Question about Sewing Machines

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Machine sews fine until I use reverse and then the bottom stitching gathers up. Very annoying. I have adjusted bobbin tension and thread tension. What should I try next? Thank you.

I have changed the needle, set and reset tensions and will oil my machine as soon as I make a trip to the fabric store. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. This is a refurbished machine but has been great up until my last sewing project which the problem is getting worse. When using reverse it used to just gather a little bit. Now it gathers a lot.

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  • Expert
  • 209 Answers

Since you seem to have done everything possible to make it "happy", it is not likely that tension is the issue. With the problem becoming more aggravated, sounds like the feeding mechanism is not responding correctly in the reverse mode. Even refurbished machines come with a warrantty, so try that route before submitting it for an inspection by your local qualified technician.

Posted on Nov 07, 2014

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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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

SewExpress
  • 41 Answers

SOURCE: bobbin thread/feed dog eating fabric

This is a very common problem with really lightweight fabric and can often be cured (if doing straight stitching) by using a straight stitch needle plate and foot. The wider needle plate and foot openings on newer machines give the machine/thread a wider area to pull the fabric into the machine. By using a straight stitch plate/foot you remove the wide opening, eliminating the majority of the problem.

Also - try using a specially coated needle (Teflon or other non-stick finish). The thread feeds more smoothly through the needle and the needle more smoothly through the fabric, causing less drag into the needle plate opening.

Hope this helps. Don't hesitate to respond to this if you have further specific questions. We're always happy to help

Happy stitching,
Kim & Linnette
www.sewingexpressions.com

Posted on Dec 03, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Thread in needle or bobbin keeps on breaking

The tread only breaks in the needle. what can i do . i don't get to sew anything . I tread the needle and get everything ready and start the machine and as quickly as that the tread is broken and the machine has not sewn at all.

Posted on Apr 07, 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

  • 371 Answers

SOURCE: My 5 year old Huskystar 216 sewing machine is

Sounds like the hook/needle timing. To check do the following:

With the power off!!
remove bobbin and bobbin case.
push needle all the way to the left.
Turn handwheel toward you watching the needle and bobbin housing hook. The point of the hook should line up right above the eye of the needle.

If not timing, clean bobbin area removing lint and thread.
Check bobbin tension, should get slight resistance when pulling thread.
Make sure using only Husqvarna Viking bobbins -- most are green but they have new colors now. All will have the Husqvarna logo on them (an H). Make sure the bobbin is unwinding in the right direction.

Remove fabric. Pull extra long bobbin thread (about 3 inches). Hold upper thread tail in left hand, turn handwheel toward you for 1 revolution. Is the bobbin thread caught by the top thread and pulled through the opening of the needle plate?

If you are still unable to get a good stitch, take to an authorized Husqvarna Viking dealer for service or have them send to Husqvarna Viking (SVP) Technical Service Dept for repair. A list of dealers close to you can be found at the Husqvarna Viking website - http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/us

Good luck.

Posted on Sep 26, 2009

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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.

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How to adjust the bobbin tension.


According to the manual, you should not need to adjust the bobbin tension (and I located other sites which stated the bobbin tension cannot be adjusted on this machine). Apparently, all the tension adjustment is accomplished through the upper thread::
"EN Thread Tension Upper thread tension Basic thread tension setting: "4". (1) To increase the tension, turn the dial to the next number up. To reduce the tension, turn the dial to the next number down. A. Normal thread tension for straight stitch sewing. B. Thread tension too loose for straight stitch sewing. Turn dial to higher number. C. Thread tension too tight for straight stitch sewing. Turn dial to lower number. D. Normal thread tension for zig zag and decorative sewing. Correct thread tension is when a small amount of the upper thread appears on the bottom side of fabric. Lower thread tension The bobbin tension has been set correctly at the factory, so you do not need to adjust it. Please note: - Proper tension setting is important for strong seams. - There is no single tension setting appropriate for all stitch functions, thread or fabric. - A balanced tension (identical stitches both top and bottom) is usually only desirable for straight stitch construction sewing. - 90% of all sewing will be between "3" and "5". - For zig zag and decorative sewing stitch functions, thread tension should generally be less than for straight stitch sewing. - For all decorative sewing you will always obtain a nicer stitch and less fabric puckering when the upper thread appears on the bottom side of your fabric. 1 A B C 22 D"

Doing further research, I found this statement on a machine review site:
"After reading reviews online from where I've bought my drop-in bobbin machines, I think many of the negative reviews are due to the bobbin thread coming up without laying across the bobbin. It can cause the stitches to look very sloppy and no amount of tension adjusting can fix the stitches."

There are several machine review sites wherein 4423 owners stated their disappointment in the 4423's performance. Some said the machine failed almost immediately and others said the machines developed problems when sewing heavy fabric.

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Bottom stitch is gathering, but I think the machine is not threaded correctly


Hi there,
I would start by re winding your bobbin and making sure that it is done though all the correct tension loops. A bobbin that is wound to tight or loose can cause all sorts of problems. If that has been done then completely rethread the machine from scratch. Now go through and check all your tensions, it sounds like the bobbin tension is too loose and your stitch tension is too tight. Adjust and try again.
Good luck

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Bobbin thread not sewing tight


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sewing on a scrap piece of fabric till the stitch looks normal.

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MY MACHINE IS GATHERING UNDERNEATH AND


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Pfaff varimatic 6091 sew a rag quilt with jean and flannel,I can't get my tension right it seems to be funny on the bottom stitch,where shoulf the top tension be set at 4 1/2 ,when do I adjust the bobbin...


Hi! The bobbin tension rarely needs to be adjusted. First, make sure you're using the appropriate size needle and thread for your fabric (I'd probably use either a 'denim' needle or a universal size 14) and also that the upper thread and bobbin are threaded absolutely correctly. These can throw off the tension! Also, take the time to clean out the bobbin area. That can throw your stitch off also.

If the stitch on the bottom is loose, so that you see the top threads, then the top tension is too loose. If the top stitch is too loose and you see the bobbin threads on top, then the top tension is too tight.

It helps to thread the machine with different color thread on top and in the bobbin, and then stitch an inch or so on the same type of fabric as you're using in your quilt. Check the stitch. If you need to adjust the top tension, make sure the pressure foot is down! Adjust a little, stitch a few inches, and check again. Repeat until you don't see any (or very little) bobbin thread on the top or top thread on the bottom.

If you go through all these steps, and the bobbin thread is still loose (and you've tightened up the top tension), then there is a tiny little screw on the side of the bobbin case that you can use to adjust the bobbin tension. Turn the screw just a little bit (less than a quarter turn), stitch, check, etc. Once the bobbin tension is set, you shouldn't ever have to change it.

Let me know if this helps, ok?

Happy sewing!




Feb 10, 2010 | PfaFF Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Sewing a bunch of thread from the bottom, this stops the machine from actually sewing


Yes, it does. There are a couple of reasons the bobbin thread could be bunching up on the underside of the fabric. It could simply be that the machine needs cleaning. Take the bobbin assembly out, brush all the old lint out as best you can, reoil the machine once it's all clean, and make sure there aren't any little bits of thread caught in the bobbin assembly. Rethread the machine (carefully) and change the needle. This solves the problem usually--especially if the machine was sewing along fine and the problem develops suddenly. '
The other thing to check is your tension. It could be that the top tension is too loose. But different color thread in the top and in the bobbin, stitch a few inches (be sure to held the top and bobbin thread ends behind your needle as you start to stitch) and check. WIth the pressure foot down, adjust the tension, and stitch again. Keep stitching, checking, and adjusting until you see little if any bobbin thread on the top or top thread on the bobbin.
Another thing to reminder: use the appropriate thread and needle for the fabric you're sewing.
Let me know if this works, ok?

Robbie

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1 Answer

How to adjust tension on bottom stitch?


There are tow places where the thread tension is adjusted.

One is bobbin. This is not routinely adjusted. Just once and it is good for long time. This is done by turning the only screw on bobbin by about 1/4 turn or so at a time. Try several settings until you find he best.

the other place is the conventionally on body of the machine.

Tension of bottom stitch or top stitch are very confusing words. meaning difft things to difft pple.
All i can say is this. If u see bottom stitch run straight through loops of top thread. then either top tension is too loose or bottom too tight. and vise versa.

With top tension set to middle position adjust the bobbin to get correct stitch. Then later on all u need is to adjust only the top setting according to stitch and cloth


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1 Answer

Singer 221-1 stitching is good on bottom but not on top


pucker is caused by too loose or, to tight adjustment of: the thread tensioners both the bobbin tensioner and, the needle tensioner need to be adjusted: to adjust the needle tensioner turn the side knob clockwise is tighter counterclockwise loosens; the bobbin tensioner is a tiny screw on the bobbin holder adjust both tensioners until your stich loops' both top and, bottom are tight but, the machine does not break the thread

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1 Answer

Yet another stitch tension problem...


Thank you, thank you! I just tightened the screw on my bobbin case and that instantly fixed my thread tension problem. How on earth are you supposed to know about the little screw?! I thank you so much for the tip!

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