Why Does My Thread Keep Breaking While I Sew?

You’re probably here because you’re frustrated with your sewing machine. Take a deep breath and I’ll try to help. One of the most common problems people experience with their sewing machine is that the thread keeps breaking while they sew. If you are having this problem, check for the following possible reasons.

Your Sewing Machine Is Threaded Incorrectly

If your thread cannot move smoothly through your machine, it will most likely break. This is because it can get snagged on moving parts or be pulled too tightly. Make sure that your sewing machine is threaded correctly and that the thread is going through the tension rings properly. Also, make sure the thread can freely move on the spool pin. Keep in mind that one of the most common mistakes people make when threading their sewing machine is not putting the needle in its highest position before starting.

Your Needle Is Damaged

If you’ve been sewing over pins or you haven’t changed your needle in a while, it may be damaged. Over time, your needle becomes dull, and it can bend when you sew over things you are not supposed to. This can cause your thread to break because the needle could get snagged and pull the thread too tightly. Try changing your needle to see if it fixes the problem. You’re supposed to change your needle every once in a while anyway.

You’re Using the Wrong Type of Needle

Just like your needle can snag if it is damaged, the same thing can happen if you are using the wrong type of needle. Use ballpoint needles for knit fabric and sharp needles for most other types of fabric to avoid snagging and thread breakage.

Your Top Tension Is Off

If the tension on your machine is too tight, the thread can break when you try to sew because it will experience too much force. You shouldn’t mess with your tension too much unless you know what you are doing because it can cause a lot of sewing problems. If your tension has been bumped, you might be able to fix it with some adjustments. The tension on all machines is a little different, so check your manual to see how to adjust the tension on your sewing machine.

Your Thread Is Old or Poor Quality

All threads are not created equal — some are naturally stronger than others. When you are picking out thread for a sewing project, make sure to get a high-quality thread to make sure it will not break as you sew. Plus, some types of fabric need to have a thicker thread.

If none of these situations seem to be your problem, it may be time to take your sewing machine in for a tuneup. Make sure to ask your sewing machine repair representative to reset the tension on your machine, since this is a tricky thing to adjust on your own.

Visit our article on Sewing Machine Troubleshooting for more information.


  • Hung Hoang


    Before reading this article, sewing zip seemed very hard to me but now after reading this article it is easy for me to sew zips.
    Thanks for making me alert. I will be aware about these.

  • Tracy Watson


    After reading the same suggestions on about 15 different sites, I finally found my answer, only suggested on 1 site – MY NEEDLE WAS BACKWARD!!!!!

    • Cara Stromness


      Yay! I’m glad I could help you.

    • Elsa Letelier


      Running to my machine to see if this solves my issue! I’ve tried almost everything!

    • Cher


      I had that problem, too!!!! Who knew??!!! Took forever to figure out such a simple solution! Lol

  • Elsa Letelier


    It did!! <3

    • Cara Stromness


      Great! What was the problem?

  • samm


    Yeah i was facing the same problem my machine is old but i try everything to solve that problem my machine was breaking thread after every 2inch gap then i lose my needle little bit low and wolah the problm solved may be that would help you

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