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Sewing Machine Thread Breaking: Tips to Fix (2024)

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thread keeps breaking on sewing machineAre you experiencing problems with your sewing machine thread breaking? It can be incredibly frustrating, especially if it happens frequently. Fortunately, there are a few simple solutions that can help prevent this issue, allowing you to get back to stitching in no time.

This article will provide helpful tips and advice on how to prevent thread from breaking on your sewing machine, whether it is an embroidery or regular type of machine. It will also offer troubleshooting suggestions for when things don’t go according to plan.

Key Takeaways

  • Thread quality is important and should be matched to the fabric weight.
  • Check for knots and snags in the thread before use.
  • Ensure proper tension, needle selection, and bobbin care to prevent thread breaks.
  • Slow down sewing speed when using metallic thread.

Why Does My Thread Keep Breaking?

Why Does My Thread Keep Breaking
If your thread keeps breaking, it’s worth noting that poor thread quality accounts for a significant 27% of thread-related issues, making it a key factor to consider in troubleshooting.

However, it’s not the only culprit. Incorrect thread tension, an ill-fitted needle, and bobbin issues can also lead to frustrating thread breaks.

When dealing with metallic threads, they’re notoriously finicky and prone to breakage due to their delicate nature.

When sewing fleece or thick materials, the thread tension needs to be adjusted correctly to accommodate the fabric’s thickness.

Stretch threads demand precision in tension settings to prevent excessive pulling that can cause breakage.

In free-motion quilting, erratic movements can strain the thread, so it’s crucial to maintain even stitching.

To conquer thread break woes, scrutinize these factors and apply the appropriate remedies to unleash your sewing machine’s full potential.

How to Stop Sewing Machine Thread Breaking

How to Stop Sewing Machine Thread Breaking
To prevent thread breakage on your sewing machine, focus on essential factors such as needle selection and maintenance. Ensure you follow these tips for needles, bobbins, thread quality, thread snags, and cleaning the throat plate to keep your sewing process smooth and frustration-free.

Needle Tips

To improve your stitching, consider these needle tips. Start by selecting the right needle size and type for your fabric. Ensure needle thread compatibility by matching it with your thread quality. Check for needle plate issues, inspecting for nicks or burrs that can lead to thread breaks.

Proper needle insertion is crucial; make sure it is securely in place. Lastly, do not overlook the top tension settings, as incorrect tension can contribute to thread breaking. Mastering these needle-related aspects will significantly reduce thread breakage and enhance your sewing experience.

Bobbin Tips

Check your bobbin for any tangles or lint that could be causing the issue; it’s like untangling a knot in a necklace chain.

Here are five crucial bobbin tips to keep those thread breaks at bay:

  1. Bobbin Winding: Wind bobbins evenly, ensuring consistent tension and using the same thread type as the upper spool.

  2. Bobbin Compatibility: Use bobbins that are compatible with your sewing machine model to prevent feeding issues.

  3. Bobbin Tension: Adjust bobbin tension if needed, ensuring it matches the upper thread’s tension for balanced stitching.

  4. Bobbin Troubleshooting: If you encounter bobbin thread issues, re-thread the bobbin following the upper thread path precisely.

  5. Throat Plate Condition: Regularly inspect your throat plate for nicks or burrs that can lead to thread breakage.

Maintaining your bobbin system is a key step in achieving smooth sewing operations.

Thread Quality Tips

Ensure you’re using high-quality thread, as using subpar thread can lead to frustrating issues down the line.

Thread Selection Thread Storage Thread Maintenance Thread Testing
Opt for reputable brands. Store in a cool, dry place. Regularly clean your machine. Check for knots and snags.
Match thread weight to fabric. Keep away from sunlight and heat. Use a clean throat plate. Test unwinding behavior.
Use polyester or cotton for general sewing. Avoid damp environments. Check for burrs and nicks. Conduct a tension test.
Specialty threads for specific tasks. Use thread organizers. Replace damaged needles. Ensure consistent tension.

Taking these thread quality tips to heart will help prevent sewing machine thread breaking and ensure smooth, frustration-free sewing experiences.

Thread Snag Tips

Avoid using low-quality or snagged thread, as it can easily catch and cause disruptions in your stitching process. Take care of your thread by inspecting it for knots and snags before loading it onto the machine.

Make sure your bobbin is well-maintained and matches the top thread. Choose the right needle and adjust tension according to fabric compatibility. Additionally, consider the machine speed, usage of stabilizers, and alignment of the thread guide to minimize the risk of sewing machine thread breaks.

These steps will empower you to master seamless stitching without frustrating interruptions.

Cleaning the Throat Plate

To keep your stitching smooth and frustration-free, it’s crucial to regularly clean out the throat plate.

Here’s how to ensure your needle plate stays in top shape:

  • Needle Plate Inspection: Check the throat plate for nicks or burrs that can snag the thread.
  • Bobbin Area Examination: Look for any thread tangles or accumulated lint around the bobbin area.
  • Regular Cleaning: Clean the throat plate and surrounding areas to prevent thread interference.
  • Smooth Operation: A well-maintained throat plate ensures seamless sewing, reducing the risk of embroidery thread shredding.

Take these steps, and your sewing machine will operate with the precision of a well-tuned instrument.

Troubleshooting Embroidery Machine Thread Breaking or Shredding

Troubleshooting Embroidery Machine Thread Breaking or Shredding
To troubleshoot embroidery machine thread breaking or shredding issues, you’ll want to address several key points. First, consider changing the needle to ensure it is the correct size and type for your fabric.

Next, change the thread to a high-quality option that matches both the top and bobbin threads. Then, check the feeding mechanism for any obstructions or irregularities. Examine the top thread path for proper threading and inspect the needle plate for burrs or nicks that may be causing the thread to break.

Lastly, don’t forget to investigate the bobbin area for any tangles or lint buildup.

Changing Needles

When changing needles on your embroidery equipment, think of it as providing your machine with a fresh set of tools to create flawless stitches. Proper needle selection is crucial; consider using titanium-coated needles for enhanced durability.

Check the needle plate for any burrs or nicks that could potentially cause thread breaks. Ensure that the spool cap securely holds the top thread spool in place. When sewing thick materials or using stretch thread, make sure to choose the appropriate needle type and size.

Remember, needle maintenance is a small yet significant step in preventing thread breakage during embroidery.

Changing Thread and Checking Feeding

Ensure that you regularly check the bobbin and wind it evenly to match the top spool’s thread type when troubleshooting embroidery machine thread breaks. Changing thread and checking feeding are crucial steps to prevent issues like thread shredding or breaking.

  • Use the same thread type for both the top spool and bobbin.
  • Inspect the bobbin for tangles and lint before loading it.
  • When switching to free-motion quilting or fleece sewing, adjust tension appropriately.
  • Remember not to pull the thread too hard when cutting to avoid unnecessary stress on your machine.

Checking the Top Thread Path

Check the top thread path carefully for any obstructions or misalignments that might be causing the issue. Begin by inspecting the entire thread path, starting from the spool and ending at the needle. Look for any snags, knots, or tangled threads along this path. Pay special attention to areas where friction may occur, such as around tension discs and guides.

Ensure that there are no sharp edges or burrs that could damage or shred your thread as it passes through. Regularly clean and maintain your top thread guide to prevent the buildup of lint and debris, which can affect the smooth threading process.

Checking Needle Plate for Burrs or Nicks

To address needle plate issues, run your fingers along its surface, and if you feel any roughness resembling the texture of a dragon’s scales, consider smoothing or replacing it to keep your stitching smooth.

Needle Plate Inspection is a critical step in troubleshooting thread breaks. Here’s what to do:

  1. Visual Examination: Inspect the needle plate under good lighting to identify any visible burrs or nicks.
  2. Finger Test: Gently run your fingers over the plate to feel for imperfections.
  3. Smooth or Replace: If you find any rough spots, use a fine abrasive to smooth them out.

Maintaining a smooth needle plate ensures your thread moves freely, reducing the chances of thread breaks during embroidery.

Checking the Bobbin Area

Take a closer look at the bobbin area to spot any tangles or lint. Proper maintenance here can save you from frustrating thread breaks.

Here’s a handy table to guide you through bobbin troubleshooting:

Issue Possible Causes Solution
Bobbin Tension Too tight or too loose Adjust the tension according to your machine’s manual.
Bobbin Thread Inspection Uneven winding or damage Wind the bobbin evenly with the same thread as the top.
Bobbin Compatibility Mismatch with top thread Use the same thread type for both bobbin and top spool.

Maintaining the bobbin area ensures smooth embroidery without thread hassles.

Why Does My Metallic Thread Keep Breaking?

Why Does My Metallic Thread Keep Breaking
Are you struggling with constant issues while working with metallic thread, experiencing frustrating interruptions in your creative process? Sewing with metallic thread can be a beautiful endeavor, but it does come with its unique challenges.

Metallic thread is notorious for breaking, leaving you with a trail of frustration.

First and foremost, make sure you’re using high-quality metallic thread, as low-quality ones are prone to breakage. Check your needle selection. Opt for a larger eye needle to reduce friction. Adjust your tension settings.

Metallic threads often require a looser tension. Slow down your sewing speed. High-speed sewing can stress the delicate metallic fibers.

By following these Metallic Thread Tips and Thread Breakage Causes, you can elevate your sewing with metallic thread to new heights. Don’t let thread troubles hold you back. Conquer them with these Thread Break Solutions and unlock your creative potential.

Why Does My Thread Keep Breaking When Sewing Fleece?

When working with fleece, it’s important to use the correct needle size and type for the fabric. This can reduce thread breakage by up to 50%. Fleece sewing challenges often arise due to the fabric’s thickness and stretchiness.

To tackle this, opt for a ballpoint or stretch needle. These needles will glide through fleece without causing excessive tension on the thread.

Adjusting thread tension is crucial when working with fleece. Lowering the tension slightly can help prevent thread breaks because this fabric tends to grip the thread tightly.

Regular machine maintenance is also important in preventing fleece thread breaks. Fleece fibers can accumulate in the bobbin area, causing issues. So, keep your machine clean and lint-free.

When troubleshooting fleece sewing issues, check for any burrs or nicks on the needle plate or hook assembly.

By following these tips and choosing the right needle and tension settings, you can conquer those pesky thread breaks and master sewing with fleece.

Why Does My Needle Thread Keep Breaking in Thick Material?

Why Does My Needle Thread Keep Breaking in Thick Material
To prevent issues in thick materials, make sure your needle is compatible with the fabric and in good condition. Thick material challenges demand careful consideration of various factors to keep your sewing smooth and thread break-free.

  • Needle Selection: Opt for a needle designed for heavy fabrics, such as a denim or leather needle. These needles have a stronger shaft and a sharper point, making them better equipped to pierce thick materials.

  • Thread Quality: High-quality thread is essential when sewing thick materials. Inferior thread can break easily under the strain, so invest in a strong, durable thread that matches your fabric.

  • Tension Adjustment: Adjust your thread tension to accommodate the thickness of the material. You may need to increase the tension slightly to prevent thread breakage.

  • Bobbin Considerations: Ensure your bobbin is wound evenly and with the same thread type as your top spool. Mismatched bobbins can contribute to thread breaks.

  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your sewing machine well-maintained, as lint buildup or needle plate issues can exacerbate thread breakage in thick materials.

By paying attention to these factors, you’ll overcome the challenges of sewing thick materials and enjoy a more seamless sewing experience.

Why Does My Upper Thread Keep Breaking When Using Stretch Thread?

Why Does My Upper Thread Keep Breaking When Using Stretch Thread
If you’re working with stretchy fabric and facing the frustration of your upper thread repeatedly snapping, it’s like trying to walk a tightrope without a safety net. But fear not, for mastering the art of sewing with stretch thread is within your grasp.

To prevent those exasperating upper thread breaks, follow these essential stretch thread troubleshooting tips.

First, adjust your stretch thread tension. Stretch threads require a lighter touch. Lower the tension on your sewing machine to accommodate the thread’s elasticity.

Additionally, consider using a stretch needle designed specifically for stretch fabrics.

Next, ensure your stretch thread is compatible with your fabric. Using a high-quality stretch thread that matches your fabric’s stretchiness is crucial.

Don’t forget to check your machine for any accumulated lint or debris that might be interfering with the smooth flow of thread.

By fine-tuning your stretch thread tension and choosing the right needle, you’ll gain the power to conquer stretchy fabrics and liberate your sewing projects from those frustrating upper thread breaks.

Why Does My Thread Keep Breaking When Free-motion Quilting?

Why Does My Thread Keep Breaking When Free-motion Quilting
Ensure proper tension adjustments and clean machine maintenance when free-motion quilting to prevent interruptions in your work.

  1. Needle Selection: Opt for a needle specifically designed for free-motion quilting. Choose a quilting or embroidery needle with a larger eye to reduce friction and minimize thread breaks.

  2. Thread Quality: Invest in high-quality quilting thread that can withstand the rigors of free-motion quilting. Low-quality thread is prone to fraying and snapping easily.

  3. Preventing Breaks: Keep your thread tension well-balanced. Adjust it correctly for your quilt and fabric type to avoid excessive tension that can cause thread breaks.

  4. Regular Maintenance: Clean your machine frequently, paying special attention to the bobbin area and tension discs. Lint and debris buildup can lead to irregular thread tension and breaks.

By addressing these aspects, you’ll enhance your free-motion quilting experience, creating smoother, uninterrupted stitching for your quilts. Mastering these details will free you from the frustration of thread breaks and give you greater control over your quilting projects.

Your Top Thread Isn’t Threaded Correctly

Your Top Thread Isn’t Threaded Correctly
Check the top thread tension; it’s like trying to play a guitar with one string too tight while the others are loose, causing discord in your stitches. Proper thread tension is key to preventing those frustrating thread breaks on your sewing machine.

Start by ensuring your top thread is threaded correctly through all the necessary guides and tension discs. Double-check the needle placement; a slightly bent or misaligned needle can wreak havoc on your thread.

Next, perform a bobbin check. Is it wound evenly and with the same thread as your top spool? Inconsistent bobbin thread can lead to tension issues.

Don’t underestimate the importance of thread quality either. High-quality thread is your ally in the battle against breaks.

And remember, regular machine cleaning is not just for appearances; accumulated lint can affect thread tension. So, if your thread keeps breaking, take a step back and address these factors – your sewing journey to mastery will be much smoother.

Your Top Thread Tension is Wrong

Your Top Thread Tension is Wrong
To address the issue with your top thread tension, adjust it according to the fabric you’re working with and the sewing technique you’re using.

Start by selecting an appropriate thread tension setting on your sewing machine. For lighter fabrics, reduce the tension to allow the thread to flow smoothly. Conversely, for heavier materials, increase the tension to ensure the stitches hold firm.

Always test on a scrap piece of fabric to fine-tune the tension before starting your actual project.

Don’t forget to check the tension discs on your machine; accumulated lint or debris can disrupt the thread’s smooth flow. Additionally, the bobbin tension plays a vital role in preventing top thread issues.

By mastering the art of thread tension troubleshooting and making precise tension disc adjustments, you’ll regain control over your sewing machine, resulting in seamless stitches and a satisfying sewing experience.


It’s easy to get frustrated when your sewing machine thread keeps breaking, but understanding the causes and taking preventative steps can help you get back to creating in no time.

From checking the needle size and type for fabric compatibility to ensuring the correct top thread tension, there are many factors to consider. Remember to regularly clean your machine, use high-quality thread, and double-check that the bobbin is wound correctly.

With the right techniques and troubleshooting tips, you’ll be able to stop thread breaks and start sewing with ease. And remember, if your thread keeps breaking, take a step back and troubleshoot the issue.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.