I was Happily embroidering a couple of nights ago when I got a Thread Break. I am embroidering on some very rough textured Placemats (almost like burlap) for an upcoming Valentine Banquet. As I am using Metallic Thread, I wasn’t terribly surprised because this rough burlapy fabric can be hard on Metallic Thread, even our Rapos “Metallized” Thread that is really wrapped with Mylar instead of actual metallic bits.
When I grabbed the end of the thread to snip a clean end and re-thread the needle, I couldn’t even pull enough thread down to reach the needle!
We embroiderers tend to yell at our embroidery machine when we experience a Thread Break. We blame it on Tension, bad needles, bad fabric, wrong stabilizer . . . you name it. And when it happens repeatedly, we tend to growl and mumble and scowl at our machine and say, “What the heck is wrong with you!!???” In this instance, the problem was my thread. It had gotten itself off its thread path and wrapped itself around the post in the adjacent thread path!
If you have sewn or embroidered for any length of time, you know that thread can do some crazy things. When you get a Thread Break, before you re-thread the needle and press Start – do yourself a favor and check the entire length of the Thread’s Path to verify that all is truly well with the Thread.
What the heck? It’s not the fabric that is the problem here!
I made the two videos below to show you what happened.
The Moral of this Story? When you start experiencing unexplained issues:
- Check the entire Thread Path – from Thread Spool to Needle. Sometimes, thread can droop off the spool and get itself caught under the spool causing the kind of Thread Break shown in this video. A Thread Net around the spool can keep the Thread from being able to droop down and get caught under the spool. A Thread Net can also prevent the kind of slack in the Thread that allowed it to get over into the adjacent Thread Path and get wrapped around the post.
- Pull the Thread and make sure it moves freely.
- As you pull, watch the Thread move through the Thread Path – watch the Tension Dials – are they turning as you pull?
- Is your needle in Backwards? If you are new to your Happy Machine – coming from the Single Needle/Home Market with Flat-Backed Shank Needles – it is easy to insert your Round Shank Commercial Needles backwards. Guess what? They won’t work when they are in backwards! If you can’t tell the difference, get yourself a magnifying glass and really, really inspect one of your needles. Get familiar with it. Once you look at your needle really closely, you will be able to tell immediately if it is inserted backwards. Doesn’t mean you won’t still put it in backwards from time to time, we all get in a hurry and make mistakes. But, when you do, and you are troubleshooting, you will see the problem right away if you know the back of the needle when it is facing the wrong way – towards you!
It is easy to get yourself all worked up when you feel like you are in a battle with your embroidery machine and it is winning! Kind of like trying to get a Toddler to eat his peas. He is winning! But if you will take a deep breath, walk away, calm down and then come back and really, really look at the situation – from top to bottom – you might find that it is just a simple problem like my Crazy Thread!
Sorry, I have no advice on the Toddler – my son never ate his peas – still won’t. 🙂