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I cannot get the tensions properly adjusted - top thread stays on top

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I don't know how to adjust tensions but make sure you have the machine threaded properly and the needle oriented correctly. When I did not have mine threaded properly that is what the bobbin thread did - just stayed on top of the material and did not get pulled into the fabric.

Posted on Nov 28, 2009


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Tension on brother se1800 sewing machine isn't working right. Top thread appears on back of fabric, So far I've checked threading top and bobbin, cleaned race.

When threading the top thread, ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot so the thread will seat properly in the tensioner.

Then adjust the top tension so the top and bobbin threads meet in the middle of the fabric.

Sep 08, 2017 | Brother Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Stiches are loose how to adjust the tension

Loose upper thread requires the top tension to be increased (higher number).

When threading the top thread, be sure to ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot while threading so the thread will seat properly in the tension disk.

If the bobbin thread is loose, then the bobbin tension needs to be tightened.

Understanding Thread Tension Threads

Mar 06, 2017 | Sewing Machines

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Straight stitch. Top is fine loose on bottomadjusting top tension does not help how to adjust bottom tension?

Usually, if there are loose threads under the fabric, it is the top thread that is too loose. Check your sewing sample closely--you can even test with two different color threads to help distinguish which thread is which. Loose top thread will generally be pulled DOWN and show under the fabric. Loose bobbin thread will be pulled UP and show on the top of the fabric. The ideal tension is when both threads MEET in the middle of the fabric.

First, remove the thread from the machine. Install a brand new needle. Always Raise the Presser Foot and thread the upper thread, making certain the thread path is correct.

Check that the bobbin thread is threaded correctly and turning the proper direction in the bobbin case.

Set the upper tension to the midway point and sew a retest. A tweaking of upper tension may be necessary to get it where it should be. Generally, upper tension should make the majority of adjustments needed for tension correction. Bobbin tension is one of the last tension adjustments to make as it is very sensitive and can go awry very quickly.

If, in fact, the bobbin tension is off, the tension skrew on the bobbin case is where the adjustment is made. Before making any bobbin tension adjustments, mark where the skrew slot is located on the bobbin case with a permanent marker. This will allow you to reverse your changes if necessary. Be CAREFUL as TINY changes make HUGE differences in tension. Make only 1/8th turn adjustment, then retest before making another adjustment.

Remember that tension testing and readjustment are a necessity when sewing. The same tension that will work with light weight thread and fine fabric will most likely not work when using heavy thread on drapery fabric. Get comfortable with making tension adjustments to get the ideal tension for each project.

Understanding Thread Tension Threads

Oh You Crafty Gal Sewing Lesson 10 How to Fix Tension on Your Sewing...

How to Adjust the Tension on Sewing Machine


May 24, 2016 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

The tension on my Juki TL98E will not stay set. the top thread is really loose underneath, but if I tighten the top tension, it skipps stitches and the lower thread is not caught in the stitch.

Your top tension may actually be too tight! Try loosening it a bit instead. And check that the bobbin is correctly threaded and your needle in good condition.

Nov 25, 2015 | Juki Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How do I adjust the tension on brother SE-350?

Before you go adjusting tensions, make sure your upper thread is threaded properly. Always thread with the presser foot in the UP position so the thread can slip easily between the tension discs. Also make sure there are no wraps around the thread spool spindle.

Be certain that you have the bobbin properly inserted as well.

Once you are absolutely certain that there is no issues is threading. The tension is adjusted by a wheel on the top of the machine. Left to loosen, right to tighten the tension.

Jul 04, 2014 | Brother SE350 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Thread is bunching up from bobbin side think tension needs adjusting

I assume you have tried adjusting the top thread tension and are referring to bobbin tension adjustment. Before you do anything, with the bobbin properly threaded, manually pull out some bobbin thread. There should be resistance, just like the resistance you feel when you pull on the top thread with the foot down. Bobbin tension adjustment is by means of a small screw in the bobbin assembly. Mark the screw head position before you start adjusting it (so you can return to that position should you need to). Make small adjustments (1/8 turn of the screw) in each direction and see if it helps the problem. Be aware that thread tension is only one of many problems that can result in faulty stitches.

Nov 25, 2012 | Husqvarna Rose

1 Answer

Thread tension won't adjust properly. Top thread is ok, bottom ,

I could be as simple as threading the machine with the presser foot up.

When the foot is up, the tension opens and accepts the thread. Foot down and thread cannot enter as it should.

Out of control upper thread can look like a bobbin tension problem.

May 19, 2010 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have a singer 4538 and the top tension is ok, I believe. The bobbin tension is too tight. I took out the bobbin case. It has two screws. The one on the left can be loosened, but doesn't help the...

one screw should stay tightned .. the other is the adjustment ... you will notice that the correct screw is adjusting the force on a flat spring .. that spring is what provides the bottom tension .. when the thread is properly positioned then it will be pulled under that spring .. you should be able to pull the thread with just a small amount of drag .. the top tensioner should have about the same amount of drag when set to about 2 of its adjustment range .. usually the foot has to be down to engage the top tension ... you normally dont need oil on the bobbin case .. the screw you want is about in the center of the flat spring ... if you cant adjust the bottom tension then take the flat spring all the way off and see if there is thread or debree keeping it from operating properly .. make sure there are no sharp edges or burrs in the thread path ...

Jan 03, 2010 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Bobbin thread is pulling to the top, using embroidery needle, bobbin thread and proper thread on the top. As far as I know the machine is set right. This might not be the right place to ask, but am...

Setting bobbin case tension:
Put wound bobbin in bobbin case. Thread it in case. Hold the thread and carefully let go of the case only holding bobbin thread. The case should NOT move. Quickly let your hand drop 2-3 inches to let the bobbin case free fall for 2-3 inches, the bobbin case should move slightly then stop. It moves because it let’s a little thread off the bobbin. It should then stop .5"- 2" of thread should release. If so, your bobbin case tension is right. If it’s right then begin to look at your top thread tension. Always Always start with a properly adjusted bobbin case, then adjust your top tension accordingly.

Mar 18, 2009 | Bernina Artista 170

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