Serger Threading Problems

Thread, Thread, and Thread Again! and still… problems!

Once you have learned to thread your machine, (over and over and over) it will become second nature to you. But while threading over and over, be sure you note how the Lower Looper thread goes over the Upper Looper arm.

If you have a problem, most likely it is one of two things – missing that thread guide on the lower looper arm. There is a thread guide on the left bend or elbow of the LL arm. Or the LL thread isn’t correctly placed over the UL arm (see chapter 4 in your creative serging book, ‘Decorative Basics’)

Another thing that happens is that the needle thread(s) get tangled around the looper arms. This happens when the needles are threaded and you are trying to thread a broken looper thread in the middle of a
project. When this happens it could possibly bend a looper because the needle threads get caught and wrapped around the looper causing the thread to get tight. The needles must be unthreaded or pulled up and out of the way. Many times this is the problem… threading out of order. The needle threads have to be removed!!! order.. upper looper, lower looper then right needle and left needle.

One time I hadn’t raised my telescoping thread tree and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was wrong! I cut the threads on the front of the machine, re-threaded and re-threaded and re-threaded.
Finally I decided to take the thread cones off and threaded the machine again and low and behold.. I had forgotten to pull up that tree!

Make sure to give your thread a little tug to be sure that the thread is between the tension discs. There will be times when you don’t want the thread in those tensioners and will want the thread to spool freely..a heavier thicker thread would be one of those times or a special decorative look you are trying to achieve. For the most part, always give those threads a little tug to assure they are in between the tension discs.

There may be times when the thread isn’t spooling off of the cone properly.. it does happen. Try moving the thread to another position or using another cone. When I find a cone that has a problem.. I wind a bobbin on my sewing machine and use the bobbin in the needle thread position on my serger.

When using standard sewing machine thread, make sure the cut in the spool to re-hook the thread, keeping it from unwinding, is on the bottom. Make sure you use “spool caps”, those flat(ish) discs on top of the spools to help keep the thread from catching and moving it away from the spool.

When using Woolly Nylon (remember this is a brand name and is referred to as Texturized Nylon in other companies), it may need the little netting around the cones to keep it from calling off of the cones
while serging.

Please see Chapter 3 in both Sewing with Sergers, ‘All about thread and easiest threading’ and Creative Serging, ‘Decorative Thread Glossary’.

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One Response

  1. I always thought it was lower looper first. I’ll try your way. Thanks

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