Thread breaks are frustrating

Bridget McPhillips Home sewing machines Industrial sewing machine long arm quilting machines tutorials

I am going to just go ahead and start at the end.  If you are searching for an answer, reading through the details of my thread breaking story to get to the conclusion is not what you need, so here it is:

Look at your thread spool or cone closely.  As you see in the upper left hand side of the first image, my thread is shredding right on the spool.  It was not obvious, I did not notice it until I looked closely, but after trying everything else I did look at the thread cone.  After noticing what looked like random bits of thread sticking out of the spool and little loops along the thread, I unwound the thread from the cone to the point where the thread looked frayed and loopy.   The thread was clearly already damaged before it ever was threaded through my machine. 

For the record, this is good quality thread that I use for sewing, quilting and embroidery.  I will continue to use this thread, I will just make sure I look at my thread cones a little more closely!


The image above shows the thread removed from the cone to the place where it was damaged.  My embroidered logo would sew out beautifully until this point on the cone of thread was reached, then thread breaks until I had moved beyond this spot on the cone. 


There are so many different thing that can cause your thread to shred or break.  I am attaching a few links to articles I found to be very informative and helpful.  I just wanted to share my experience because even when you buy good thread, you can still have a problem.  So before you start throwing needles away, take a closer look at the thread you are using, literally!

Is your thread good, no problems spotted?  Even if your thread looks good on the surface, consider the following before you rule the thread out as a problem:

Over time thread will deteriorate.  How old is your thread? 

If thread is exposed to sunlight and dust it will also cause the thread to deteriorate over time.  Its temping to display your thread on thread stands or on shelves on the wall.  All the pretty colors bringing beauty and inspiration to your space, but in the end it is just not good for the thread.  Try to store your thread in a container or drawer to make it last longer.  Use your old thread to display!

Lastly, the humidity of your workshop could be effecting your thread.  If the air is very dry, it could be the reason your thread is giving you trouble.  Try adding a humidifier to your workshop during the dry months of the year.


I found the following links to be informative and helpful.  Add them to your bookmarked pages and then you can easily find them for reference in your time of need. 

Wishing you less thread breaks and hours of happy sewing, quilting, and embroidery!



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  • helen on

    Oh that is a cool article! I had no idea about all the thread facts. Thanks for sharing!

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