Question about Kenmore Sewing Machines

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Thread is clumping underneath

The thread is getting stuck underneath and freezing the machine. There are big clumps of thread stuck to the underside of the fabric. The bobbin also wound too loosely. I opened the needle plate and blew it out with compressed air, but that didn't help. It began freezing after I sewed too close the edge of the fabric and the fabric got sucked down into the needle plate and 'froze'. I had to yank and pull on the fabric and jiggle then cut away what i could. There was a piece of fabric that got sucked down into the hinderlands I think. Then it sewed for a bit, I rewound the bobbin, it was loose, then began sewing again using stich 69 (honeycomb) and it froze with lots of thread again under the fabric. Help please.

Posted by Anonymous on

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  • Kenmore Master
  • 9,953 Answers

Unfortunately, the machine's timing may have been adversely affected during the jam and removal of the fabric. Here's something that may resolve the issue if it is not timing-related:

Install a brand new needle.
Remove all the thread from the machine.
ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot when threading the top thread!
Rethread from the beginning and verify the thread path is correct.
If you have a smoothly-wound bobbin, try that. (A bobbin that you describe will contribute to sewing issues.)
Install and thread the bobbin--confirm the bobbin is spinning the right direction in the bobbin case.
Re-test your machine.

If you are having issues with the bobbin not winding smoothly, there are standalone bobbin winders for about $30 on the market (local JoAnn's or on the internet) called Sidewinder. Confirm that your machine bobbins will work (there are a few machines that won't, I think Singer). This is a very good accessory to have since you can wind bobbins without having to unthread the machine and also saves wear & tear on your machine.

Amazon com Simplicity SideWinder Portable Bobbin Winder
Simplicity Sidewinder Portable Bobbin Winder

Posted on Mar 24, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: bobbin threading

You may have put the timing out, however, try this before you despair too much......

Ensure the presser foot is firm enough for the fabric you are using and that it will not just pull through easily by hand with the foot and feeddogs together (as the needle ascends), or things will not proceed, and you will be stitching in the same spot.

Generally a setting of 3 seems to work for general purposes, but if you are using very light or very heavy fabric, a sample is always a good idea before you start in earnest....also match the needle to the work for best results.

Ensure that all is clean and free of lint jams....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 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 Feb 24, 2008

  • 45 Answers

SOURCE: Bernina 1008 sewing machine making

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

Posted on Jan 08, 2009

  • 22 Answers

SOURCE: thread keeps wrapping around bobbin

frustrating huh?  it happens!  even to us that have been sewing for 50+ years, but the solution is very simple.  Top thread tension is the culprit.  pull the spool all the way off and rethread the top, follow the threading path precisely and make sure the thread goes down into the tension discs.
one more thing - when that happens often times the piece has to be removed from the machine by cutting those annoying loops on the bottom.  if this is the case, make sure you have removed all the thread clippings from in and around the bobbin case.  sometimes one little piece of thread will make you want to use swear words.
good luck and happy stitching.

Posted on Jan 17, 2009

WonderTech
  • 268 Answers

SOURCE: every time i sew something the bottom thread keeps

Hi,
Here are a couple of things to try.

Re-thread your machine. It may be threaded incorrectly.

Raise your feed dogs. If your machine has this feature.

When you start to sew a seam, hold on the upper and bobbin thread tails. Hold them back and out of the way as you sew your first couple of stitches. This will keep them from getting hung up.

I hope this helps you out.

Posted on Sep 19, 2009

WonderTech
  • 268 Answers

SOURCE: I am trying to sew and the thread keeps clumping

Hello,
Try these solutions.

* Re-thread your machine as it may be threaded incorrectly.

* Raise your feed dogs If your machine has this feature.

* When you start to sew a seam, hold the upper and bobbin thread tails back and out of the way as you sew your first couple of stitches. This will keep them from getting caught in your machine.

I hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 30, 2009

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