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Loose upper thread tension when free motion sewing using my white model 2037 what can I do to correct this? could it be my thread?

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  • jonesestar Apr 18, 2009

    hello, I think I've solved the problem. I am using a darning/free motion foot, I set the dial (for feed dog ) to 0 and the stitching legenth to o and that seemed to do the trick. thanks for the help, now I know where to turn. I bought the machine second hand and I didn't get a book with it.

  • radcal May 11, 2010

    Are you lowering the presser bar? Often, we forget to do this and we have no upper tension applied if the lift lever is up.
    Are you using a darning/free motion foot or no foot at all?



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You can get a copy of the manual for a very reasonable price.

This will be a black and white copy, but I can't get an original for you at this price. I have ordered from this site and have never had a problem.

Posted on Apr 18, 2009


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I have a sewing machine. When I try to use it, the bobbin thread bunches up into a mess and stops the cloth from advancing. HOW do I solve this problem?

Sounds like what is normally referred to as "bird nesting" or thread nesting which is essentially caused, in the majority of cases, by incorrect threading.

Advise your wife to always raise the presser foot when threading the machine. This releases the tension disk so the thread will seat properly. If the thread is not seated in the tension disk, the upper thread will loop and knot under the fabric causing "birds nests"--an ugly mess of thread!

Be sure to install new needles frequently. A bent, dull, or nicked needle will be the cause of many frustrations. Also, avoid old or bargain bin thread. And use the proper needle for the thread and fabric of the project.

The correct tension has been achieved when the upper thread and bobbin thread meet in the middle of the fabric. The starting point is usually the midway point between high & low tension number, and then testing and tweaking. This does not mean, however, that the tension needed for corduroy fabric will work on silk. There is usually some tweaking involved with every project, ie needle size & type, thread weight & material, type of fabric (heavy, light, knit, woven, etc.)


May 08, 2016 | White Sewing 2037 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

Brother Sq9185 sewing machine, the thread on bottom just pulls out, when free motion quilting? how do I fix this

Sounds like the upper tension needs to be tightened, or the bobbin thread needs to be loosened. At any rate, the tension is correct when the two threads meet in the middle of the fabric for general sewing.

For free motion quilting, the tension should be adjusted so that the bobbin thread does not show on the top of the fabric, however, it should not lay in a straight line like it sounds like it may appear currently. What you are currently producing is a gathering stitch where the bobbin thread can be easily pulled.


Nov 16, 2015 | Generic Brother 130-Stitch Sewing and...

1 Answer

Do I need to use tension with free motion foot

Yes, the tension setting for 'free motion' and for 'sewing' is the same AND there must be tension; otherwise the top thread will form huge loops on the underside and eventually totally jam. Also make sure that the presser foot is down ... it is often easily left up as the 'free motion foot' disguises it.
The stitch length is irrelevant in free motion as the stitch length is determined by how fast the fabric is moved by the operator while maintaining constant speed (or close to constant).
A couple more items to check: make sure that the 'feed dogs' are either lowered or covered (depending on your machine model) AND that the 'free motion foot' is installed correctly.
Enjoy free motioning.

Aug 25, 2014 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Upper line tension too loose

Tangling on the bottom of the cloth is always caused by one of these:

Upper thread is not threaded correctly.
Upper thread tension is too loose.
Using too thick thread.

Sometimes caused by:
Damaged plastic bobbin case

Rarely caused by:
Shuttle out of time
Burr on the shuttle

It is NEVER caused by the bobbin tension, so don't touch it.

Mar 22, 2014 | White Sewing W3300 Computerized Sewing...

1 Answer

Loose stitching underneath

try adjusting the top thread tension and see if that help the loose stitches underneath.
also try changing the needle
and clean under the needle plate and in the bobbin area

Aug 21, 2013 | White Sewing 2037 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

Need setting numbers for tension control for regular stitching for white 2037

The thread tension is dictated by the fabric being sewn, the application and the thread itself, as well as the type of stitch being used. These unknown factors must be addressed.

Feb 27, 2011 | White Sewing 2037 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

I have a White model 2037 and am sewing a quilt. I am having problems with the thread becoming disengaged with the arm at step #2 of the threading process. When I slow the machine down, the threads comes...

I think you mean the take up lever? are you sure that the thread is threaded correctly into the eyelet/thread guide above and below the take up lever?

If it is an open ended take up lever (many are now) then the thread may be coming loose from it on the upwards stroke because the thread is not being held in an eyelet after it passes through the take up lever, or there is insufficient tension on the top thread.

If you are sure that the threading up is correct and it is still happening then you may need to make a modification to the take up lever and turn it into a closed eye. You could take it to a professional and see if they can maybe remove the takeup lever, close down the loop at the end with pliers and then reposition it on the machine.

Or maybe try a home solution by finding a grommet or metal eyelet part and somehow mounting this into the open part of the take up lever carefully with a small amount of plasticine or bluetack perhaps. Just a guess though, never needed to do this, if my thread comes out its because I don't have it threaded fully somewhere.

Jan 16, 2011 | White Sewing 2037 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

When sewing, the thead underneath is bunching. I am sure it is a tension problem, but not sure how to adjust i

change the needle
set the tension to 3 or 4
clean under the needle plate where the feed dogs are for lint
also clean the bobbin area for lint or loose threads

Nov 16, 2010 | White Sewing 2037 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

The bottom stitching is loose it is just like the bobbin tension was lost in the middle of sewing

If the thread is lopy on the undrsde:
tighten the needle tension
check the needle for bent or burrs, put thread through the needle and pull back and forth by hand if the thread shreds, burr in needle, change needle
make sure thread is the same on top and in the bobbin are the same weight

Aug 28, 2009 | White Sewing 2037 Mechanical Sewing...

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