Why Does My Yarn Keep Breaking?

During weaving, the stress of yarn ends can lead to thread breaks. This is caused by many conditions, such as high tension, faulty machine parts, and many others.

It’s a cost experience when yarn breaking occurs as it slows down work, but to prevent such, it’s better to prevent it

This article has extensive and clear discussions on why your yarn keeps breaking and how to resolve the situation.

Why Does My Yarn Keep Breaking?

Yarn breaking is one of the major defects during sizing, and this can be a costly experience if you can’t detect reasons for such an occurrence.

Below are the factors causing yarn breaks:

1. Contact point

If any contact surface is cracked, cut, or rollers aren’t working properly, it leads to yarn breakage.

2. Yarn quality

If the strength of the yarn is low in quality, when it gets to or below a specific level, the breakage rate increases because it has exceeded its bearing limit.

3. Weak Yarn preparation

A defective and low-quality preparation causes breakage of yarn during sizing. There are 3 preparation deficits:

  • Winding: this is mainly done to remove any objectionable yarn faults, but if unnoticeable, they tend to show up as defects causing the end to break in subsequent processes.
  • Warping: this breaks the yarn during the sizing process. This should be done properly and by lessening the warping pressure.
  • Sizing: when the ingredients for yarn coating arent well mixed during the weaving process, the resistance is. A well-sized method reduces abrasion resistance and ensures fewer end yarn breakages. Here are some important things to note: the machine’s efficiency and speed, selecting the right size, and picking up the paste.
  • When drawing: the healds and reed should be in good motion condition. Skilled operators are needed for a proper dressing of the loom to avoid cross-end situations in the loom, and there should be a provision of spare ends on the loom should in case any loom ends break. 

4. High Tension

If your yarn keeps cutting or breaking, it is probably because your tension is too tight. 

A yarn only cuts or breaks after you’ve completed the winding process. During this process, the yarn is under pressure, and immediately after it cuts, the machine stops working. 

5. Machine or loom control and setting

If the machine’s mechanical parts come in direct contact with the yarn, the yarn breakages come in the following way.

  • The Shed depth and timing: if the shed depths are more than required or there is an early shedding, both will lead to higher ends yarn breaks. There should be a distance of 2mm between the upper shed and the upper-end line.
  • Malfunctioning of yarn stop motion: the yarn stop motion is designed to stop the loom as soon as breakage occurs, but if the yarn motion does not, there is an increase in yarn breaks.
  • Irregular loom cleaning: flies and dust get collected on the loom healds, reeds, and drop wires, and improper care of the loom causes the yarn to break.
  • Atmospheric condition: the regular relative humidity (RH)% should be maintained in the weaving depart to ensure an adequate loom performance. When the conditions of the standard relative humidity (RH)% aren’t followed, it causes the yarn to break. The RH for 100% cotton yarn ranges from 75% – 80%, while the temperature for 65%-75% ranges from 25o – 27o.

How Do You Keep Yarn From Breaking?

To minimize the yarn breaks, take note of the following:

1. The use of foam pads

Foam pads prevent breaking by protecting the yarn from falling underneath or behind yarn packages. They also provide a firm resting base for the yarn.

2. Tension control in the yarn

On the machine, there are two ways to control yarn tension: 

  • Between the various stages of unwinding, which can be noticed after the first thread guide. It can be reduced if you design the holder such that the distance between the package and the first thread guide is short; it prevents the yarn ballon from stroking the nose of the package.
  • Between ends which can be noticed at the headstock. It can be reduced if the groups of surrounding ends on the beam are extracted from the same column of packages in the holder.

3. Machine Condition

The package alignment at the holder should be properly checked. When the first guide does not align the holder, it is always seen to cause high-end yarn breakage. This alignment, however, is done with the help of a guage. 

4. Guide rollers eccentricity

On machines with a mechanical stop motion, several guide rollers are positioned near one another at the headstocks. The eccentricity in the guide rollers tends to produce short-term variations of high amplitude.

5. Thread Guide

When there is a deep cut in the thread, it increases the yarn pressure and thereby deteriorates yarn performance. If it’s dirty, CC14 should be used to clean the thread guide properly.

6. Temperature and relative humidity (RH)

A 60%RH should be maintained for adequate work. The temperature of the dry bulb should be kept at 29oc (84oF).

Low humidity may increase yarn harness, web breaks, and release of fluff or fly. The fluff then goals to the beam and cause issues during sizing.

High humidity is not ideal, so the RH above 70% tends to cause an increase in the sagging of the web, loading of the cylinder, and licker-in.

7. Yarn Conditioning

This is a process of fixing the moisture quantity in the yarn to supply the yarn with strength and elongation. It can be done by steam or humidifier. 

What Yarn Does Not Split?

Splitting occurs as a result of friction against your fabric.  Few yarns do not split; they are natural fibers, and because they have a long staple, they are less likely to split.

  • Silk
  • Coarser wools
  • Nylon
  • Suri or Huacaya Alpaca fiber
  • Mohair

How Do You Fix a Broken Yarn in a Sweater?

Here are steps to fixing it:

Step 1: Use a crochet hook to grab the yarn (snag or tear) by fixing the hook through the opposite side of the sweater to the front side of the yarn.

Step 2: Use the hook to pull the loose thread on the front to go to the back side of the sweater. Be careful and try to avoid making the hole bigger.

Step 3:Turn the sweater inside out to smooth the pulled thread.

Step 4: If the snag has not broken and is still connected to the weather on both ends, make a loop of the loose yarn using the hook. Pull the yarn end through the loop to create a small knot inside the sweater. Do not cut the thread, just create the knot to hold it on the wrong side of the fabric. 

If the yarn is broken and loose on one end, create a knot in the loose area close to the inside of the sweater.

Step 5: use nail polish to dot the knot and any yarn cut to secure the knot created. Allow the polish to dry completely before turning the sweater over.

Step 6: Turn the sweater to the right side and check the snag. Gently pull it back into place but if it still looks rippled, use a clothes steamer or steamer iron to smooth the fabric. 


In some cases, the yarn might not be faulty, but breaking can result from external influences such as pest infestation, which may occur when the yarned has been removed from its seal. You might need to use a different needle size or simply try knitting with looser stitches.

You enjoy a satisfactory working period when you take proper care of your yarn and machine. The way a fabric made from a conditioned yarn looks makes it superior to that made from an unconditioned yarn which proves that there is no decline in yarn and fabrics after the steaming process.