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What size needle do you you most in your Longarm machine?

What size needle do you you most in your Longarm machine?

Old 04-06-2014, 08:29 PM
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Default What size needle do you you most in your Longarm machine?

Once again, I'm having issues with thread breaking on my longarm. I've changed my needle multiple times. Re-threaded my machine multiple times.

My thread is shredding itself as it goes through the eye of the needle. I'm using a 4.0 needle size. Did one quilt yesterday using 40 wt thread and one today using 30 wt thread. Had the same shredding problem with both threads. Do I need to use a 4.5 needle?

I absolutely love using the longarm, but I spend more time using my seam ripper than sewing.

I really wish I knew someone who was a master longarmer that would look at my machine set-up and show me everything that I'm doing wrong.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:15 AM
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I use a Groz-Beckert #18 and I have a Tin Lizzy. I use King Tut thread in the top and most time Superior So Fine in the bobbin. Here is a link from Superior Threads that may be useful. I hope you get your problem figured out, thread breakage is no fun.


Good Luck
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:07 AM
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I do not know what machine you have- or what needles you have that are size 4.0...my long arm machine needles range in size from 14 up to 19; * 14, 16, 18 & 19 are the sizes I keep in stock, use * depending on the thread being used. Visit the Superior Threads website- they have free charts you can print off telling you which needles to use for which threads you are using- I've found when I buy thread from them the recommended needle *for domestic and long arm machine* is printed right on the end of the spools/cones too* which is nice- but the charts will tell you what the different threads are best used for- and what size/type of needle to use with that thread. *threads are listed by type/fiber content/ weight*
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:12 AM
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about your statement about a 'master quilter' looking to see what you are doing wrong....have you tried getting help from the dealer who services your machine? they often offer 'free' owners classes that can really help---if you purchased your machine used- or privately you could contact customer service for the machine (I have a handiquilter- their customer service in Utah (im in Michigan) is wonderful and have helped me long-distance over the phone many times over the years- sometimes I email them pictures of something happening- then call & they talk me through fixing the issue- I would imagine customer/tech support for any of the long-arm companies would be able to do this for you if you do not have a local dealer/service center.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:42 AM
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CKCowl, Size 4.0 = size 18.

PlanoDebbie: I'd check for burrs in the thread path. Also, give a 4.5/size 20 needle a try. Also, try new thread. Oh, and you might want to try loosening the tension on the quilt itself.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:40 AM
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That's the size needle I use for the thread that you are using so my guess is something else is the culprit. If your tension is too tight, the shredding might occur or if there is a burr somewhere else that the thread is running across.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:18 AM
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check this out and see if it helps http://www.superiorthreads.com/media...de-longarm.pdf
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:43 AM
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What is the humidity level in the room that you quilt in? I had the same problem and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong...checked the humidity and it was too low, put a humidifier in the room and haven't had a problem since.
It is worth a try.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:23 AM
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Make sure the EYE of the needle is large enough for your thread. Size 30 thread is pretty heavy and thick, you need a topstitch needle, which has a much larger eye. This means less friction on the thread.


Check the quality/age of your thread - perform the snap test: Take a section of thread and give it a good sharp tug in your hands. If it snaps or breaks, toss it out and purchase better quality thread.

If you think your thread is too dry, you can oil it. This sounds weird, I know, but I have several professional longarming friends who have done this and they swear it works. Dunk the cone in white or pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil. Just dip it, set it on a plate or paper towel to drain and let the oil soak in, then after a couple of minutes, wipe the excess off and load it on your machine. No, it will not stain your quilt as long as you use the right kind of mineral oil.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:31 PM
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I have a Handi Quilter and ue Groz Beckert #16 needle with Superior So Fine 50wt/3ply thread. I have tried several brands and this has been the best. I struggled with thread breaks and skipped stitches to the point I gave up quilting. I heard about Superior Thread and gave it a try and been very happy.
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