Sewing makes huge loops on the bottom of the cloth
The loops on the bottom mean there's very little tension on the top thread.
Back to the loopies.... Somewhere on your machine, there's a tension
mechanism. On older machines, it's circular and has (usually) a
numbered dial. On newer machines, it may just appear as a slot with a
dial someplace with numbers 0-9 on it. In either case, the thread has
to go between two metal disks, which are the tension elements. In order
to get the thread in properly, you must raise the presser foot, which
opens the disks. Then you can "floss" the thread in. Not raising the
presser foot during threading is, in my experience, the most common
cause of bottom loopies.
Other common causes of loopies:
--Trying to sew with the presser foot in the raised position (this
usually happens when you're brand new to sewing or you're trying to sew
something thick that just barely fits under the presser foot -- and you
forget to lower the presser foot after you've put the fabric under.
--Changing the setting on the upper tension dial. 4 to maybe 5 should
give you proper tension for most types of sewing. Sometimes (often
helpful, knob-twiddling family members) reset it to a much lower number.
--Cruddlies in the tension -- impacted lint, a bit of broken thread,
rust, This is usually curable by taking a fold of much-washed cotton
muslin (the hem of a pillowcase or a bandanna is great for this),
moistening it with rubbing alcohol, and flossing the tension with it.
If you get rust out, you'll need a replacement tension (they're not all
that expensive, mostly). In some cases, the machine was abused by
running something like #69 upholstery nylon thread through it (it's too
heavy for most home machines) and the disks are damaged and need
--The thread is too heavy for the size of needle. This happens when
you're trying to run something like topstitching thread with a small
sized needle. The thread doesn't sit down in the long groove of the
needle properly, and so lacks tension.
Jul 08, 2012 |