Question about Janome Sewing Machines
New home Janome 109, 110 - The thread keeps knotting up under the material. I've had this problem before but I have misplaced my manual.
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
SOURCE: sudden knotting under fabric
I have an Elna 2005 machine and had a similar but opposite problem whereby the tension up top was too tight - thread wouldn't pull smoothly. I found adjusting the feed dog lever slightly helped the stitches a lot, even though the needle tension up top is no better. Hope that helps! :-s
Posted on Oct 29, 2007
SOURCE: I have a janome 10001,
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 Tension 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.
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.
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....
...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 !
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 !?!?!)
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 !
If you want any more help with this, just post back here, or, drop a line through the "Contact Us" page at
Posted on May 09, 2008
SOURCE: Thread tension?
I own this little gem of a machine. It definitely sews a perfect stitch. I'm assuming you own the green 3/4 size machine as denoted by your product number. The half size blue one pictured is incorrect.
Anyway, this machine sews a perfect stitch, due to the oscillating bobbin. Most sewing machines with rotary (drop in) bobbins don't have an easily accessible bobbin tension screw, which means your fabric is usually slightly puckered. Fiddling with only the upper tension helps very little. This frustrates me to no end for sewing long curtains, clothing side seams, etc. Wrong tension causes them to hang with puckers, making them look awful. With the Hello Kitty 3/4 size Janome, there is a screw on the bobbin case which allows you to adjust for every thread diameter perfectly. Always a perfect stitch, if you take the time to adjust this screw.
To adjust the bobbin for a perfect tension, load the bobbin into the bobbin case and thread it through the guide. Holding only the thread between two or three fingers, let the bobbin case dangle below. This will be slightly difficult, because the bobbin will want to fall out of the case. Don't worry, just don't move it around too much and it will stay in long enough for this test. If the metal bobbin case slowly drops lower, unwinding thread as it goes, the thread is too loose. Tighten the screw on the side of the bobbin case a little (about a quarter turn.)
If the bobbin case seems to be dangling firmly, give the thread a gentle tug, lifting up fairly quickly. If it doesn't release a couple of inches of thread, it's too tight, loosen the screw. You know the tension is perfect when a quick, light tug of the thread releases a couple of inches of thread.
Posted on Aug 16, 2008
"Birdnesting" occurs when there is no tension on the needle thread to
pull the bobbin thread. This is easily corrected by rethreading the
machine, following the threading path carefully and making sure the
thread is fully engaged in the tension mechanism.
Good luck ..
Posted on Dec 31, 2008
i have the book and it says thread from inside out, inside looper (upper) then lower, then thread the needles, first right then left. I have found that it does not matter if you thread the needles or loopers first but that you should try to thread from inside to out.
Posted on Feb 25, 2009
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