Thursday, October 9, 2008

What is Good Thread?

Good thread is thread that compliments the project you are sewing.

If you are doing a quick craft project that you do not care about, then the thread you use probably does not matter too much. If, however, you are working on a special project that you want to looks just right, the thread does matter.

This morning, I was explaining to one of my sewing machine repair customers, that her forty year old five for a dollar thread was not going to sew they way she wanted.

She responded, "I know I have sewing around the world with that thread on this machine."

Sometimes, a new spool of thread is needed. Sometimes, a quality thread is needed. Sometimes, the old, deteriorated, rotten, cheap thread should be thrown out.

So how to you choose a good thread?

First, look for quality. Look for long fiber threads. If you are using natural fiber fabrics, you may want to use natural fiber threads like cotton or silk. If you need strength, you may want polyester. If you are quilting, use machine quilting threads.

Never use hand sewing or hand quilting threads on your sewing machine. Avoid fuzzy threads like cotton covered polyester threads.

Match your threads to your project.

Finally, consider that if you use quality threads they will cause your sewing machine much less trouble. Junk threads can mess up any sewing machine.

When an average sewing machine repair today costs around one hundred dollars, an ounce of prevention can be a big investment.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Problem With Thread

The problem with thread is that many sewers do not understand it.

There are many kinds of thread. Some threads are made of natural fibers like cotton. Some threads are made of synthetic fibers like polyester. As long as you use high quality long fiber threads, you will get a good result. It is best to match the fiber to the fabric. It is also good to consider the special characteristics of the threads.

Unfortunately, many sewers buy the cheapest threads they can find. They are all excited to find special deals like 4 spools for a dollar. The quality is expressed in the price. If it has a cheap price, expect it to be a lousy thread.

Thread and especially natural fiber threads deteriorate over time. They lose their strength, color, and stability.

Recently, a customer brought a Singer 403A for sewing machine repair. She said the threads kept breaking. There was nothing wrong with the machine. It was her thread. She was trying to use twenty year old super cheap thread. It broke without any significant tension.

Using bad threads will often lead to unnecessary sewing machine repairs.

Suggestion: Always use good quality threads that are fresh and not old. Avoid old threads. Avoid cheap threads.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How to thread a sewing machine?

How to thread a sewing machine?

Without thread there is no sewing. Thread is an essential.
The sewing machine uses thread to join fabrics together. One thread fills a bobbin and is inserted under the fabric flow. One thread is drawn through the eye of the needle from above. The sewing machine moves the needle down through the fabric and beyond. The thread from above is caught by the sewing machine hook and pulled around the bobbin thread. As the needle withdraws and moves up, it tightens the threads into a locked stitch inside the fabric.
Unfortunately, when a sewing machine is not properly threaded, the stitching is distorted or possibly ruined completely.
When threading is faulty, sewers often resort to seeking professional sewing machine repair. While this is an easy fix for those experienced and skilled in sewing machine repair, it is also a frustrating problem for the user.
There are many ways to improperly thread a sewing machine, but only one right way to thread a sewing machine.
How Do You Thread the Elna Sewing Machine?
How do you thread a Singer sewing machine?
How do you thread a Bernina, Brother, Juki, Janome, or any other sewing machine?
While there are thousands of different models of sewing machines, and each one has its own unique way to accommodate the threading process; they are all essentially the same.
The upper thread comes wound on a spool. The spools come in a variety of different shapes and designs, but they all work the same. The spool of thread is placed over a spool pin which may be horizontally or vertically mounted to the sewing machine.
A simple and easy way to thread a sewing machine is to draw the thread through, around, and over the various thread guides to the needle. Sound easy? It is.
Then, why are there so many mistakes made threading a sewing machine?
It must be done perfectly every time. No mistakes.
Here are the key instructions, threading a sewing machine begin at the thread spool. It must be properly placed on the spool. Draw the thread from right to left. Draw the thread from the spool pin to the first guide.
Caution: threads often snag on rough spots on the spool, therefore, double check that the thread flows freely off the spool. If the spool pin is horizon, a spool cap just slightly larger than the end of the thread spool is required to lift the thread off the edge of the spool where it might snag. On some rear mounted vertical spool pins, a spool net ( a net material used to guide the thread) may be needed to keep the thread from getting snarled as it flows off the spool pin.
Draw the thread through the first thread guide. Look to the left for another thread guide. Depending on the machine there may be up to four thread guides from across the top, back, and toward the front of the sewing machine.
Many newer machines make this easier by numbering the threading steps so you can just follow the numbers. From the thread guides, the thread must be drawn through the tension discs. Older machines have front mounted tension assemblies that are obvious, but often the tension assemblies are hidden under the covers.
Threading through the tensions is a common source of problems. If the presser foot is down, the thread will ride along the ridge of the tension discs instead of flowing through them properly.
The solution is: raise the presser foot lever when you begin threading and keep it up until you reach the needle.The thread must follow through the upper thread guides and through the tension discs. These discs consist of two or more flat round discs that press against the thread during sewing to provide “tension”. After flowing through the tension discs, the thread must flow through the tension spring which helps keep the tension on the thread stable during sewing. Next the thread must flow through the sewing machine take up lever, and back down through any remaining tension guides to the eye of the needle.
Finally, the thread must flow through the eye of the needle, however, before finally threading the needle. Test the tension by slightly tugging on the end of the thread. You should feel very little resistance. Now drop the presser foot and test again. (Remember it has been up until now.) You should feel resistance now.
Finish the threading by threading the needle.
Avoid costly sewing machine repairs by making sure the sewing machine is properly threaded. If you are having problems with stitching, rethread. This is often the sewing machine repair solution.