top 8 pro tips reasons for thread breaks thread on embroidery machine

Thread Aches
(Thread Breaking and Causes)

Thread issues on your commercial embroidery machine means your machine is down, not running and causing you headaches. Get your machine running efficiently and get your product out the door.


top 8 reasons for thread breaks

1. The Needle “Condition”
Needles are a low cost item. They need to be replaced regularly and are a top source of thread fraying and breakage. (Bent needle, dull needle, installed incorrectly, etc.)


2. The Needle “Eye”
Thread weight determines the size of the needle used in your machine. (The thicker the thread, the larger the needle hole needs to be.)

a. Size of the eye. The size of the eye will affect the thread flow through the needle. Larger needles have larger eyes. Therefore, thin threads need smaller needles, thicker threads need larger needles. To reduce friction on the needle as it sews, use the correct size needle.

b. Thread wear on the eye. Thread passes through the needle eye creating wear on the top portion of the eye. This constant wearing on the eye eventually causes a grove. The grove then can cause fraying and breaking of the thread.

c. Anatomy of needle chart >

3. Quality of Thread
High quality embroidery threads (high tensile strength and designed for high speed embroidery machines) reduce fraying and breaking.

pro tip

4. Upper Tension (also known as Thread Tension)

a. Check the thread path, make sure your machine is threaded correctly.

b. Check the tension disks in the path, make sure there is not broken thread or dust between the disks.

c. Double check tension with the Free Download. H Test Download File >

5. Bobbin Tension (Checking the Bobbin Case)

a. Check the bobbin case, is it fully round and threaded correctly?

b. Is the bobbin case clean? Is there any lint, dirt, etc.?

c. Per Bill Garvin: 85% of tension problems are due to issues with the bobbin and/or case.

6. Throat Plate and Thread Path
Check to see if there is any damage to the throat plate. Scratches and burrs can fray the thread as it flows through the machine during the sewing process.


7. Rotary Hook
Burrs on the rotary hook can cause many issues including thread fray and/or breaking, missing stitches and bird nesting.

a. Burrs On The Rotary Hook Video >

8. Hook Timing
As with the Rotary Hook, Hook timing can also cause thread fraying, breaking, missing stitches and bird nesting.


helpful thread break videos

See all videos in one place and learn how to solve each problem!

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thread break videos

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