Wednesday 19 June 2013
Snapping Thread on the Singer 15K
When I first put the Singer 15K hand machine to serious use I found there was a problem with the thread occasionally breaking. It took me a while to fathom out what was going on. The thread was getting itself looped over the take up lever, pulling tight and snapping.
The next question was why was this happening with this machine, when I had never had the same problem with the 15K treadle. The answer lay with the thread. I have been using a cotton 50, just about the only thickness you can easily get these days, and there is too much twist to it. When you pull it off the reel, often it does not lie flat, but it has a curl to it. When the take up lever goes down on the 15K it is right next to the tension discs, sometimes the slack thread twists, and it ends up looped over the lever. This is especially likely to happen when you are going slowly, or doing work that entails lots of stops and starts, just the type of work best done on a hand machine rather than a treadle.
With the treadle I most usually do quilting, especially free motion work, which is faster and calls for thicker thread. I have never had the thread snapping for this reason with the treadle.
The thread I use for quilting is Gutermann Sulky cotton 30. It doesn't twist itself into trouble in the same way as the cotton 50. Neither does the old fashioned Sylko 40, which I snaffle up in a trice when I see it in charity shops.
I have had to get myself into the habit of taking a quick look at the take up lever whenever I have to start sewing again after having to stop. Irritating, but necessary.
What I am most pleased about, however, is that I can declare the machine innocent. I blame the thread entirely.