Thread delivery system- Spool vs. Cones
Spools of thread will work much better when placed on the vertical pin on top of your home machine. Most of us have been taught to place the spool horizontally on the spool pin holder with the thread unwinding over the end of the spool. This adds a twist to the thread as it unwinds and may cause problems for some threads. Unwinding over the end of the spool also places more stress on the thread which means uneven or extra tension. More tension can lead to breakage. Spools of thread are usually wound with a straight wind (also called a parallel wind or stack wind). Remember, straight wind on; straight wind off. By positioning the spool in such a way that the thread unwinds straight from the side, you will notice that no extra tension is applied to the thread because the spool rotates as the thread unwinds.
If you are using a good thread and are still getting breakage, check the needle size and check the tension setting. Assuming you are using a high quality thread, 90% of all breakage can be traced back to the needle (too small) or tension (too tight). Our Troubleshooting Guide will take you step by step on an easy path to solve sewing-related problems.
The trend of the future is larger thread spool sizes. Traditional machine spools cannot hold as much thread as the cones. Much of the cost of a spool of thread is in the winding process so the larger the spool, the greater the savings. If you use a cone-shaped spool with a large opening in the base, it won't fit on the standard spool pin holders on most machines. The solution is to use a thread stand or thread holder.The thread stand is advantageous over other home remedies such as a mason jar or tall cup because it stabilizes the thread and elevates it higher than the machine. The vertical arm of the thread stand lifts the thread higher than the machine which then facilitates an even feed without added tension.
Thread stands can accommodate any type of thread which is wound on a cone. The thread on cones is cross-wound and is meant to pull off over the top as the cone sits flat on the thread stand.
It is not recommended to use an adapter to place the cone of thread on the vertical pin holder. A heavy thread or a heavy cone placed on the vertical pin holder puts too much drag on the thread and prevents smooth rotation which will affect the stitch quality.
Some thread stands are all plastic, sell for about $7.00, and are so light that they tip over during use. Don't bother with them. For an additional few dollars, you can buy a heavy duty metal base thread stand that will work much better.
View our Educational Video on Tension
Proper Thread use for High Speed Machines
By: Bob Purcell