Tip & How-To about Sewing Machines

Winding a bobbin correctly

The heart of sewing is producing a well tensioned seam and achieving this with any sewing machine will be difficult if you don't wind a bobbin smoothly and with even tension onto the thread. If you look at your bobbin and the thread on it looks all lumpy and uneven, then this tip is for you.

Each time you wind a bobbin, whatever sewing machine it is on, it is really important to keep even tension on the thread as it winds onto the bobbin. Many machines will have a little tension disc you take the thread around but your technique is important too.

Usually you take the thread from your spool of cotton on the right, across to the left on the top of the machine and around a tension disc, or through a thread eye, then back to the right to your bobbin winding spindle, if your bobbin has holes in it, then pull the thread tail up through a hole and pop it onto the spindle. Engage the spindle by pushing across against the stop. Now start winding SLOWLY while holding the thread tail up in the air until the core of the bobbin has been covered in fully and your thread has covered up the starting point to hold the beginning tail. Stop winding, and trim the tail off against the bobbin with a pair of snips. Now resume winding at 1/2 to 3/4 speed and do two things, one with each hand. With one hand put tension onto the top of the spool you are winding thread off - use the curve of your scissors handle into the indent on top. And with your other hand, give the thread a nudge as it winds onto the bobbin to ensure you wind fully across the whole bobbin evenly. Watch it carefully to ensure that you get a smooth even wind.

An analagy: if you wind the garden hose onto the hose reel really fast and let it go anywhich way, the hose will kink and wind mostly in the middle then the reel's full and you've still got half the hose to put away. Thread is the same, its been wound onto a spool by a machine in a very precise way; you want the same smooth evenly tensioned winding onto your bobbin so that when you stitch out the seam the thread is consistently fed off the bobbin.

Don't be tempted to wind flat out and just let it take its own path as you won't get good smooth bobbins of thread. And if you let the thread come off the spool at a fast pace the spool may bounce around, causing fluctuations in the tension on the thread. When you stich a seam, the thread will relax unevenly in your seam causing puckers and ho hum stitching.

Simple stuff but it makes a difference!

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on my bobbin side of the materal after i sew its just tons of thread on that side and the stitch is not tight


Loose on bottom indicates trouble with top tension. Re thread your machine with the presser foot UP. sew a test seam. If you still have problems adjust the top tension. sew a test seam. If you still have problems clean between the tension discs with some sturdy fabric and unwaxed dental floss. Sew another test seam.

Still problems? Wind the top tension tight then back off 1/4 turns until the seam is balanced.

Aug 16, 2012 | Janome Sewing Machines

1 Answer

bunching bobbin thread elna 1010


Firstly remove the bobbin and case and give the whole area around the bobbin a good brush out, removing all lint and fibres from the area completely, don't blow it inside the machine deeper. Then if it has marked oiling points, give them a drop of clear quality sewing machine oil.

Now, check that the bobbin thread is fully into tension spring and that the bobbin is in and rotating the right way in the case. Also check the way the thread is wound onto the bobbin, many users have never been shown the right way to wind and just go flat out. You need the bobbin to be wound smoothly and evenly right across the middle top and bottom and you don't want the thread to be wound on with varying tensions on it or it relaxes unevenly in the seam causing puckers.

See my tip on bobbin winding here: http://www.fixya.com/support/r10598580-winding_bobbin_correctly

Then check top tension is set at the mid range number, usually 4 or 5 and that it is also fully seated into the tension discs. Always thread with the pressure foot raised so the discs are open for the thread to seat in.

Change the needle, and check stitch length is appropriate for the weight of fabric being sewn, usually 2.5 length is fine.

Now test sew again and hopefully the stitching is now more even.

Oct 21, 2011 | Elna 1010

1 Answer

the thread keeps coming off the needing when i sew


Hello

I would suggest that you revisit the threading up in your manual and double check that the top thread is under tension.

However, if the stitiching on top of the fabric is wonky, this is your bottom tension too loose, and if stitching on the the underside of the fabric is loose, its the top tension causing it.

Quite often bobbin winding can be the cause of bad stitching so pull out the manual and wind a bobbin carefully following the instructions, making sure that the thread is under gentle tension as it winds. What you don't want is for the thread spool to bounce around as it unwinds onto the bobbin as this gives uneven tension of the thread and when you then stitch a seam, the thread relaxes in different amounts causing puckering.

So wind at 3/4 speed, and gently guide the thread onto the bobbin so it fills evenly across the whole core. And ensure there is tension on via a tension guide if your machine has one. If not, then place the curved handle of your scissors onto the top of the thread spool and hold it there as you wind, which holds the spool down and keeps the thread coming off it smoothly.

Always raise the pressure foot when you thread the machine so the top thread goes into tension fully. And new needle for each new sewing job is really important, make sure it is the right size and type of needle for the fabric you are sewing.

Aug 02, 2011 | Brother LS-2125 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

the tension on the bobbin is giving big loops and then breaking


This could be one of the following:
  • wrong bobbin for the machine
  • bobbin loaded the wrong way - must rotate anticlockwise when you pull the thread
  • thread not into the tension spring/device on the bobbin holder correctly
  • bobbin wound badly, uneven tension, loose or uneven across the bobbin
  • poor quality or old dry brittle thread could cause the breaking (but the loops is definitely tension issues).
This is a top loading bobbin machine machine and you can download a manual from
http://www.singerco.com/accessories/manuals.html

Here is the threading diagram from the manual.

tally_girl_21.jpg It is important to click the thread down into the tension spring on all top loading bobbin machines and then pull gently on the thread to check that it is under tension, you should feel firm resistance when you pull the thread. If not, then take it out, and try again.

Other thing to look at is how the bobbin is wound. It is necessary to wind a bobbin smoothly and with some tension on the spool as the thread comes off it. Best analogy is the garden hose reel. If you wind it up and don't control where the hose goes onto the reel it will all lump up in the middle, and you won't get all the hose onto it. And then when you go to pull the hose out, it will jam and be difficult to pull. Same with bobbin thread. You want a nice neat even fill across the whole width of the bobbin, not just the middle. To achieve this make sure you use the bobbin winder tension disc when winding. Also use the spool cap on top of the thread spool to stop it from bouncing around as it unwinds - the thread will then wind off around the spool cap and this keeps it running smoothly and not twisting and jerking. If you don't have a spool cap then put the curved handle of a pair of scissors on top of the thread spool to tension it while you wind the bobbin. Also watch the bobbin as it winds, give the thread a nudge with your finger to control the fill onto the bobbin so it winds top, bottom and middle of the bobbin evenly.

I would suggest the following:
clean out the race following the manual directions to remove the bobbin holder, clean in this area, replace it. Wind a fresh bobbin and then load it into the machine, following the manual instructions carefully. Also thread the top of the machine following the manual, put in a new sharp needle from the pack, turn the top tension dial to a medium number (often 5 if dial goes from zero to 10).

Now test sew again. Look at the seam, if you have loops on the bottom of the fabric, underside, then the top thread tension is too loose or not in the top tension discs fully. Generally you should not need to adjust the tension on the bobbin thread for these machines.


Apr 13, 2011 | Singer 5050 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Bottom thread bunching up


First try stripping the bobbin or wind a fresh one with new thread double check tension settings and fit in the bobbin case

Dec 15, 2009 | Sewing Machines

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