Gymnast

Thread tension and twisting

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I know that twisting of thread is often debated in this forum. I have tried to make a video of some of my findings in that regard.

I look forward to your remarks :)

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Good video I enjoyed it. I suspect that the short thread run across the top of the machine to the tensioner doesn't help with the twisting. What I found using 8 oz spools of bonded black nylon and with the spool in the typical vertical position the thread had enough spring back on some spools to actually coil around the bottom of the spool and jam. This I figure has a lot to due with the matter in which the thread is spun on the spool at the factory and black seems stiffer probably do to the dying process. I don't have this problem with the larger 1lb spools of bonded polyester.

My solution was to mount any spools that are of the 8 oz size horizontally and let the thread come off from the more natural position with no noticeable spring back. The only thing I had to do was make some minor adjustment to the top thread tensioner to compensate for the slight increase in resistance of the weight of the spool and gravity. I have mostly converted from bonded nylon to bonded polyester thread for this reason and some other factors as well as only occasionally using 8oz spools.  The topic " Bonded Nylon thread 8 oz uncoiling solution " will show some pictures of my first go at a easy cheap solution which I have since completely redone, modified, added rollers for mounting two 8 oz spools horizontally and incorporated a platform to accommodate three 1lb spools.

kgg

 

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19 minutes ago, kgg said:

Good video I enjoyed it. I suspect that the short thread run across the top of the machine to the tensioner doesn't help with the twisting. What I found using 8 oz spools of bonded black nylon and with the spool in the typical vertical position the thread had enough spring back on some spools to actually coil around the bottom of the spool and jam. This I figure has a lot to due with the matter in which the thread is spun on the spool at the factory and black seems stiffer probably do to the dying process. I don't have this problem with the larger 1lb spools of bonded polyester.

My solution was to mount any spools that are of the 8 oz size horizontally and let the thread come off from the more natural position with no noticeable spring back. The only thing I had to do was make some minor adjustment to the top thread tensioner to compensate for the slight increase in resistance of the weight of the spool and gravity. I have mostly converted from bonded nylon to bonded polyester thread for this reason and some other factors as well as only occasionally using 8oz spools.  The topic " Bonded Nylon thread 8 oz uncoiling solution " will show some pictures of my first go at a easy cheap solution which I have since completely redone, modified, added rollers for mounting two 8 oz spools horizontally and incorporated a platform to accommodate three 1lb spools.

kgg

 

Thanks for the reply.

I have not tried the 8 oz spools of bonded Black nylon. The thickness of the thread is of cause also a factor in this. When the thread is Loose near the spool, kinks can easely form there. But the important results presented in the video is, that you in the first part of the threads going away from the spool actively can create twisting in both directions. So you should be able to avoid kinks near the spool, but perhaps you then get problems further on the threads way.

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Gymnast, you certainly have an inquiring mind!:) Good video.

kgg, I remember your original design because it got me started! Have you posted photos of the final design?

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Thanks for taking the time to make that video . It gave me a lot to think about, will watch a couple more times to properly digest .
Use threads #69 to 346, I use primarily 16oz. spools or larger bonded nylon . Always the 69 nylon can get pretty unruly when getting down to the last 1/4" on the cones .
-

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Thanks for your nice replies kgg, dikman and nylonRigging. I hope the video will help you. I should have some of the nylon thread anyway, and then I may taste some of your more severe problems with it.

I think, that all manufacturers of thread try to make the thread come off the end of the spool without internal twisting (moment) forces in the thread. But perhaps these manufacturers can vary on their quality in this regard. And perhaps even worse, that their twisting from spool vary. Anyway you should have the possiblity to actively do something about it in how your thread passes your machine and other things on its way.

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52 minutes ago, Gymnast said:

I think, that all manufacturers of thread try to make the thread come off the end of the spool without internal twisting (moment) forces in the thread. But perhaps these manufacturers can vary on their quality in this regard. And perhaps even worse, that their twisting from spool vary.

It is a known fact that the darker the color, the more twisty bonded thread usually is. Black bonded nylon is the worst because it is often double dyed (first dark blue, then black), then bonded. The thicker the thread, the more like a coil spring it can be.

The same size thread in white and straw color may be soft and feed perfectly straight off the spool.

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I honestly never faced a serious thread twist problem. Gymnast - I guess you run an (probably oversized?) (bonded nylon?) thread through a vintage domestic machine and you are not using a proper thread stand - rule of thumb on this regard (as far as I recall): The position of the guide hole in the boom of the thread stand should be at approx twice the height of the thread spool (or more) and centered directly above the spool. Furthermore - this machine for sure is not meant to work with thread or thread heavier than approx #69 . I´m sure this machine will run perfect with polyester or cotton thread of a size up to #69 (or less). This machine has no serious thread guides as used on some "real" industrial sewing machines that can handle heavier thread. F.i. the Singer 111 has several thread guides / guide holes for "untwisting" thread - and that's what they are meant for! In some cases it even matters in what angle the thread "enters" the tension unit - it can well be that the thread pops out of the tension disc when the angle is wrong and/or the thread is too lose (no proper thread guide before the thread enters the tension unit). For this reason some manufactures have a thread guide of which you can alter the angle. So - using the right machine also matters - it´s not just the thread that causeuse the problem. Using the right components (incl. the right machine with the right thread for a certain operation... concluding - meaning the whole setup) but as always there is no right or wrong - the truth is somewhere in the middle. However - I´m not using any nylon thread at all. I`m mainly using polyester or poly/cotton core spun thread or - not kidding - very old US made cotton thread (for historical purposes). I´m f.i. sewing harnesses for BC-1000 back pack radio with this cotton thread (like they did in the 1940´s) - I never got a complaint because of broken seams but that's a different field - I know.

I understand that a lot people are using bonded nylon because of its braking strength - but - folks should ask their self if their products really needs this breaking strength. Will there ever be so much "force" on the seams of the finished product that it will break the thread? I honestly think that for most purposes a good quality polyester thread is sufficient and is most likely will solve a lot of "thread feeding" issues and it most likely will never break.

Edited by Constabulary

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Thanks Wiz. Important observations due to color and how the thread manufacturer produce the thread.

I made the "clips test" with two spools. I placed the spool at a platform near the ceiling and liftet the thread up through an eye at let the thread go controlled down to the floor with a clips on the end. For the red Serafill 20 thread (polyester continuous filament tex 135) I counted 6 turns anticlockwise each meter. It is from a 2500 m spool. I did se same for a Serafil 40 Black thread and got the same value. It is from a 1200 m spool. I suppose this could be one way to quantify how much twist you have in the spool.

I did a test more regarding twist due to tension in the tread. I had a 2 m thread hanging Down from ceiling. Then I added 1 clips more on the clips already at the end. Its an extra tension to the thread of 0.0033 N. The Serafill 20 responded with 0.7 turn anticlockwise. The Serafill 40 responded with 1.5 turn anticlockwise. It is small values, so I do not think you need to take this into account as long as you apply such low weights.

 

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Thanks for your response, Constabulary.

I am aware, that I use my sewing machines to jobs, they were not designed for. The machines may be destoyed by it. And it causes some problems for me. I describe the problems and how I try solve them, and perhaps somebody can use this information. I think that is what a forum is about. For some it will make sense for others not. I think problems with thread twisting is a popular subject in this forum. When you have got the good machine for the job, it may solve most of the problems for you without too much knowledge from the user. However I think, that a leatherworker sometimes will do a job on the limit for what his sewing machine can handle.

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Okay, good to know you are aware of it, so no worries and no offense  ;) But honestly a size 20 thread is what is the max. for most medium duty / upholstery type sewing machines in the leather trade and you try to run it through a tiny domestic machine - that does not make much sense. Its not just the thread - the whole machine is not designed for this type of thread (or work) including the thread path, tension unit , needle plate and hook. I basically understand when you want to find out the max capacity of your machine (we all want to know the max. cap. of our machines) but I honestly think this experiment with a domestic machine (Singer 201 I guess) is a bit over the top.

 

Edited by Constabulary

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12 hours ago, dikman said:

kgg, I remember your original design because it got me started! Have you posted photos of the final design?

I am hoping maybe sometime this weekend to get a couple of photos my my newer design and post them. It is going to mainly depend on the weather and how sore I am. In the process of clearly and levelling a small 300 ft x 600 ft piece of my property that is forested with 60' trees and rock for dog training.

I think as far as that the thread popping out of the tensioner this maybe more to due with the thread being loose with the only resistance to the thread being as it rubs along the side of the top body of the machine. Originally the thread would have been on a small wooden domestic size spool setting vertically on a felt pad on top of the machine, giving the thread some resistance as it was pulled off and spun the spool. Adding a second tensioner I think is providing back tension helping to keep the thread stretched to prevent spring back.

These little domestic machines can surprise you as to what they are capable of and like Gymnast I have pushed some of the old Singers way pass their intended use with V92 thread. When any machine is pushed to the limit everything has to be just right, top and bottom thread tension, timing etc.

For my purposes a good bonded polyester is the way to go but I don't always like/want to purchase 1 lb spools in various colours that may not get readily used and just gather dust.

So for me I am always interested in seeing all information / discussion on thread, thread sizes, thread paths, thread problems, thread manufacturers, thread reviews, problem solutions, videos, pictures, etc it always catches my attention.

kgg

 

 

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Twisty metallic threads benefit from being fed through a piece of polystyrene before they get to the machines thread guides..Thread a standard hand sewing needle with your thread as it comes off the spool, pierce it through a piece of scrap polystyrene, small block , 5cm x 5cm and 2cm thick will do, then feed the thread which comes out of the other side of the polystyrene block along the thread path in the usual manner..The polystyrene will get pulled against the first thread guide ( usually a vertical polished bar ) and will "stay" ( if it doesn't, rig something up so that it does, otherwise it will get pulled along until it does, probably at the tension discs, will still work, but will be distracting ) there with the thread running through it..You'll probably need to adjust your tension after adding this as the "drag" ( tension ) will be increased even before it gets to the tension discs.

Metallic threads are the absolute worst for twisting and kinking..the above might work for your problem..

HTH :)

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13 hours ago, Gymnast said:

Thanks for your nice replies kgg, dikman and nylonRigging. I hope the video will help you. I should have some of the nylon thread anyway, and then I may taste some of your more severe problems with it.

I think, that all manufacturers of thread try to make the thread come off the end of the spool without internal twisting (moment) forces in the thread. But perhaps these manufacturers can vary on their quality in this regard. And perhaps even worse, that their twisting from spool vary. Anyway you should have the possiblity to actively do something about it in how your thread passes your machine and other things on its way.

The Nylons are just bad when you get down to the last 20% on the cones . but I don't know what else can be done ? , Big thread cord is not to bad, but small #69 nylon can get pretty Pig-tail in the bottom end of the rolls .I am sure the Thread manufactoring have done studies and even hold propritary knowledge on the science of making and twist and rolling miles of thread to Cones .

Nylon is strong and high abrasion resisteance but bad part is it holds a ' thread Memory ' , it holds on to in the tail-end of the Rolls . It something that is still usable and you (live with) sew with it . But it is definitely Not as sweet on the bobbin and needle as when you throw on a brand new spool .

Also.. all Threads are not created equal . 2 identicle thread may be the same as far as maunufactured same #size and material . But I find a big difference in the smoothness/difference of some, and you can feel the differences when pulling threw the tension disks . You can feel a tiny subtle grittyness with one, but another color and manufactures cone of same #size,  will be smooth as butter .

.

 

Edited by nylonRigging

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I just realised looking at this "thread" ( s'cuse the unavoidable pun ) again..I forgot to say..I know that the threads being referred to here are nylon and polyester, my comment about metallics is "in case it helps anyone to try that method" with nylon or polyester..I have a 201 ( treadle ) amongst my "stable" of machines, but it is behind a load of things that I'm not scheduled to move until next week, so cant test the possibility myself to see if it helps any..Just throwing the idea out there..

Agree totally, all threads are not created equal..some ( even in the same colour batch , from the same manufacturer ) are not quite the same as others, sometimes you just give up and give them to the cat to play with, or use them to prevent the birds eating the seeds..Things to do with totally uncooperative thread .

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5 hours ago, mikesc said:

pierce it through a piece of scrap polystyrene, small block , 5cm x 5cm and 2cm thick

Thanks for your reply, Mikesc. I am not quite sure how you mean here. Do you drill a Ø1 mm hole in the block? Is it a solid block or is it foam based polystyrene? Foam based can be extruded (XPS) or expanded (EPS). Expanded foam is most used and cheapest - I guess that is what you mean.

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Do you always see the thread comming off the spool clockwise, when you look Down on it? They do on my spools.

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Expanded foam ( EPS ) the kind used in packaging and insulation..Yes
Drill hole..no..

Just thread a hand sewing needle and push it into and straight through the block of polystyrene..out of the other side..then un-thread the nylon from the needle, and leave the polystyrene stuck on the thread, take the end of the thread that you just pushed through and un-threaded and continue threading your machine with it, as if the polystyrene block was not there ..When the machine begins pulling on the thread to sew, the polystyrened block will get pulled along towards the first thread guide, it will bang up against it, it will stop there, ( if it doesn't , use some duct tape to secure it to the machine, the important thing is that the thread gets pulled through it as close as possible to the last thread guide before tension discs ) the thread will continue being pulled through it by the machine..This is how one removes the twists and kinks in metallic thread..Even on industrial machines like the old singers with ZIG-ZAG and variable bight, or the singer lighter weight industrials like my Singer 33U that are used for "free-form" embroidery..


Even a polystyrene packaging "peanut" will work if used with thin thread.

Edited by mikesc

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14 hours ago, Constabulary said:

I guess you run an (probably oversized?) (bonded nylon?) thread through a vintage domestic machine and you are not using a proper thread stand - rule of thumb on this regard (as far as I recall): The position of the guide hole in the boom of the thread stand should be at approx twice the height of the thread spool (or more) and centered directly above the spool.

Sorry - I may not have been accurate here. 1:40 into the video I reveal the thread to be a tex 140 polyester thread. It is infact a tex 135. It is a Serafil 20 from Amann. And I think you got it in your second reply "size 20 thread". There might be a guide to the position of the thread guide over the spool. But in my experience it do not matter that much. It matters much more how the machine makes twisting back to the spool.

14 hours ago, Constabulary said:

F.i. the Singer 111 has several thread guides / guide holes for "untwisting" thread - and that's what they are meant for!

Yes - the possibility is there with a row of guide holes. You can go clockwise around or anticlockwise. I did however Watch some manuals and videos for the use of them, at they may adwise only clockwise around, and this may be wrong in most cases. I noticed that for the Juki LU 1508.

3 hours ago, nylonRigging said:

The Nylons are just bad when you get down to the last 20% on the cones . but I don't know what else can be done ? , Big thread cord is not to bad, but small #69 nylon can get pretty Pig-tail in the bottom end of the rolls

I have to asume, that the tread comes off the spool clockwise. Then the Z-twisting will be stronger after it comes off and off the small diameter of spool. In my video i show how ordinary thread guides and tensioners will make this twisting near the spool even worse. It will also make the Z-twisting stronger near the spool. The only way to make relief for that is to bring the thread anticlockwise around something on its way. It could be a piece of metal with a row of 4 holes. Or a steel thread parallel to the thread for some distance. That is my adwise here.

Edited by Gymnast
error

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Some time back when I was have problems winding bobbins, I found this gem from gottaknow,


"For example, if the height of the cone is 8", the first loop the thread passes through should be 20" from the base where the cone sits. "
 

And I leave all my machines setup this way and have no problems to speak of.

 

 

Edited by Bert51

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I saw this special thread stand from Australia. It has like an antenna on it:

The video also tells you about metallic thread to be a challenge.

The video do not have HD quality, but I think that the thread comes off the spool clockwise (i have seen examples of the opposite). Then the tread actually go around this antenna anticlockwise, when it moves forward. This should be good. I think, that this going anticlockwise around something also can be done a Little further away from the thread stand, and in a way that ads more tension.

I tried a DIY version of this thread guide:802645180_combinedDIYspoolguide.thumb.jpg.743a30e10f65438d6a006028e9ba8325.jpg

Edited by Gymnast
better information

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With small cops you can change the direction the thread comes off the cop by turning it upside down, as there is no obvious bottom like larger cones

Edited by chrisash

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On ‎5‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 9:22 AM, Gymnast said:

I made the "clips test" with two spools. I placed the spool at a platform near the ceiling and liftet the thread up through an eye at let the thread go controlled down to the floor with a clips on the end. For the red Serafill 20 thread (polyester continuous filament tex 135) I counted 6 turns anticlockwise each meter. It is from a 2500 m spool. I did se same for a Serafil 40 Black thread and got the same value. It is from a 1200 m spool. I suppose this could be one way to quantify how much twist you have in the spool.

For the test of these two spools, the perimeter om the spools were 0.163 m and 0.160 m. The 6 turns each meter fits an asumption, that the thread do not have internal moments (twisting) when stored on the spool. The twisting is added by taking the thread off the end.

Edited by Gymnast
error

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This is the Thread Stand I was using with a domestic machine when I was having problems, rather then make a new stand to give me more height I brought a industrial Machine and set it up at it's stand at the maximum height I could.

835929150_mythreadstand(resized).thumb.jpg.eed16ba87ee9922b9b68e084bc16705b.jpg

I don't think it would be to hard to make a higher top bit if you used heavier rod, then I did.

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I made one more video in three parts of how a thread comes off the spool in three situations.

1) One thread guide and pretensioner.                                                                                  Result: kinks
2) One thread guide, 4 turns clockwise around something and pretensioner.               Result: kinks
3) One thread guide, 4 turns counterclockwise around something and pretensioner. Result: OK and nice

Perhaps a few readers did not notice the implications from the first video therefore this video.

I think the thread comes off the spool over the top end clockwise in most cases. If the thread comes off counterclockwise, then this problem might not be that severe.

I noticed, that more youtube videos and manuals on how to thread an industrial sewing machine actually make the thread go clockwise around something in the start. I do not think this is wise, if you have got thread like this serafil 20 or perhaps more difficult thread. This is an example of such a video for a Techsew 2700 (see from 1:20):

I think it should be easy to make the thread turn counterclockwise the two first places on Techsew 2700.

Here is another video on a Pfaff 545. In this video the thread turns counterclockwise in the start - so it is how I like it :)

 

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