Question about Brother XL-2600

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Tension is driving me crazy!!

I cannot seem to find a tension setting that stays consistent throughout the project, not to mention just a seam! if my bobbin is more than 1/2 way full, all of the bottom stitches are loose and no setting will work. I took out the plate and the casing and cleaned out the dust - added a little more oil in the parts the handbook said to - still the same problem!

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  • Brother Master
  • 1,388 Answers

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....

Tension is driving me crazy!! - 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 Sep 07, 2009

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1 Answer

What is the proper tension number for a normal straight seam


Usually, the midway point of the upper tension dial is the standard factory setting. However, machines change with age and use. The correct tension is when the top and bobbin threads meet in the middle of the fabric. (However, that means you should test/reset the tension whenever you change projects because different fabrics may require a different tension setting.) Don't be afraid to adjust the top tension. You know where it started, so if you turn the wrong way, you can always undo it.

Adjusting the bobbin tension is usually a last attempt as it is very sensitive and is difficult to undo. Bobbin tension very seldom requires adjustment.

HINT: When threading the top thread, ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot and rethread from the beginning. Install a brand new needle when beginning a new project, after 8 hours of sewing, or if the needle strikes something on the machine. (A new needle is very inexpensive when compared to frustration, damaged fabric, or machine repair expenses.)

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Advice on how do I adjust tension


I don't have a Janome, but in general
if your seam has extra loops at the top
looks like ^-^-^-^
loosen the upper tension a bit and tighten the bobbin tension a bit.

If the extra loops are at the bottom
sort of like \/-\/-\/-
do the opposite - tighten the upper tension a bit and loosen the bobbin tension a bit.

The upper tension is easy; it's usually a dial with +/- numbers. The bobbin may be more difficult. For mine, it's a screw on the side of the bobbin case. A web search seems to indicate Janome is the same.

Practice on scraps of the same weight and use the same thread you're using on your project until you get the tension right.

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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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I have a VX1250. I don't know how to regulate the tension.


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Then there is some form of tension device on the bobbin; in your case I believe the Brother has a removable bobbin case with a tension spring which holds the bobbin thread firmly: the tension spring can be adjusted with a screwdriver but once set, you shouldn't need to adjust this much, just alter the top tension slightly for different weights of fabric. So start by setting top tension dial to 4-5 and test stitch a seam. Use different coloured but the same type of thread top and bottom and take a look at the seam. You want to see a balanced even seam.

Here is a link to a great info site for this:
http://www.sewusa.com/Sewing_Machine_Repair/Thread_Tension_Settings.htm

If the bobbin thread is too loose, then you probably will need to finess the tension spring on the bobbin case and adjust this slightly. The best way to set the tension on the bobbin case is as follows. Load the bobbin into the bobbin case and pull the thread tail into the tension spring, then suspend the bobbin by holding the thread tail up in the air (the dangle test). You want it to be just tight enough to hold its own weight, but still able to release thread when you pull gently downwards on the bobbin case. If it isn't doing this then take your little screw driver and adjust the screw on the leaf tension spring by ONE QUARTER TURN ONLY. Lefty looser, Righter Tighter. Then test again, and adjust again until its right.

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Hello

What did you do differently to gather? Did you change the upper or bobbin tension? If you changed the upper tension, set it back to 4. If you changed the bobbin tension (don't!), set the upper tension to 4 and fiddle with the bobbin tension screw (1/8 of a turn at a time, no more!) until you've got balanced tensions again.

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When I sew anything the thread underneath consists of large loops throughout the entire piece. It winds up using more thread than needed.


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I found that sewing this type of fabric you should not have any pressure on the presser foot. and the top tension should be looser but note the tension before you adjust. and remember to make sure the needle is the right size for the fabric. and since wer are not to change the bottom tension because it always right?? then you may have to make the seam stitch longer good luck

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