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8 Reasons Why Your Upper Thread Is Shredding On Your Embroidery Machine

 This article is brought to you by Lizzsews.

Here are some reasons why your top thread might be shredding while you’re embroidering!

Starting machine embroidery is definitely a challenge, and troubleshooting is hard. 



Often when your top thread is shredding, it’s caused by when the thread goes through the eye of the needle or while it’s going through the thread guides. 

1. A dull or bent needle

How long has it been since you’ve changed that needle? It might be time to swap it out! A needle only lasts about 8-10 hours of stitching, this amount of time may vary depending on what you are making. It’s good to have lots of needles on hand.


2. Are you using the right needle for the project?

Are you embroidering heavier fabrics? Like denim or leather? If so, you’ll want to use a heavier needle size like 90/14. If you’re just embroidering mid-weight fabrics you’ll want to use 75/11

3. Are you using sewing needles?

Make sure that you are using specifically embroidery needles and not sewing needles. 


4. The needle is too small

Your needle might be too small, meaning that the eye is too small for the thread to go through. You can fix this by going up a size needle, for example, if you are using size 75/11, you may want to size up to 80/12 or even 90/14. I suggest using Schmetz embroidery needles.

It's also important that you are using embroidery specific needles, not sewing needles.

5. Thread brand

The brand of thread you are using can have a big effect. The thread may be too thin or bad quality. I suggest that if you’re going to purchase thread, read the reviews and see what others are saying about it. I use New Brothread and have had little to no problems!


6. Something is in the upper thread path

There might be something, like a little piece of thread, stuck in the upper thread path. You can clean the upper thread path by using the little cleaning brush or even a make-up brush. 

7. Threading the machine with the presser foot down

When you’re threading the machine, you want to make sure that the presser foot is up. If the presser foot is down when you are threading the machine, it will mess up the tension and can cause various problems, including thread shredding. 

8. Thread is not going through all of the thread guides

Check that the thread is in all the thread guides, don't miss the #6 thread guide that is just above the needle. The best way to fix this one is to slowly rethread the machine and make sure the thread is going through all of the thread guides.


9. Not using a thread stand

Sometimes using the spool holder in your machine can even cause your thread to shred. Giving the thread time before it starts going through the machine is huge. This extra time allows the thread to be loose and release loose knots on its own. Using a thread stand can fix a lot of problems.


If none of these work for you, here is an article on more reasons why your upper thread is shredding!

Be sure to like and leave a comment and let me know what you think! And don't forget to subscribe to get notified for my next blog post!

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