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Why Does My Sewing Needle Keep Breaking?

It can be really frustrating to be in the middle of a sewing project and out of nowhere your needle breaks. This can set back the timeline of when you will finish, and it can cost you money to replace the needle. Even after you replace the needle, you will need to determine why it broke and how you can prevent it from happening again.

There are several different reasons that might cause your sewing machine needle to break. The most frustrating part might be determining what the cause was, because there is not a one-fix answer to prevent it from happening again.

So, why is your sewing needle constantly breaking? The problem might be a threading issue, the needle wasn’t installed properly, even incorrect attachments being used. After you figure out what is causing your needle to break, you can them move forward to determine how you can fix it.

How Do You Stop a Sewing Needle from Breaking?

Determining the best way to prevent your sewing needle from breaking depends on what the issue is in the first place. One of the most common reasons that a sewing needle breaks is due to the thread not being put in properly. Even people who have been sewing for years thread incorrectly sometimes, so check this first.

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Your thread tension might also be too tight. The tension needs to be adjusted for different threads and fabrics. If the tension isn’t even, the eye of the needle can be pulled on, causing it to break. Make sure you have the proper tension for the material you are working with.

It is possible that you aren’t using the right needle, or you are using a dull needle. Sewing machine manufacturers recommend changing your needle before every project. This will ensure that you are working with a sharp needle every time. Dull needles can get caught on the fabric and break.

I like to use these Singer Needles. They are super durable and great quality. I highly recommend this brand.

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In addition to using an old or incorrect needle, it is also possible that the needle isn’t inserted correctly or is inserted in the wrong position. There is a tiny screw that holds your needle in place, and over time it can start to loosen. If your needle is loose, it can hit the bobbin and break.

Your needle can break if you are trying to help the fabric through the machine by pulling it. This can cause the needle to misalign and come in contact with the throat plate and break. To avoid this, adjust the length of the stitch to move the fabric through the machine easier. 

What Are the Remedies of Needle Breaking?

Some of the top reasons that a needle breaks often are that it was inserted incorrectly, the needle is already bent, or the clamp screw comes loose. The process of replacing needles is very similar among most sewing machines. Raise the needle, loosen the clamp, insert the new needle.

When you insert the new needle, be extra sure that you are pushing it up as far as it can go. You will also need to tighten the clamp screw properly with the help of a screwdriver. Check on your needle frequently to make sure there are no bends.

Another common issue that causes sewing needles to break is the tension of the machine is too tight. This has a pretty easy solution, but it can take some practice to get it right. Test your thread tension by using two different colored threads on the top and bottom.

You will be able to easily tell if the tension is too tight because you will see the top thread on the bottom of the fabric, or you might see the bottom thread on top of the fabric. If the tension is too tight, adjust your settings until the threads meet in the center of the fabric.

I recommend using these Heavy Duty Singer Needles. They are stronger than regular needles, and could be the solution to your problem. This is especially true if the needles you are using are too thin.

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Your needle might also be breaking because you are using one that is too thin for your project. Fine threads and small needles are for sewing thin fabrics. Thicker threads and larger needles are for sewing heavier fabrics. You can avoid this by testing out the needle and thread on a scrap piece of fabric before starting your project.

What Tension Should My Sewing Machine Be on?

Figuring out the right tension for your sewing machine can seem overwhelming, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll be a piece of cake. Having your sewing machine on the right tension is not only beneficial for your project, but also for your sewing machine.

To determine what tension your sewing machine should be on will depend on the thread, the fabric, and the stitch you are going to use. Sewing machines usually have a tension dial that starts with 0 and goes up to 9. For a straight stitch on most fabrics, the 4.5 setting works perfectly.

My favorite sewing machine to use is this Brother Sewing Machine. I’ve had it for years, and it’s never given me any major problems.

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However, if you want to create a zig-zag stitch, or a wide stitch in general, you will want to keep the tension a little looser. It is recommended to keep the tension between 3 and 4 for thicker stitches. This will allow more thread to pass through the machine, resulting in a wider and thicker stitch.

The best way to figure out whether or not you have the right tension is to test it out. Get a scrap piece of fabric and two different colored threads. The thread will be able to give you an idea of how the tension is on that particular fabric.

Why Is My Thread Bunching Underneath?

Dealing with bunching thread is probably the most frustrating thing to deal with when you are sewing. It gets even more frustrating the longer you have to sit and pick apart the pile of threads that are looped an endless number of times.

The biggest reason you will deal with bunching thread is because the machine was not threaded properly. It is possible for anybody to thread their machine wrong sometimes. Before you do anything else, check if your thread is looping. You will need to rethread from the beginning.

Bunching can also be caused by having thread tails that are too short. If the thread tails that are coming out of the bobbin are less than 2 inches, there is a high chance they will get sucked into your sewing machine when you start sewing. Try making your tails 4 inches instead to see if that helps.

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One more important reason your thread is bunching can be due to the bobbin case being full of lint. When you sew, lint builds up inside your bobbin case and it can get in the way of your needle, preventing it from stitching properly. Clean this out frequently to prevent bunching.

Final Thoughts

It can be frustrating to deal with sewing machine needles that are constantly breaking. While the breakage is sometimes user error, it can also be an accident. There are some precautions you can take to prevent your needle from breaking, but you need to figure out what is causing it to break first.

One of the top reasons needles break is because the tension of the sewing machine is too tight. If you think this might be the problem, test the tension before you start working on a full project. This will let you know what the tension looks like, allowing you to adjust if necessary.

Make sure to follow my tips and recommend products to ensure your sewing project turns out amazing! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your sewing Q&A’s. Happy sewing!

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