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Tangled thread top thread is tangled under the fabric when I sew

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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....

Tangled thread - 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.
 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 Nov 13, 2008

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1 Answer

Thread is getting tangled in the bobbin chamber of my brother xl3125 when I sew. When I pull the fabric out, several strands come out of the bottom and the bottom side of the sewing is tangled and loose. ...


try these suggestions
change the needle
rethread the machine top 7 bobbin ---make sure the presser foot is in the up position before rethreading--use every thread guide
clean under the needle plate & in the bobbin area for lint
make sure the thread has not come off the thread take up lever
make sure the bobbin is turned the right way in the bobbin case & that
the bobbin is not over full

Sep 27, 2012 | Brother Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Top thread tangled in bobbin.


try changing the needle---flat side goes to the back side of the machine
also check the top tension
depending on the fabric your sewing on--the needle & thread have to work
with the fabric--example light fabric needs a different needle & thread than
a heavy fabric
check to see if the thread is coming off the thread take up lever when you
sew.

Apr 04, 2012 | Singer 8280 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Machine will sew about 4 stitches, then the thread becomes tangled up on the bottom side of the fabric, can I fix this


try a new needle
rethread the machine--top & bobbin
clean under the needle plate area & in bobbin area for lint & loose threads
check to see if thread comes off thread take up lever

Mar 12, 2012 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Needle's thread gets tangled in bobbin


First, open the needle plate and make sure the bobbin area is clean and free of lint and thread.

Check the needle to make sure it is not bent and is properly inserted into the holder - usually with the flat side facing to the back of the machine.

Refer to your manual for bobbin insertion to be sure the thread is feeding from the bobbin in the correct direction and through the proper guides.

Always thread a sewing machine with the presser foot up. This opens the tension control and allows the thread to properly enter.

When the foot is down, the tension control closes to the sewing setting and if the thread is not in place, there is no tension on the thread and it gets loopy.

After threading, lower and raise the needle while holding onto the thread tail. This will pull the bobbin thread up through the needle plate. Take hold of both threads and take them under the presser foot and to the back of the machine.

Hand walk the first stitch when sewing and this should keep the top and bottom thread from tangling.

When stopping to change the position of the fabric (turning a corner, sewing a curved seam for example), do so with the needle down into the fabric. This not only anchors the fabric so it does not slip, but prevents mis-stitching.

If you are doing everything according to the manual and are still having a problem, the machine may need to be professionally serviced.

Feb 23, 2010 | Elna 1010

1 Answer

Threads keep getting tangled when I try to serge. Happens everytime I tried to re-thread it, it bunches up when I serge.


If you mean the threads get tangled behind the presser foot then maybe this can help. Try pulling the threads gently as you guide the fabric through the first time. Also, I sometimes put a scrap piece of fabric under the presser foot with the edge lined up with the needles (so it is further back than normal). Then I gently press the speed control foot and pull on the threads. This allows the needles to start sewing right away on the fabric rather than giving the thread a chance to get tangled. Hope that helps!

Feb 15, 2010 | Juki MO-644D Mechanical Sewing Machine

2 Answers

Thread tangled in the bobine


I had this same problem yesterday. I took apart the needle tension casing and now it doesn't get tangled or stop. The only thing is the bobbin is not sewing...it looks fine on the top, but the bottom is just loose loops.

Jan 17, 2010 | Singer 3116 Simple

1 Answer

Its like it is getting tangled in bobbin casing


loopy on bottom means upper threading or tension is wrong

Aug 10, 2009 | Brother XL-3510 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

All tangled up


take out the bobbin.. then thares 2 clips/ on the bobbin. open these and release the innner bobbin now remove the 2 innner parts. then useing a small brush clean out the bottom of the machine.
replace parts. re thread the machine from start. replace in freshly wound bobbin.
should do the trick for you/

Sep 22, 2008 | Brother LS-2125 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Sewing machine not making stiches


At first, my machine was getting all tangled under the fabric and then would stop working because it was tangled in the bobbin area. Now the bobbin area is staying clear but there are no stiches being made. I have no idea what to do. melissashulga@yahoo.com

Sep 07, 2008 | Brother LS-2125 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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