Have you heard never to ‘needle a seamstress’? Well, it is true. Anyone who sews regularly will testify to the irritation caused when a sewing machine needle keeps breaking, interrupting the sewing process.
It usually happens when you are racing down a seam at the rate of knots. Suddenly you hear a crunch and the awful snapping sound as the needle breaks. Your dream of being a formula one racing driver ends and you realize you have to get to the bottom of this problem. What is causing the needle to break? It is time for a reality check and to find out how the breaking point happened.
There are just a few easy steps to check why your machine needle is breaking.
HELP – My sewing machine needle keeps breaking
Sew…What can you do?
- Check the needle is not bent and hitting the edge of the foot. Even if the needle looks straight, I recommended you replace it anyway. The bend may be slight and not visible to the naked eye.
- Check the needle position – Is it to the left or the right? Were you zig-zagging previously perhaps?
- Is your needle the correct size for the fabric you chose? Check and adjust if necessary – it will make all the difference. (Read my guide to needle sizes)
- Is your needle the correct type for the fabric you are sewing. There are specialty needles for different types of fabrics. (Read types of sewing machine needles.)
- The needle clamp has a screw to the side and sometimes it can come loose. Check and tighten if need be.
- Relax as you sew and ease the fabric along. Pulling causes rough tension and may snap the thread which is going to break a needle or two. Everything is a chain reaction.
- Check your bobbin is the correct one for your machine.
- Check your bobbin is set in the casing correctly. The needle may be hitting something it shouldn’t.
- Make sure that you inserted the needle correctly into the needle shaft with the flat side to the back and screwed it in properly if it was a needle replacement.
- Check for fluff or any obstructions in the bobbin case.
Now you are ready for that ‘point break’ moment and with your checklist in hand you will be able to tackle any problems that cause your sewing needle to break. You can sew with confidence knowing you can resolve needle breaking issues.