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More Loops!! It's me; sounhappy once again. My previous problem about loops was for the wrong machine. I have given the correct machine model # below. I recently purchased a Brother Model #XL-3750, and I am getting VERY FRUSTRATED with it!!! No matter HOW MANY TIMES I try to adjust the upper and/or lower tensions, I get LOOPS on the underside of the material. What can I do to get rid of this problem??? I have some very important and timely projects that need to be done, but if my machine isn't working right....?????

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I have worked with many machines INCLUDING Brother and I've had the looping problem. Unless you've been sewing boat tarps or HEAVY DUTY levi material - you may have one of two issues.
1. "Dust Bunnies" or 2. Tension screws that have vibrated just a tiny amount and they need re-adjusted. (if you've been working heavy material - it is possible that an aluminum part INSIDE the machine has been bent them and that is NOT a home repair.
IF YOU LIKE EXPLORING AND this isn't a super fancy computer model machine-with the sealed LED/computer display<<<Those machines ARE NOT FORGIVING - you can "fry" that display and that IS NOT GOOD! It takes a replacement AND IT IS EXPENSIVE because it is the MAP for the machine, fancy machines = REPAIR SHOP!

However Non LED - the looping is USUALLY very fixable - if you are as curious as I have always been. (These directions are NOT in your "sewing" manual - they are found in the manufacture REPAIR/MAINTENANCE manual- when I buy a new machine - I always be sure I can get one - or I don't make the deal.
If you decide to try yourself- UNPLUG MACHINE! Have a little flashlight/worklight available - you will need it - unless you are young! I'm OLD! You will need: a Phillips Screwdriver & smaller screwdriver set(ONLY CONTINUE IF YOU ARE NOT AFRAID!! If cleaning didn't work - you will need one more tool set.(I have several little sets because I never know sizes) I go down to the hardware store and I have several sets of small screwdriver sets. Don't be tempted to buy the ones with the silver metal ends to hold onto - you need a tool - you are not adjusting your glasses - and you don't want to strip these screws. Plus those silver handle junk drivers will eat into your hands. I own the ones that look like BIG screwdrivers - except they are mini looking. They have cute little handles to hold - like big screwdrivers. They are as handy, should not be too expensive at a hardware store and they can come in sets or alone. a few paper towels to keep you "tools" clean. NO BUTTER KNIVES!

Sometimes just the constant use - or the lack of use can really gum up the guts of any machine. DON'T USE YOUR MOUTH TO BLOW AWAY ANY DUST - use the little airbrush - puffer tool that should have come with the machine. You don't want to be blowing microbes into the guts of your machine. YOU MIGHT JUST HAVE "DUST BUNNIES" gunking up the machine. Here is how you get into the machine to check for problems - you are looking for dust and gunk /stray threads/ dust/oils/hair lint that may have built up around the parts you can clean this up and then test. I use an extra soft toothbrush to clean my Brother after each big project. MINE IS NOT LED/computer centered.
So if you want go "Bunny Hunting"....Can you open the housing? The "housing" (casing) that you need to remove to get to the light bulb. Sometimes you need a larger phillips' head (X) screwdriver to remove white plastic end casing. DON'T TOUCH LIGHTBULB WITH YOUR HANDS OR FINGERS - if it is a Halogen bulb - next time you go to sew - the lightbulb might go out - the Halogen bulb CAN'T be touched - the oils of our skin - ruin the bulb. SO JUST IGNORE THE BULB - don't try to give it a good "cleaning" it will just make the lightbulb very angry and you will then need to find a correct size NEW bulb - then replace it! After the clean - test the machine. IF you are still LOOPING and have not fainted from your adventure, you have the choice take it to the repair shop , OR go in THERE and TEST TENSION SCREWS.... steps listed below - plus my little tales of my life...sorry - like I said I'm OLD! Please know tension screws take your TIME to do it right. It is not "hard" it is just "exacting" - and those little screw have no mercy if you get in a hurry.

You are already INTO the inner "surface part" of the machine. Now look- can you and see any small screws? They are usually black - Once you find the tension screws (the little black screws) - use the smaller screwdrivers and be careful-DON'T STRIP THE SCREWS IF YOU PLAN TO CONTINUE THE ADVENTURE AND YOU DON'T WANT TO RUIN THE MACHINE !!

If you can (if Brother has not gotten all fancy and sealed the screws away) look for a small/usually black/ screws by the tension area you want to adjust. There is upper wheel-You don't want to adjust that - you are looking for the actual tension screw in there. The lower tension screw you need to follow the path to be sure you will be adjusting a screw that has some type of control of another machine part /behind or next to back of it by USUALLY NOT FOUND IN THE VERY FRONT of the bobbin shuttle case. It can be tricky down there- I warn you of this because the first time I ever tried it - I got the wrong screw - found a SET!!! Because I was in a hurry and didn't TEST after every adjustment- I ended up with the entire bobbin housing in my lap. I just turned every screw I saw and didn't slow down to look what the screw was holding or controling. I did get it all put back together-just be firm but gentle.

SO ...just don't get harsh - be firm - yet gentle....IF YOU ARE STARTING TO FEEL ILL JUST READING THIS.......go to the repair shop.

If you feel brave and CAN AFFORD (in money and time) TO GOOF continue at your own risk - If you can get to those tension control screws (stay away from anything computer looking) the SLIGHTEST adjustment may be all that is needed. Turn the screw you pick NO MORE 1/4 turn on any one direction at a time. JUST LIKE LIFE- only one at a time- adjust - then test - if it doesn't improve go back to original spot - or continue in same direction. Some machine"counter turn"(you can go either direction- same small 1/8th to 1/4 turn adjustment then test.. You can continue left or right with your turn adjustments just don't forget to go back to orginal spot if the loops get worse or you don't see improvement. I keep a 1/4 count going in my head in case I need to put it all back together. Often just a small adjustment - is needed - but as long as you keep track you can adjust. DON'T REMOVE THE SCREW ALL THE WAY - they are a "&$(@&$" to get put back in.

When I was first learning - I used to have to tally # of 1/8 or 1/4 turns I would make and draw arrows to indictate which direction I had used. I also used to use white sewing chalk to mark where I started on the screw "holder" so if I couldn't fix it - I could at least know where I started, using my tally to tell me what direction and how many turns I would need to move to put everything back to the original position. (WHAT ELSE COULD BE WRONG IF NOT TENSION - on the alum. gut machines I have actually "bent" parts - that IS A REPAIR job. If I didn't love the machine - often times at home I would simply just go buy a new "Target/Wal-Mart/K-Mart" quality machine. It can cost more to repair the 'retail' machines-because of need to order parts - time to do repair - in the end it was cheaper for me to just go buy a new 'retail' machine. In the "olden days" this was the quick and easy fix.

First check for DUST BUNNNIES - Test - if no luck - go to the tension screws. I had 22 machines (all different brands / 5 were Brother and I still have my own the small BrotherXL5340) I had to care for each machine daily after people had been in classes learning to sew.

For over 15 years I kept all those machines ready to run everyday - once every two years I would haul them all into the shop (we had a limited budget) and I would let the Pro fix them. He would sit there and grumble about - who had been adjusting "his" machines. But he wasn't the one doing the job every day - we needed those machines to work EVERY DAY!!

FOR MYSELF long ago I moved on up into the "pro" machines -that cost just about as much as my house! :) I'd be scared to death to even fool with anything inside of it - even though all the parts are SOLID STEEL! Just too much money to risk repairing on my own.....If you ever decide to move up in machine quality if you love to sew or - if you sew "hard" daily with tough material - think ELNA - a wonder machine - many different styles. ELNA is Swiss made and they make all the way from "light use" machines to INDUSTRIAL machines. Be ready for sticker shock - but mine is flawless - it never gets out of wack - the guts are solid so nothing can really "rattle-shake- or shimmy" loose. I keep it oiled and have the pros clean it once a year and check innards - (it is 1974 era machine).
If you are not comfortable with EXPLORING - go to - or ship to the nearest repair center. Sometimes going to the pro's is really the quickest way to get you project done. If they are too busy - first give them "the look" then offer to pay just a little more than you should - CASH moves the line in the place where I live.

Best of luck - Brother used to be a pretty forgiving machine - mine still is and it has NEVER been to the "real" repair shop only me - and it still works great.

Posted on Feb 18, 2008

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Lower thread too loose


Big loops on the bottom of the fabric is NOT the lower thread. First make sure that your upper thread is correctly threaded with the presser foot in the UP position. Do a test seem. If you still have loops tighten the UPPER tension knob. Do a test seem.

If after several upper tension changes do nothing. Remove the upper thread and take some rather rough sturdy fabric like light weight denim and "floss" where the tension discs are then rethread... and try again.

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Check the manual again and make sure you have it threaded correctly. It still sounds like there isn't enough top tension. Perhaps you missed something in threading it.

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The wrong loops are on the surface of the material that I've sewn


Loops on the top of the fabric are usually caused by the bobbin thread not in the bobbin case tension correctly, remove the bobbin and reinstall it. You should feel a slight resistance when you pull on the bobbin thread.

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If you threaded the machine with the presser foot UP and the thread from the bobbin is feeding from the spool in the correct direction and through the guides on the bobbin case and the loops are still forming, then the machine needs to go into the shop as the timing may need to be adjusted and this is best done by a sewing machine technician, preferably Brother.

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If you threaded the machine with the presser foot up and the is bobbin inserted so the bobbin thread is feeding from the bobbin spool in the correct direction and through the guides as indicated in the manual, then there is a possibility that the timing needs to be adjusted by an authorized Brother tech.

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It is most likely because you have it on a type of stitch but did not switch the didstance that you want the zig zag to be. Just change you stitch or your distance.

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#14 needle is way big for cotton napkin scrap. a #10 is good for most lightweight fabric. #14 is for sewing denim or levis, like that.

the tension problems on almost all machines regardless of price usually fall on the upper tension. the lower bobbin tension is factory set and it's rare you should ever need to mess with it.

if you have a drop in bobbin (top loading), tighten the adjustment screw all the way and then back it off 1/4 turn. if your machine uses a shuttle bobbin, tighten the adjustment screw all the way and then back it off in 1/4-turn increments until you can hold it in the air like a yo-yo and cause to bobbin case to fall slightly dipping your hand.

A dull needle and stitch length will also mess up your stitch. The idea is to narrow the problem down to one thing and one thing only -- UPPER THREAD TENSION.

So, if you have the right size needle for the job, with the right thread, and if your stitch length selection is correct (usually between 2 and 3 or 8-to-10 stitches per inch, the problem should be with your upper thread tension.

An easy way to fix this then is to remember: Loops on top, upper tension drop. Loops below, upper tension grow. If you get loops on top of your work, lower (drop) your upper thread tension to a lower number. If you get loops on the bottom, raise the upper thread tension.

Different stitches on the same machine will require different upper thread tension settings. Don't be afraid of it. Just remember the pneumonic: loops on top, tension drop, loops below, tension grow -- referring to upper thread tension.

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