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Thread: Taking thread off the sewing machine

  1. #1
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    I have heard that you should never pull your thread back out of the tension disks when you are changing thread on your sewing machine, be it DSM or longarm. Is this true and what is the reason? I don't want to harm my machines, although I have been doing this with my Viking Rose ever since we bought it new in the 90's and have no problems with it after all these years.

  2. #2
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    Have the same thing with my new Bernina 830. Wastes a little thread, but much better than ruining an expensive machine. Also doing it now on my other machines.

    mltquilt

  3. #3
    Super Member AlwaysQuilting's Avatar
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    I've also read somewhere that you should pull the upper thread forward through the needle, and not backwards.
    But I can't find the website now where I saw it.

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Personally I think if a machine is so delicate you can't pull the thread out backwards you probably don't want it. I've been pulling the thread out backwards on my Pfaff for over 10 years. When the presser foot is up, the tension disks are open and the thread is loose.

  5. #5
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    I think you shouldn't pull the thread out of the machine without raising the pressure foot lever. If that is up it shouldn't really matter how you get the thread out!

  6. #6
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Pulling it backwards is supposed to leave lint in the tension disks, but I've been doing it for over 20 years on my Viking with no problems at all and none on the newer Bernina either. I clean between the discs whenever I clean the bobbin area, no big deal. It's just lint, not a tension issue.

    ETA: Definitely raise the foot first. (do people really unthread with the foot down?)

  7. #7
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    I've been doing this for decades with various machines - Singer; White; Viking and never had an issue with any of them. Then again, I don't think it's even possible with the presser foot down. That would be the only issue I could think of as there would be much more pressure on the tension discs and the thread would break leaving the possibility of tiny pieces of thread that you might not be able to see/clean out. Otherwise I agree with whomever it was that said if a machine is that delicate, do you really want it????

  8. #8
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I read the same thing, so I clip the thread and pull it through the needle.

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    Pulling it backwards is supposed to leave lint in the tension disks, but I've been doing it for over 20 years on my Viking with no problems at all and none on the newer Bernina either. I clean between the discs whenever I clean the bobbin area, no big deal. It's just lint, not a tension issue.

    ETA: Definitely raise the foot first. (do people really unthread with the foot down?)
    If your thread is so linty it leaves lint in the tension disks when you pull it thru backwards with the tension disks open it's probably too linty to be using forward!!

    The only machines I know of that you really, really shouldn't pull the thread out backwards are sergers and it's not because of lint in the tension disks. It's because they can be very hard to get threaded in the right order. And if a serger isn't threaded in the exact right order it will not sew.

  10. #10
    Super Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    But if you pull it back out. dose this not help to pull any lint that was cared in by the thread back out?

  11. #11
    Super Member CloverPatch's Avatar
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    I was told this when I got my babylock. Honestly I found it absurd, but smiled and nodded anyway.
    If the foot is up and the disks are not engaged then it wouldn't matter which way I pull the thread!!
    I have had my machine for 3 years, I have never cut and pulled forward.
    My tension is as good as it ever was.

  12. #12
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Follow your dealer's instructions, not what people here say. Your dealer is going to be the one honoring (or not) your warranty on the machine. Any newer computerized sewing machine owner will be told NOT to pull the thread out backwards. And I surely wouldn't tell you otherwise and risk the longevity of your machine.

  13. #13
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    I've forgotten why you need to do this, but I do remember that I had to take my machine in for repair - and that was the problem - thread pulled out incorrectly.

  14. #14
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Personally I think if a machine is so delicate you can't pull the thread out backwards you probably don't want it. I've been pulling the thread out backwards on my Pfaff for over 10 years. When the presser foot is up, the tension disks are open and the thread is loose.
    ditto, no issues with my 25yo machine

  15. #15
    Senior Member quiltin chris's Avatar
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    It seems like I read something about this a while back. The advice was to be sure to lift the presser foot as this releases the tension discs in the machine.
    I always pull my thread out holding on the spool but I always have the presser foot up when I do this.

    Chris

  16. #16
    Senior Member quiltin chris's Avatar
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    It seems like I read something about this a while back. The advice was to be sure to lift the presser foot as this releases the tension discs in the machine.
    I always pull my thread out holding on the spool but I always have the presser foot up when I do this.

    Chris

  17. #17
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    I've read this on several of my embroidery sites regarding my Brother embroidery machines. I clipped my thread at the spool and pull forward. Yes, it waste thread but I do it anyway. I may have been told this by my repair tech...can't remember now!

    I also clean my tension discs with "unwaxed" dental floss...very hard to find but I did get it at Walgreen's.

  18. #18
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    The guy who maintains my machines told me to snip the thread at the spool and pull it out through the needle. He said if there is a little lint in the area of the tension discs it could lodge the lint in the tension assembly to where I can't get it out if I pull the thread backwards through the machine.

  19. #19
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I snip the thread at the uptake lever and pull it through the needle. Don't want any stray fuzzies to mess up the smoothness.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    It just reduces the chances of lint lodging in the tension mechanism. Thread is spun with directionality. Rubbing it against the grain will dislodge more lint than rubbing with the grain.

    Actually, the same applies to bobbin thread -- long lengths should not be pulled backwards through the tensioning system. In that case, I think the bigger risk is eventually scoring the metal.

    I don't find it any more difficult to snip thread first, so I just made it a habit to always pull thread through with the grain.

    Hand quilters are taught to thread their needle with the grain of the thread (knot goes at spool end of the cut thread). This also is because friction is reduced if you pull thread through fabric with the grain of the thread instead of against the grain of the thread.

  21. #21
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    Thanks, everybody, for all your comments. Knowing the "why" behind the "do this" is helpful.

  22. #22
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    It just reduces the chances of lint lodging in the tension mechanism. Thread is spun with directionality. Rubbing it against the grain will dislodge more lint than rubbing with the grain.

    Actually, the same applies to bobbin thread -- long lengths should not be pulled backwards through the tensioning system. In that case, I think the bigger risk is eventually scoring the metal.

    I don't find it any more difficult to snip thread first, so I just made it a habit to always pull thread through with the grain.

    Hand quilters are taught to thread their needle with the grain of the thread (knot goes at spool end of the cut thread). This also is because friction is reduced if you pull thread through fabric with the grain of the thread instead of against the grain of the thread.
    The metal will score with the thread going forward long before it will by pulling it backwards since you sew millions of miles more than pulling the thread backwards.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    Pulling it backwards is supposed to leave lint in the tension disks, but I've been doing it for over 20 years on my Viking with no problems at all and none on the newer Bernina either. I clean between the discs whenever I clean the bobbin area, no big deal. It's just lint, not a tension issue.

    ETA: Definitely raise the foot first. (do people really unthread with the foot down?)
    my machine regularly unthreads itself with the foot down, and usually its running. i wanna new one!!!!

  24. #24
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    I think I read on this site it's OK with the newer models...I've been doing it with my SE since I got her in 07 and never had a problem...But it's the older models with discs that it causing problems with.

  25. #25
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Been doing it for years on my brothers and babylock, hasn't hurt them yet

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