The Avid Embroiderer Presents - Shredding Thread and a Freebie for Labor Day

I have been working at collecting ideas that work for others to see if there might be a common thread on how to resolve this issue. There are a few things that I know that likely enter into the picture.

  1. If you have old thread, that will cause shredding for sure. Thread dries out, just like a piece of antique clothing. That antique clothing can fall apart in your hands.
  2. Very low humidity is another issue. I've lived in Ohio and in Arizona and I can tell you that the difference on humidity is astronomical. I know some people have actually put humidifiers in their sewing rooms for just this reason. 
  3. Another consideration is a bad needle. I personally buy needles but the gross, and have multiple times, suspected those needles are a problem. I do change the needle and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.
  4. It could be multiple issues, even on the same project.
  5. Too dense a design. Friction from other stitches is a culprit.
  6. Too tight a top or eve bobbin tension can be a critical issue. You will find the thread somewhere in the area as noted in the second photo. But, the action likely is elsewhere.
  7. Rethreading the machine can sometimes make a difference. When you rethread, make sure to pull the new thread continuously just before it gets to the needle. This can pick up lint and stray thread.

When you have shredding, you do need to take a look inside the thread openings that are vertical on the front of your machine. You could be seeing shredding that is left behind. Make sure you remove all of that lint so that it does not cause another problem such as thread breaking and or shredding. I have had to take off the front cover of my machine. It is held by one or possibly two screws so it is OK to remove that cover as long as you don't try to become your own mechanic.

Here are some examples of embroiderers’ actions they take to halt shredding thread. They are very well thought out.

  • Spray with Silicone (aka Sewers Aid $6 or $7 for .5 fluid ounce) (Can of Silicone from the automotive section $8.10 for 11 fluid ounces) FYI, silicone is NEITHER oil nor grease. It leaves NO residue or stain. It dries in 2 or 3 minutes. It does not have different weights, it is just Silicone. I personally have used it for years without any issues.
  • Embroidery foot could be loose.
  • Too much spray adhesive.
  • Change the needle, bobbin, thread, and rethread the machine.
  • Stick it in the freezer.
  • When you have been stitching for even 10 minutes without a stop, that needle could be hot. Just changing colors gives a needle time to cool off. But, change the needle.
  • Cheap threads were the most common belief for shredding thread.
  • Use dental floss as if you were threading it and pull through the machine.


If you have a method that works for you, let us know. After all new ideas come along every day and yours may be just the right one to make someone else's problem go away. EVERY tip is useful to someone, don't hide yours.

 U.S. Department of Labor

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers . . . a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

Here is this blog's Freebie. Have a great Labor Day!

lets barbecue (171.9KB) 

Comments (2) -

Hello Everyone!  I do hope to see other ideas because no idea is too small to help someone.

May you be blessed in ways you have not yet imagined.  


I wrote the above Blog in August, 2016. But in November, 2016, still having issues with those shredded thread, I finally figured out the answer. Read all about it, at this link!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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