Sewing Machine Thread Keeps Breaking

Being a part of Amazon Associate and some other Affiliate Programs, we may earn a small commission for every qualifying purchase from affiliate links at no extra cost to you. You can read our affiliate disclosure to learn more and also our review process.

Thread is the bane of a sewer’s existence. It tangles, it breaks, it knots. And when you want to sew your latest fashion masterpiece, the thread is always the first thing to go wrong. Almost every sewer knows how frustrating it is when your sewing machine’s thread keeps breaking as you sew. It doesn’t seem to matter how often you change the needle, adjust the tension, or try a different type of thread – it keeps breaking!

This is a discussion about the reason why the thread keeps breaking, and what you can do to solve the problem.

The Reasons Why Thread Breaks For most machine sewers, the problem of thread breaking is much worse than having to stop mid-project and rethread the sewing machine.

Watch Video: How to fix your thread breaking on your sewing machine?

The bigger problem is that every time you break a stitch, you also break a finished seam – and who wants that! If your sewing machine has been giving you trouble cutting out some fabric, the first thing to check for is broken stitches.

What Are The Major Causes Of Thread Breaking?

Not all threads break the same way, and if you are sewing with a standard monofilament thread, the quality in terms of breaking is not going to change.

An Individual Thread Break

A single break means that there is a badly formed thread that has broken from a knot. From this point, you can try to re-thread the machine or get it repaired. For some machines, you may have to undo quite a lot of things before it can be fixed.

Group of Thread Breaks

Whenever a group breaking happens, it should be a clear indication that the tension is too tight. The machine may have knotted and broken the thread – in this case, you need to adjust the tension or get the machine serviced.

Poor Quality Thread

Poor quality or low-grade thread may not have been manufactured correctly and could lead to fraying, knotting or breaking when stitched on a sewing machine.

Two Threads Knotted Together

If you have two threads of the same type in a knot, then you can try to thread it back in on your machine, but if it is being too hard to do this, then you should not attempt to correct the knot. Get a new needle and thread which will not knot.

You should always have spare spools of the thread that you use most often. While you can always try threading a sewing machine with the thread of your choice, it is always advised that you have a spare spool of the same type because there are some times when your machine will not accept the other brand.

There are also times that while sewing, we use different threads to get detailed work done or to change the color of our garments. This can sometimes cause a break in stitching. But you can use an alternative way to sew these threads so that there’s nowhere for the thread to break.

There are some instances where the thread is not manufactured properly or has been installed in the machine incorrectly. You can find out if this is true by checking the needle when it breaks. If your thread breaks at a certain point on the needle, then you may want to do something about that. But don’t worry it’s not a problem with your machine if your needle does not break there.

Watch Video: Sewing Machine Thread Breaking Issue | Singer

Reasons for Thread Breaking in Your Sewing Machine

There are many instances that cause thread breakage.

  1. Thread Gets Stretched out
  2. Thread Knitted with Unusual Knots
  3. Stitches are Tight
  4. Sewing Without Stitching
  5. Hand or Foot Tension
  6. Bobbin not wind properly
  7. The fabric is not taut
  8. Needle is of bad quality
  9. The Thread is of bad quality
  10. Sewing with high speed
  11. Wrong timing of needle
  12. Dirt

Thread Gets Stretched out

The thread gets stretched out when you sew through thick fabric. Tension of the sewing machine becomes loose, and the delicate thread is stretched beyond its limit. This may cause it to break. Lower your tension if you are dealing with bulky fabrics and make sure to use a variety of stitches that use less thread.

Thread Knitted with Unusual Knots

When you do this, the thread gets knotted and breaks. Try using a longer stitch length or decrease your stitch length when you are dealing with bulky fabrics or heavy materials. You can also try switching to a different variety of thread if the current one is causing problems that break it whenever you sew.

Stitches are Tight

If you have poor thread selection, the thread gets knotted and breaks. If a thread breaks when you are sewing, but it’s not because of a knot, then try using another type of thread type as this may be the problem. The machine also needs to be free from tension before it can properly sew any material. You should tighten things after seaming and if necessary, adjust the tension on the machine so that it is less tight before stitching.

Sewing Without Stitching

If you have a sewing machine, you have to use it. It is not supposed to be used as a decoration piece, so make sure that you use it. If the needle breaks when not in use, then there is something terribly wrong with your machine. This may be the problem of incorrect installation.

Hand or Foot Tension

You can cause breakage by creating too much tension during sewing. You should always keep your feet on the floor or sit down if possible when you are sewing. Take care not to pull the fabric too tight. And you also need to make sure that your machine doesn’t have problems with tension.

Bobbin Not Winding Properly

Your bobbin has to properly wind up to create a smooth sewing experience. Most sewing machines should have a mark for the thread, but if yours doesn’t, then you can always check the amount of stitches in your bobbin at different intervals and see if it is full. If you sew with a full bobbin, threads will break during the process. Make sure that the machine is properly lubricated and that it has no problems with tension.

The Fabric is Not Taut

If your fabric is not taut, you can cause a break in the thread during sewing due to higher tension. For thicker fabrics, you should lower your tension so that less force will be needed to create stitches. You may also want to use a different type of thread or stitch so that the pressure from stitching isn’t too great.

Needle is of Bad Quality

If the needle is of bad quality and does not have the right proportion between the length and width, this may cause breakage during sewing. The best thing to do is to get a new one if you are experiencing problems such as this.

Check here the best Singer Heavy Duty Needles if you want to get the best results.

The Thread is of Bad Quality

You should always make sure that you have good-quality thread in your sewing machine. This will prevent any problems with breakage.

Sewing with High Speed

You need to make sure that your machine is able to control the fabric correctly. If you sew with a high speed setting, you can damage your thread and break it. Slow sewing will create less tension and less friction on the fabric, but if you sew too fast, there’s a chance that the thread will break. The best thing to do is to experiment with different speeds and see which one works best for you.

Wrong Timing of Needle

You can break the thread if you don’t correctly time the needle. The best way to do this is to make a knot in the thread and then lower it into the needle hole. Once it’s all through, pull the thread gently so that it goes back out at a normal pace. Do not press down on the foot pedal to sew as this will cause tension on your fabric and may cause breakage.


Dirt is hard to get cleaned out of your needle and thread. Dirt keeps the needle from working properly and can cause it to break during sewing. It may also create dust that will clog up the machine, so you may want to clean the machine more frequently than usual when your machine is causing problems.

How To Clean Your Sewing Machine Thread Tensioner?

Most sewing machines come with a thread tensioner inside to help keep tension on the fabric when stitching. Over time, this device can get dirty and clogged up with lint and other debris. If your machine hasn’t been working right lately and you notice more broken threads when sewing, then this may be the problem.

First, make sure that you have a pair of gloves on to protect your hands from sharp objects inside the sewing machine. Then turn the sewing machine on and use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold in the tensioner. This will be tough, so you may need to get help from a friend or find someone online that can help you out.

Once the screws are removed, pull the tensioner out of the machine and use a brush to clean up all of the dirt inside. Make sure that you remove all debris and once finished, put everything back together and your machine should be working better now. If not, try cleaning it again until it works like new.

Watch Video: Why Does Top Thread On My Sewing Machine Keeps Breaking?

How To Fix Thread Breaking On Sewing Machine

Check here some solutions to keep your machine safe from thread breakage

  1. Use high-quality thread and needles.
  2. Select the right type of needle for different fabrics.
  3. Stitch lightly but with equal thickness in all parts.
  4. Use a thread conditioner which makes it less sharp, and smooth and reduces its roughness.
  5. Keep your thread and needle free from dirt with a pusher.
  6. Keep your machine’s tensioner clean and functional by removing any dirt from inside the mechanism.
  7. Always check if the needle is fully inserted in the Presser’s foot before sewing.
  8. Check if the needle is blunt or not. Blunt Needle Pokes and tears the fabric.
  9. Check if the needle is of the correct size. Use a needle that is compatible with your Thread.
  10. Check if the bobbin used for that particular thread has any kind of error in it. Use a new cleaned bobbin for every sewing.
  11. Check if the Presser foot used for that particular material has any kind of error in it. Use a new presser foot for every sewing.
  12. Check whether the tension is correct or not. Use a new needle for every sewing.
  13. Check if the thread being used is of good quality. Use a higher thread for the first few rows, a lower thread for weaving and finishing.
  14. Always stay away from high-speed settings under any circumstances and when the machine is trying to stitch properly it will create more tension on the thread which can cause breakage in many instances.
  15. Always keep the machine clean and well maintained by regular checking of the needle and bobbin. Especially in the case of thread breakage by your machine.
  16. Always use a pin or even a needlestick to see if everything is fine with the needle and thread.
  17. Always compare the new sewing machine’s thread tensioner with the old one and make sure that it is working well.
  18. Always check if you are using the correct thread for your machine or not. Check before buying a new one.

Why Does The Top Thread Break On The Sewing Machine?

There are many reasons for top thread breaking on machines. Because different types of thread are used on sewing machines and it’s not easy to know which type of thread from all the available types, it is important to know the list and understand the reasons for top thread breaking on sewing machines.

Top threads break at that time when the needle or a presser foot touches the other side or front side of the fabric when you are working.

We have many types of thread on the market but mainly it is available in 3 types and the most common one is cotton thread. The alternative of top threads is heavy-duty and top metallic. Normal metallic thread is called a combination of all three types of metallic thread. 

When a needle or a presser foot touches the other side or front side of the fabric when you are working, then that may cause top threads to break and at that time a human being doesn’t understand anything. It is a very difficult and unexpected situation for anybody to understand why the top thread breaks at that time.

I have given a solution to this problem, which can help to end this problem and you don’t need to get the solution by visiting a nearby sewing machine shop.

Sewing Machine Thread Breaks In Reverse?

When you are sewing a fabric, the needle comes and goes up and down through the fabric. At those times the top thread breaks and at those times a human being can’t understand anything. It is a very difficult situation for anybody to know what is the reason for the top thread breaking on the sewing machine at that particular time.

How To Thread A Sewing Machine Properly?

We have already published guides about threading a sewing machine. So, you can read those guides to learn about threading different brands of sewing machines.

FAQ About Thread Breaking In Sewing Machine

Why does the sewing machine thread break the needle?

When you are sewing a fabric, the needle comes and goes up and down through the fabric. At that time the top thread breaks right at that moment. We are using many types of machines, but mainly it is available in three types such as cotton thread, heavy-duty, and top metallic thread. 

What thread tension should I use?

There are several threads, which you will use in your machine. Some of them are for everyday use and others for very special occasions. Whatever your machine is capable of, it will depend on what type of thread you use on it. It’s a good idea to read the manual before you begin sewing with the type of thread that is recommended for the type of fabric that you want to work with.

Why does my bottom thread keep breaking?

There are several reasons why your bottom thread keeps breaking. One of the reasons is that there is not enough space for it in the bobbin casing. If your bobbin does not turn freely inside the casing, you will end up with a tangled mess and have to replace it.

Another possible reason for this is that your needle may be bent or damaged in some way. This can happen if you drop your machine or use the wrong needle size.

How do you tell if your bobbin tension is off?

If you see that your bobbin top thread is looped over the bobbin case, then you know that it’s too high. You can also check to see if your stitches are puckering or lack a smooth transition.

If it seems like there is too much tension, then your bobbin tension is adjusted too high. To adjust it, simply turn the screw on top of the casing counter-clockwise to increase the tension and clockwise to decrease it.

How do I know if my sewing machine has the right tension?

You can tell how well your sewing machine is balanced by how smoothly it sews, how well it sews on the first few stitches, and how well it sews across different types of fabric. The tension should be set correctly for each type of fabric you sew.

If your stitches are puckering when sewing on a certain type of material, then the machine is set too tight; if they are pinking up when you sew a thin knit material, then it’s too loose.

How do I stop my bobbin thread from breaking?

One of the main reasons bobbin thread breaks is because there is too much tension. If you are using a machine with a top loading bobbin, you can fix this by adjusting the tension.

This can be done by using a screwdriver to turn the small screw on the top of the casing clockwise to reduce tension and counter-clockwise to increase it.

Final Thoughts

My point here is that there are a lot of things you can do to make sure your sewing machine is behaving properly and the thread is having the best performance possible.

None of these are complicated, they require no expensive equipment or costly education, and they take only just a little bit of extra effort on your part. So stop being content with mediocre results, invest in yourself, and try out this advice!


  1. Brother – Why does the upper thread keep breaking?
  2. Etsy – help! top thread keeps breaking while sewing
  3. Quora – Why does the thread keep breaking on the sewing machine?
  4. Sailrite – Thread Breaking
  6. Quora – Why does the thread form loops and break when I reverse stitch on a sewing machine? How do I fix it?
  7. Reddit – Sewing machine skipping stitches/thread breaking



I have been working as a seamstress since I was 12 years old, and I would be happy to teach you what I know. I, along with the rest of my team, investigate numerous sewing, quilting, embroidery, and fabric related how-to guides, and present our findings to you.

Leave a Comment