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Thread: what can cause thread to break?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    I noticed last week when I was working on piecing the strips, that every once in awhile the upper thread would break. (bobbin thread was fine).

    I also noticed that it almost sounds like it is stitching through paper... a sort of tick tick sound when stitching.

    It doesn't jam or snag, or snarl, just every once in awhile the thread breaks.

    Any suggestions? Please help, new to sewing and not sure what is happening.

  2. #2
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you need a new needle.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Up North
    Sounds to me like you need a new needle.
    I wondered if that might be the problem (I have not changed the needle yet, and used it for the a fair amount of sewing on the denim lap quilt, and now a few strips... so um.. now to figure out which needle of the ones I do have, that I can or should use.

    I wonder if I could use the one from the other machine, since the other machine is not being used.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    The tick tick tick can also signal a problem with the bobbin. I have one machine that will do this if I don't clean it out with every bobbin change.

  5. #5
    Super Member Carron's Avatar
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    Try a different needle.

  6. #6
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    Up North is right... new needle!

  7. #7
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Denim will dull a needle very quickly. A lot of needles are interchangeable, but it depends on the kind of machines you have...

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhaorth
    I noticed last week when I was working on piecing the strips, that every once in awhile the upper thread would break. (bobbin thread was fine).

    I also noticed that it almost sounds like it is stitching through paper... a sort of tick tick sound when stitching.

    It doesn't jam or snag, or snarl, just every once in awhile the thread breaks.

    Any suggestions? Please help, new to sewing and not sure what is happening.
    Try a new needle. That sound probably means it's dull.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    kenmore and singer, kenmore is the one I am using, singer has a squeaking sound so not using it till it can be taken in for a check up. both were given to me by my mother in law.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    kenmore and singer, kenmore is the one I am using, singer is the other one.
    going to grab the needles I do have and find that thread that discussed needle codes.
    hopefully will have something that will work.

    Thanks for the replies.

    sorry for partial double post.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    These two machines probably will use the same needle.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    well I found a package of kenmore needles that were with the machine... they are color coded, I checked the chart in that other thread, and no clue what the numbers mean and what would be good for cotton wovens.

    Kenmore color codes
    Kenmore colors its needles with a different system of color codes which indicate the needle's size:

    Shank color Shaft size Shaft size (europe)
    blue 11 75
    orange 12 80
    red 14 90
    purple 16 100
    green 18 110


    I have one of each of these... which one should I use?

  13. #13
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    new needle or possible a good cleaning under the bobbin area.

  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    the recommendation for needles is to change your needle with every new project-or every 8 hours of sewing time-which ever comes first- and fabrics like flannel, denim, heavier fabrics or knits will dull your needle faster than sewing regular quilting cottons. any time your stitch quality is poor the first thing to check is ...when did you change that needle last???

  15. #15
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg
    new needle or possible a good cleaning under the bobbin area.
    I took the bobbin and assemble stuff in there, removed the foot plate thing, cleaned out all the lint, oiled it and reassembled, and it still makes the snick snick noise, and breaks the thread off and on

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    the needle size type needs to match the thread being used- not the fabric=
    visit the superior threads web site- they have free charts that will tell you what each needle is for- what thread to use with it- the weights and sizes- you can download the chart= print it and always have it hanndy.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    the recommendation for needles is to change your needle with every new project-or every 8 hours of sewing time-which ever comes first- and fabrics like flannel, denim, heavier fabrics or knits will dull your needle faster than sewing regular quilting cottons. any time your stitch quality is poor the first thing to check is ...when did you change that needle last???
    I have never changed the needle (had no clue they got dull, I know duh... new with machines though... I feel stupid... I should have known... but now I do)

  18. #18
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    the needle size type needs to match the thread being used- not the fabric=
    visit the superior threads web site- they have free charts that will tell you what each needle is for- what thread to use with it- the weights and sizes- you can download the chart= print it and always have it hanndy.
    wow lot more to this than I ever though. I am just using coats and clark regular thread.. (I know that is not much help) let me go look at the spool then check that site)

    says coats and clark all purpose polyester covered polyester

    not sure what the other numbers are.

    Thank you all for the info, going to be in another window while I check that site about threads.

  19. #19
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Is your needle in backwards?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    miriam, nope, it only will fit one way, flat on one side.

    I think it is what people suggested, dull needle, being I have not changed it and have sewn denim.

    I am just not sure what needle to replace it with.
    (I checked the website mentioned above and do not see anything to help with coats and clark all purpose thread)

  21. #21
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhaorth
    miriam, nope, it only will fit one way, flat on one side.

    I think it is what people suggested, dull needle, being I have not changed it and have sewn denim.

    I am just not sure what needle to replace it with.
    (I checked the website mentioned above and do not see anything to help with coats and clark all purpose thread)
    I just went through the thread breaking thing with Glen on the vintage shop. He is an excellent trouble shooter. I learned a lot from him. Ok here is a link to a conversation I had to reconstruct with Glen over on the vintage sewing machine shop. It was page 1770 you can scroll down an see my post. This same trouble shooting will apply to any machine you have. http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-43881-1770.htm#4581627 My problem was I put the needle in backwards. It kept hitting something. I'm usually pretty good at trouble shooting but this one caught me blind. I was using two machines for the first time. I really should have checked with the manual. For what ever reason the needles went in just fine and would actually sew an inch or so before breaking the thread.

  22. #22
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    With the C&C thread I use the 14 90...

  23. #23
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    Thank you all, Charlee, I will most likely use the one you just suggested.

    So hard not knowing what I am doing. I don't want to end up messing up the machine.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    thank you miriam!

  25. #25
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    looking at my old sewing book...If any of these look like it
    might be "it" then I'll go to the page needed and send it to you

    Needle backwards
    Tension upper too tight
    Debris in tensions
    Incorrect needle
    Lint pack in lower race
    Thread too thick
    Needle too thin
    Poor thread or old
    Burs on thread handling mechanism
    -----------------------------------------------
    This book is from 1979, but here's what it says about needles
    Size 11/75 =use for Batiste, Taffeta, Chiffon, Find Silk, Cottons, etc.
    ----------------------------
    Size 14/90 =use for Cotton, Flannel, Medium weight fabrics
    ---------------------------------
    Size 16/100=use for Denim, Gaberdine, Drapes, Heavyweight materials
    ========================
    Size 118/110=use for Canvas, Upholstery, Heavy material or top stitching
    ==================================
    this also has a list for leathers, Size 11/75= 14/90=16/110
    ===========================
    Size 9/65=use for Delicate and Sheer Fabrics, Find Lace
    Size 11/75=use for Lightweight fabrics, Single, Double knit, Tricot Jersey
    Size 14/90=Medium weight knits
    Size 16/110=Heavyweight knits, Heavy elastics, Bonded Knits
    ==================================
    Size 11/75=Lightweight knit with stretch, Jersey, Tricot, Qiana
    Size 16/160 Heavyweight Stretch Fabrics, Some Suede
    ========================================
    ANY SIZE..if it is puckering, jamming or breaking, it's no good.
    Size
    =====================================
    I never knew most of these sizes, or else didn't bother about being so careful to match the needle to the fabric. In fact, most of the time==I'll admit this==most of the time I don't bother to even change the needle till I start having some trouble with it.

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