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My tension is loose on the bottom stitch - Sewing Machines

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  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 7,365 Answers

Try adjusting the top tension one number up & see if that improves the bottom stitch

Posted on Feb 08, 2012

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6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: bobbin tension

This is an issue of your upper thread tension, so take a look at this generic tension solution

If you are in a pickle with your bobbin case, check top tension and bobbin case are free of lint, reset the top tension to 4, and adjust the bobbin tension to suit......some more detail on how to do that, is here

Bargain Box

Posted on Jan 30, 2008

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: Loose stitching underneath. HOW CAN I FIX!!!!

I'm **t sure what you mean by freehand stitching........do you get a good even stitch with zig zag, this is the most important first test ?

Ensure that all is clean and free of lint jams....**w for tension troubleshooting .......

This solution is for tension problems...if you can**t form any sort of stitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me k**w if you need a different problem solved.....

It is quite long, but just work through each section in order.
The "k**tting up" can reveal a lot. If you have loose threads on one side or the other, the tension on the opposite side will be the culprit.

QUICK SUMMARY FIRST:
Ensure sharp new needle,
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.

TOP THREAD TENSION:
If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your
projects).

IS YOUR NEEDLE SHARP ?
If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !

TOP TENSION & GUIDES:
Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and **t to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.

It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.

If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.

Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with
a see saw / to and fro action.

In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to
disengage tension plates).... do **t gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.

BOBBIN TENSION:
Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension.

I would **t recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small *****s and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean
the hook race area (where bobbin case sits)

...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....

just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.

Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (**t soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.

If it seems likely that you ......really ....do .....actually .....need .....to adjust the bobbin case, first check there is ** lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned.

TOP LOADER:
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension ***** in the middle of the metalwork....

4c76dc1.jpg ...the other ***** at one end is holding it all together, so beware....it is **t a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !

FRONT LOADER:
....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all
back properly.
165ca5c.jpg FINISHING UP
GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT:
When you are certain there's ** trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.

Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.

Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension ***** very little at
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.

You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it can**t be correct to do this.....BUT....it is,
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite quickly.....as a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)

OTHER ISSUES:
If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine
case....** case ? then make some sort of cover !

Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.

Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with
dust and form a "clag" like glue (a**ther reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)

FINALLY, A WORD ON THREAD:
If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, .......it may seem to cost a little more at the
time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistant diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !

If you want any more help with this, just post back here, or, drop a line through the "Contact Us" page at www.bargainbox.com.au

Posted on Mar 09, 2008

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: My bottom thread is loose when sewing a straight stitch

Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.




Ensure that all is clean and free of lint and jams, this is the most likely cause....now for tension troubleshooting .......

This solution is for tension problems...if you cannot form any sort of stitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me know if you need a different problem solved.....

It is quite long, but just work through each section in order.
The "knotting up" can reveal a lot. If you have loose threads on one side or the other, the tension on the opposite side will be the culprit.

QUICK SUMMARY FIRST:
Ensure sharp new needle,
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.

TOP THREAD TENSION:
If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your
projects).

IS YOUR NEEDLE SHARP ?
If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !

TOP TENSION & GUIDES:
Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.

It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.

If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.

Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with
a see saw / to and fro action.

In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to
disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.

BOBBIN TENSION:
Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension.

I would not recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screws and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean
the hook race area (where bobbin case sits)

...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....

just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.

Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.

If it seems likely that you ......really ....do .....actually .....need .....to adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned.

TOP LOADER:
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....

4c76dc1.jpg ...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so beware....it is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !

FRONT LOADER:
....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all
back properly.
165ca5c.jpg FINISHING UP
GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT:
When you are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.

Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.

Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension screw very little at
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.

You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it cannot be correct to do this.....BUT....it is,
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite quickly.....as a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)

OTHER ISSUES:
If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine
case....no case ? then make some sort of cover !

Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.

Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with
dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)

FINALLY, A WORD ON THREAD:
If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, .......it may seem to cost a little more at the
time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistent diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !


Posted on Jul 24, 2008

talk2ginny
  • 34 Answers

SOURCE: My Bernina 930's lower tension

Hi - you might have a dirty bobbin case, or need a new one. IAfter awhile, little teeny dust bunnies can collect in your bobbin case and cause your bobbin tension to go wonky, especially if you use cotton thread. If you happen to have an extra bobbin case, try using the new bobbin case to see if that solves the problem. Otherwise.....

  • Remove your bobbin case and take out the bobbin. Find a small, stiff brush like the one that came with your machine and stand in very good light. Brush out the inside of your bobbin case, and push one or two bristles of your brush into any opening you can see. If you see any trace of dust but you can't get it out, use tweezers to gently pull the dust out. Now look at the outside of your bobbin case. In the small opening where you insert your bobbin thread into the bobbin case, there is a small piece of metal with screws in it the lays over the bobbin case. Brush that area carefully, and again, insert one or two bristles under than piece of metal and into any other small opening where the bristles will fit. Try sewing again. If you are still getting loops, take out your bobbin case with the bobbin thread still inserted and grab the bobbin thread with two fingers. Let go of the bobbin case - sort of like you are holding a yo-yo. If the bobbin case starts to drop as soon as you let go, your bobbin tension is loose. If the the case doesn't move, gently snap the bobbin thread you are holding and see how far the bobbin case moves down toward the floor (you might need to try this a couple of times, the bobbin has a nasty habit of flying out). When you do the snap, the bobbin case should move down about two inches and stop. If do not know how to adjust the bobbin tension, either check your manual or take the machine in for service.
  • If you haven't already, it's a good idea to remove the thread plate that sits under the needle and clean that area out with your brush. Also, get a really good flashlight and check the area where you insert your bobbin case. Gently turn your fly wheel and look inside the hook area - remove any dust or bits of thread.
In general, you should oil your machine as indicated in your manual as often as directed. You should change your needle every 10 hours of sewing - or each time you start a new project, and you should take your machine in for service every one or two years - even if you only use it once and awhile.

Hope this helps, Ginny

Posted on Jan 31, 2009

safenude
  • 124 Answers

SOURCE: euro-pro 464xc bottom tension loose

Welcome to FixYa!

Loose bottom stitches come from the top, not the bottom. Seems weird, but that's the way sewing machines work.

The dial tension should be set at the mid range and make absolutely sure that you have the machine threaded correctly. Both things will cause a sloppy bottom stitch.

Thanks!

If you find my solution helpful, I'd appreciate a FixYa rating....

Posted on Feb 01, 2009

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Loose bottom stitches on Singer 1507


top tension must be adjusted to fix loose stitches of bottom stitches
adust the top tension one letter or number higher and sew on a scrap
piece of fabric till stitches look correct,, here is a free manual
http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/36952a1312a6d8436174ef874f3662471a946b64.pdf

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The bottom stitch is very loose. I've tried tightening and loosening the screw and the problem remains...HELP!


The bottom stitch is affected by the TOP thread tension :) First go back and make sure your bobbin tension is correct since you adjusted it. It should drop slightly when held suspended by danging it by the thread. If it reels out to the floor it is too loose. If it doesn't drop at all it is too tight.

Now that you have that adjusted look at your top tension. If it is loopy on the bottom side of the stitch the TOP tension is too loose. Increase the top tension.

Now take some scrap material and set machine to a wide zig zag, medium length stitch and sew a bit. Compare the top and the bottom sides of the stitch. They should look identical. Remember the TOP side effects the bottom and the BOTTOM tension effects the top side. Adjust accordingly until they look identical with no loose threads or loops and no puckering (puckering means it's too tight).

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The thread underneath when sewing is too loosed


Usually thread too loose on the bottom is caused by the upper tension being too loose. The top and bottom tensions work together with the top thread making the underside of the stitch seem too taunt or too loose and the bobbin thread causing the top side of the stitch to be loopy or too tight. Select a large zig zag stick and sew a couple of inches. Then examine the stitch. It should look identical on both sides. Look to see which side is drawn too tight, the zig zag being smaller on that side with threads from the bottom threads pulled through. Then adjust the two tensions so that they make a uniform, identical stitch.

Also, when the bobbin tension is right you can hold the bobbin dangling by the thread and it won't spool out to the floor but will let loose a bit with a slight flick of the wrist. Too loose it will just spool out. Too tight and it won't drop at all. When you get that set right then do the above zig zag test to see where the top tension should be set.

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Check the upper tension unit for loose threads or fluff. This causes the discs not to completely close when the presser foot is lowered.

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Pfaff varimatic 6091 sew a rag quilt with jean and flannel,I can't get my tension right it seems to be funny on the bottom stitch,where shoulf the top tension be set at 4 1/2 ,when do I adjust the bobbin...


Hi! The bobbin tension rarely needs to be adjusted. First, make sure you're using the appropriate size needle and thread for your fabric (I'd probably use either a 'denim' needle or a universal size 14) and also that the upper thread and bobbin are threaded absolutely correctly. These can throw off the tension! Also, take the time to clean out the bobbin area. That can throw your stitch off also.

If the stitch on the bottom is loose, so that you see the top threads, then the top tension is too loose. If the top stitch is too loose and you see the bobbin threads on top, then the top tension is too tight.

It helps to thread the machine with different color thread on top and in the bobbin, and then stitch an inch or so on the same type of fabric as you're using in your quilt. Check the stitch. If you need to adjust the top tension, make sure the pressure foot is down! Adjust a little, stitch a few inches, and check again. Repeat until you don't see any (or very little) bobbin thread on the top or top thread on the bottom.

If you go through all these steps, and the bobbin thread is still loose (and you've tightened up the top tension), then there is a tiny little screw on the side of the bobbin case that you can use to adjust the bobbin tension. Turn the screw just a little bit (less than a quarter turn), stitch, check, etc. Once the bobbin tension is set, you shouldn't ever have to change it.

Let me know if this helps, ok?

Happy sewing!




Feb 10, 2010 | PfaFF Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How to adjust tension on bottom stitch?


There are tow places where the thread tension is adjusted.

One is bobbin. This is not routinely adjusted. Just once and it is good for long time. This is done by turning the only screw on bobbin by about 1/4 turn or so at a time. Try several settings until you find he best.

the other place is the conventionally on body of the machine.

Tension of bottom stitch or top stitch are very confusing words. meaning difft things to difft pple.
All i can say is this. If u see bottom stitch run straight through loops of top thread. then either top tension is too loose or bottom too tight. and vise versa.

With top tension set to middle position adjust the bobbin to get correct stitch. Then later on all u need is to adjust only the top setting according to stitch and cloth


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Singer 221-1 stitching is good on bottom but not on top


pucker is caused by too loose or, to tight adjustment of: the thread tensioners both the bobbin tensioner and, the needle tensioner need to be adjusted: to adjust the needle tensioner turn the side knob clockwise is tighter counterclockwise loosens; the bobbin tensioner is a tiny screw on the bobbin holder adjust both tensioners until your stich loops' both top and, bottom are tight but, the machine does not break the thread

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Euro-pro 464xc bottom tension loose


Welcome to FixYa!

Loose bottom stitches come from the top, not the bottom. Seems weird, but that's the way sewing machines work.

The dial tension should be set at the mid range and make absolutely sure that you have the machine threaded correctly. Both things will cause a sloppy bottom stitch.

Thanks!

If you find my solution helpful, I'd appreciate a FixYa rating....

Jan 15, 2009 | Kenmore 12102

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Bottom stitches loose


You don't want to adjust the bobbin tension, you'll want to try adjusting your stitch length, as well as the regulator tension.

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BOTTOM STITCH IS ALWAYS LOOSE


If the top stitch is loose, then you need to tighten the bobbin tension: if the bottom stitch is loose, tighten the top tension. Hope this helps. It could also be the size needle and thread you are using for a particular fabric. Different fabrics require different notions.

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