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thread breaks with solvy

schmatta | Posted in Machine Embroidery on

I saw a video of a woman making a scarf. She put down one layer of solvy, strips of bias silk, another layer of solvy. She pinned it heavily and stitched a grid. Then she lowered the feed dogs and did some close free-motion stitching.

Looked great, so I gave it a try. What a grouchy project! The machine top thread broke every couple of minutes. I almost abandoned it.

But I persevered. It looks wonderful, but I would never want to re-live the five-six hours of making it. Too bad. Was I doing something wrong? I have lots more silk and would like to make more scarves if it were not so annoying.


Can anyone advise me? Please?


  1. Josefly | | #1

    Hi, schmatta.  I can't guess what caused your thread to break, but I hope someone else will know - I'd like to try that project myself, and I know there are lots of people on this forum who have mastered free-motion stitching.  Answers to some questions about what happened may help to narrow down the possible causes of thread breakage:

    Your subject line implies that you think the Solvy was somehow the culprit.  Is that right?

    Did your thread break when you were free-motion stitching, or when you first did the grid-stitching, or both?

    Have you done free-motion stitching successfully on your machine before?  

    What kind of thread were you using? 

    Did you try to remove the thread from your machine, and re-thread it from start to finish?  Often breaking thread means the machine is threaded incorrectly, and we don't even notice that we've missed a step or allowed the thread to double back somehow.  When re-threading, the error is corrected.

    Did you start the project with a new needle, or after the breakage try changing your needle?

    I'm sure it must have been a very frustrating project.  But I'm so glad you're satisfied with the way it turned out.  How about sharing a photo with us?

    Keeping my fingers crossed that you get some good advice -


    1. KharminJ | | #2

      Schmata ~ I just had an AhHah! leading to another question ~ What size needle were you using, and have you used it happily on the silk before? It may have been a bad match of type (ball point instead of sharp, or vice-versa) or size (too large or small for the thread and fabric combination).

      I, too, wish you good luck in finding and fixing the problem! 

      And second the request for photos, please! :~)

      Bright Blessings ~ Kharmin

  2. User avater
    michellepaganini | | #3

    breaking thread

    Hello Schmatta,

    The likely culprit is old thread.  I was told by an experienced repair person that many machines brought in work just fine with new thread and the owner had a problem because they were using old thread.   Good luck.


  3. GrammyZ3 | | #4

    Thread breaks with solvy

    Did you use one of the heavier solvys- ultra or super?

    1. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #5

      Good questions

      I love all the answers/questions this post generated, and  I wish schmatta would reply.  This is a project I've always wanted to try, too, and for one reason or another just never have done so.  I am printing this thread to put in my notebook, so I will at least have a starting point when I do get around to making one of these scarves. 

      If any others have completed this project, I'd love to see some pictures.....

      1. GrammyZ3 | | #6

        thread breaks with solvy

        I had the same problem with a recent project.   I tried several possible fixes, but   I found using  a Schmetz Microtex/Sharp Needle  This needle seemed to work really well for me on a similar project using heavy solvy.  I think the Microtex needle easily and cleanly pierced the solvy thus pulling the machine thread  through more easily. 

        Microtex Sharp

        A very slim needle with a thin shaft that helps make very straight stitches. It was developed for the modern micro- fibers and polyesters and high thread count, high quality fabrics used today. The point is very sharp — thus the name — but because of this it is a bit more fragile and needs to be changed more regularly. This is a great needle for piecing high thread count fabrics like Batiks, silks, and microfibers. It is also used for beautiful topstitching or edge stitching. It comes in sizes 60, 70, 80, and 90. 

        1. KharminJ | | #7

          Schmetz Microtex/Sharp Needle

          Thanks loads for that suggestion, Grammy!

          This sounds like just the thing for a friend of mine who was trying to use an 'old sheet' as a quilt backer - must have been both 'not-that-old', and high thread count ... Bright Blessings!  Kharmin

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