the kind my dealer recommended. Yes my spool is cross rolled so yep it is feeding from my top hook thing haha. Thread path is clear. I loosened my quilt on my frame, maybe its too tight would that cause thread to break? I'm going to try it more loose but I hate the chance of puckers but at the point I will try anything. Thanks so much ofr the advise I am going to try all of it!
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

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    The tread I am using right now is Toldi-Lock by Gutermann - overlocking thread.
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  5. #5
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Try a 100/16 needle. I know it seems like it is the size of a harpoon but the eye is so much bigger your thread may need it to keep up with the speed of the machine. What can it hurt to try?

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    I had the same trouble with my janome 1600, tried a lot of different threads, the best one that works for me is the "superior so fine" I have my machine on a Gracie pinnacle

  7. #7
    Senior Member ThreadHead's Avatar
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    I had that happen to me once. It was caused by a burr on my foot. I took my foot off and used my fingernail file, filed around where the burr was ( caused by a needle hitting the foot a couple of times ), smoothed out the sharp edges. I checked out all the other feet and they were ok, I also filed around the plate where the needle enters, this cleared up the breakage of the thread.
    Take a q-tip and swab slowly around the area that might have a burr and watch for any pulling of the cotton on the swab, feet, plate, bobbin area, etc.
    Syl

  8. #8
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltingByCourtney View Post
    Thanks ladies, I will try that King Tut brand thread. Where can you buy it and is it in large quantities? I am also starting my at home quilting business so yes thread breaking slows me up soo much I just don't have time for it. I have a size 90/14 needle, the kind my dealer recommended. Yes my spool is cross rolled so yep it is feeding from my top hook thing haha. Thread path is clear. I loosened my quilt on my frame, maybe its too tight would that cause thread to break? I'm going to try it more loose but I hate the chance of puckers but at the point I will try anything. Thanks so much ofr the advise I am going to try all of it!
    First of all, absolutely switch to a larger needle. Your issue will most likely be solved by going up to an 18. Second of all, there are some people here who like serger thread, but I tried it in my Janome 1600 and it shredded. It's okay for piecing, but I found it way too aggravating to use for quilting.

    Superior Threads manufactures and sells King Tut thread. It comes on 500 yard spools and 2000 yard cones. You can purchase directly from Superior - https://www.superiorthreads.com/shop...Brand=King+Tut - Or, you might be able to find it at your LQS.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I'm really surprised that Janome 1600s have this problem. An 80/12 needle in my Bernina never causes thread shredding or breaking no matter what brand of thread I use in the machine. I can't imagine using a size 18 needle routinely!

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    I'm really surprised that Janome 1600s have this problem. An 80/12 needle in my Bernina never causes thread shredding or breaking no matter what brand of thread I use in the machine. I can't imagine using a size 18 needle routinely!
    Are you using it for piecing, or do you have it on a frame?

  11. #11
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    Ok another weird thing, I can make a pass going left to right and it won't even break a thread....but when I got for the right to the left going back to the other end it will snap it 4 times! I'm at a loss. :'(
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  12. #12
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltingByCourtney View Post
    Ok another weird thing, I can make a pass going left to right and it won't even break a thread....but when I got for the right to the left going back to the other end it will snap it 4 times! I'm at a loss. :'(
    Now that is not unusual, I've heard many a quilter - including excellent, experienced, award-winning quilters - discuss this. Most of the time they simply avoid going right to left. Weird, huh?

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    serger/overlock threads are not as strong as regular threads, which may be part of the reason you're getting fraying/breakage. I know that may will use it for quilting/piecing, but it's not something I use because of the difference in strength. In addition, it's not only the size of the needle that makes a difference , it's also the size of the eye and the scarf on the needle. Several professional quilters report that they use only a topstitch needle for all parts of quilting - a topstitch needle has a slightly larger eye and scarf and the eye isi more rounded than a other needles, which means less stress on the threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltingByCourtney View Post
    The tread I am using right now is Toldi-Lock by Gutermann - overlocking thread.
    Kate

  14. #14
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    I am using a brand new topstitch 90/14 needle.
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    Yes I have it on a quilting frame, I am doing a meandering/stippling pattern so going back and forth doing passes going right to left then back left to right is what I want to do instead of trying off trying to connect threads again if that makes sense. It just makes no sense at all why it snaps going one way and not the other, its soo stressful and to take it in and have it looked at its $60/hr which I can not afford right now
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  16. #16
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Whether your needle is new or not isn't the point. Please try a larger needle.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    I'm really surprised that Janome 1600s have this problem. An 80/12 needle in my Bernina never causes thread shredding or breaking no matter what brand of thread I use in the machine. I can't imagine using a size 18 needle routinely!
    Sorry, I didn't realize the Janome is on a frame. Now I understand the recommendation for a size 18 needle.

    I have a Voyager 17 on a frame with a size 16 needle and it has handled Signature and King Tut with no problems. I have ordered some titanium size 18 needles, though, as I have read that they flex less and therefore should produce a nicer stitch; plus it should stop the only occasional shredding/breaking I get when using Glide (60wt poly thread).

    What I am wondering is if the bobbin tension is too tight. That would explain thread breaking, as it would require the upper tension to be too tight also. Here is a link to a Youtube video about tension in longarms, which helped me achieve a balanced stitch on my midarm:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mRh...664A7&index=13
    I think the principle would be the same for any machine on a frame. Loosen bobbin tension as much as possible first (I couldn't get mine as loose as he shows -- screw is too short and falls out!), then gradually adjust top tension. Because of the speed with which thread travels when quilting on a frame, I think both tensions need to be as loose as possible to prevent thread problems. That's my theory so far...... As for peeps, I don't mind a little as they seem to get buried in the batting once the quilt is washed.

    Edit: I just re-read the original post, and it occurred to me that perhaps you are making your quilt too taut in the frame. This would explain why you don't get the thread breakage problem on flannel quilts -- flannel flexes and stretches more easily than cotton. The rule-of-thumb is that you want to be able to grasp with your hand a finger that is poked up from underneath the quilt sandwich. In other words, you want the quilt fairly loose in the frame -- nowhere near drum tight.
    Last edited by Prism99; 02-17-2013 at 03:37 PM.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the video link, I am going to check my bobbin tension right now. I am also going to pick up some size 18 needles tomorrow.
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  19. #19
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Sounds like a needle size problem to me.

  20. #20
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    It may be that your Janome is my Janome's evil twin. I have not liked my machine and have had a lot of problems with it. Less than a month ago, I bought a Juki TL-98Q and the difference is unbelievable! I am on my 10th quilt tonight with no thread issues, tension problems, skipped stitches, jamming, bunching or growling. The Juki was cheaper too!
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  21. #21
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    Try a topstitch needle. That is all I buy as recommended by Superior Threads. No more broken thread!

  22. #22
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    Yes, if your top is too tight you can have problems. If you reach under and can barely pinch the backing, then it should be good.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltingByCourtney View Post
    Thanks ladies, I will try that King Tut brand thread. Where can you buy it and is it in large quantities? I am also starting my at home quilting business so yes thread breaking slows me up soo much I just don't have time for it. I have a size 90/14 needle, the kind my dealer recommended. Yes my spool is cross rolled so yep it is feeding from my top hook thing haha. Thread path is clear. I loosened my quilt on my frame, maybe its too tight would that cause thread to break? I'm going to try it more loose but I hate the chance of puckers but at the point I will try anything. Thanks so much ofr the advise I am going to try all of it!

  23. #23
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    try topstitch needles

  24. #24
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    Never had that problem with mine and a larger needle will just leave a larger hole.

  25. #25
    QM
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    Not a problem I have with mine. wrong thread? Star or Coats and Clark aren't very good these days, IMHIO. I use Signature or King Tut. Are you 'racing'? Maybe you need to slow down just a tad. How often do you change your needles? a needle that is dull or has a slight burr will mess up even very good thread.

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