Sewing Machine Thread Breaking At Needle

Sewing Machine Thread Breaking At Needle

There are a couple of reasons as to why thread may break at the needle causing your work flow and sewing process to be completely haulted or temporarily stopped because you have to re-thread the needle and start over again. More often than not the issue causing this problem is directly related to the sewing machine and how it is adjusted. When the needle’s thread breaks it is nothing short of frustrating but there are a couple of things you can do to effectively stop it from happening as it can significantly slow down your sewing progress because you end up spending more time than initially intended on just one piece of clothing or fabric.

Why Does Thread Break At The Needle On Your Sewing Machine?

Referred to as either needle thread or top thread, this is the threading on the sewing machine that has to pass through the eye of the needle, but when you’re sewing this top thread is more likely to break and here are some of the reasons as to why this can happen.

  • The use of a bent or damaged needle is the most obvious reason as to why thread breaks at the needle. This may not be due to the quality or type of needle you will be using, although quite important, after using your needle for more than a couple of hours. It is likely to incur some damage or bend due to fabric pulling. A damaged or bent needle can easily break the thread. Even the sharpness of the eye of the needle has a huge impact on how well the thread will be protected against breaking. But if the needle (in general) is not sharp enough, the thread will snag up and break. Therefore if you spend a long time without having replaced the needle, this problem will most likely occur.
  • A take-up lever is a part of the sewing machine that takes thread from the spool to then feed it through the entire sewing machine. It is also responsible for lifting the thread back from the cloth or fabric after making a stitch. If the spring of this lever breaks or is slightly damaged. The thread will also break at the needle when you start sewing.
  • When you insert the needle into the needle holder incorrectly, it is likely to cause the breakage of the needle thread. It is important to note that because of the vibrations that the motor produces, which are then absorbed by the entire sewing machine, the screw that holds the needle in place is more likely going to loosen up over time, thus moving the needle out of place and causing the thread to break. This may also cause the needle to break when it hits against the needle plate because of displacement, which also leads to the needle thread breaking.
  • It should come as no surprise that if the sewing machine is threaded incorrectly, the thread will break. The main reason being that the thread moves out of place and so the thread breaks due to a change in the tension or pulling force that is applied to it.
  • When lint builds up in the bobbin area, it causes a disturbance in the timing of the hook (which is responsible for interlocking the bobbin thread with the needle thread to create a suitable stitch), this lint does so by clogging up the bobbin area making it hard for the gears of the sewing machine to spin the bobbin driver.

Solutions For The Reasons Of Thread Breaking At The Needle (As Listed Above)

  • When your thread breaks at the needle, the first thing to do is to check the needle. If it is bent or damaged, you need to replace it with a new one immediately. Even more so, make sure that your needle’s size is the recommended size for the sewing machine you will be using.
  • You should never attempt to fix a broken or damaged take-up lever at home (by yourself.) For that you would need a professional with the right set of tools to effectively replace the whole mechanism. Just be sure they are authorized by your sewing machine’s brand first.
  • To insert the needle into the needle holder correctly, the needle should be pushed way back as far as it will go into the needle holder. Then tighten the screw firmly such that it is secure and firm in place.
  • When thread keeps breaking at the needle but everything else seems to be alright then you can remove the entire threading and then re-thread the sewing machine. Although it is the most time consuming act of the sewing process, it is also one of the most important. So care and vigor needs to be applied when re-threading.
  • Some cheap or low quality threads will break immediately when you’re threading or starting the sewing machine. In which case you should stop using that thread and find one of better quality.
  • Always make sure to clean the sewing machine regularly to avoid any accumulation of lint or bubbles in the bobbin area. You should use a tiny brush or microfiber cloth to clean the bobbin area of the sewing machine. This is known as self-servicing.


A sewing machine’s needle thread can break because of many things, but as you can tell most of those things are related to the quality of the thread, how hard the thread is pulled through the sewing machine and a couple of other reasons, therefore it is important that you always refer back to your sewing machine’s user manual when facing any manner of problem regarding any other part or aspect of the sewing machine. Just be sure to double check that everything is well adjusted and toggled with before putting your foot on the sewing machine’s foot pedal. This will significantly lessen the chances of most of the above problems from occurring and that should save you a lot of time.