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Janome overlocker thread not catching

I have not used my machine in a while it's relatively new I am pretty sure I threaded it correctly the power is on and all the gears sound fine when I work it but it is not stitching my fabric. I am wondering if one of the hooks might have gotten knocked out of place when it was stored but I can't be sure. If anyone has any thoughts that would be a great help Best. J

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  • Contributor
  • 35 Answers

Double check your bobbin make sure the thread hangs out far enough the needle thread can catch it..

Posted on Nov 28, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: My Janome my excel 23x

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 Tension 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 !

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 Apr 25, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: janome straight stitch loose

I don't know if this is the right answer for any of you, but thought I'd put my 2 cents worth in. Often this can be the bobbin in backwards. It needs to unwind a certain way depending on the machine. I've heard a phrase for this: Mind your p's and q's which means some wind off to the right like a q, others to the left like a p. Mine has to unwind one way then be slipped backwards into a little slot or it does that loose bottom thread looping and bunching someone here mentioned. It seems everytime I get that problem I rethread the top thread 100 times before it clicks again and I remember it could be the bobbin thread. Either your manual will tell you the correct way, or you could experiment and try one or the other. Once you figure out whether you're a p or a q, mark it on your machien somewhere to remind yourself.

Good Luck and Happy Sewing!

Posted on Apr 04, 2009

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

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Thread Keeps snapping on my 4th reel brother 1034d overlocker

I was having the same problem. I was trying to thread only that 4th one because it keep breaking. It did not stp til I rethreaded all the threads and did it worked fine

Posted on May 28, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: free download of singer overlocker manual

Jag har en industri overlock singer 81k73 Jag kan inte trä den
Har du några förslag

Posted on Oct 20, 2009

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Could be because it is not threaded correctly. Remove all the threads from the machine, and then step-by-step follow the instructions in the manual. It may help to install new needles. ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot when threading. Be sure to thread each thread IN THE CORRECT ORDER or your machine will never run properly.

It also helps to use separate thread colors so you can determine which thread is doing what and which one is not working properly.

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Could be the result of several things. There could be some gunk or threads stuck in the tension disk. Be sure to remove the thread and rethread from the beginning in the order specified. ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot when threading!!!! If you haven't tried a brand new needle, do so, and make sure it is pushed all the way up and installed with the flat side facing the correct direction. Some machines recommend #90 as the largest needle to use. Also, perhaps the needle eye is too small to accommodate the thread. Watch where the thread is breaking to give you an idea of where the problem may originate. Try a different brand of thread. Sometimes black thread causes issues because the heavy dye affects the thread. Set the tensions at the midway point and then loosen the tension on that one needle. There could also be a burr or rough spot somewhere along the threadpath that is catching the thread. Last idea--could be a timing issue.

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The "Janome Overlocker Sewing Guide" is a very detailed publication and has this to say about Gathering without any additional attachment.

93bbe93.jpg

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