September '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 88

28 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 THREAD ... ACCORDING TO ED that it is properly installed and smoothly feeding out of the bobbin case. Look for dirt or lint buildups. Also, verify the thread trimmer is fully retracting. Incorrect thread tensions: Thread tension is always a factor with just about every embroidery problem. Incorrect thread tension does not always cause thread breaks, but it is certainly a potential cause. For example, if the upper thread is too tight, it may lead to missed stitches. Fabric too thick or stiff: Extremely thick or stiff fabrics can lead to thread breaks. One common occurrence is that the needle slightly bends as it passes through the fabric, causing it to graze the inside edge of the hole in the needle plate. This results in the thread rub- bing against the edge of the needle plate hole, which shreds the thread. Changing to a larger needle may improve the penetration. The same problem happens with six-panel caps as the needle makes contact with the center seam, causing the needle to deflect slightly. Hidden obstructions in the garment: The item being sewn may contain some hidden obstructions, such as plastic "stays" in collars, interior seams, or inside pockets. Fabric or hoop bouncing while sewing: The item being sewn must be hooped such that the fabric is not too tight or too loose. Loosely hooped fabric will bounce up and down while sewing. This is a very common situation with six-panel caps as well. A machine with a digitally controlled presser foot can solve a flagging problem. Too much design density: The design may be the underlying cause of multiple thread breaks. Too much density in a design is much like fabric that is too thick or stiff. It leads to needle deflec- tions, which can cause thread shredding and breaks. Stitch lengths are too short: Extremely short stitch lengths may lead to thread piling up in one area, which leads to needle deflections and the resulting thread breaks. Once you've hopefully narrowed down the cause of your thread breaks, it's time to start searching for clues that can help you narrow down the potential causes. Two of the most common questions that can help find the solution are: Is the thread breaking cleanly or is it shredding? A clean break is usually the result of a missed stitch, which leads to a timing or needle depth issue. A shred is typically caused by the thread rubbing against a sharp edge of some sort. This could be caused by burrs on the needle, rough surfaces in the upper thread path, improper needle clearance through the needle plate, or improper bobbin hook position. Is the thread breaking on all nee- dles or just one needle? This may require some experimentation, espe- cially if the design has only one or two colors. Try running it using some of the other machine needles and compare the results. If the thread break is occurring on all of the needles, then it could be related to the bobbin or caused by the design or the garment. Run the design several times and record the stitch number(s) where the break(s) occur. If the breaks are happening in the same general location each time, then the problem is most likely in the design. Proper troubleshooting techniques are the key to solving your thread break troubles. Take the time to do it correctly, and maybe, just maybe, you will be able to see thread breaks as a thing of the past.

Articles in this issue

view archives of Printwear - September '17