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What tension for sewing silk? - PfaFF Sewing Machines

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Tally Girl
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SOURCE: I am sewing on 100%polyester silk and using a 65

I would suggest that you don't use reverse to lock stitches at the beginning and end of the seam and try to ease out the puckering on the seam after stitching it.

Then press each seam on both sides with a dry iron, silk setting then press it open, you should be able to ease the stitching a little.

Use a size 70 sharp needle and wind your bobbin very carefully, please read my tip on bobbin winding, if you wind it with jerks, you'll get uneven tensioned thread, this then relaxes when stitched out and will cause puckering.
Use Gutterman polyester thread or something similar quality.
Use a metal presser foot with maximum coverage onto the fabric and feed dogs. Stitch length 2. Take top tension down to 4.

You may also need to stitch with a strip of stitch and tear stabiliser if the fabric is very fine and silky, put it on the underside, stitch, then tear it away.

Lastly, if its a while since your machine was serviced, then it may be time, the top tension device may need a clean and calibration.

Posted on Nov 23, 2011

  • 65 Answers

SOURCE: Sewing very fine silk

You can try adjusting your stitch length this may solve the problem right away.
It could be the thread your using, I have had to switch threads before. Rewind your bobin, sometimes issues can occur by a poorly wound bobin.
You can also try to use a different foot (my machine comes with a satin stitch foot)and or slow the speed of your feed dog.
Sometimes a very fabric does need some sort of backing, a tear away, or wash away might be your only answer.
I hope this helped.

Posted on Jan 24, 2009

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How do I sew on a silky material. Does the tension need to be changed?

Generally, every time a project is changed, the machine may need to be tweaked. When sewing finer fabrics like chiffon, silk, the presser foot pressure needs to be adjusted, the needle should be smaller (and a fresh needle), the thread lighter weight, and the tension adjusted so the top & bobbin threads meet in the middle of the fabric. When sewing finer fabrics, the fabric will sometimes pucker. In that case, setting the stitch length shorter and possible adding paper (like tissue paper or fabric stabilizer) to the fabric sandwich will provide enough body to prevent the puckering.

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Jul 05, 2017 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

My new machine sewed fine in cotton material, but I am having trouble sewing on a silky top.

Machine settings usually need to be re-adjusted when the project materials change, ie the needle size & type, the type/weight of thread, the presser foot pressure, the thread tension, the stitch length, etc. Sewing woven cotton is very different from sewing silk or chiffon. Test on scraps of the fabric before actually sewing on the garment. Even adding tissue paper to the stitching will help prevent fabric puckering.

Top 10 Tips for Sewing With Silk

How To Sew With Silk And Silklike Fabrics

Jul 05, 2017 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Elna machine puckers silk on zig zag stitching, Elna 2007

Yes, because a zig zag stitch is creating a wide stitch and the tension on the thread is going to pull the fabric within the seam together, you can't seam thin fabric with a wide zig zag. It will "tunnel together". If you are using this stitch to neaten a raw edge, then try using the serpentine or three step zig zag where the needle pierces the fabric 3 times in each leg of the zig zag, this will give better results.

Jul 07, 2015 | Elna Sewing Machines

3 Answers

Too many threads coming up from the bobbin

try rethread the machine top & bobbin
change the needle
clean under the needle plate & in the bobbin area for lint & loose

Aug 04, 2012 | Brother LS-2125 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

What setting do i use for working with silk on a brother xr52 don't have manual

You can download the manual for your machine from the Brother site, link is

There are lots of weights of silk fabric but I'll assume you are working with something soft and silky like a silk charmeusse or silk georgette.

You need to stitch seams with a straight stitch and use a new sharp needle size 70 or even 60. Change the needle every 4-6 sewing hours or if you hear squeaking or popping; throw away the blunt one.

Use a quality polyester thread like Guttermann, Mettler, or Metryosene. Start with stitch length on 2.5 and stitch width zero (straight stitch). The normal metal presser foot is probably best for this. If the fabric is see through you may wish to do french seams to encase the raw edges. This is where you sew wrong sides together, then turn and stitch right sides together, if you have never done this instructions are here

Also pay carefull attention to your bobbin winding, my tip for this is here
as winding the bobbin smoothly and evenly is essential to quality stitched seams.

Always press every seam as you sew, dry iron, silk setting. Press each side of the seam, then press the seam allowances open, this sets the stitches into the fabric.

If you find that the seam is pulling up you can try loosing off the top tension by a half number (turn it down to loosen) and shorten up the stitch length a fraction to 2.2 or so. But you don't want it too small as if you need to "unsew" ie unpick, you'll never see the thread.

Use a lighweight interfacing if the pattern requires it; I'd use a fusible but very lightweight such as Pellon Featherweight.

Happy sewing.

Sep 02, 2011 | Brother VX808 Sewing machine

1 Answer

Im using a free mashine foot to do embordery work and i cant get the tension setting right. ive tried all the diffrent settings and the stitch seems really loose when i sow. how do i get the setting...

First make sure you have a good quality cotton thread. I like to use Mettler silk finish 50 weight natural color. Start by sewing a straight stitch on two layers of light cotton fabric. You should have a tension the looks the same on both sides of the fabric when you sew. Adjust the tensions, if nessesary, and then try a sample on a practice sandwich. You might have to increase the top tension just slightly.

Apr 24, 2011 | Janome 4623 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

I hv usha flora sewing machine.. when i try to stich silk clothes i set my machine for the stiching by the given nob.. but then also the machine does not function properly i mean there is no lock-n-lock of...

Are you saying that the stitches are not locking and that you can pull the thread out easily from the seam?

If so, its a tension issue, check that the bobbin thread is clicked into the tension spring, when you pull on it it should be firm but let you pull it out gently.

Check that you have a new sharp small needle in, size 60 or 70 for silks and flat shank to the back. Push it fully up into the needle holder and do up the needle thumb screw.

Rethread the machine, and test sew again.

I hope this helps you a little. Your machine model is not available in my country but this is general advise for all machines.

Mar 09, 2011 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have a brother XL-2600, I have used many sewing machines and never had any problems with getting the tension right, but with this machine, the tension is never right. I have bought the best thread, I...

Sounds like you have tried everything possible, be sure you are using an anti static needle on the delicate fabrics, if that does not work it really does mean fiddling with the tensions until you get it dead right

Nov 06, 2009 | Brother XL-2600

1 Answer

In what order do i put the tension assembly together

Probably the most important contol on your machine is this one that regulates your top thread tension there are reason for having to reset your tension.Classified your fabric that you are using there are several set up of tension in every fabric that you use.Cotton fabric is most easier other than silk fabric make a record on this set up.The required tension depend upon the stiffness of the fabric,thickness,layer of rabric to be sewn and required stitches.Try cotton fadric turn tension dial to N0. 3 and Stitch set to from 8 to 12 defend to what is nice to you.

Mar 07, 2009 | Necchi Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Sewing very fine silk

You can try adjusting your stitch length this may solve the problem right away.
It could be the thread your using, I have had to switch threads before. Rewind your bobin, sometimes issues can occur by a poorly wound bobin.
You can also try to use a different foot (my machine comes with a satin stitch foot)and or slow the speed of your feed dog.
Sometimes a very fabric does need some sort of backing, a tear away, or wash away might be your only answer.
I hope this helped.

Jan 24, 2009 | Elna Sewing Machines

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