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Top Tension problems with the Tension Release Lever Rod

The top tension cannot be adjusted. When i adjust the top tension spring, the discs the thread goes around are extremely loose. i took it apart and think the problem is because the Tension release lever rod is not pressing against the tension release lever and not adjusting the tension release plunger. how do i get the tension release rod to work properly again?

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  • Dick42 Feb 20, 2009

    I think I have the same problem.Can you tighten the adjusting nut or dose it just keep turning when you get to the end. I just found the nut is stripped and that is why the discs were loose. I have 206RB-1.



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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 26 Answers

SOURCE: bottom tension to tight

There's hardly any way to significantly adjust the bottom, or bobbin tension. There's just a small, flat spring attached to the side of the bobbin case, under which the thread runs. There's adjustment there. You need to adjust the top thread tension via the small thumbscrew that's against the plates on the top thread tension discs. Increase or decrease tension there until top and bottom threads are equally centered between layers of material.
You can adjust presser foot tension with the knurled nut at the top of the machine. I never had the kind of problem you mention though. I set my machine at about 6 stitches per inch or a little more (max is 5, recommended), and presser foot tension is only heavy enough to pull a single layer of material through.
Hope this helps.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009

  • 26 Answers

SOURCE: Tension

I answered this a couple days ago but don't know if it went through. I can sew through 6 or more layers of denim with my 226, no problems at all. In my 30 years in the upholstery business I never had a problem sewing leather, vinyl, canvas or multi-layers of fabric. The 226 Consew, the 111W and 211w Singers I had presented zero problems with heavy fabrics - and I don't consider vinyl "heavy".

You need to first of all check threading. If the machine's threaded wrong you're break thread. Also you need to oil under the bobbin case and the bobbin hook and the rest of the parts as well.
Then, loosen thread tension on top by turning the knurled knob that's on the spring that's holding the tension discs. Also loosen bottom tension on the bobbin case by turning the small, left-most screw on the outside of the bobbin case counter-clockwise. Do both with the presser foot down. Pull the thread(s) out and feel the tension. You should be able to pull the threads out with some little effort. Tighten both a little at a time until you get some tension. Run a couple seams and check where the threads meet in the fabric. They should meet in the center. Also check stitch length. If you're using 92 thread (is should be left twist), you should run the machine at about 6 - 7 stitches/inch. I'm running my machine at 5 - 5 1/2 with #69 nylon bonded, and 6 - 6 1/2 with #11 mono.
One more thing; if tension's too loose at the bobbin or top, the machine will jam in the bobbin and thread will break.
Go to and download a pdf owner's manual for free. You need to click on the 224. That machine, the 225 and 226 are the same.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009

  • 19 Answers

SOURCE: Top Thread Breaks or shredds

Have you checked to see if the needle and thread are compatible? I use several different sized needles on my machine, depending on the thread and fabric I'm sewing.

Possibly, your machine might need lubrication or service.

Good luck!

Posted on Oct 21, 2009

  • 1833 Answers

SOURCE: I have a problem with

Todetermine if your machine's current tension settings are correct, hoop a pieceof cotton with a medium-weight cutaway stabilizer. Stitch a design that has acolumn of satin stitches -- like a letter "I." You should see 1/2 to1/3 bobbin thread on the backside, and no bobbin thread on the front side.

If you see bobbin thread on the top, then your bobbin thread tension is eithertoo loose, or your top thread tension is too tight. Sometimes it is acombination of both factors. Adjust the settings on your machine, and restitchthe design until the balance is correct.

Conversely, if you see no bobbin thread on the backside, that means that thetop thread is too loose, or the bobbin thread is too tight. And, sometimes it'sa combination of both. Adjust the settings on your machine, and restitch thedesign until the balance is correct.

When adjusting the bobbin thread tension, it may be helpful for you to mark the"starting position" with a pen or dab of nail polish. Turn the screw1/4 turn at a time until you have the correct balance. One embroiderer, Joyce,sent in this helpful hint:

Remove the bobbin and casing intact,keeping the bobbin thread in the tension springs. Dangle the casing by thepigtail of the thread. If the casing remains in place and doesn't move, givethe thread a light ****, like a yo-yo, to see if you can get the casing toslide down the thread. If it rapidly slides without stopping, it's too loose.If it doesn't move at all, it's too tight. If it slides a couple of inches andstops on its own, it's just right. Use the corner of a business card to cleanbetween the springs.

If the above does not resolve the problem, then more information is below:

Digitizing of a design does not affect thread tension. Frequent orchronic problems with thread tension are due to incorrect stabilizer, athreading problem on the machine, or a problem in the bobbin area.

First, incorrect stabilizer. Thread tension problems can occur when usingtear-away stabilizer. Tension on embroidery machines is set with the assumptionthat you'll be stitching through two layers -- fabric, and stabilizer. If youare working with a complex design and using tear-away stabilizer, then theneedle perforations will disintegrate the stabilizer during the embroidery.That means that you're stitching through just one layer, and you may findthread tension troubles. If this occurs, try cutaway stabilizer instead oftear-away.

Second, a threading problem on the machine. Always thread the machine with thepresser foot up, and make sure that you're catching all of the guides along theway. If you miss one, you'll have numerous thread breaks as well as tensionproblems.

Third, a problem in the bobbin area. If you've had a thread nest, there may bestray bits of thread remaining in the bobbin area. This may cause a tensionproblem. Open the bobbin area and use a small vacuum (like the kind forkeyboards, or use a flexible straw with a regular household vacuum cleaner) toremove any lint, dust, or stray bits of thread. (We have used compressed airbefore, but some machine technicians recommend sucking with a vacuum ratherthan spraying.)
Additionallyplease follow Good Luck.

Posted on Jul 15, 2011

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3 Answers

Loose bobbin tension

the bobbin tension is set by that small spring plate that you pull the thread under after you put the bobbin back in the carrier / holder
a very small turn of that screw makes a big difference ob the tension unlike the needle thread tension
mostly the problem ( you never bothered to mention the symptom ) is bird nesting under the fabric which is the needle thread tension not tight enough

Jul 06, 2017 | Brother SE-270D Computerized Sewing...

1 Answer

How do you adjust the tension on a Bernina 180

There are two tension adjustments, which should be done with a proper set of weight gauges - top and bottom thread tension should be carefully balanced to get the best stitch formation. It is best that you assume the top tension is correct and adjust the bobbin tension to match. Load the bobbin with thread of one colour and put a spool of the same thread but a different colour on the top. Thread-up the machine, load the bobbin and sew-off a satin-stitch on max width zig-zag. In this configuration, there should be a very small 'bead' of the top thread showing along each side of the satin-stitch on the underside of the material. If there's excessive top showing, the bobbin tension is too high and if none, the bobbin tension is too low. To adjust the tension, remove the bobbin case and you will see a spring around the edge with two screws through it. One of the screws holds the spring in place and the other adjusts the tension - this is furthest from the edge of the spring and is in a small 'cup' in the spring itself. To reduce tension, turn the screw VERY SLIGHTLY anticlockwise and to increase it turn it clockwise. Make very slight adjustments and re-check sewing-off the satin-stitch every time until you get the required thin line of top showing down each side of the stitch on the underside. Ideally this should be done with Mettler Metrosene thread, but as we're just balancing against the top tension, it shouldn't matter too much provided you use a good thread top and bottom.

Jan 27, 2012 | Bernina Artista 180

1 Answer

I have a VX1250. I don't know how to regulate the tension.

There is two places to adjust thread tension: the top tension device controls the top thread tension and is usually a dial or knob with numbers on the front of the machine.

Then there is some form of tension device on the bobbin; in your case I believe the Brother has a removable bobbin case with a tension spring which holds the bobbin thread firmly: the tension spring can be adjusted with a screwdriver but once set, you shouldn't need to adjust this much, just alter the top tension slightly for different weights of fabric. So start by setting top tension dial to 4-5 and test stitch a seam. Use different coloured but the same type of thread top and bottom and take a look at the seam. You want to see a balanced even seam.

Here is a link to a great info site for this:

If the bobbin thread is too loose, then you probably will need to finess the tension spring on the bobbin case and adjust this slightly. The best way to set the tension on the bobbin case is as follows. Load the bobbin into the bobbin case and pull the thread tail into the tension spring, then suspend the bobbin by holding the thread tail up in the air (the dangle test). You want it to be just tight enough to hold its own weight, but still able to release thread when you pull gently downwards on the bobbin case. If it isn't doing this then take your little screw driver and adjust the screw on the leaf tension spring by ONE QUARTER TURN ONLY. Lefty looser, Righter Tighter. Then test again, and adjust again until its right.

Now test stitch again and finess your top tension to get the seam even. Remember to change the needle for each new sewing project too; this will impact tension also.

Jan 04, 2012 | Brother Sewing Machines

2 Answers

When using the knee lever, the thread tension appears to change. Is this a software problem or is there a hardware adjustment that needs to be made?

the knee lever should have nothing to do with the tension.
if the thread tension is changing without you changing it, then it sound like a software or computer part of the machine is messed up & needs to be serviced by a repair shop who have the tool to check it

Sep 15, 2011 | Bernina Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I need to adjust the bobbin/lower thread tension on my Freesia Viking sewing machine.... Now I know why it was sold. I sew lots... but am at a standstill on how to remove or get to it to adjust it..

Good day!

please try this simple tips:

Good day!

A sewing machine operator can often help themselves when their machine does not operate properly.
Here are some simple instructions, which if properly used can save time and mechanics service calls.
This could be trouble;================Do this;
1.Top tension to tight================loosen tension 1 turn
2.Machine improperly threaded=========check threading
3.Thread twisted on guide post========"
4.Thread twisted out of tension======="
5.Take up spring bent or broken=======Check action of spring
6.Thread jumped off pull off finger===Check threading
7.Needle bent or burred===============new needle
8.Bad cone of thread==================try another cone
1.Bobbin tensionspring to tight=======Loosen tension slightly
2.Bobbin threaded wrong===============check threading
3.Bobbin wound to tight or uneven=====try new bobbin
4.lint or thread on bobbin case=======clean inside case
5.Lint or thread inside hook==========clean inside hook
6.Bobbin case nicked bent or burred===check/change case
1.Needle bent or burred===============change
2.Needle set in crooked===============Check
3.Thread jumped off take up spring====check threading
4.Thread jumped off pull off finger===check threading
1.Forming loops on top of cloth=======Tighten bobbin tension
======================================or loosen top tension.
2.forming loops on bottom of cloth====Tighten top tension
3.Bobbin placed in case incorrectly===remove and replace
4.Bobbin thread slipped from under====check threading of
tension===============================bobbin case
5.Lint or thread in top tension=======clean between tension discs

Thank you and good luck.

Jun 08, 2011 | Husqvarna Freesia 415

1 Answer

Having "backlash"... using way too much bobbin

If you are getting lots of thread underneath, then the top tension is at fault, the thread is not being controlled by the top tension device. So check the tension is set to 5, and that the thread is fully into the tension discs. You need to clean the tension discs every so often too, just turn dial down to zero and rub a clean piece of fabric edge between the discs to remove any dust, or dye particles that lodge there.

Then rethread up the top and check that the top thread is in tension this time, if you lower the pressure foot the tension discs should operate so when you pull the top thread just before the needle it should feel firm/resistance.

If you still aren't getting top tension after this, then the device/spring may have broken and will need a service to fix.

Nov 12, 2010 | Singer 57815 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Top thread too loose, brings up bobbin thread. Tried to adjust, but cant get it right. Have manuel, but cannot locate it currently I have The Omega model

Hi. If the bobbin thread is coming up on top, then the upper tension is too tight. Try loosening it.

Hi. The best way to adjust your tension is to use good-quality thread, a size 12 needle, and different color threads in the bobbin and on top. That way, it's easier to see which thread is loose. Sew a few inches, check, and adjust (make sure the pressure foot is DOWN). Stitch a few more inches, recheck, and adjust some more. Just move the adjustment knob a little bit each time.

You might also want to use a bit of unwaxed dental floss and floss the tension disks. That helps get rid of any old lint and pieces of thread that build up in there.

As a last resort, you might need to adjust your bobbin tension. There is a very small screw on the bobbin case that tightens/loosens the spring/lever. If you need to adjust it, only move the screw a tiny bit. But, like I said, this is only a last resort--almost all adjustments can be done by adjusting the upper tension.

Hope this helps!


Aug 12, 2010 | Necchi 6015 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Gobbs of thread gather on backside of material, while front stitch is do I correct this

Hi! Here are two things to check that generally cause problems like this:

1. Check that you're threading the machine correctly, especially the take-up lever.

2. It may be that you need to tighten the top tension. When the top tension is too loose, it'll cause big gobs of thread, like you say, on the back of the material. All this thread is actually top thread (not bobbin thread). (I recommend using different colored threads in your top thread and in your bobbin when you suspect tension problems.)

A couple of things to remember when you are adjusting the tension:
  • Always adjust the tension with the pressure foot DOWN.
  • Thread the machine with the pressure foot UP (so the thread can slip easily into the tension disks).
  • The higher the number on the dial, the tighter the tension.
  • Adjust in small increments. Stitch a few inches, check, adjust, stitch, check adjust--and repeat as needed.
I'm in the process of posting some photos about tension adjustments on Check there later tonight and I should have them up.

Let me know if this helps, ok?


Mar 10, 2010 | Singer 5050 Mechanical Sewing Machine

2 Answers

Bottom tension to tight

I found that sewing this type of fabric you should not have any pressure on the presser foot. and the top tension should be looser but note the tension before you adjust. and remember to make sure the needle is the right size for the fabric. and since wer are not to change the bottom tension because it always right?? then you may have to make the seam stitch longer good luck

Feb 23, 2009 | Consew 226R-1

1 Answer

Europro x

There is probably a thread broken off inside the tension discs.To remove it ,adjust the tension knob to 0 tension, and raise the presser foot. Spread the tension discs a part with a small screwdriver and blow some canned or compressed air through the discs.You should see some thread or lint come out of it.

Rethread the machine,adjust the tension back to 5 and test the tension by pulling on the thread near the take up lever. When the foot is up there should be almost no tension. When the foot is down you should have tension.

Jul 27, 2008 | Sewing Machines

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