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Thread: What Thread do you piece with in your Featherweight Machine

  1. #1
    Junior Member FWDesigns's Avatar
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    Can you tell me what thread line/company you are you using to piece with on your featherweights?

    I've tried Aurifil, Mettler and Gutterman threads and none of those are working for me. And I just can't seem to get a good straight stitch or satisfactory tension with them. I was told by another person that they are just too fine a thread to use with the featherweights. So now what? Does the ply/weight of the thread make the difference or what? I'm so exasperated here (trust me you'll see a woman with long hair pulling it all out later on TV if I can't get this fixed or pounding the machine with a hammer - it's touch and go either way right now)! :lol:

    So everyone please tell me what you are using in your FW machines to get your straight stitches and balanced tension! I'm up for any and all information. Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Good old fashioned Coats & Clark!

  3. #3
    Junior Member FWDesigns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825
    Good old fashioned Coats & Clark!
    Hmm...does it matter if it is polyester or cotton thread from them?

  4. #4
    Senior Member traumaRN's Avatar
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    I have used Guterman, Dual Duty, and Mettler in mine without any problem. I really don't think it matters, it's not the thread, it's the tension on your machine.

  5. #5
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDesigns
    Quote Originally Posted by katier825
    Good old fashioned Coats & Clark!
    Hmm...does it matter if it is polyester or cotton thread from them?
    I've used whatever Coats & Clark I have around. Some is cotton covered poly, some is just poly. They all seem to work fine on mine. I don't often use any other brands...I'm trying to use up some of my older stuff and my baby likes it, so that's what I feed her! :)

  6. #6
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Have you tried a different size needle? I read that in a quilting newsletter not long ago.

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I've used Coats & Clark and Connecting Threads with no problems. They were both cotton.

    BTW, I love Connecting Threads and they're having a sale on their thread right now. Good time to give them a try.

  8. #8
    Junior Member FWDesigns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnajean
    Have you tried a different size needle?
    Have tried these Schmetz - Quilting 75/11, Universal 80/12, think I tried a 90/14 too, and Microtex one too

  9. #9
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    Anything goes.

  10. #10
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    I use any kind or weight of thread in my FW with no problems. I hae never found a thread that she does not like...

  11. #11
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    It has been a while since I used one of the older machines, so I just read the Featherweight manual. It indicated that the presser foot has to be down to adjust the tension. Is that what you tried?

    http://www.singer-featherweight.com/...es/singfea.pdf

  12. #12
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    Aurifil and Metallic needles solved my problems. Oh yes, I ose Super fine in my bobbin, gets 3 x more thread on each bobbin so it lasts longer. I love using the superfine prefilled bobbins. On my FW I have to remove the little paper front and back to put into my bobbin. Works great! I do the same on my treade "Helen".

  13. #13
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I just got a FW, and haven't tried it at all yet. Glad to know they are not picky about thread.

  14. #14
    Super Member Wine Woman's Avatar
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    I have no problem with different brands also. Gutterman's is the majority of my threads but I think when these little ones came into existance was Gutterman's even around? Coats and Clark and Double Duty I use also. Are you threading your needle the right way? That is always a problem and remember the needle flat side is to the left I believe not to the back like most machines. I would check these two areas also. Take a deep breath and rethread and reinsert the bobbin. Sometimes that works too. Hope you get it running right real soon.

  15. #15
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    I use Coats and Clark or Gutermann. My FW is not picky about thread.

  16. #16
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    Presencia 60wt 3 ply is absolutely KILLER piecing thread, I love it!

  17. #17
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    I use most any kind of thread in my Singer machines including the featherweight... However, I use ONLY SINGER NEEDLES in them too. There is something about the shank that makes the Singers not like the other needles no matter what the package says. Usually for my piecing I will use a 80/12 or 90/14... On the machines I actually quilt with I use 90/14 Embroidery or a 100/16... Still Singer needles.

  18. #18
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by traumaRN
    I have used Guterman, Dual Duty, and Mettler in mine without any problem. I really don't think it matters, it's not the thread, it's the tension on your machine.
    I agree. I've had no problem with these on my FW.

    Check T-N-T or Threading, needle, tension first. Clean your FW. Then check your timing as it may be off.

    ali

  19. #19
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The vintage Singers love Coats and Clark threads. I use all brands. I have a 301, FW, and 15 series. The needles for FW and 301 need to be Singer needles as they are a teeny bit different in length. Other brands will work but the Singer needles cause less problems.

  20. #20
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    The vintage Singers love Coats and Clark threads. I use all brands. I have a 301, FW, and 15 series. The needles for FW and 301 need to be Singer needles as they are a teeny bit different in length. Other brands will work but the Singer needles cause less problems.
    I use Schmetz with no problems. I also have the Singer needles but have not noticed a difference.

  21. #21
    Junior Member FWDesigns's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the info. Here’s some background: I have a 1961 221K Red S badge machine I purchased back in May via EBay. Had a few little issues/repairs that were needed to machine but I was able to fix them. They were just minor-general maintenance stuff. But what I haven't been able to fix is the tension (still doesn't look good to me after numerous tries). So after playing around with every setting and thing to do to it I finally broke down and took the machine to someone back in June to make sure I was doing everything correctly (aka threading, needle placement, oiling, etc). I was told my threads (I primarily use Aurifil & Mettler) were too fine to use in a FW and I needed to use thicker thread. Then I was asked what brand needles I was using (Schmetz) and I was told they weren't good to use but to use a large eye Universal Organ needle. (All of a sudden my brain snapped into gear and started asking…Universal needle for piecing-Huh? What happened to using a good Topstitch, Micro-tex, Quilting or a Sharp needle for piecing?) Then I was told the material I was using to piece quilts was too soft. What? Since when is 100% cotton (Moda/Hoffman/Benartex brands) too soft to use on these machines? I thought I was on Candid Camera or the Twilight Zone. This person was a friend of a friend who I was told was a quilter with many vintage straight stitch machines and knews a lot about FW’s and repairing them. And I was really believing everything I was being told to buy and do (hmm…well until we got to the needle and fabric questions). And it really went downhill on this person’s experience when my friend asked a couple of basic questions and she got some really strange answers.

    So since I wasn’t really satisfied with those answers, I asked around and had the name of another person given to me who was guaranteed to be certified in FW repairs. I was told that this person had taken several classes over the years for FW repair and supposedly knew everything on repairing them. So I felt good - I was going to meet someone with experience who could look at and give me an honest opinion on the tension/stitch issue. It was going to be a little bit of drive for me but doable. We meet and they said some of the same things -like to use only Coats & Clark thread and to use a 90/14 Organ needle. They checked needle placement and my threading orientation - said it was all correct. They only sewed 1 line to check it and thought the tension was fine. When I pointed out the thread tension and reached down and actually pulled the thread out (top thread) they tried to change the subject and stated that these machines never really sew a good stitch. Huh?

    They remarked several times on how great of shape the machine was in for being 50 years old and that it had really nice decals with no wear to them and asked me several times during our conversation how much I paid for it. Finally I told them the amount and they said, “Oh I hate to tell you this but it isn’t worth that amount” then they turned right around and offered me about half of what I paid for it. They said they knew of someone who was looking for a “toy” sewing machine just like this one for their grandkid and they would be happy to take it off my hands for me. I saw the ploy and sweetly asked them why they didn’t think it was a real FW. They said the lamp wasn’t an Original (OEM) Singer lamp because the switch to turn it on is not on the base of the machine but actually on the lamp. I laughed and asked if they had ever worked on a 221K machine. They laughed back at me and said FW’s are all 221’s and there are no letters to them. Needless to say, I didn’t stay much longer. (Note: I may be inexperienced in fixing the tension but I saw the con job a mile off this person was pulling to get this machine from me and they continued to call me almost every day for a week until I finally had to threatened legal action).

    So here I sit confused, frustrated and unhappy over this expensive buy because I can't get a really straight stitch line out of this little sucker. What the heck…have I really gone completely crazy? Because between the quilter's strange answers and then the certified person both saying the tension is fine I don't feel it's right. Being able to pull the thread right out after it is sewn that isn’t having a balanced tension nor is having a wavy, wonky looking seam acceptable...right? Come on be honest...am I expecting too much?

    I just got some Organ needles delivered today in my JHittle order so I am going to try those tomorrow when I’m not so frustrated and see how they do in it. I will post a couple of pictures so that you can see what I am describing. Wish me luck!

  22. #22
    Member Carol E's Avatar
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    My fw will do them all

  23. #23
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    I have two good working FWs and only use Guterman.

  24. #24
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jljack
    Thanks for the info. I just got a FW, and haven't tried it at all yet. Glad to know they are not picky about thread.
    :shock: What do you mean you haven't tried her yet?? I thought you would have brought her home & tried her out first thing! :D

  25. #25
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    Do you have a local sewing machine repair center? I had to bring my 1947 FW named "PeeWee" to the local repairman and he had her up and running in about 2 hours for only a very few dollars. The tensioner was 'eating' the Coates and Clark thread that came with her because it was loaded with 'slubs'. My repair guy said to use only Guterman and be sure the flat side of the needle goes to the left when installing.

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