Top thread bunching and shredding

Kathy Strabel

I also believe it could be a flaw in the thread itself if you have eliminated everything else you can think of. A few years back, I had a spool of Coats and Clark poly embroidery thread that just did not like my machine. I had been using Coats and Clark brand with beautiful results for at least a year. Then one new spool felt very different as I was threading the machine. It dragged terribly and acted like something was pulling it in the opposite way I was threading the machine.  I contacted Coats and Clark and they said yes, they had had a batch of thread that missed having one of the necessary processes done to it during manufacturing and that some spools had already been shipped out before the mistake was discovered.   I was relieved to know that it wasn't my machine, and Coats and Clark sent me a good spool in the mail.  I hope this is what has you stumped as well.
Good luck!! Let the Group know when you solve your mystery.
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA

Ceil J

What brand of thread are you using?  As this happened once I'm thinking it might have been a flaw on this one spool.  Maybe I'll try to contact Madeira to see what they say.

Ceil J

Yes, I did get lucky with that one!  Somehow I don't think it would have made it through the size 12 needle. :}

Charlene Kay Bergren

Hi Jim – I have started having the identical problem with my Janome 500E of the thread being “shredded” on the top thread.  There is absolutely NOTHING that I have not changed, or tried. . .  including several different brands of thread, needles, sizes of needles, (all have been embroidery needles) cleaned, oiled, new bobbin holder, bobbin holder with the yellow dot, different bobbins, self-wound bobbins, purchased wound bobbins.  I’m out of ideas.


Will be watching for any suggestions you may have.  You have been so generous in the past with all ideas, so I’m hoping you have a fix for this one.


Thanks in advance Jim!


Kay Bergren 



Cat - N

OMG…what a nasty mess you’d have had if that had made it into the needle!  To be honest, I saw the photo in the album and no explanation (hadn’t received your email yet) and wondered if you were making some kind of fancy lace I never knew about. I guess you were…in a way…ugh. Good thing you caught that!  

- Cat

Typos courtesy of autocorrect. 

Ceil J

  Here's the photo.  I will delete it from the albums.

Ceil J

This is Madeira poly thread.  I've not had a problem like this before.  Luckily I spotted it when I opened the door to do a thread change during embroidery but it was headed for the needle.  The thread near the needle looked fine and so I can't imagine it happened from a needle problem.  Using a Superior Threads #12 topstitch needle which I found works best with the embroidery I'm doing (Anita Goodesign's Patchwork Pets).  I don't know if it came off the spool this way and I just didn't notice or if it hit a snag somewhere on the machine.  I've done a cleaning and will watch the other colors closely now but am curious as to what caused this. Thanks. Ceil