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My Kenmore 1011180 has very sparse stitching and when I pull the piece of fabric away, many threads come out of the machine, as though they are all getting tangled up inside. I got this from a Goodwill so it may require actual repairs....

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6ya6ya
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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dupina
  • 110 Answers

SOURCE: tension

Check your tension disks, with your presser foot up, and the tension dial on zero. Sometimes a piece of cotton breaks off between the tension disks and then prevents the disks to work properly. Also make sure when you thread the machine, the thread does go through the disks and over the take up lever. After you threaded the machine, before putting the thread through the eye of the needle, lower the presser foot and while pulling on the thread with your left hand, increase the tension with your right hand. Do it slowly and you should feel in difference in tension. If this is the case, your machine should work fine.

Posted on Nov 30, 2007

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bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: My Janome my excel 23x

Ensure that all is clean and free of lint jams....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 Tension 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 !

If you want any more help with this, just post back here, or, drop a line through the "Contact Us" page at www.bargainbox.com.au

Posted on Apr 25, 2008

  • 4 Answers

SOURCE: Jammed thread.

To address my needle thread tangling (horribly) in the bobbin compartment, I rethreaded the bobbin. I cleaned the bobbin and the feeder feet, I changed the bobbin and the thread. I changed the tension on the needle thread and the bobbin thread. NO FIX! Then, I changed the needle - the problem was fixed instantly. I sewed awhile and then put the original needle back in. No problem. I think perhaps that the problem is being caused by the needle getting out of alignment somehow during sewing. If you are having the same issue, try it. It can't hurt!

Posted on Sep 15, 2008

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: Tangled thread

Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.

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 !

Posted on Nov 13, 2008

  • 26 Answers

SOURCE: Thread bunching up on bottom of fabric

with all the stuff you say I think that you should try what I do clean it with canned air. Then change the needle you may have a burred or bent needle. and when you clean the machine make sure to use a qtip with oil on it and swab the bobbin holder it may have broken needle piece stuck in it. if after that is done it still not working then adjust the tension taking care to note the positions first.make sure you change only one at a time and put it aback if it doesn't fix the problem and try another position. you may need to try the specialneedle for the fabric (stretchy or jean type)

Posted on Mar 08, 2009

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I want a 1.8 stitch length to paper piece ... I can't figure out how pfaff creative changes to 1.8


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Looks like your machine's stitch length ranges from 0-6 mm. So you are looking at something just under 2 mm--there very possibly is a 1.8 setting on your machine. Basically, your paper piecing instructions are telling you to set the machine to stitch somewhere between ~12 to 14 stitches per inch. The accuracy of 1.8 is Not that important. What they are trying to do is make sure your stitches are close enough together to make it easy to tear away the piecing paper. When using longer stitches for paper piecing, it is sometimes difficult to tear away the paper without pulling the thread stitches. Most garment stitching is set between 10-12 stitches per inch. So you want something just a little closer together, ie more stitches per inch. If you are concerned, try it out on a scrap piece of paper and fabric and try tearing it away. If it works, then that's all you need to use.

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Kenmore 158 17310


Tension is wrong. Set tension in centre position for optimum results. Try resetting bobbin and tension on the machine front. Also, make sure your threading is correct. Thread can also cause problems. Try a different gauge of thread as well. Also, the fabric may be too fine for the tension. Place a piece of tracing paper under fabric to make it more stable. Also check that your foot is down (lever control).

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Thread pulling fabric through feed dogs


Usually when that happens you have the wrong needle plate on for the fabric. Now if you don't have an extra needle plate.... try floating a piece of tissue paper or tear away stabilizer between the fabric and the feed dogs. When the seam is finished just tear away the paper or stabilizer.

Another thing sometimes the problem lies in not having a long enough stitch for the fabric.

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When i do gathers on my machine i use the largest sticth,but the gathers r hard to pull. y/


Stitch length of 4, loosen your top tension by half a number and always pull up the bobbin threads.

If you need to gather yards of fabric then get a gathering foot. Janome make one - it looks like this
10_24_2011_6_57_47_am.jpg

This foot is for creating soft gathers in lightweight fabrics. The underside of the foot is raised behind the needle and has a thick bar in front of the needle to gather the fabric. This works great to create the gathers as you sew. You can also gather and attach a ruffle onto a flat piece of fabric simultaneously, run the flat fabric through the top groove of the foot and the underneath fabric is gathered and stitched to the top piece, you need to keep the bottom piece feeding smoothly though so it takes practice to guide it evenly. Once mastered it is great to ruffle on valances and cushion frills.

Other option is use a ruffler foot, these will make a little ruffle every 12, 6 or 1 stitch so give a set result, and to obtain a more dramatic gather. They look like this.
10_24_2011_7_04_39_am.jpg

The arm of the foot with a C'shape sits over the needle bar of the machine so it is moved up and down to activate the device. The little blade at the front moves backwards at regular intervals forcing a "tuck" of fabric into the feed to be stitched. Again you can ruffle and stitch to straight fabric at once but it is an art to master.

The weight of the fabric you are gathering is obviously the key variable, ginghams and poplins are lightweight so gather easily but if you need to gather something heavy like cordoroy it is going to be a battle and threads may break. If so, stitch two lines of gathers and don't try to do long runs, you'll just break a thread and have to start over.

Another good way is to zig zag over a length of perle cotton, taking care not to actually stitch the pearle at all. You can then gather up the fabric along it, this works well for heavier weights.

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Hello. I hope u can help me. I cannot get my stitching tight? If I pull the thread it comes right out. Thanks Jodie


You need to backstitch over the beginning and end of your stitching, Jodie. When you start out, manually turn the wheel to put the needle into the fabric. Push the foot pedal to stitch forward a little. Now, reverse over those stitches to nearly where you started stitching. Use the foot pedal to go forward again, stitch to where you want to end. Reverse again, just a 1/4 inch or so. Then take the fabric out and cut your stitching.

This backstitching keeps your thread from pulling straight out. You should always use it with straight stitches and general zigzag stitches. Don't use it with decorative or embroidery stitches, though, as it mars the appearance of them. But if you're doing any type of topstitching that uses straight stitches, backstitch in the area that will be in the seam allowance, ever so slightly, or your top stitching will pull out, too.

Hope that helps!

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I am sorry I do not understand your problem. When you say your stitches come apart are you refering to them not meeting at the center of the fabric or when you pull the two pieces of fabric apart you see thread? Is the thread breaking?
Please give me a bit more to go on and I may be able to help.

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Kenmore 385 model Automatic Button Hole Apparatus Jams Thread?


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I have a Kenmore 19606, I have never own a machine that does embroidery stitches, the pattern of the stitches shows on the wrong side of the fabric not the right side. Is this suppose to happen? If not how...


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Loosening the tension (top & bobbin) could also be beneficial.

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