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thread...how old is old?


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Hi Everyone

I just went thru a 2 day ordeal of thread breakage...where I was so upset that I was going to sell my machine. I had 1.5 rows to finish up a panto when the bobbin ran out. I put in a prewound bobbin, which is what I normally use, and the top thread started breaking every 2 or 3 stitches. I'd used this spool of thread to quilt almost the whole top so I couldn't figure out why the top thread just started breaking. I changed the needle 3 times, I changed the top thread 3 times, I adjusted the tensions, I cleaned and oiled the machine, I checked for burrs....I did everything I could to fix the problem. At the end I grabbed a new spool of thread and was able to finish the last 1.5 rows with only 2 top thread breaks. So I'm guessing that the thread is the problem.

Most of my thread is 2 to 3 years old and I keep it under the plastic wrap it comes in and there's no light gets on the thread. So my question is...is all my thread too old? How long will a spool of thread remain good before it gets weak and starts to break like this?

Rita

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Rita,

According to Bob Purcell of Superior Threads, threads made today do not deteriorate. I if I remember correctly he said that thread that had been handed down for years probably was too old but modern threads had improved so much that age should not be a problem. I certainly wouldn't throw out your two to three year old thread. Perhaps you just had a bad spool or there is a rough spot somewhere on the cone/spool. There was a comment on this site a few weeks ago that suggested turning the cone upside down to see if that helped. If the problem is the thread catching as it unwinds turning it upside down would avoid the rough spot.

Sue

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Sue I personnally don't agree with Bob.....maybe Superior Threads thread doesn't get old or he feels that they don't, but other brands do. You can tell if you have an older spool if you do a tug test. Peel off about 15" and then wrap each end around you hand give a gentle tug if that thread snaps easily there is a good chance it's bad. Yes, with some brands turning the cone over can solve the problem, but its not going to work with all the brands as it depends on how its wound.

A spool that you have had for two years could actually be much older if it's a Signature or another brand if it's a Superior brand it's more than likely two years old. They sell so much so fast their threads don't set on shelves for years. Also they have a guarantee policy so if you have your paperwork there is a chance to exchange it.

Also humidity will break fibers down so do you have that under control. We have three dehumidifiers running in our house 24/7 and even though my thread is also in plastic bins and wrapped it does break down, but it takes much longer than two years, more like five to seven.

Just for grins and giggles peel off a few layers of thread and see if the inside threads are stronger.

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My friend just purchased a used machine which is at my house. She was working on a quilt yesterday and everything seemed to go well until the bobbin ran out. She put in another pre-wound bobbin of the same color as she had been using, and then started having tension problems and thread breakages.

This also happened to me when we were first doing a practice quilt -- put in a new bobbin when old one ran out and tension problems.

Any suggestions what we could be doing wrong? Pre-wound bobbin was a Superior in pink. Could be 2 - 2 1/2 years old max as women had machine only 2 years.

Thanks in advance.

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Pre-wound Surperior Threads is Bottom line, is a poly...so shouldn't break down as fast as a blended thread or an all cotton thread. Did you clean out the area after finishing that bobbin...maybe there is a lint ball under there someplace. I just had the same thing happen with one of my machines, and the lint bunnies were breeding in there...some maybe there is a obstruction in there that you can't see right off....Also make sure your threads both top and bottom are in their correct paths...also had trouble last week with the top thread on one, it kept jumping out of the tension wheel...

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I don't have a TOWA guage but I did test the bobbin by the drop test and it was ok. I had also checked the thread by giving it a little tug and it seemed to be ok. I've had this problem a few time where I've changed the bobbin and then the tension goes cafooy and the top thread start breaking all the time....and I've no idea what causes it. I know I'll be really glad if APQA ever comes out with an electronic machine where the tensions are adjusted electronically...like our DSM are now. I'll be first in line to make a new purchase cause I'm sure fed up with having thread breakage problems.

Thanks for your input Bonnie! You're such a deep well of inspiration and knowledge. :)

Rita

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