What happens when an unattended thread is left next to a sewing machine’s hand wheel?
It gets sucked in!
The first time I RESCUED a sewing machine all by myself was at a sewing retreat around 10 pm at night. One attendee reported that her machine was starting to run hard.
“It feels like it’s dragging”
With some careful prying, we were able to detach the hand wheel and start the endless process of slicing all the thread from the mechanism. This particular sewing machine purred safely through the rest of the weekend thanks to its owners removal of all unused thread from anywhere near the sewing machine.
TODAY’S PUBLIC SERVICE REMINDER COMES FROM YOUR FRIENDLY SEWING MACHINE SERVICE TECHNICIANS
PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS…
This is an easily avoidable issue. But this is almost a normal occurrence for sewing machine technicians when they open up sewing machines for service. They find the thread, and sometimes more than one color, wrapped around the hand wheel.
STOP STORING THREAD AND FULL BOBBINS ON OR NEAR THE MACHINE.
Storing bobbins on an empty spool pin is an open invitation for disaster!
Once a loose end of the thread gets sucked in, if left unnoticed, it will continue to wrap and wrap until bad things happen or the spool itself runs out. If this happens you might not even know this has even occurred. You just think to yourself, “Hum, I thought I had a full spool of thread sitting there?”
When a thread is left unattended, the spinning AND sucking power of a sewing machine hand wheel are MORE than you realize. It takes only the slight dangle of a thread and once it is caught in the spin, it keeps going until one of three things happens:
- The spool of thread or bobbin runs out.
- The hand wheel is so full of thread that it prevents the wheel from turning and starts burning up the motor.
- The thread starts wearing through the moving parts within the hand-wheel area. (Not good).
I took one look at her machine and saw the problem. In preparation for a long weekend of sewing, she had pre-wound extra bobbins full of Aurifil 50 weight bobbin thread. If you use Aurifil 50 weight thread you know how many EXTRA yards of thread will fill a bobbin full. One bobbin was completely empty and the sewing machine had already started eating through the second one!
If this scenario happens while embroidering, that extra spool of thread will be gone even quicker. If you have a 10-20 minute color area to embroider, the machine is not going to stop anytime soon. The machine is running also running at FULL SPEED allowing the hand wheel to fill up even quicker. If you are in the habit of walking away from an embroidery machine to work on other projects, this tangling problem could get out of hand quickly.
Just – don’t ask…
We love thread stands – BUT BE CAREFUL!
You must use thread stands responsibly.
If you use a built-in thread stand or one beside the sewing machine to handle large cones, metallic thread, or clear threads, be sure to not leave any thread dangling in mid-air. This is yet another silent killer of sewing machines!
Do You Own a Serger?
Having a serger sitting too close to the right of the sewing machine can also feed this “thread-eating machine”. We have seen serger threads that were also left unattached, hanging from the serger’s thread stand drawn into a sewing machine’s hand wheel. Once again showing us how much suction that hand wheel produces while you so innocently stitch.
So take some time and clear all non-currently being used thread from your sewing area and promise your sewing machine you will protect it to the best of your ability.
Your sewing machine thanks you and your local sewing machine technicians thank you too!