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Model 12491 Kenmore sewing machine. Bobbin thread tension is really messed up. Can't get an even stitch. I've tried adjusting the different tension settings.

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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mallow1
  • 35 Answers

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

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  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: bobbin thread bunches up creating a tangled mess under the plate

This could either be due to the bobbin being wound too loosely, or the tension on the top thread is too loose. This just happened to me the other day, and I thought it was the bobbin thread, but then I put another bobbin in with a different color than the top thread (this is a huge help in diagnosing thread issues), and I was surprised to find that it was actually the top thread that was a big loopy mess on the underside of the fabric. I fixed it by tightening the tension on the top thread (quite a bit), and everything was fine.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009

  • 6 Answers

SOURCE: Singer CG 550 Top thread keeps wraping around the bobbin and jam

Have you checked the top thread is correctly placed in the spring of the bobbin case?

Posted on Feb 21, 2009

Mimito7
  • 128 Answers

SOURCE: Top thread stitches correctly but bottom thread loops.

FYI---- Loops on the bottom-- problem is in the threading..
Loops on the top--- problem is with the bobbin.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: Kenmore Ultra Stitch 12 model 1595280. Tension

Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.
Specific detail on bobbin case adjustment (with picture) near halfway down reply, the remainder will help you achieve a balance of top and bottom tensions.

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 Tesion 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.

BOBBIN TENSION:
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.

TOP LOADER:
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....

4c76dc1.jpg ...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 !

FRONT LOADER:
....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all
back properly.
165ca5c.jpg 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 !?!?!)

OTHER ISSUES:
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

Bargain Box

Posted on Sep 06, 2009

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1 Answer

When i am sewing the stiches on top, but its at the bottom


change the needle --make sure it's the right one for the fabric
being sewed

rethread the machine top and bobbin

make sure the bobbin is turned the right way in the bobbin case

also check the top thread tension, if the stitches under the fabric
are loose adjust the top thread tension one number or letter higher
at a time and sew on a scrap piece of fabric till the stitches look
normal

here is a free manual
http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/696_5417c.pdf

Jan 07, 2013 | Singer 5417 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

What is the way to get even top and bottom thread tension. the machine is a Husqvarna 2000 6440


Let me give you a quick lesson in adjusting your tension. First, thread your bobbin and your upper thread with two different colors-it'll make it easier to see exactly what you need to adjust.

Thread your machine with the presser foot UP. The disks that control the tension (thread goes through them) are tightened up if the foot is down.

Change the machine tension with the presser foot DOWN. Because the disks won't be engaged (see above) if the foot is up, the disks won't move.

Start at the middle setting, 3. Go up to tighten, decrease to loosen. Each machine is different, even 2 different machines of the same model. The best thing to do is start at 3 and use a different color in the top and bobbin thread so you can easily see what changes to the tension do to your stitches.

Now use a straight stitch a sew 3 or so inches. Take a look at the top and bottom of the fabric. You don't want to see any (or at least not much) of the other color showing from the other side.

Loops on the bottom of the fabric means you need to tighten (increase) your top tension. If you're stitches on the bottom are causing puckering, then you need to loosen you're top tension. For the most part, you really don't want to touch your bobbin tension-leave that to a repair technician. The factory setting shouldn't be touched except by someone who really knows what they're doing.

Keep sewing a few inches at a time until you have the results you want. Now you're tension is where you need it!

May 10, 2011 | Husqvarna Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have a singer simple 3116 sewing machine and it stitches loose upper threads. I?ve tried adjusting the tension, re threading, flipping the bobbin around, and even different fabric. But nothing seems to...


Insert a new needle, (flat side facing rear of machine), now totally rethread. Try this, with presser foot up, pull top thread, it should pull smoothly, now lower presser foot, the thread should barely move. This should seat the thread in the tension discs. If that doesn't work, call Singer at 1-800-4singer.

Dec 27, 2010 | Singer 3116 Simple

1 Answer

I need help. I am beginning to sew and the bobbin thread is too loose and all over the place. How do you adjust the tension on the kenmore sewing machine for bobbin tension?


Most of your problems can be solved by taking care of your top threading, usually your underside threading will be messed up because of the top thread, bobbins cause loose stitches on top, Read you manual if you don't have one check online and you can usually buy one,also, you can take into Sears, to the sewing section and they can guide you as to what is wrong.Don't mess with your bobbin tension unless you know what you are doing!!!!!!

Aug 24, 2010 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

The top thread is really loopy on the underside of the fabric, sometimes it misses a stitch, sometimes, the upper thread breaks, and it often gets so tangled underneath that the machine won't feed.


Your tension is way too loose on top or too tight on the bobbin. Try adjusting the top tension one number at a time until you get it right. (Only adjust the bobbin tension as a last resort). Also you could have different thickness of thread in the bobbin than on the top or are sewing a very heavy fabric. Try adjusting the tension with same thread in both bobbin and top and use a normal weight fabric until you find the right tension to get you back to a normal stitch before going to a heavier fabric or thread.

Nov 19, 2009 | Craft Master 4300 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

Kenmore Sewing Machine Drop-in Bobbin Tension Adjusting Problems


looped stitches are usually caused by improper tension. when the loop is on the upper side, it may be corrected by loosening the top tension or by tightening the lower tension (turn the tension screws on the bobbin a hair at a time)

since using the machine only a few times it is best to clean the machine from dust (can use a can of air) blow air into the bobbin area and between the tension disks and under the throat plate.

make sure the machine is threaded correctly and bobbin is evenly threaded

Aug 26, 2009 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

3 Answers

Sears Kenmore sewing machine model number 15358 tension issues


#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.

have fun :)

Apr 15, 2009 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Tighten the bobbin


Welcome to FixYa!

Are you having stitch problems? If this is the reason you are wanting to "tighten" the bobbin, then you should reconsider doing so. If you bottom stitch is the problem, then messing around with the bobbin is the last thing you want to do.....

Sewing machines are funny machines and counter intuitive. When people see problems with the underside stitch they automatically assume there is something wrong with the bobbin. In fact, the bottom stitch is created when the bottom thread interacts with the top thread.

The bobbin really doesn't have an adjustment and rarely goes out of whack. It's best to leave this alone unless you know what you are doing.....

So what....IS the problem? There are really only two things that seriously affect the bottom, in general, that is the tension setting (the little dial with numbers on it) and mis-threading the machine (make sure you are following the thread path exactly (sometimes it's not easy to figure out, so have someone else try it. Sometimes a fresh perspective will help you see what you might be missing).

Good luck and Thanks for using FixYa!

Please assign a FixYa Rating if you are happy with my solution.....

Feb 01, 2009 | Kenmore 12102

1 Answer

Bobbin on 12102 kenmore


Welcome to FixYa!

Don't mess with the bobbin! They rarely need adjustment. Sloppy bottom stitches usually come from two things. Tension too loose on the tension dial or improper threading.

Dial tension should be set on about the mid range and you must, must, must, make sure that you have the machine in the proper thread patch. Have someone check it with you. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes will help you spot an area that you missed.

Thanks and if you found my solution helpful, please reward me with a FixYa rating.

Sep 26, 2008 | Kenmore 12102

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