Funny what you think about as you are doing a bit of cleaning up! So yesterday I decided to see what was lurking in my freezer as it was so packed that I couldn't add another thing. Most of the items were freezer burned (not enough cooking I guess) and there were some things going back to 2011. I guess I have not been rotating my stock!
As I was cleaning out, thread came to my mind. (What a funny thing to think about cleaning the freezer!) How often do you rotate your stock of threads? Did you know that thread has a "shelf life"?
In the shop we rotate our threads as we purchase them. The newest always go in back!
My suggestion for threads is to date the spool when you purchase it. I have lots of threads that have never been used yet, so dating would be helpful! It is hard to say what a "shelf life" of any particular thread is. But if you have lots of breakage or you can break it easily when tugging on it, it's old and won't hold up to the speed of the machine!
Of course, all this depends on how you store it also.
Other things that lead to thread breakage is a dull needle or a needle with a "burr". And sometimes you just need a good annual service. Even if you haven't used your machine frequently, it still needs an annual services as the internal workings need to be refreshed, and cleaned out! Oh and don't forget to run your "zig zag" stitch to keep your "side motion" from freezing up. Many of us only straight stitch and you want those decorative stitches to work, when you need them. All functions need to be used periodically.
It is recommended that you change your needle after 8 hours of sewing, or after you finish one quilt. Lets face it.... we don't always sew continuously so 8 hours of sewing time could be several days, weeks or in my case months!
If you hear a "tap, tap, tap" from the needle plate area, it usually means your needle is dull................time to change!