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Jmb jmsm1020 overlocking tension setting troubleshooting

I have a jmb jmsm1020 overlocker - having problems setting tension to overlock edging to garments that I am making. What are the tension setting for standard overlocking?

Not sure whether tension is too loose - 4 threads being used on cotton fabric.

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: trouble with my Huskylock 680D overlocker Tensions

You need to re-thread the serger.

Refer to the manual or open the front of the serger to see if the threading diagram is there.

With most sergers, you begin with raising the presser foot, then set the tensions to zero.

Begin the threading with the upper looper (curved looper), then the lower looper and the needles last.

Pull the thread under the presser foot and to the left side of the serger.

Set the tensions back to normal 4 - 5 usually.

Lower the presser foot and hold onto the threas tails as you stitch a chain. If the chain of the four threads is ok, you are ready to serge fabric.

Posted on Feb 21, 2010

  • 194 Answers

SOURCE: overlocker stitching is loose at cut edge of

Either the lower knife is too far to the left or your looper tensions are too loose. Check the position of the knife first.

Posted on Apr 14, 2010

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Brother LOCK-523N overlocker threading

Looking for the manual for the brother lock-523

Posted on May 28, 2010

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SOURCE: the machine is not giving me a clean overlock

When this happened to me, my grandson had changed the differential feed from N. If this doesn't help, cut your threads and rethread making sure the pressor foot is up. Then check your settings on the "Quick reference guide." This usually fixes the problem.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010

Tally Girl
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SOURCE: I am having trouble trying

Have you changed the needle(s) recently in your overlocker? I would put in a new sharp size 70 for satin, turn down the stitch length a fraction, put the blade about middle of its range, thread tensions all to 5 and test serge. Then adjust the two looper tensions until you get the thread wrapping around the smoothly but not bunching up the satin within the stitch. Also put your differential to zero for a start and see how the stitching looks.

It is easy to forget to change the needles in the overlocker because it is usually a bit of a fiddle but they will go dull. And remember to just loosen off the needle screw a little, enough to remove the old and insert the new, don't turn it all the way out as they come out and there is often a little ballbearing up in the needle housing that can drop out and get lost with some models.

Also most sergers the two needles sit at different heights so make sure you've got them both fully up into the housing and sitting right, tweezers are a big help with this, I usually pop the needles into the housing, then balance the needle points on the screwdriver blade and lift it right up until it is all the way up, then hold firmly with the tweezer and do up the needle enough to hold it. Then repeat with the 2nd needle, then go back and recheck the first one until they are both spot on. Then manually turn through one stitching sequence to ensure that the needles are not touching the loopers, if you hear any touch, go back and recheck the needle placement again.

If you are just neatening single layer edges I would just use a 3 thread on satin and take out the left needle so it doesn't leave holes. If you are seaming two layers, then go to four thread (both needles) but you may need to use a bit of differential if the seam is puckering a bit.

If you find that changing the needle makes no difference at all, and stitches are still not forming correctly then it is possible that the timing is out a bit and the machine would need a service to sort this out. Hope this helps you out.

Posted on Apr 18, 2011

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The tension settings on an overlocker are meant to be changed depending on the stitch your are trying to make. For the basic overlock stitch, it is usually recommended to start with the tension dials set at the midway point. However, machines differ, so those may even need to be tweaked. The tension is correct when all the threads meet in the middle of the fabric. It helps to test your machine using the 4 colors of thread so you can better see what is happening with the threads and you will be able to adjust each as needed.

overlocker tension Google Search


Feb 20, 2018 | Elna Sewing Machines

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Tension settings on empisal overlocker 754d, pulse ?

The standard tension for a 3 or 4 thread overlock is to set each tension dial at the midway point and then tweak it from there. It helps to use different colors of thread so you can distinguish what each thread is doing.

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Mar 13, 2017 | Sewing Machines

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How do I get the correct tension on my Elna 792D 4 thread overlocker?

ALWAYS Raise the presser foot when threading the machine. Give each thread and extra little tug when threading the tension disks so it seats completely. The midway point on the tension disk is the standard factory setting when using the standard thread weight, however, with use, age, and thread weight that setting may change. So, the user can use the midway point as a starting point for the basic overlock stitch but will need to make adjustments to get the correct tension. When testing your tension, it works best to use the 4 thread colors so it is easier to identify which thread is misbehaving. When you become familiar with your machine and how the stitch looks, it is easier to identify which thread is which.

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Solving Serger Dilemmas

Remember that the tension settings will also determine the stitch you are trying to create. A basic overlock will generally have the tension set around the midway point, however, when changing to a rolled edge or some other stitch, certain tensions will be increased or decreased in order to create that particular stitch.


Feb 09, 2017 | Elna Sewing Machines

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How can I set the right tension on an overlocker globe lock m-34?

The right tension on an overlocker will vary depending on the result that you want. The standard tension for just a plain 4-thread overlock stitch would generally have all the thread tensions set at the halfway mark between the high and lower number. From that point, you may need to tighten or loosen each thread tension to get all the threads to stitch evenly.

Probably the best advice would be consult your owner's manual. It should have instructions on adjusting the tensions and what to look for.

Another suggestion would be to search YouTube for a video that shows how to adjust overlocker tension.


Nov 14, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

JMB JMSM1020 Overlocker Sewing Machine manual

I found a copy of the manual, in English here:!QpkmhTDS!t4ZhZoXKqIS2JA7fib_wuWqSyHpSht7FhQV6OxJjBnc

Jan 05, 2012 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

What is the settings for rolled hem using your overlocker

You haven't specified your overlocker make and model but some parts of the set up will be the same; you still need to consult your machine manual to find out the changes needed to the foot. Bernettes have a little switch near the blade that you flick to change how the stitch forms so it rolls.

You need a 3 thread overlock with the right hand needle (I'm assuming you have a 4 thread lock) turn the stitch length down to 0.5 so it is very closed up. And there is usually a little thread finger on the foot that needs to be changed or a switch you flick to move it back.

Then lower the tension down on the upper looper so this thread goes over the edge to the underside and tighten up the lower looper dial so this thread lies against the needle stitch.

Move the blade to the right so the fabric is cut wider than the seam that the threads are forming so the cut edge rolls underneath and is encased in the threads.

It is best to use wooly overlock thread on at least the top looper so this "fills" in the rolled edge.

If you visit you-tube and search using "Rolled Hem" or Nancy Zieman you should find some helpful videos too.

Apr 25, 2011 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Singer 87-4 overlocker

Wow !! a 1919 overlocker, I would be happy to take a look at the photos of the machine.......take several with the needle in the top, middle (both) and bottom positions so the full cycle can be seen and I will see what we can do for you...what a treat !

The relationships of needle to looper and looper to looper are the most the meantime....if you can figure out how to thread it up, use 3 different colours of thread, do a test piece and adjust the tensions as required to create a firm and balanced stitch that meets at the edge neatly......if there is any corrosion on the tension plates, it will need to be polished smooth to effect consistent tension and therefore stitching.......same applies to loopers and thread guides.

drop a line through the "Contact Us" page at
Don't forget to mention the problem and your Fixya name !

Jun 12, 2008 | Singer Sewing Machines

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