Question about Janome D'cor Excel Pro 5124 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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Tension when sewing a zigzag my bottom thread is pulling through to right side have tried adjusting top tension no luck,

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Re: tension

Might sound simple, have you just tried rethreading it a few times? The bottom bobbin thread might be stuck on something.

Posted on Dec 04, 2007

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Trying to sew zigzag but the bobbin thread is showing up on top

1. Try to loosen the top tension first.
2. If this doesn't work remove the bobbin and tighten the bobbin.
3. The purpose of this is to have the top and bottom tension even. This is similar to a tug of war. Whichever way is stronger is where the knot will be going. You want the knot in the middle of the fabric.
4. Test your top tension by leaving the foot up. Pull the thread through back and forth. It should be easy. If it isn't you will need to adjust the tension mechanism.

There is a tension set document added to help you.


May 16, 2015 | Husqvarna Viking Emerald 116 Sewing...


Setting Sewing Machine Tensions

When you sew you want a nice sturdy seam, one that won't pull apart or leave gaps or cause puckering. To get this it's important to have the tensions set correctly. Many seamstresses get confused about how to set their tension. It's a fairly simple process once you understand a few basic things.

BASIC LAW OF TENSION to form the stitch: The UPPER thread tension changes the look on the UNDERSIDE of a seam while the BOBBIN tension, the bottom tension effects the appearance of the TOP SIDE of the seam. That is quite opposite of what most people think. Basically what you want is for the top and bobbin tensions to equal so that the stitch forms half way between the two.

If you can see threads from the bottom side of the stitch showing on the TOP side of the seam, like the graphic below, then either the BOBBIN tension is too loose or the TOP tension is too tight.

If there are loops on the bottom side of the seam, like the illustration below, then the TOP thread tension is too loose, or the BOBBIN tension is too tight. Typically the TOP tension is too loose.

If there is puckering on the top side then most likely the TOP tension is too tight, though it may also be the the BOBBIN tension is way too loose.

So how can we tell which it is? The best way its to begin by taking a scrap piece of the fabric you will be sewing on, or at least the same type of fabric, picking the widest zigzag stitch possible with a medium to long length of stitch and sew several inches. Now examine the seam remembering which is the top and which is the bottom. If it does not look identical on both sides then one of the tension settings is wrong. (it is also possible that the needle is the wrong type but for the moment let's assume it's the tension).

If there's a problem with the stitch you can use the above rules to figure out which tension is off. However, as the top and bottom tensions work together let's begin by going through a basic check-off list.

First examine the threading of the upper thread and make sure it is correctly following the path and isn't catching on something. This is really important when you think you've looked through everything and just can't 'see' the problem. Taking the time to go through these steps can save you a lot of pulled hair!

Next pull out the bobbin and examine it in it's case. Are the threads would around it evenly or are they all jumbled and crisscrossed? Jumbled up is a BAD thing. Try a different bobbin that is wound correctly. Now examine if the thread is coming out of the proper place, through the tension slot. Pull on the thread to see if there's total resistant. If so, something isn't right. But it can also be a problem if there is no resistance so let's now do this test.

Suspend the bobbin in it's case by the thread. Let it dangle there is space, still holding it by the thread as if it was a yoyo. It should dangle there with a little slipping, the length of thread between it and your fingers getting a bit longer. If it hits the floor there's no resistance! You have NO tension. That is BAD. Now, while still dangling it gently flick your wrist like you're holding a yoyo and wanting it to drop down a little bit, which is exactly what it should do if the tension is correct. If it doesn't release any thread at all, doesn't drop down a bit then the tension is too tight. Most bobbin tensions are adjusted by turning the little screw on the casing next to where the thread comes out. (Make sure that the bobbin turns in the case the right direction too which is the same direction of the slot!)

If the bobbin drops a lot it is too loose and you will need to tighten it a bit. Remember that a gentle flick should allow more thread to come out but not reel out. There should be some resistance.

Now that we have the bobbin correctly adjusted place it back in the machine and sew another test seam and examine it. By using the rules at the beginning of this tip determine if the upper tension is just right, too loose or too tight. Adjust the upper thread tension accordingly, first raising the pressure foot then turning the dial or however your machine adjusts tension. The higher the number the tighter the tension and vice-versa.

So that you know what the upper tension should feel like pull on the thread at a point BEFORE it goes through the needle first. Pulling after it goes through the needle puts a bit more tension on the thread and I want you to feel the tension before that point. If the tension is too tight and you pull on it after it goes through the needle it may break the needle if it's a small sized needle. You should feel some resistance. You shouldn't have to tug hard on it to pull more thread through but it also shouldn't reel out without any resistance. If the thread is breaking either the tension is very high or the thread is catching somewhere. Check the threading as well as look to see if the spool is turning freely on the spindle. Sometimes the thread will catch on the spool itself. When you buy a new spool of thread remember how the end was through a tiny slot on the side of one end? If that slot is on the bottom of the spool on the spindle it can sometimes catch the thread as it turns. Simply turn the spool upside down and re-thread the machine if needed.

Now once more do a test seam and examine it. Follow the above steps until the top and bottom of the zigzag are identical - perfect!

on Jul 01, 2011 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Bottom thread is still loose even if i try to balance the tension, how do i balance the thread tension?

You bobbin tension CAN be adjusted. First, thread your machine with different colors in the top and bobbin, set your top tension at its default, and run a line of straight, and then a line of zigzag stitches, and compare the results at the top and bottom. You will be adjusting your bobbin to your top tension. If the top tension looks like a straight line instead of stitching and the zigzag looks like "chicken tracks" instead of a zigzag, but the bottom looks like a zigzag, your bobbin tension is too loose.

Remove the bobbin case, and locate the straight-slot screw. There are generally two; one is a Phillips and one is straight--you want the straight one. Leave the other alone.

The rule is "lefty-loosy, righty-tighty." If your stitching displays the above symptoms, it needs to be tightened, so turn 1/4 turn to the right--no more--then test again. You will need patience, but don't turn more than that. It is easy to do, but if you don't do it systematically, you can make things worse, and very slight adjustments can alter the stitching significantly.

Apr 15, 2015 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Why is the bottom stitch straight

Thread tension is a BALANCE between the top tension and the bottom tension. It appears that your bobbin tension is sightly tighter, causing the top thread to be pulled down. Run a zigzag stitch. If your top looks fine, but your bottom looks something like chicken footprint tracks, see if you can adjust your top tension a little tighter to compensate. If, in doing that the stitches are balanced but just too tight, you will need to adjust your bobbin tension SLIGHTLY looser. You will need a tiny screwdriver to do this. Take the case out and locate two screws on the side. Once is a Phillips--leave it alone. The other next to it is usually on the left of the Phillips, and, is a straight-blade screw. Lefty-loosey, righty-tighty. In your case, you want to adjust it a LITTLE looser to match the top tension--no more than 1/4 turn. Put it back and test it again; you should see some improvement. If it still needs a little adjusting, reinsert and repeat, but ONLY 1/4 turn at a time.

DON'T fool with it at all if you can compensate by tightening your top tension, and before you do anything, clean and oil your bobbin area with ONE drop and ONE only of sewing machine oil.ONLY. You might find that just cleaning and oiling will solve your problem right there.

Jul 06, 2014 | Singer 6038 Mechanical Sewing Machine

2 Answers

Top zigzag is fine, bottom is loose

sounds as if it has insufficient top tension, clean between discs then re thread with presser foot down

Feb 17, 2014 | Singer 4423 Sewing Machine

1 Answer

I'm sewing a zig zag stitch and the underside is a perfect zig zag and the upper side looks like it should be the can I fix this so that the beautiful zig zag is on the top?

FIRST > Make sure your bobbin case is threaded correctly...

For normal straight sewing the top tension should be around 5, for zigzag or satin stitch you need to lower your upper thread tension a bit. Try it at 4, if it still pulls your bottom thread to the top try it at 3 etc...

Jan 15, 2011 | Euro-Pro Deluxe 7130 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

I have a 7570 and cannot get the tension the bottom thread is loose and can be pulled right thru I checked the top and adjusted the bottom and nothing seems to change.

When you thread your bobbin in the bobbin case, hold it only by the thread. If the bobbin and bobbin case fall, the tension is too loose. If this is the case, turn the bobbin tension screw 1/4 turn until the bobbin and bobbin case do not fall when only holding by the thread. The top tension should be set between 4 and 5. The best way to see which one needs to be adjusted is to do a zigzag. If the thread is pulling more on top and your top tension is set between 4 and 5, the bobbin tension is too loose. If your top tension is set between 4 and 5 and it's pulling on the bottom, the bottom is too tight.

Feb 17, 2010 | PfaFF Creative 7570

1 Answer

My four-year-old XL3500 seems to have a tension problem. It was sewing fine until after I refilled the bobbin, changed thread twice, and did some zigzag stitching. Now the top stitch is not correct; it...

according to the diagram in the manual, the upper thread tension is set by the wheel/knob on top and just to the right of the thread take up lever and thread guide. If you don't have a manual, go to they have a downloadable manual for your machine.

Jun 04, 2009 | Brother XL-3500

1 Answer

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

Zigzag stitch pulling tight, looks wrong

Try adusting the bobbin thread instead of the top. Always make sure to insert the bobbin so the thread is pulling in a clock wise direction. Both threads top and bobbin should have about the same resitance when pulled.

May 08, 2009 | Euro-Pro Shark 60 - 384

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