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Thread breaking & skipped stitches

KBWINSON | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi Everyone,
I’ve been lurking on this board for a bit and I’m enjoying reading everyone’s posts.  I need advice about an ongoing problem. I’m wondering if I should just have the machine serviced. I have a “new” (store display) Kenmore. I’ve been having problems with the secondary thread shredding while sewing with a twin needle. I think it’s something with the take-up lever on the bobbin–because now I’m also having problems with skipped stitches on the secondary thread as well. I loosened the upper tension to no avail. The skipping isn’t a problem when I go at slooow speeds. Anything else that I should be troubleshooting? Or should I just take the machine to the shop?



  1. FrancesKing | | #1

    Have you replaced the needle, sounds simple but some times we forget.  Also, make sure there isn't any lint or anything under the thoat that might be causing fiction on the thread causing it to shred.  If not, by all means take it to be serviced.  If you wait, it might be out of warranty. 


    1. enidshapiro | | #2

      I had  Kenmore which was horrendous.  I finally had to junk it. 

  2. carolfresia | | #3

    Kim, if you're sewing with a twin needle, does this mean you're using a stretch fabric with lycra or spandex? Stretch knits, esp. those with lycra, can sometimes be a hassle to sew, and do best with a stretch needle. In any case, a new needle is always a good place to start if you're getting skipped stitches--and be sure the needle is seated properly. Skipped stitches can occur if the upper thread doesn't interlock with the bobbin thread correctly--which happens if the needle is out of position, is worn, bent, etc.--or if the fabric itself (or lint build-up or other obstruction) somehow prevents the needle from getting all the way down into the bobbin area.

    I'm not sure what the story is with the shredding. Is the machine threaded properly for twin-needle sewing? Some machines (but not all) require you to skip a thread guide with one of the threads... Is the thread shredding at the eye of the needle or somewhere below that?

    You can also experiment with changing threads. Some threads just don't work well under anything but absolutely ideal conditions, and are prone to breaking. Dark colors in particular can be troublesome. I suspect that if your machine is working otherwise, you don't have a lemon, but for twin-needle sewing you might always need to do some extra troubleshooting.

    Try twin-needle stitching on a variety of fabrics with different thread, and then return to your original fabric--and let us know if you solve the problem!


    1. rjf | | #4

      Do all needles today have half-round shanks so you get the grooved side of the eye in the right place?  Or is that something to check?  I remember helping a neighbor "repair" her sewing machine by turning the needle around.              rjf

      1. carolfresia | | #5

        All the home sewing machines I've seen that are of recent vintage use a needle that's got one flat side at the non-eye end, which makes it almost a no-brainer to get the needle facing the right way when you install it. Thank goodness--I can't see well enough anymore to peer upside down in there and actually see all of what's going on! And thank goodness my current machine has a well-functioning needle threader, too.


  3. SewingSue | | #6

    Agree with previous responses.  Check you manual and make sure you are threading correctly for twin needle.  What type of thread are you using?  Some threads, in particuliar metalics, are very prone to shredding and the needle size must be large enough to allow the thread to pass freely.  Try changing the thread and if that doesn't help change the needle.  Be sure to give the machine a good cleaning to be sure you don't have any fuzz or lint interferring with the operation.  If all else fails take the machine to be professionally cleaned and for an alignment check.  Let us know how it goes.    Sue

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