# Bobbin tension I have a Bernina 1008 and am having trouble balancing the tension on the bobbin thread. It continually makes small loops over the upper thread as the machine sews no matter what setting I place the tension. Since I need to use my machine daily for my work and there is no place near where I live to take the machine to be fixed, this is a serious problem for me.

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• Anonymous Feb 18, 2009

I cant seem to thread to bobbin on a bernina Nova 900

• Anonymous Mar 18, 2014

upper thread cuts on bernina 1008

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1. Do you have a genuine Bernina bobbin casing and not an Oriental copy? If yes, proceed as follows:
2. To set the bobbin tension, wind a genuine Bernina bobbin with Metrosene thread, type 1161 white thread as your "gaging thread". Load the bobbin case so that the bobbin turns CW. Attach the bobbin case to the hook body from the machine. Wind a couple of revolutions of thread around your index finger with the assembled bobbin case and hook body dangling about 6" to 12" below your finger. Gently and rapidly move your finger back and forth in a "sideways" motion about 1/4" to create a gentle vibration on the bobbin assembly. (Do not shake the bobbin assembly up and down). When the tension is right, the bobbin assembly should fall slowly and as you stop the movement, the assembly should stop.
The adjustment is found on the small screw, holding the flat tension spring against the bobbin case. If the tension is too tight, one must loosen the screw (past) the desired location and always make the adjustment by tightening to the correct position.

There are other checks for tension imbalance and associated problems on the bobbin case that I won't go into here. For further information I can help you later on.

1. The top tension rarely changes and can be depended on throughout the life of that machine providing that tension assembly is maintained occasionally. This can be done by blowing out the tension disks with the presser bar lever in the up position. One can also drag or pull a piece of sized percale or muslin through the disks with the presser bar lever in a down position. Perhaps both methods can be employed.
2. Load the top of the machine with Metrosene 1161 thread in a dissimilar color. I prefer to use a pastel color so as not to create an optical illusion of imbalanced tension.
3. Sew a satin stitch (.25 on the Nova 900) in sized cotton muslin with a thin piece of paper between two plys of fabric. The width should not exceed 4.5mm (standard width on the 900 Nova), however the newer machines have wider stitch widths so one must adjust as specified. The result will be a slight amount of top thread in symmetric lines on both the right and left sides of the satin stitch.

Posted on Nov 28, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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## Related Questions:

### Bernina 1008 thread bunching on bottom

"Nesting or Rat's Nesting" on the bottom side of Bernina sewing machines (CB hook type) is generally the result of very loose top tension. If the problem is found in newer sewing machines such as machines made after 1986 (serial numbers beginning with 26xx xxxx), may have an older Bernina bobbin case in the machine. The problem with the older bobbin cases is that the rounded projection of the latch on the left side of the casing will catch thread, preventing easy thread escapement during the take-up lever cycling resulting in loops on the bottom side and or thread breakage, etc..
Note:....Timings and modified latch geometry's were applied to later models to allow for good thread escapement. Older Bernina cases cannot be used on newer machines but newer cases can be used on all CB hook Bernina machines.
Additionally, Chinese copies of the Bernina/Cerliani OEM bobbin are rampant and can cause sewing issues. Always ask for OEM Bernina cases.

Note the following trouble shooting logic:
1. The center tension disk that is visible through the thread slot in the top cover of most machines must be positioned exactly in the middle of the top cover slot. By loosening the fixing screws on the top tension mechanism, one can adjust the disk position to center.
2. It would be a very rare situation for the top tension to change whatsoever from the (red center marking) factory setting. The most likely cause of loose top tension under the normal center mark position, would be accumulated lint, thread, or a sticky substance between the disks. This would prevent the tension compression disks from applying an even tension on the sewing yarn (thread). Often this can be blown out with compressed air when the presser foot lever is lifted in the up position. In some cases, soft drinks and other sticky or corrosive liquids can find their way between the disks. In this case, the tension assembly must be removed, disassembled, and the disks cleaned and polished.
3. Check the facial surfaces of the bobbin case for corrosion, and sticky substances that prevents the thread from easily sliding over the bobbin case.
4. Check that the spindle of the hook body is not bent or warped, causing the bobbin case to wobble, thus creating an intermittent pressure on the hook race cover at the moment that the thread is trying to escape over the bobbin case finger. (Replace the hook body)
5. Inspect the undercut on the hook body spindle for thread wrappings and knots. This condition can cause the bobbin case to press hard against the hook race cover, hence hindered thread escapement .
6. Exceedingly tight bottom tension can cause some problems as well. ( If you don't know how to adjust Bernina bobbin cases to factory settings, please ask).
7. Hook timing, (loop lift) can be out enough to affect thread escapement. This is typical of newer machines made after 1986 since Bernina no longer made fixed timed machines like the earlier Swiss made models. The later made models have timing components that can slip under stressed machine mechanics.
SewTechnical Home ">

Feb 13, 2014 | Bernina 1008

### I have a Bernina 1008. The thread is bunching up underneath when sewing. I've cleaned and oiled the bobbin area, rethreaded and adujusted the upper tensnion- the topstitch looks fine, it's lumpy on the...

Hello. Make sure the bobbin is not backward. It seems the upper tension is still not adjusted right. If the bobbin pulls smooth focus on the top tension. Good Luck

Feb 13, 2014 | Bernina 1008

### Loose top thread bernina 1008, tension problem but no solutions yet...

Are you sure you are getting the top thread between the tension discs? You should be able to tell the difference when you lower the pressed foot.

Jan 27, 2013 | Bernina 1008

### My Bernina 1530 stitches are faulty - with loops underneath, even though it looks ok on top. When I remove and rethread the bobbin, the stitches are ok for 6-12 inches then start looping again. I tried to...

This is almost always indicative of an upper tension problem.
First, make sure you're using a good quality thread. If you're using thread that's not of European manufacture, you're probably filling your tension assemblies with little fuzzies. Coats and Clark Dual Duty is the most notorious thread for causing tension issues. If you have a bunch of this thread: throw it away or use it for hand sewing.
Turn your machine off, and use some canned air to blow out your upper tension assembly. (It looks like a couple of little cymbals inside the thread path.) Set your tension dial to 4.5.
When threading, right before you actually thread the needle itself, and with the presser foot up, "floss" the thread back and forth by holding the thread at the top by the spool with your right hand, and down by the needle with your left hand. This will ensure that you force the thread into the tension assembly.
Also ensure that your bobbin is oriented the right direction, but this would be a less common cause for your symptom.
If none of these fixes work, you probably need to have your tensions professionally calibrated.

-R

Mar 04, 2009 | Bernina 1008

### Bernina 1008 sewing machine making huge clumps of loops on underside of fabric. have tried moving screw on bobbin in two opposite directions without a sign of improvement.

Hi: You have threaded the machine incorrectly. Rethread the machine with the presser foot up to the needle, pull the thread (loose) and drop the presser foot while pulling thread, thread should get tighter, then thread needle and machine will work fine. Make sure the top tension is set at where you normally have it, probably about #4 or #5

Jan 08, 2009 | Bernina 1008

### Bernina 1008 bobbin tension problem

Double check that your needle is the proper one for your machine, and that it is in properly. It sounds like it is not picking up the thread properly. Tension problems usually have more to do with threading, thread or needle problems than with bobbin problems. Also check your bobbin is unwinding in the proper direction for your machine. Most machines unwind the bobbin thread, turning clockwise. Set your screw back to the factory settings, and give the machine a good cleaning as well. Lint can cause this to happen as well, if it builds up enough to interfere with the needle and the hook action. Double check that your upper thread is threaded properly as well. I suspect your needle is in backwards however.

Jan 08, 2009 | Bernina 1008

### Threadtension wrong when free motion quilting

If the thread under the fabric is loose you need to tighten the upper tension. If it's on 4, bring it to 5. If it's on 5, bring it to six and continue doing that and sewing till its perfect. You may need to decrease your lower tension if you can't get it just right.

Bernina Sewing Machine Parts

Jan 06, 2009 | Sewing Machines

### Bernina 1008 - tension problems

Make sure the presser foot bar is UP before you thread the machine, otherwise the thread doesn't connect propertly with the tension discs. Top thread should reel-off in clockwise direction.

Jan 02, 2009 | Bernina 1008

### Tension

I'm assuming the thread is looping on the bottom. If this is not the case, ignore the rest of this.
Perform a tension test. Tension assembly test. To do this test. Pull the thread through the tension assembly and test it to make sure the tension is working correctly.
(To do this test, adjust your tension setting to normal or medium or 5 or something in the middle. Raise the presser foot and pull the thread through the tension. It should pull easily!! Lower the presser foot and pull the thread. It should pull noticeably harder.)
If it doesn’t work this way then you probably have a piece of thread or lint stuck inside the tension discs. To remove it, turn the tension to 0 zero and raise the presser foot.Using a small screwdriver, open the space between the discs and spray with canned or compressed air. The stuff should come out. Do the tension test again to make sure you got everything and then try sewing again.
sewman7

Aug 02, 2008 | Bernina 1008

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