#1 Posted : Monday, January 30, 2017 1:57:49 PM(UTC)

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A quirk of fate created a mystery for me in 2001. I ordered my first embroidery machine from ebay (not a good idea!!), and traveled out of town immediately thereafter.

The next mistake was allowing my son (age 35) to drive my car. I wanted to relax and thought it could not be too bad. Wrong again. He was traveling too fast (which I complained about but he ignored me) on the Interstate and hit a patch of loose dirt. The car flipped one and a half times and my right hand ended up palm side up and dragged against the asphalt as it came to a stop. That resulted in 'de-gloving' the top of my hand. It required a skin graft and 3 weeks in the hospital, over Christmas 2001. Healing can be very slow and the therapy painful.

Upon my return home, the embroidery machine greeted me but it was a couple of months before I could spend time with it. It was a PE700 from Brother. It clanked and made loud noises and shredded my thread frequently. For some reason, I kept trying (I now have 7 machines).

Shredding Issue History
From 'Day 1' of my embroidery career until 11/5/2016 (a red letter day for me and 15 years later) I had constant thread shredding. I made a list of what was occurring so I might be able to see some sort of pattern.

    All of my machines had shredding and sometimes no shredding.
      There was no humidity issue that I could see.
        I asked professional and layperson embroiderers who suggested various things. None worked.
          Different threads brands/weights/types did not make a difference.
            Thinking perhaps the thread was particularly dry (I live in Southern California where humidity is usually below about 40%), I use Silicon on the thread. The Silicon seemed to help but I needed to apply it often. It did not fix the problem.
              The needle eye/dullness/type did not make any difference.
                Upon return from machine routine shop visits - NO SHREDDING. I assumed it was somehow the needle. But the shredding returned.
                  I carefully checked my threading style. Still nothing.
                    I bought a new bobbin case. {Sigh}
                      I tracked the fabric types/weights/weavings. Same of the same.

                    In November, 2016, I was ready to sell everything and give up the craft I enjoyed (mostly) so much. I finally made a video of the needle as it was sewing along. I heard the familiar 'thud' and shredded thread appeared. After looking at the video several times, I could see the needle move about 1 to 2mm. Remember, only the hoop moves, the needle, by design, must stay in place. DUH!

                    A solution at last -
                    The needle was loose enough to have movement. I was not tightening it enough to hold the needle to prevent small slippage.
                    This was a direct result of the auto accident in 2001. (The Butterfly Effect.)

                    When I finally tightened up my needle with a screwdriver. I found that I was a full 90 degrees off where the screw should have landed. And, the loose needle was consistent with every single issue that had occurred.

                    See the photos for a good look. The pink paper is to help see the details.

                    It is 5/2020 and I have no further shredding issues. Occasionally I do slip and the needle is not tight enough, but that is easily fixed. 4/2021, Still no further shredding. But I do remember my frustration very well. It is etched in my memory.
                    The photos have a broken link and I am unable to remove them, sorry.

                    Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

                    Edited by user Sunday, April 11, 2021 9:57:35 AM(UTC)  | Reason: 5/2020 update. 4/2021 update.

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                    #2 Posted : Wednesday, March 15, 2017 7:01:42 AM(UTC)

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                    Has this helped anyone?

                    I have not had one shredding since I started screwdriver tightening my needle. I really was happily surprised to find this answer.

                    For all the time I spend in frustration and seeking answers, I truly hope this is helping someone out there.

                    I enjoy reading the blogs about making this or that, but I have begun to do my blog with 'troubleshooting' ideas in mind. I really hope you get some ideas from my blogs. This one is my favorite: .

                    Pat, The Avid Embroiderer
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