A few weeks ago I met a lovely woman who was rather upset. She said when I sold her a Thread Director I claimed it would work on a ten needle machine, but when she tried it on her machine, she could not get it to work. I asked her to tell me what challenges she was experiencing.
Apparently her thread was breaking. I thought to myself, okay there could be a number of reasons for breaking thread so I went down the list of reasons this could be.
Question: “Are you sure the thread is on the spool pin loose enough for the spool to spin freely?”
Question: “Did you check to make sure the thread was not twisting around the spool pin?”
Answer: “Yes, it was feeding correctly off the Thread Director.”
Question: “Did you lower the tension on your machine?”
Answer: “I tried loosening the tension, I tried tightening the tension and my thread still breaks.”
Question: “When was the last time you changed your needle?”
I could tell by the look on her face that this was a foreign concept to her. Finally she sheepishly replied, “I’ve never changed my needles.” I’m thinking, “Bingo, we have a winner!”
I then explained to her how metallic thread wears burrs in your needles and when working with metallic thread you need to change your needle(s) often. Start with a new needle. When your thread starts to shred, it’s a good sign that your needle needs to be changed.
When I am demonstrating The Thread Director, I have to change my needle about every three hours. This isn’t like sewing clothing with polyester thread or quilting with cotton thread where manufacturers suggest you change your needle about every eight hours. This is metal against metal. I asked her to change her needle and try again and if she had any further problems to please call me so we could figure it out. I haven’t heard from her yet and it’s been over a month.
Besides all the items on the checklist above, when using metallic thread on your multi-needle machine, always use the needle that the manufacturer recommends. For the stitch outs pictured below, I used a 75/11 needle.
On my machine, the spool pins that came installed on the machine have a tendency to rotate with the vibration of the machine. If you look closely at the picture you see I have a binding clip attached snuggly at the bottom of the pin to prevent this from happening. You may want to check every once-in-a-while to make sure the clip is still snug.
The designs are “Into the Wild” from Anita Goodesign and I stitched them out on Kona Cotton. The thread I used is gold Floriani Metallic on mini-king spools. For stabilizer, I used Sulky Cut-Away Plus since it is going to be a wall hanging.
If you have been using The Thread Director on a Multi-Needle machine and have further tips and suggestions, please let me know so I can pass them along to others who may be experiencing challenges.