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I can't get the tensions right. I am sewing blocks of courderoy and the stitches are loose and noticeable also the loops are loose on the edge of seams

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  • Sewing Machines Expert
  • 460 Answers

Sounds like the corduroy is too thick to pass comfortably under the presser foot without the pressure foot tipping up. A "Jean-a-ma-jig" will help jump the bump, Dritz make them.

Posted on Oct 16, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: stitching looping

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.....the question you pose could have 2 meanings....this reply is for looping thread.

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....

cc3f045.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.

1eade63.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. ie a different colour top and bottom just for the test.

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 need 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 23, 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

Mimito7
  • 128 Answers

SOURCE: Top thread stitches correctly but bottom thread loops.

FYI---- Loops on the bottom-- problem is in the threading..
Loops on the top--- problem is with the bobbin.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009

chrismyers67
  • 53 Answers

SOURCE: top thread keeps breaking

This sounds like a backwards needle. Take out the needle and when you re-insert it back in, make sure that put the flat side to the back.

c384264.jpg

Posted on Jun 07, 2010

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1 Answer

My stitches are to loose


Generally loose stitches often means you forgot to lower the presser foot. It's really easy to forget when you are sewing thicker fabrics.

Barring that it sounds like your tensions need to be adjusted. Try to remember "loops on bottom... tighten top tensions" "Loops on top, loosen top tension."

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The top stich is loose on my Janome Harmony 8100, I have cleaned and changed bobbins, but nothing seems to help.


Ok, Let's understand exactly what is going on. You said. "the top stitch is loose." So that we are clear....do you mean that you are getting loops on top of the seam? Or do you mean that you are getting wiggly stitches on top and small loops on the bottom of the seam? It's important to know... Because loops underneath means the top tension isn't right. Maybe you didn't thread with the presser foot in the UP position... or your tension is dialed too low.

Now, if you are getting loops on top of the seam... that means the top tension is too tight. Loosen the top tension. Make sure your bobbin is inserted correctly. If loosening top tension isn't enough, you may have to tighten the tension screw on the bobbin case/ or bobbin carrier.

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How do i adjust the loose thread on top? Using the 3 thread stitch the top loop is loose and bulging over edge instead of smooth with rest of stitches. Setting is set to recommended setting but is still...


I always adjust my overlocker stitch in several ways. I start test serging with the blade set right out to the right so that it "fills" the stitching. I'll set all the thread dials to the middle setting, ie. 5. Then I test serge, and check the stitch formation. If the needle is looping underneath, then I'll tighten it "A LITTLE". If the looper threads are lying off the cut edge of the fabric, then I'll dial both the top and bottom looper numbers up a little to make those threads tighter.

Each fabric behaves differently depending on its "hand" so the right stitch settings do vary, ie. organza is different to heavy weight cotton or denim. So if my inital setting is then "bunching" up the fabric within the stitching, I will then lower the numbers for the top and bottom looper to release the thread some. And if the fabric is very soft and light and still bunches up, then I will move the blade over to the left some, cutting a narrower edge within the overlocking so the threads lie better.

So revist the settings, check that the cones are flowing freely, thread is into the tension devices fully, then retest the stitching. If it is the top looper only that is looping off the edge, and not the bottom as well, and they are both set to the same number, then I'd be a bit suss about the tension dial.

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Juki HZL-E61: cannot get tension right on straight stitch


Loops on the bottom of the fabric direct the problem to the top thread. Rethread again and make sure the thread goes through the tension discs. Lift the foot, because this is what opens the discs. When sewing and the foot is down, the discs should be closed and thus giving the upper thread the tension it needs.

May 25, 2009 | Juki HZL-E61 Computerized Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Loose bottom stitch on brother se 350


Hi, general rule of thumb:: loops on the top, problem on the bottom.. Loops on the bottom, problem is on the top.. When threading your machine, stop just before you thread your needle, put the presser foot down. Try pulling the thread. If it pulls easily, the thread is not thru the tension wheel right. If it pulls hard, you got it right.

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3 Answers

Sears Kenmore sewing machine model number 15358 tension issues


#14 needle is way big for cotton napkin scrap. a #10 is good for most lightweight fabric. #14 is for sewing denim or levis, like that.

the tension problems on almost all machines regardless of price usually fall on the upper tension. the lower bobbin tension is factory set and it's rare you should ever need to mess with it.

if you have a drop in bobbin (top loading), tighten the adjustment screw all the way and then back it off 1/4 turn. if your machine uses a shuttle bobbin, tighten the adjustment screw all the way and then back it off in 1/4-turn increments until you can hold it in the air like a yo-yo and cause to bobbin case to fall slightly dipping your hand.

A dull needle and stitch length will also mess up your stitch. The idea is to narrow the problem down to one thing and one thing only -- UPPER THREAD TENSION.

So, if you have the right size needle for the job, with the right thread, and if your stitch length selection is correct (usually between 2 and 3 or 8-to-10 stitches per inch, the problem should be with your upper thread tension.

An easy way to fix this then is to remember: Loops on top, upper tension drop. Loops below, upper tension grow. If you get loops on top of your work, lower (drop) your upper thread tension to a lower number. If you get loops on the bottom, raise the upper thread tension.

Different stitches on the same machine will require different upper thread tension settings. Don't be afraid of it. Just remember the pneumonic: loops on top, tension drop, loops below, tension grow -- referring to upper thread tension.

have fun :)

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Tension on stitches


Loose bottom stitches mean the UPPER tension has a problem. Pull the thread through the tension assembly and test it to make sure the tension is working correctly.
(To do this test, adjust your tension setting to normal or medium or 5 or something in the middle. Raise the presser foot and pull the thread through the tension. It should pull easily!! Lower the presser foot and pull the thread. It should pull noticeably harder.) If it does not work this way( the tension stays loose) you will need to set the tension to Zero, open the discs with a small screwdriver and remove the lint or thread which is stuck in there.
Sewman7

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