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I read the FAQ and such as well as Googling, and I still can't figure out what's wrong. I have an Elna 2110, a couple years old, and as far as I can remember (...which doesn't mean much) I've never changed the needle before. A week or so ago, it broke, and so I swapped it with a random no-name needle I found in my collection. Since then, the upper thread has been constantly breaking within three stitches or less.

I adjusted the upper thread tension, I checked that the bobbin is threaded correctly, that the needle is inserted correctly, made sure to have the pressure foot up when I threaded the machine... nothing. I also tried changing the thread (several times) and oiling the machine before I realized the problems started with the needle change.

So... is my machine just so picky I need to buy needles especially made for it? (There's NO standard bobbin that works in it, as far as I know--had go back to the store we bought it at and get them there.) Do I just throw this one out and try all the other needles I can find? Unfortunately, they're probably all going to be from the same pack, and since I don't remember buying them they might well be 20+ years old, and... uh, well, is that bad?

Thanks in advance!

ETA: Problem solved! THE NEEDLE WAS DEFECTIVE; it looked fine, but on a whim I switched it out for one from the same blasted package and suddenly all is well. Okay then.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 8th, 2012 01:05 am (UTC)
It's not a matter of how the machine interacts with the needle, it's how the needle interacts with the thread. I'd suggest trying a universal needle (they are really nice to have around in general so if you find a good deal on them, buy them. The common size is 90/14). If that doesn't help, change your thread. Some needle/thread combinations just don't work, I almost always have trouble using thicker thread for top stitching or denim no matter WHAT needle I use (even ones especially made for top stitching and heavy fabrics!).
Nov. 8th, 2012 01:23 am (UTC)
Just edited to add that I've tried multiple threads--granted, they're all the same brand... (Gutermann, if it matters.)

Looks like I'm going shopping tomorrow! Whee, an excuse to go to a craft store... like I need more. XD
Nov. 8th, 2012 01:24 am (UTC)
Needles are probably the most common trouble shooting issue (aside from thread tension but they're all interconnected as you know) and can fix most problems. There's a chance that when the needle broke it messed with the machine's timing, in which case a sewing machine repair person can fix it.
Nov. 8th, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
Guess what? IT WAS THAT ONE NEEDLE! I switched it out for one from the exact same package, and... everything's working just fine. @_@

Thank you for the advice! I've been sewing for over ten years and I've never run into this problem before, so hopefully I know what to do now if it happens again.
Nov. 8th, 2012 01:57 am (UTC)
really, you should change the needle after every project or two. they can develop burrs that can break the threads
Nov. 8th, 2012 02:11 am (UTC)
I believe that most manufacturers say after no more than 8 hours needles should be changed.
Nov. 8th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
Re: +1
rubbish - til they break
what they are talking about is the sharpness of the point.

look at the needle from the side of the machine - some are "swan necked" and thicken at the back and then hit the plate as they slide through. this breaks the thread.

universal are good but check - using the needles for your machine type and make are best
Nov. 8th, 2012 11:30 am (UTC)
I read a few lines of your post and thought 'change needle'. Glad you figured that out without having the need to throw the machine out of a top story window.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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