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Adjust the TOP tension on my Frister Star 112 sewing machine?

There's one main tension dial that I can tell of - which seems to adjust the bottom tension? is there another dial for top tension? i ask because the bottom thread on my sewing has become loopy and baggy

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6 Suggested Answers

6ya6ya
  • 2 Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

SOURCE: 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!

Posted on Dec 14, 2007

talk2ginny
  • 34 Answers

SOURCE: thread breaking on Simplicity Denim Star

Hi, when your thread breaks or frays right before in goes through the eye of the needle:

  1. Change your needle - after awhile, the eye can wear down and cause your thread to break or fray, eventhough it looks like the thread isn't even going through the needle. When you change your needle, make sure to install a needle that is compatible with the thread you are using (see below).
  2. If your thread still frays or breaks, make sure you've threaded your machine correctly. Most machines have a hook or bar right above the needle that your thread need to pass thru before you put the thread thru the eye of your needle. Sometimes that spot above the needle is really hard to get to, and sometimes the thread slips out. Always a good idea to double check. If you are still having problems, the needle you are using is probably the wrong size.
There are lots of needles on the market, and lots of threads. You need to make sure your needle is compatible with the thread you use for each project.

The most common needles are size 80 and 90 universal needles, which are fine for most sewing projects. But if you are using a specialty thread, you need to use a needle that is designed to work with that particular thread. For example, top stitching needles have a larger eye than a universal needle, because top stitching thread is thicker than sewing thread. The same is true for metallic thread - needles made for metallic thread an eye designed to allow the thread to pass thru without fraying. Further, if you using fine thread, you need a small needle.

FYI - unfortunately, thread sizes do not correspond directly with needle sizes. Small needle numbers indicate a needle with a small eye. But the smaller the thread size, the larger the thread. For example, size 50 thread is very fine and would usually be used with a size 70 needle. Size 30 thread is fairly thick and would probably be used with a size 90 top stitch needle.

Hope this helps, and remember, you should always change your needle after about 10 hours of sewing, no matter what size needle you are using. If you have more questions, please post again. Thanks, Ginny

Posted on Jan 31, 2009

  • 37 Answers

SOURCE: bottom thread of sewing machine jams up

Try turning the bobbin around. Some bobbins should turn clockwise, some counter clockwise. What you described is what my Kenmore and Brother machines do when the bobbin is in incorrectly.

Posted on Apr 15, 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

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: top tension is making a loop as I sew, bottom

Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.
Specific detail on bobbin case adjustment (with picture) near halfway down reply, the remainder will help you achieve a balance of top and bottom tensions.

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

bargainbox.com.au

Posted on Aug 19, 2009

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2 Answers

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.

Apr 26, 2015 | Singer 4423 Sewing Machine

Tip

How to adjust the tension on your sewing machine


Few things are more frustrating than not being able to get the tension on your sewing machine balanced. Here are a few tips on how to do it:
1. Make it a habit to thread your machine with the pressure foot UP. This disengages the tension disks so the thread is able to slip easily between them.
2. Always adjust your machine's tension with the pressure foot DOWN. If it's up, although the numbers on the tension dial may move, the tension settings on the disks don't.
3. Remember that the numbers on the tension disks are relative. Generally, "3" is a good place to start, but it's only a number. Increase the numbers to tighten the tension, decrease them to loosen it.
4. Use different color threads in the top and in the bobbin to make changes easier to see.
5. Sew a few inches, stop, and examine the stitches. Adjust the tension just a little, stitch a bit more, then examine again. Repeat as needed until there is no (or very little) of the top thread showing on the bottom fabric and no (or very little) of the bobbin thread showing on top.
But how do you know which way to adjust the dial?
This is where a lot of the confusion seems to come from, because it 'seams' backwards! Look carefully on the bottom, the bobbin side. If you're using the same color threads both on top and in the bobbin, it can be hard to see, but usually what you'll see if you have 'loopy' threads on the bottom, is that the loops are actually the top thread and that the bobbin thread is laying on top of the fabric. Using different color threads makes this obvious.
What's happening is that the top tension is too loose, so it's not pulling the bobbin thread up into the fabric.
There's a tendency to see the loops on the bottom and think the bobbin tension needs adjusting, but the real problem is with the top tension. (There is a bobbin tension adjustment but you shouldn't have to mess with that very often, if at all.)
I've posted a couple of photos at www.robbiesews.blogspot.com so you can see what I mean by balanced tension.
Happy Sewing!


on Mar 10, 2010 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

The zig-zag function has just stopped working on my Frister Star 112 - this is because the dial that controls the stitch width is no longer working. It feels as though perhaps a screw has come loose i


Take off the knob and see if the flat spot has been rounded out. If so, a new know should fix it. If not, unless you are comfortable taking apart the machine, it is time for service. If you are OK with disassembling the machine, open it up and look for the mechanism that should be turning when the know is turned. If there is an apparent broken part or loose connection, focus your effort on fixing that.

Nov 29, 2014 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Sewing machine tension problem


if you've tried to adjust the top tension & the dial is not responding then the tension dial may need to be replaced because sometimes they do go bad
a sewing machine shop can tell you for sure

Mar 10, 2012 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have a singer 7258 that I can not get the tension to loosen up on. The top stitch is straight across and adjusting dial doesn't help.


Hello

Adjust the tension

Load your sewing machine with one color on top, threaded through the needle. Load the second color thread into the bobbin and thread.


Fold the scrap fabric in half, and sew a straight stitch at least 2 inches long. Look closely at the seam. If you see loops of the bottom color thread on top of the fabric, proceed to Step 3. If you see loops of the top color thread on the bottom of the fabric, proceed to step 4.


Loosen the top tension. Since the top tension is so tight, it is pulling the bottom thread up through the fabric. Loosen the top tension by turning the numbered knob on the front of the sewing machine counterclockwise by one number.


Tighten the top tension. Since the top tension is too loose, the bottom thread is pulling the top thread down through the fabric. Tighten the top tension by turning the numbered knob on the front of the sewing machine clockwise by one number.


Sew a straight stitch 3 inches in length. Check the stitching. It is perfect if the threads meet in the middle, and you can only see the top thread on top and the bottom thread on bottom. If it still needs adjusting, go back to step 2 to repeat the needed steps.


Using two different colored threads makes it easier for you to see which thread is being pulled.

Always use proper precautions when working with electrical machines.

Aug 01, 2011 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have a Kenmore sewing machine - 12 stitch model which I bought in the 70's. I am having a tension problem and can't seem to fix it. What is the normal setting for the top, and bottom?


Hello

Load your Kenmore sewing machine with the right thread and bobbin thread for your project. If you use the wrong weight thread for your fabric or severely uneven weights of thread, this can cause the appearance of a tension problem when it is, in fact, a thread weight problem or a problem with your sewing speed. If you go too fast, you will break the thread. If you go too slow, you can cause loops. Uneven pressure can cause stitches to vary greatly.

Test your Kenmore sewing machine's tension by sewing on a piece of scrap fabric. If your tension is way off, then test on some basic cotton or a firm blend simply to get your tension right. Do not try to start adjusting your tension on silk or leather. Get a base adjustment on a more standard fabric first.

Look at the top threads and bottoms threads. If the tension is off on one side, it will usually affect the other side slightly. So select the side that looks more maladjusted to start adjusting the tension.

If the top thread is too loose or too tight, you will need to adjust the tension dial. This dial is usually located a few inches above the needle on the Kenmore machine body. Usually, your machine will have markings to indicate which direction tightens the tension. If these have worn off over the years, watch the dial as you turn it. If it appears to move toward the machine body, then it is tightening.

If the bottom thread is too loose or too tight, then you will need to open the door to the bobbin case. On some Kenmore models, there is a little screw near the bobbin case that can be adjusted slightly to adjust the tension. On other Kenmore models, there is a screw on the bobbin case itself--not on the bobbin, but on the bobbin's casing. This will also adjust the bottom thread tension. Adjust the bobbin thread tension to make slight changes.

If the thread is looping severely on one side, the thread weights might be off. For instance, look to see if you have a lightweight thread on the bobbin and a heavyweight one on the top. If the thread keeps breaking, the top tension or bottom tension could be too tight or the thread is too lightweight for the material you have selected. Check your combination of threads and material. Also make sure you are using the right weight needle and the right foot for the sewing step or project you are working on.

If your Kenmore sewing machine's tension is off severely or if you have not used your Kenmore in a long time, then you might need to take your machine in to be serviced. Sometimes, the inner parts need to be oiled or the entire machine might need to be cleaned and calibrated by a professional. If you sew a great deal or if your machine sits idle a lot, both situations will usually require some servicing to keep your Kenmore sewing machine and its tension in perfect working condition.

Jul 11, 2011 | Kenmore 15358

1 Answer

My white speedylock 1600 is being difficult.. The top threads lay and look perfect.. but the bottom threads are loose.. What can I do about this?


This machine has differential feed (top tension is different from bottom and fabric feed rate can be different from bottom). turn the dials for tension and feed rates to adjust. Adjust bottom tension to tighten bottom threads and possibly speed up bottom feed rate. Tough to say without more info.

Good luck and please rate me.

From White Sewing web site.

"Are wavy fabrics making you seasick? Do puckers leave a sour taste in your mouth? Then you need differential feed. It eliminates distortion and wavy seams when serging knits, plus it prevents puckers and pulled seams on lightweight fabrics. Turn the dial again for instant gathers.

Nov 23, 2009 | White Sewing Speedylock 1600 Mechanical...

1 Answer

Frister Star bobbin/threading problem


First of all make sure you have the needle in the correct way round, when you thread the machine make sure the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the tension discs, top tension about 4 or 5, make sure you can pull the bobbin thread through with slight resistence and the bobbin should turn anti clockwise in the bobbin case as you look at the open part.

Nov 07, 2009 | Kenmore Drop-In Bobbin 16231 Mechanical...

1 Answer

Euro-pro 464xc bottom tension loose


Welcome to FixYa!

Loose bottom stitches come from the top, not the bottom. Seems weird, but that's the way sewing machines work.

The dial tension should be set at the mid range and make absolutely sure that you have the machine threaded correctly. Both things will cause a sloppy bottom stitch.

Thanks!

If you find my solution helpful, I'd appreciate a FixYa rating....

Jan 15, 2009 | Kenmore 12102

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