Tips for Taming Finicky Threads

Tips for Taming Thread Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Does your machine only like certain thread brands? These tips will help!

Embroidery machine owners can be pretty defensive in loyalty to their brand. The same can be said of thread. Some machine embroiderers loathe Brand X while others can’t say enough good things about their experience. You get the idea.

I recently read a social media thread about, well, thread. Someone had great success embroidering with Brand Y and Brand Z thread. She decided to try a more expensive thread, believing it may be better.

The more expensive thread left large loops on top of the fabric and a massive tangled nest on the bottom. Troubleshooting and rethreading did not improve the embroidery but putting the less expensive thread back on the machine worked perfectly.

Often, it doesn’t make any sense why it happens, but these tips may help:

  • Rethread everything, making sure the presser foot is raised to open tension discs.
  • Turn the thread upside down or backwards to change the twist.
  • Using a thread stand.
  • Slow stitching speed.
  • Adjust top tension.
  • Change the needle.
  • Clean the bobbin area.
  • Use the same thread type. Mixing poly and rayon in the same project can affect thread tension.

What do you do when your machine hates your thread brand?

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Bonnie Welsh - October 08, 2021

    Colleen—When all else fails that’s a great option! Love it! =)

  • Bonnie Welsh - October 08, 2021

    Marion—I don’t think you meant to say Fray Check on your spool as that seals thread so it doesn’t come undone. It glues thread together. Maybe you meant Sewer’s Aid? They have a similar looking bottle.

  • Bonnie Welsh - October 08, 2021

    Teresa, Thank you for the kind words! We’re doing well and all are healthy which is a blessing!

  • Bonnie Welsh - October 08, 2021

    Nicki—If you’re having issues with nesting on the bottom, that suggests an issue with the top. More than likely you didn’t get the thread “seated” in the take up lever (the silver arm that goes up and down). Try threading using both hands and pulling to make sure it “clicks” into place. Hope that helps. =)

  • colleen - October 07, 2021

    what do you do when you have tried all of the hints in the list? AAAAHHHHHH use the thread for making your own fabric for speciat projects by using wash away and strands of the ****thread and/or pieces of fabric other or other items you wish to add to decorate.

  • Marion Pawlak - October 07, 2021

    I have found if my machine doesn’t like the thread I picked I use fray check on the spool and slow down the machine and that seems to work for me.

  • Teresa Wertz - October 05, 2021

    great tips Bonnie! Hope all is well with your family!

  • Nicki Lundeen - October 05, 2021

    Most commonly, I cuss a little. Doing machine embroidery I do have issues at time with nesting on the underneath side. I will have to work through the remedies mentioned above next time. I always use the same thread in my bobbin that I use with my needle. Thanks for the tip.

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