September '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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26 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 Ed Levy is the director of software products at Hirsch So- lutions Inc. and owner of Digitize4u, an embroidery and digitizing operation. A 23-year industry veteran, Levy has owned screen printing, embroidery, and digitizing business- es. In 2001, Levy began consulting and founded EmbForum, a professional Tajima DG/ML by Pulse software users group. THREAD ... ACCORDING TO ED B Y E D L E V Y I f you are an embroiderer, you most likely experience more thread breaks than you would like. In fact, thread breaks can become so routine, that you begin to accept them as a normal part of the process. It isn't. Many embroiderers just acknowledge the thread break, fix it, and move on. Certainly, this approach keeps the machine running, but it doesn't hurt to question why it occurred and then do some trouble- shooting to find a solution, especially when you experience frequent thread breaks. To troubleshoot, one must identify the potential causes of the problem, then eliminate them one by one. In many cases, there are multiple variables working together to cause the problem, so it's es- pecially important to use a focused scientific process. FINDING THE SOURCE To narrow down the possible causes of your thread breaks, you must identify how the sewing variables work together and affect each oth- er. In regard to thread breaks, all of the potential causes will fall into one of four categories: lower thread path and bobbin components, upper thread path and needle components, the garment, or the em- broidery design. Examine these four categories and their relationships with one an- other to start to solve the basis of your thread breaks. Lower thread path and bobbin components: The bobbin com- ponents are common to all needles in the machine. In other words, if there is a bobbin or hook problem, then it will affect all of the needles. Upper thread path and needle components: Each needle and its components are standalone items. If thread breaks are only occuring on a few needles, then it's probably related to the needles or some component of the thread path for that needle. Break Free Diving Deep into Thread Breaks Above: Upper thread break problems are usually tied to upper thread path issues. (All images cour- tesy Hirsch Solutions Inc) Right: Thread breaks can become so common that a decorator simply ac- cepts the problem as part of the process. It's not.

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