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Walnut Creek, CA 94596

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Questions? 925-937-7575

by Dan Schoenberg

Welcome to my series of articles I have named “From the Bench,” in which  I discuss topics which cover the most common problems I see from my customers.

Understanding Your Machine’s Needle Threader

One of the most common reasons sewers bring their machine to me is that their needle threader is not working.  A needle threader head is the most common replacement part I install.  Sewers have become completely dependent on these devices.  Many customers go so far as to not sew until it is repaired.

There are three basic conditions of a malfunctioning needle threader.  The very fine threader wire is bent and beyond repair; the needle threader is out of adjustment; the operator does not know how to use it correctly.

The first reason speaks for itself.  The threader wire is broken off or bent so severely that we cannot straighten it.  You can change it yourself however we do not warranty any threaders installed by a customer as there may be adjustments that need to be made that may have caused the threader to break in the first place.  An average cost for a threader is about $12, but they can be as high as $40.

The second reason is that the needle threader is out of adjustment.  Remember that the threading wire is hook shaped and must go through a very tiny eye.  There is an "up/down" height adjustment as well as a "left to right" adjustment that must be precise for the threader to do its job consistently.

One more thing I see is lint build up in the threader hook, rendering the hook useless.  I see this a lot on the new Bernina 830 and 820 especially. Inspect threader hook with magnify glass and remove lint if necessary.

The third reason is the most important because this is something that you as the sewer has control over.  Below I will list in order the following conditions that maximize the success of a needle threader.

1 - Needle eyes get larger with needle size.  Anything under a size 80/12 needle makes the eye too small for the threader hook along with 2 strands of thread to be pulled through.  If you must use a needle under an 80/12 then thread by hand.

2 - Needle threaders are designed to work with the needle and take up lever in their highest position.  If you are not sure, hit your needle up button and have the machine place these in their proper position.

3 - Always thread your machine with presser foot up - then lower foot prior to threading needle.  Thread under tension is always easier.

4 - The telescopic boom/shaft that you lower is thin and has flex in it.  It is important to pull the shaft straight down without any lateral force left or right as this causes the threader wire to crash into needle.

5 - If you feel resistance when the threader hook is attempting to go through eye then stop.  Take a magnifier and see where the hook is meeting resistance.  If it is a bit left or right or up and down, you may be able to carefully bend the wire a bit to center it up.

6 - If the wire is getting through eye but you are still having trouble, it is your thread that is not hooking on wire. Again take a look with magnifier and see if you are sliding the thread properly into the hook.

We want you to have 100% success with this amazing and convenient feature.  We are always here to help if your needle threader is betraying you.

To view or print From the Bench articles, please use the .pdf links below.

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