Learn Why Thread Keeps Breaking on Sewing Machine – Quick Fixes

Are you tired of the frustration that comes with your sewing thread constantly snapping mid-stitch? You’re not alone. Many sewing enthusiasts face the exasperating dilemma of Why Thread Keeps Breaking on Sewing Machine. It’s more than just an inconvenience; it disrupts your creative flow and interrupts your projects. But fear not, as there’s light at the end of the needle!

In this guide, we’ll delve into the common reasons behind this pesky problem and explore effective solutions to keep your sewing machine humming smoothly. Say goodbye to thread troubles and hello to seamless stitching experiences!

Salient Points

  • Proper threading: Ensure correct threading through tension disks to prevent breakage.
  • Tension settings: Adjust tension correctly to avoid undue stress on the thread.
  • Needle maintenance: Use a sharp needle and appropriate size/type for fabric to prevent snagging.
  • Bobbin care: Keep the bobbin area clean and ensure proper winding to maintain smooth thread flow.

Why Thread Keeps Breaking on Sewing Machine?

Here are some of the reasons that your thread keeps breaking on sewing machine:

  • Incorrect threading: If the thread is not properly threaded through the tension disks or the threading path, it can cause excessive tension leading to breakage.
  • Tension issues: Incorrect tension settings can cause the thread to break. If the tension is too tight, it can put undue stress on the thread, causing it to snap.
  • Low-quality thread: Cheap or old thread can be more prone to breaking due to inconsistencies in thickness and quality.
  • Needle problems: A dull or bent needle can snag the thread, causing it to break. Also, using the wrong type or size of needle for the fabric being sewn can lead to breakages.
  • Bobbin issues: Improperly wound bobbin, tangled thread, or debris in the bobbin area can interfere with the smooth flow of the thread, resulting in breakages.
  • Machine maintenance: Lack of regular cleaning and maintenance can cause buildup of lint and debris, which can affect the thread’s movement and lead to breakages.
  • Incorrect thread path: If the thread path is obstructed or not followed correctly, it can cause the thread to get caught and break.
  • Machine speed: Sewing too fast can put excessive stress on the thread, causing it to snap.
Why Thread Keeps Breaking on Sewing Machine

What to Do if Thread Keeps Breaking on Sewing Machine?

Here’s what you should do if thread keeps breaking on your sewing machine:

  • Correct threading: Ensure the thread is properly threaded through the tension disks and follows the correct threading path according to the machine’s manual.
  • Adjust tension settings: Experiment with adjusting the tension settings to find the right balance for your fabric and thread combination.
  • Use high-quality thread: Invest in good-quality thread to reduce the chances of breakages.
  • Change needle: Replace the needle with a new, sharp needle of the appropriate type and size for the fabric being sewn.
  • Check bobbin: Ensure the bobbin is wound correctly, free of tangles, and the bobbin area is clean.
  • Regular maintenance: Clean the machine regularly, including removing lint and debris from the bobbin area and needle plate.
  • Follow correct thread path: Make sure the thread path is clear and follows the correct route as per the machine’s manual.
  • Adjust sewing speed: Slow down the sewing speed to reduce stress on the thread, especially when working with thicker fabrics or intricate stitches.
Tackling Thread Breakage | Why Thread Keeps Breaking on Sewing Machine

Let’s discuss these fixes in detail now.

Correct Threading

  1. Refer to the Manual: Begin by consulting your sewing machine’s manual to understand the correct threading process specific to your machine model.
  2. Raise the Presser Foot: Before threading, always raise the presser foot to release tension on the thread.
  3. Thread the Upper Thread: Start by placing the spool of thread on the spool pin and pulling the thread through any guides or thread paths indicated in the manual. Then, thread the thread through the tension discs, ensuring it fits snugly between them.
  4. Guide the Thread: Follow the threading path as indicated, passing through any additional guides or hooks until reaching the needle.
  5. Thread the Needle: Thread the needle from front to back, making sure the thread is pulled through the needle’s eye completely.
  6. Lower the Presser Foot: Once threaded, lower the presser foot to engage the tension discs properly.

Adjust Tension Settings

  1. Understand Tension Dial: Locate the tension dial on your sewing machine. Usually, higher values indicate tighter tension, while lower values indicate looser tension.
  2. Test Stitch on Scrap Fabric: Begin by testing your stitch on a scrap piece of fabric. If the thread is breaking, try adjusting the tension dial slightly either up or down.
  3. Observe Stitch Quality: Examine the stitch quality after each adjustment. If the stitches appear too loose or too tight, continue adjusting the tension dial until achieving the desired stitch quality.

Use High-Quality Thread

  1. Inspect Thread Quality: Before using a thread, inspect it for any irregularities, such as knots, thick spots, or fraying. Low-quality threads are more prone to breaking due to inconsistencies.
  2. Invest in Good Quality: Purchase threads from reputable brands known for their quality. High-quality threads are more durable and less likely to break during sewing.
  3. Match Thread to Fabric: Choose a thread that matches the weight and type of fabric you’re sewing. Using a thread that is too thin or too thick for the fabric can increase the likelihood of breakages.

Change Needle

  1. Select the Right Needle Type: Choose a needle suitable for the fabric you’re sewing. Needles come in various types, such as universal, ballpoint, or denim needles, each designed for specific fabric types.
  2. Check Needle Condition: Inspect the needle for any signs of dullness, bending, or damage. A damaged needle can snag the thread, leading to breakages.
  3. Replace with New Needle: If the needle is dull or damaged, replace it with a new, sharp needle of the appropriate type and size for your fabric. Insert the needle correctly, ensuring it is fully seated and facing the correct direction.

Check Bobbin

  1. Inspect Bobbin Winding: Examine the bobbin to ensure it is wound evenly and smoothly. Unevenly wound bobbins can cause inconsistent tension, leading to thread breakages.
  2. Check for Tangled Thread: Look for any tangled or knotted threads in the bobbin area. Remove any tangles or debris that may obstruct the smooth flow of the thread.
  3. Clean Bobbin Area: Use a brush or compressed air to clean any lint or debris from the bobbin area. A clean bobbin area ensures smooth operation and reduces the risk of thread breakages.

Regular Maintenance

  1. Create Maintenance Routine: Develop a regular maintenance schedule for your sewing machine. This includes cleaning the machine, oiling moving parts as recommended by the manual, and checking for any loose screws or parts.
  2. Clean Machine After Use: After each sewing session, clean the machine to remove lint, dust, and debris. Pay special attention to areas around the bobbin case, feed dogs, and tension discs.
  3. Schedule Professional Servicing: Schedule professional servicing for your sewing machine at least once a year, especially if you use it frequently. A professional technician can identify and address any underlying issues that may contribute to thread breakages.

Follow Correct Thread Path

  1. Refer to Manual: Consult your sewing machine’s manual to understand the correct thread path specific to your machine model. The manual provides detailed instructions on how to thread the upper thread and wind the bobbin properly.
  2. Clear Thread Path: Ensure the thread path is clear of any obstructions or tangles that may impede the smooth flow of the thread. Clear any debris or lint from the thread guides, tension discs, and other threading components.
  3. Follow Sequential Steps: Thread the upper thread according to the sequential steps outlined in the manual, passing it through each designated thread guide, tension disc, and hook in the correct order. Proper threading ensures even tension distribution and reduces the risk of thread breakages.
  4. Check for Snags: As you thread the machine, check for any signs of the thread snagging or catching on rough edges or protrusions. Smooth out any rough spots or burrs that may cause the thread to break during sewing.

Adjust Sewing Speed

  1. Start Slowly: Begin sewing at a slow and steady pace, especially when working with challenging fabrics or intricate stitches. Sewing too quickly can put excessive strain on the thread and increase the likelihood of breakages.
  2. Monitor Stitch Quality: Pay attention to the quality of the stitches as you sew. If you notice any irregularities or tension issues, adjust the sewing speed accordingly. Slowing down allows for better control over the stitching process and reduces the risk of thread breakages.
  3. Practice Patience: Sewing at a moderate pace and taking breaks when needed helps prevent fatigue and allows for more precise stitching. Remember that sewing is a skill that requires practice and patience, so don’t rush the process.

Troubleshooting Common Sewing Machine Issues

IssuePossible CauseTroubleshooting Steps
Machine not turning on1. Power cord not plugged in properly.1. Check if the power cord is securely plugged into the outlet and the machine.
2. Faulty power outlet.2. Test the outlet with another device to ensure it’s working.
3. Blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.3. Reset the circuit breaker or replace the fuse if necessary.
4. Internal wiring issues.4. If none of the above works, seek professional repair assistance.
Thread breaking or shredding1. Incorrect threading.1. Re-thread the machine following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
2. Needle issues.2. Ensure the needle is inserted correctly, not bent, and appropriate for the fabric being used.
3. Tension problems.3. Check and adjust the upper and lower thread tension as needed.
4. Bobbin issues.4. Make sure the bobbin is wound correctly and inserted properly into the bobbin case.
Uneven stitches1. Improper tension settings.1. Adjust the tension settings according to the fabric and thread being used.
2. Dull or damaged needle.2. Replace the needle with a new, sharp one suitable for the fabric.
3. Feed dog issues.3. Clean the feed dogs and ensure they are properly engaged with the fabric.
Machine jamming or skipping1. Thread tangled in the bobbin area.1. Remove the bobbin case and clear any tangled thread or lint buildup.
2. Incorrect needle or thread size.2. Use the correct needle and thread size combination for the fabric being sewn.
3. Dirty or poorly lubricated machine parts.3. Clean and lubricate the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Machine making strange noises1. Loose parts.1. Tighten any loose screws or components on the machine.
2. Lack of lubrication.2. Apply lubricant to the appropriate parts as indicated in the manual.
3. Foreign objects trapped in the machine.3. Carefully inspect and remove any foreign objects lodged in the machine.

Remember, if the issue persists after troubleshooting, it’s best to consult the sewing machine manual or seek professional repair assistance.

Sewing Machine Maintenance Tips

Here are some important sewing machine maintenance tips to keep your machine in optimal condition:

  • Regular Cleaning: Dust and lint accumulation can affect the performance of your sewing machine. Clean the machine after every use using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to remove debris from the feed dogs, bobbin area, and thread path.
  • Oil the Machine: Lubrication is crucial for smooth operation. Apply a drop of sewing machine oil to the moving parts as recommended in the manual. Avoid over-oiling as it can attract more dust and cause malfunctions.
  • Change Needles Regularly: Replace sewing machine needles after every 8-10 hours of sewing or if you notice dullness, bending, or snags in the fabric. Using a worn needle can cause skipped stitches and damage your fabric.
  • Check Tension Settings: Incorrect tension can result in uneven stitches or thread breakage. Adjust the tension according to the fabric being used and conduct regular test stitches to ensure proper tension.
  • Keep it Covered: When not in use, cover your sewing machine with a dust cover or case to protect it from dust and sunlight, which can cause fading and brittleness of plastic parts.
  • Avoid Forceful Sewing: Do not force the fabric through the machine. If you encounter resistance, stop sewing, and check for tangles, thread jams, or fabric bunching.
  • Schedule Professional Servicing: Regular servicing by a professional technician is essential to keep your sewing machine in top condition. They can detect and fix any underlying issues before they escalate, ensuring longevity and optimal performance.
  • Store Properly: Store your sewing machine in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Avoid storing it in places prone to extreme temperatures or humidity to prevent rust and deterioration of internal parts.
  • Refer to the Manual: Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific maintenance instructions and troubleshooting tips tailored to your sewing machine model.


In conclusion of why thread keeps breaking on sewing machine, understanding the reasons behind thread breakage is pivotal in conquering the challenges of sewing. By addressing issues such as incorrect threading, improper tension adjustments, and needle choices, you can bid farewell to the recurring problem of broken threads.

Remember, meticulous attention to detail and regular maintenance of your sewing machine are essential for seamless stitching. As you continue your creative endeavors, let this guide serve as your ultimate resource, empowering you to conquer any thread breakage obstacle with confidence and finesse. Get ready to embark on a stitching journey free from frustration, where your creativity knows no bounds.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check the thread tension on my sewing machine?

To troubleshoot thread tension issues on a sewing machine, start by checking the bobbin and top thread for tangles or knots. Adjust the tension dial according to your machine’s manual. Different machines may require different adjustments for optimal results.

What type of needle should I use for different types of fabric?

Choosing the right needle for different types of fabric is essential to ensure smooth sewing. Troubleshooting common thread tension issues can help resolve problems such as thread breaking. Understanding these techniques will enhance your sewing experience and improve the quality of your projects.

Can you provide detailed instructions on how to thread a sewing machine correctly?

To thread a sewing machine correctly and prevent thread breaks, follow these troubleshooting tips: use the correct needle for the fabric type, ensure proper tension settings, check for lint or debris in the machine, and thread it accurately according to the machine’s manual.

How can I check for thread snags or tangles while sewing?

Thread snags or tangles can be checked by examining the tension of the thread while sewing. Troubleshooting a sewing machine involves adjusting the thread tension and ensuring that it flows smoothly to prevent these issues.

Is it necessary to adjust the stitch length and speed while sewing?

When sewing, it is important to adjust the stitch length and speed in order to maintain proper thread tension and prevent common sewing machine problems. This troubleshooting technique ensures smooth and accurate stitching.

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