I have double checked the threading of my ultralock, and it seems to be correct. The top stitching is good, but when I turn the material over the other is completly loose. What can I do, and did I do something wrong?
I'm a new user and I've misplaced my manual. The last time I used my serger it worked fine. I also just change my thread if that makes any difference, but I've done that many times before.
Also does anyone know where I can download a free manual online for this Singer ultralock?
Thank you, Jeanette
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Re: stitching to loose
You can download your manual from the Singer website, go to "Customer Support" Instruction Manuals" and type in the model number only, then click search and wait a bit, the manuals will come up and there should be a "Free download" red button beside the online ones. Click this and then wait a while again for the file to download, as they are large. Then save the file to your PC and you can print it out and get it bound up for permanent use.
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It appears that there are two issues: skipping stitches, and, loose stitches. Let's deal with them individually but first some general points to check.
1. Change both needles for completely fresh ones out of the package. Make sure that they are inserted all the way up, this is very important. The right needle should appear longer than the left one. Make sure also that you are using the correct needles for your serger.
2. Use a good quality thread with very little stretch, almost no fuzzies, and in pastel colour. Dark thread ages quicker, therefore has a shorter shelf live. A good quality sewing machine thread is also acceptable.
3. Make sure that the tension dials are clean and free of lint or other debris.
4. Re-thread the serger in this order, keeping the presser foot in the down position at all times
a) Upper looper. Ensure that the thread is securely embedded inside the tension discs. Place the thread tail under the presser foot to 11:00 o'clock and place the presser foot down again
b) Lower looper. This is the difficult one to thread but make sure that all the thread guides are properly threaded as well as the upper looper elbow. Check that the thread is lodged between the tension discs. Once the lower looper eye is threaded, place the thread in front and over the upper looper and then under the presser foot to 11:00 o'clock and place the presser foot down again.
c) Right Needle. Thread the right needle path, again ensuring that the thread is between the tension discs. Place the thread tail under the presser foot to 11:00 o'clock and lower the presser foot.
d) Left Needle. Proceed as with left needle.
e) Double check that all tension dials have their respective threads embedded between the discs by pulling firmly up on each thread above the tension dials.
f) Check that the stitch length is set to between 2.5 and 3.0, differential to normal, blade position to middle, blade is engaged, and upper looper converter not in use.
g) Set tensions to recommended setting for 4-thread overlock.
g) Make a test stitch out. How is it? Still having the same issue/s?
If yes, continue with the items listed below, otherwise have a great time serging.
1. Check that the looper tips are smooth. Burrs will cause problems.
2. Check that the needles match the type of fabric being sewn.
1. Double check threading.
2. Debris caught between tension discs will also manifest itself in loose stitches. Take an 8" X 6" piece of medium weight clean and lint free cotton fabric, fold it in half length-wise and pass the fold only firmly between the tension discs from top to bottom (with the presser foot up and no thread in the tension dials).
try a new needle--one that is for the fabric being sewed then try to adjust the top thread tension again, if the stitches remain loose and the tension won't adjust then the tension knob needs to be checked to see if there is something wrong with it. also check to make sure the bobbin is inserted correctly into the bobbin case, if the bobbin is not turned the right way in the bobbin case the sewing machine will not stitch correctly.
no, you need the blade in place and cutting to give an even cut fabric edge. Set up for a three thread using the right hand needle, take out the left hand needle. move blade over to the right so it is cutting wide. Most overlockers there is also a thread finger you need to change on the foot, or a little lever you flick to move this finger forward into the stitching area. Check this on your manual as each make is a bit different.
If you can source it, put wooly nylon thread into the upper looper (knot it onto existing thread and just chain it through, the knot should go through the looper eye fine). Now turn the tension on top looper down so it is looser and tighten up tension on bottom looper, so needle 5, top looper 2 and bottom looper about 7.
Now test serge, the fabric cut edge should be wider than the overlocking seam so the fabric rolls under inside the stitching. Adjust the two looper threads so that this is happening, you want the bottom looper thread to nest right up against the needle stitch and the top looper thread to wrap all the way around too.
Once you've got this happening, turn the stitch length down to 0.5, to close the stitching right up. On some fabrics you'll need to adjust the differential feed too if the fabric is "waving" a bit.
Uneven stitches or sometimes loose when serging could indicate that one of the tension devices is faulting, so if this machine is not new and its doing this, it could need a service. Can you get a regular smooth three or 4 thread seam out if it???
It is always good to just recheck the threading path, make sure the thread aerial is up and that a thread hasn't got caught back on the thread stand somewhere if you're getting something wonky happening, threads stream off overlocker cones through the machine so anything wrong in the thread path will throw off the stitching.
If the bobbin thread is coming up to the top, then the thread is not under tension correctly. I think that this is a top loading bobbin so the bobbin will go into the bobbin holder, then you pull the thread back and press it into a tension device - should hear it click into tension. Now pull the thread back towards you and it should not come out of the tension. The bobbin should turn anticlockwise as the thread is pulled from it.
These bobbin holders usually will have a small adjustment dial on them and it should have the standard setting marked in red. It is very unusual that you would need to change this but check that it hasn't been messed with perhaps. If you have the machine manual check where they say the dial should be set. More likely that the thread is just not into tension fully or at all.
The manual may give you other troubleshooting tips too.
Check the threading and tension on the top thread. It is the one that affects the stitch on the bottom. It may be hung up somewhere if it's not threaded correctly or the tension might be too tight. Also double check the size of your needle and make sure it is correct for the type of fabric. Most likely it is the tension. Double check the tension by sewing a wide zig zag stitch and examining the top and under side to see if they look identical and not puckered or too loose.
Hi. I think I know what you mean--the top thread looks like it's just laying across the fabric, right? This is because either the top tension is too tight or the bobbin tension is too loose. (Either condition will look the same.) Try it with a different color thread in the bobbin, you can easily see the bobbin thread cross the top thread on top of your fabric. Here's what to do:
since you should hardly ever need to adjust the bobbin thread, we'll start with the top thread.
Make sure you thread the machine with the pressure foot UP (opens the tension disks) but adjust the tension with the pressure foot DOWN (closes them so they will adjust). Use a size 12 or 14 needle and good-quality thread (it does make a huge difference!)
With different color thread on top and in the bobbin, stitch an inch or so and check the stitch.
Slightly loosen the top tension (move the dial so the numbers go lower). Don't move it a lot, just a little bit.
Stitch again and check. Repeat this process, stitching, checking, and gradually adjusting the tension dial until you don't see any of the bobbin thread on the top (or very, very little) and don't see any of the top thread on the underside (or very, very little).
IF this doesn't get the balance adjusted, then you'll have to play with the bobbin tension. (But generally, once this is set, you shouldn't have to mess with it again.)
There is a tiny screw on the bobbin carrier that tightens or loosens a very small metal strip (where the thread exits the carrier). To tighten the bobbin tension, screw this just a tiny bit to the right. (Turn it to the right to loosen the screw, to the left to tighten it.) Again, just make a small adjustment each time and recheck your stitches.
Few things about sewing are more frustrating than stitches that aren't balanced!
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.
Try this to see if it helps:
Remove top thread.
ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot and rethread from the beginning.
Start the top tension set at the midway point and then adjust.
Check that the bobbin is threaded and installed correctly.