Superior Education

Why is MasterPiece breaking?

  • Tension
  • Needles
  • Thread Delivery

Q.I have used Superior Threads for the last several years and have never had a problem with thread breaking. The MasterPiece thread kept breaking. I cleaned my machine (Janome 6600), changed needles 3 times and I had a second spool of the same color thread, so I changed spools. When that didn't work, I changed machines (Janome 760) and it broke again. So, I concluded it wasn't the machine but the thread. Since then I have had another spool of MasterPiece breaking. Do you have any suggestions on what I can try next? I don't want to change brand of threads as that is what my quilt shop sells and I have been happy with it. Any suggestions you have I will be happy to try.

A. It sounds like the upper tension is too tight. Because MasterPiece is a fine thread, too much tension causes breakage. Reduce the upper tension all the way down to 2.5 and see if that solves it. If you are using the 600 yd. spools, position them on the vertical spool pin so the thread unwinds straight off the side of the spool (with the spool rotating).

Q.I purchased my first spool of MasterPiece brand thread by Superior Threads. That thread breaks no matter what I do - adjusted tension, changed needles, sewed on thinner quilt sandwich; nothing works. Could this have been a bad batch of thread?

A.Assuming you have a spool (not a cone) and are using a home machine, please try this:

  1. Use a size #80/12 Topstitch needle
  2. Set the top tension setting between 2.5 and 3.5
  3. Position the spool on the vertical pin so the thread unwinds straight from the side of the spool (with the spool rotating). The thread should not unwind over the end of the spool.

Customer response: Thank you, Bob, for your advice! I thought I was going to have to throw that spool out. I followed your suggestions and ended up using a top tension of 2 in order to get the tension looking good on both sides of the fabric. Thanks again for helping me out of a frustrating situation.

Q. I recently purchased MasterPiece and have a few questions. I tried it the other day and was using Masterpiece on top with Bottom Line in the bobbin. That definitely didn't work so I tried prewound cotton in the bobbin. I was still breaking thread like crazy. I loosened the tension way off and I thought it was fine but then the bobbin thread was just laying on the bottom and real loose. Help!!! I love the thread and want to use it a lot more. What's the magic combination? Using MasterPiece in the top and bottom? I have an APQS MIllenium machine. And what is best to use in the bobbin with King Tut ? That is another thread that just won't work for me.

A.King Tut should work without adjustments in your machine. We recommend using a size #18 or #19 needle (MR 4.0). In the bobbin, either MasterPiece, Bottom Line, or So Fine! #50. If King Tut does not work well, I think your machine needs some adjusting. Because MasterPiece is finer than King Tut, it is not as strong and therefore needs to have a looser top tension than King Tut. From your description, it sounds like the tensions are not right. The bottom thread lying flat on the bottom is usually an indication of a too-tight bobbin tension or too loose upper tension. We recommend loosening the bobbin tension to the point where you can hold the bobbin case in your left hand and pull up the thread with your right hand without lifting the bobbin case off your hand. With a loose top and bottom tension, your machine should run most threads without any problem.

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