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Having issues with Gutermann....advice sought
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Jacob Linton
(gardenhead) - F

Locale: Western NC
Having issues with Gutermann....advice sought on 05/05/2011 09:53:41 MDT Print View

I've used Gutermann thread before, but I just bought three spools of the 'Tera 40' and am having a hell of a time sewing with it.
What seems to be happening is because the thread is twisted/wound or whatever, when it runs through the guides in my machine the guides sorta try to straighten it out and then when I try to form a stitch, as soon as there is any slack, the thread gets all twisty and eventually the needle ends up piercing the thread and screwing everything up.
Hopefully that description makes sense to someone.
I tried flipping the cone, thinking that maybe it would have the opposite effect and wind it tighter, but that was dumb and didn't work.
Basically, I'd like to finish up this project within the next couple of days rather than make a special trip to town.

Btw, I'm sewing a silnylon tarp if that matters.

Thanks in advance.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Having issues with Gutermann....advice sought on 05/05/2011 10:14:39 MDT Print View

Try some different thread and see if it works

Maybe your machine is broke and needs to be cleaned and lubricated

Is the tension adjusted properly?

Is the thread properly threaded through the guides in the machine?

Sorry, just some obvious things you've probably already checked : )

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Having issues with Gutermann....advice sought on 05/05/2011 10:25:39 MDT Print View

Is the thread on a cone? If so are you using it on a stand? If you're trying to use a cone on the regular spindle on the machine and it's pulling the thread from the spool sideways the twist will get messed up. It should be pulling it up from the cone if that makes sense, and the cone should not move. You can make a stand pretty easily from a hanger and CD spool as base (I'm sure lots of other things would work as a base as well).

Edited by brendans on 05/05/2011 10:35:45 MDT.

Jacob Linton
(gardenhead) - F

Locale: Western NC
Still having issues on 05/05/2011 18:42:06 MDT Print View

Thanks Jerry and Brendan for the recommendations.
Unfortunately I've tried most of that already.
I think my machine just hates this thread.
My thread spool/pin thing is horizontal so it feeds from the top anyway.
I went ahead and rigged up a stand, but it still isn't working.
Here are a couple photos, that may give you a better idea of what I mean.

William Cummings
(rcummings1) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Still having issues on 05/05/2011 19:02:24 MDT Print View

Unthread the machine, set the existing spool aside, rethread with one of the other remaining spools. Double check to make sure you have the thread path correct. Cross fingers. Sew. It may just be that spool of thread. It may also be that your machine doesn't like Gutterman Tera 40.

Evan Cabodi
(BlackRock) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Tera 40 is too heavy on 05/06/2011 09:22:35 MDT Print View

The Tera 40 is a pretty burly thread that works well in single stitch industrial machines made for heavier weight material. It's heat treated and probably just too much for your machine to deal with properly. You might get it to work with a better setup on the spool. Start by seating the spool so that it doesn't spin. The thread is meant to pull off the spool without it turning, that may help with the twisting. You could also replace the safety pin with a longer run up and over something like a hangar propped up higher.

Alternatively I'd go get some standard Gutermann 100% polyester. If you get a good stitch with the standard polyester the stitch will just never fall apart. I've got thousands of hours behind the machine with Gutermann thread and in my view it's some of the best out there.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 05/06/2011 09:49:09 MDT Print View

Maybe a needle with bigger hole?

Same thing here - standard Gutterman is just fine

I have had problems at the vertical seam very close to bottom corner of silnylon tent. The silnylon stretches but the polyester Gutterman doesn't (as much) so it breaks. Should have used zigzag stitch.

Also, at the crotch of shorts - but I've worn it a lot and just resewed it

Also the bottom hem of shorts - rubs against my leg and eventually breaks - but who cares? eventually I re-sew it but it doesn't matter

Jacob Linton
(gardenhead) - F

Locale: Western NC
Thanks on 05/07/2011 09:26:40 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone for all the help.
I think my machine just couldn't handle it.
I was able to get to town yesterday and picked up some other thread and it's been working just fine.
So yeah, problem solved I guess.
Thanks again.

Scott Littlefield
(sclittlefield) - F

Locale: Northern Woods of Maine
Bummer on 05/10/2011 09:12:54 MDT Print View

Hey Jacob - bummer the Tera was putting up such a fight for you. I'm really curious as to what caused the problem - I wonder if anyone else has had trouble as well. The Tera is a very high strength thread but has worked with no issues at all on my (really crappy, plastic geared) Singer. Both Tera 40 and Mara 70 are thread size Tex 40. What size needle are you using with it?

If it's any use, I use Gutermann's Mara 70 for 85% of all my gear projects - I think you'll find that's a much easier thread for your machine. The only times I use Tera 40 is for backpacks, only the ridgeline of tarps (where there's many folds of fabric), and sometimes at the gathered end portion (ENO style gathered end, not Warbonnet style) of heavier weight (1.9oz +) hammocks.

It looks like (and I could be wrong) that your Tera 40 came from my shop, so I'm doubly sorry it's not doing the trick for you. If you'd like, toss me a pm if it did and I'll send you out a free spool of Mara 70.

- Scott (, soon to be

Edited by sclittlefield on 05/11/2011 12:32:32 MDT.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Having issues with Gutermann....advice sought on 05/10/2011 17:03:07 MDT Print View

It might have to do with the thread twist. I thought it was all standard until I read this:
The Thread Exchange

"Sewing machines designed for the U.S. assume that thread has a left twist. If you use a right twist thread in these machines it will unravel. Right twist thread is just fine for hand sewing, reinforcing, or any project that does not require machine sewing. Also, there are some dual-head machines that require right twist thread."

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Having issues with Gutermann....advice sought on 05/10/2011 17:58:34 MDT Print View

How would I know which way my thread is twisted? Do I have to look at it under a strong lens?

My inexpensive Brother sewing machine is probably intended for the U.S. market.

Some people have claimed that I am really twisted.


Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
"Having issues with Gutermann....advice sought" on 05/10/2011 23:36:33 MDT Print View

The heavy weight Gutermann thread is too heavy for home machines. The light weight is not strong enough for BP applications, as evidenced by Jerry Adams' experience with it, even though he likes it. Among lighter weights, the all poly Mettler Metrosene is not too bad, and there is a cotton wrap poly called Signature that is very strong, but don't know how durable it will be in the outdoors. Have not been able to find the Amann Rasant thread that Roger recommends in a variety of color choices here in the US, although it is in the Australian shops. Spent a lot of time with their Boulder CO branch, and got nowhere. When I find something good that is readily sourced for home users, will post it.

Although the cotton wraps are being discontinued by many manufacturers, the sturdier ones seem to work better in home machines than the all poly. This may be due to greater heat resistance, as Roger suggests, or because the cotton outer wraps just feed better than polyester and nylon. With silnylon, I think the trick is to find just the right thread tension that will allow the fabric to stretch, but will not be too loose when the fabric contracts.

Edited by scfhome on 05/10/2011 23:38:15 MDT.

Jacob Linton
(gardenhead) - F

Locale: Western NC
Problem solved-sorta on 05/12/2011 09:24:18 MDT Print View

Just wanted to let folks know, I ended up going to town and buy some Mettler Metrosene Plus. That did the job.
The more I think about it, the more I convince myself that the problem was my machine not having enough tension to pull the thread tight after forming the stitch.
Scott from BWDD (where I bought the thread) contacted me and now I'm swapping the Tera 40. So yeah, awesome customer service.
Anyways, thanks again to everyone for your help.