Help! My sewing machine thread keeps breaking …This is a familiar problem for both new and old sewers alike. Here I will give you 10 top tips to prevent this happening and to get you sewing trouble-free again.
Sew…what can you do?
Sewing Machine Thread Keeps Breaking?
Try this trouble shooter’s checklist to stop threads breaking and get your machine back on track right away. It’s a sure-fire approach to sorting out problems when the sewing machine thread keeps breaking and you have to keep rethreading your machine.
TIP #1: NEEDLES
Check your needle is the correct size and not bent or damaged. (Sewing machine needle sizes). Also, check it is the correct type for the fabric you are sewing. Stretch fabric needs stretch needles while woven fabric should be paired with universal needles. There are also various specialty needles available such as leather needles, denim needles and topstitching needles.
TIP #2: BOBBIN
Look out for any thread that may be wound around the spool in the bobbin case. When your sewing machine thread keeps breaking, check for fluff and lint deposits that may interfere with the machine's smooth operation. (How to clean a sewing machine) Double-check the bobbin and its casing as often a bit of thread may be caught there and if it has snapped off will affect your tension.
A bobbin needs to be wound evenly and tightly. Try replacing the bobbin even if it looks ok. It is always best if the top spool and the bobbin are both the same thread type and thickness. If you must use a contrasting color bobbin, then at least make sure it is the same brand as the top spool. (How to wind a bobbin)
TIP #3: RE-THREADING
Check you threaded your machine correctly. As a general rule, even if everything looks fine on the top and bobbin threads, do a re-thread. Admittedly this may seem like a waste of time but it does solve a lot of machine problems.
It is a bit like restarting your computer when it behaves strangely. If you re-thread the top spool, always redo the bobbin as well. (How to thread a sewing machine)
TIP #4: THREAD QUALITY
Did you use a quality thread? Getting top branded thread makes a real difference if your sewing machine thread keeps breaking, particularly when you have difficult fabrics to sew such as Spandex and Lycra. (Sewing thread types). Your thread should be the correct type for your fabric as well.
TIP #5: THREAD SNAGS
Were there any knots or snags in the thread that could get in the way and cause breakage? Knots usually cause a one-off breakage. If your thread keeps continually breaking, it is likely to be something else.
TIP #6: CLEAN THROAT PLATE
Lift up the throat plate (the metal cover over the bobbin) and clean out bits of fluff. Look in your machine manual and see if there are other moveable parts that could need a gentle clean.
TIP #7: THROAT PLATE CONDITION
Make sure there are no nasty nicks on the plate that will affect performance. Whenever a needle breaks there is a risk that you could put a nick in the plate that will cause tension and thread breakage problems. These are generally cheap to replace or a good sewing machine mechanic should be able to buff out any small nicks.
TIP #8: DON'T PULL
Remember to always keep the needle in the up position when you draw out the thread and pull the thread backward before cutting. Perhaps you are just pulling too hard.
TIP #9: TENSION
Double check the tension is right for the task and fabric. Checking the tension can be a bit of a test of your patience but get out a scrap of fabric that is the same as your garment and try little changes until you get it right. (Sewing machine tension). Some front-loading bobbins have a tension screw to adjust on the bobbin case. The upper and lower stitches on your test piece of fabric should be even and neat.
TIME SAVING TIP: If you are using the same fabric regularly, write the correct tension a scrap of fabric so you have it handy next time.
TIP #10: SPOOL CAP
Check that you remembered to put the spool cap on. This is a plastic disk that normally goes on top of the top spool to stop it flying off when you start sewing.
Sewing Machine Needle Keeps Breaking - In Conclusion
That should sort out the irritating "my sewing machine thread keeps breaking" question and frustration! After it is fixed you’ll feel more like the Fairy Godmother than the Wicked Witch of the West!
Hi Hanifa, if it only happens when you have thick fabric try a thicker needle. And make sure the thread is of good quality.
My thread breaks when fabric is folded over more than one layer
No reversing shouldn't make it break. Might need a service. Also check the throat plate and make sure there are no nicks that could cause the thread to catch.
machine sews fine in forward direction but when i use reverse, the thread cuts. Does reverse change the thread tension?
Kristofer Van Wagner
I appreciate that this post pointed out that a tangled thread is a sign that the needle is inserted improperly. My wife mentioned that her thread has been tangled up lately. I will ask her to have it repaired.
Thank-you! Thank-you! If I'd read another blog etc . . suggestion my tension was wrong, I was going to scream! My thread kept breaking and it was problem TIP #7: THROAT PLATE CONDITION- I'm slightly ashamed to say the hole the needle goes down through could have been used to cut would. BUT a little bit of very fine sandpaper and I am back in action!
Perhaps there is a problem with the machine tension in reverse. If changing thread makes no difference then it might be the machine. You can always skip the reverse and tie the ends.
I'm not sure about this one. Is your fabric really thick? Otherwise stop before the thicker layer and resume on the other side. Hand stitch in between.
My thread keeps breaking when the thickness of the fabric changes. That is it sews fine on a single layer of fabric but when I come to a section where the fabric is folded over (more than one layer of fabric) the thread breaks every time. I've changed needles and thread and it still happens.
Why does the thread break when I engage reverse?