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Thread: 221 top thread breaks

  1. #1
    Junior Member Tippysmom's Avatar
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    221 top thread breaks

    My FW 221 sews like a champ, except the top thread keeps breaking. I've rethreaded it 20+ times, checked the bobbin, the tension, referred to the manual, but I am at a loss as to what the problem could be.

    Any ideas??

    Thanks,
    Renate

  2. #2
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I would check for burrs in the needle hole.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Tippysmom's Avatar
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    Just changed the needle, still breaks.

  4. #4
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    can you thread the machine and then manually pull the top thread and the bottom thread by hand? Cathy (Mizkaki) showed me that you can get the tensions pretty close by doing this manually and feeling the force required to draw each.

    They should be relatively the same.

    Also I believe that these era machines have a tension release when the presser foot is up which can be an issue when doing that test.

    DISCLAIMER: (I am much better at fixing machines than fixing sewing issues...)

  5. #5
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    There is tension difference when the presserfoot is up vs. down so take that into account. Is it every spool of thread or just one? If it's just one, I would test the tread for rot. (Even "new" spools sometimes have problems.) Unwind about 12" or so and holding both ends, give it a good firm yank. If it breaks, it's your thread. That's always my first check since it's easy to diagnose.
    -Ashley
    "The biggest blessing is aggressive pressing"
    Mom to Max (Am. Cocker Spaniel) and Charlie (Orange Tabby)

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Thread breaking can be lots of stuff.
    Burrs on the throat plate or hook.
    Bad needles - they can be deformed from the factory, be bent, bad points, hitting on something.
    Tension too tight - upper or lower
    Thread winding around the spool pin.
    Thread catching on the spool.
    Dried up oil on the tension.
    Dried oil or burrs on a thread guide.
    Rotten/cheap thread.
    Bent or rusty bobbin.
    I'm sure there are other things can cause thread to break.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  7. #7
    Super Member oldsewnsew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippysmom View Post
    My FW 221 sews like a champ, except the top thread keeps breaking. I've rethreaded it 20+ times, checked the bobbin, the tension, referred to the manual, but I am at a loss as to what the problem could be.


    Any ideas??

    Thanks,
    Renate
    Not something that will show up in manuals, but these ole gals can get rust or burrs on the bobbin case/base, or hook. Watch the thread as it follows around the bobbin when you turn it by hand. Use a flashlight, see anything causing it to hang up a bit as you rotate the balance wheel?
    Jim

    "What do you mean worrying doesn't help? Everything I ever worried about...never happened!"
    quote by __________ I forget who.

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Tammi made a video about tensions maybe your tension is too tight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzFX...AyBQ2l-Mzkw7ew The tension is very similar and her info on adjusting the tension may be of help.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  9. #9
    Junior Member Tippysmom's Avatar
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    Hmm, let me check out all of these ideas and see if anything works. Some of these have not been considered, so one of them may be the problem.

    Thank you all, I'll check in later!

  10. #10
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    You can check out Nova Montgomery's website, Tips of the Month. You may find a solution/suggestion for your problem
    http://www.novamontgomery.com/feathe...month-2014.htm

    Sweet Caroline

  11. #11
    Junior Member Tippysmom's Avatar
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    Whoo Hoo! Got Miss Hattie fixed. I have no idea what I did, but I did everything you all suggested, so I count that as a win!!

    Thank you all again,
    Renate

  12. #12
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Yeah!! Good job!

  13. #13
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    Great news, so happy for both of you.

  14. #14
    Member Holly H NY's Avatar
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    By chance, did you recently remove the needle plate to clean out lint? Try removing the needle plate, then lift the bed extension up to access the bobbin case. Take the bobbin case out, then make sure that the knob on the circular "bobbin housing" ( not really sure what this is called) is in the upright position and put the needle plate back in place. The housing should not move if it is in the proper position. Replace the bobbin case. This did the trick for me. Good Luck Holly

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