Question about Kenmore 11206 / 11306 / 11506 / 11606

3 Answers

My bottom thread is loose when sewing a straight stitch

The bottom thread is loose when sewing a straight stitch. It does not appear to happen with any other stitch, I have been able to complete my project by using a zigzag stitch. I oiled my machine, this improved the overall performance of my machine but did not correct the straight stitch problem. I also tried using differnt fabrics and different tension settings.

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  • Cacheta JeanPierre May 03, 2013

    fabric face up is stitching bottom side is not, is the setting off.

  • Cacheta JeanPierre May 03, 2013

    Thank you it is working.

  • Anonymous Mar 25, 2014

    no stich from top or bottom not sure whats happening

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3 Answers

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  • Kenmore Master
  • 1,388 Answers

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....

My bottom thread is loose when sewing a straight s - 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 Jul 24, 2008

  • Elizabeth Stange Dec 12, 2011

    Thank you, what you say makes sense.

  • Roger Saunders
    Roger Saunders Mar 08, 2015

    Brilliant and most helpful post! Thank Yopu! A lot of very useful tips here. It is possible to have a short bit of thread caught under the bobbin carrier spring, which spoils the tension completely. There are YouTube videos which show how to set the tension properly.

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  • Contributor
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In between the tension & the take up there is a check spring, please make sure the thread goes round the tension then over the check spring then under an other bar then up through the take up then down to the needle. good luck

Posted on Oct 26, 2014

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  • Kenmore Master
  • 5,865 Answers

Usually, if the top thread is not pulling the bobbin thread up into the fabric, the upper tension is too loose. However, if the bobbin thread is taut so the upper thread canNOT pull it up, the bobbin tension is too tight.

The tensions are ideal when both top and bobbin threads meet in the Middle of the fabric.

...

Posted on Nov 29, 2016

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1 Answer

How to adjust the bobbin tension.


According to the manual, you should not need to adjust the bobbin tension (and I located other sites which stated the bobbin tension cannot be adjusted on this machine). Apparently, all the tension adjustment is accomplished through the upper thread::
"EN Thread Tension Upper thread tension Basic thread tension setting: "4". (1) To increase the tension, turn the dial to the next number up. To reduce the tension, turn the dial to the next number down. A. Normal thread tension for straight stitch sewing. B. Thread tension too loose for straight stitch sewing. Turn dial to higher number. C. Thread tension too tight for straight stitch sewing. Turn dial to lower number. D. Normal thread tension for zig zag and decorative sewing. Correct thread tension is when a small amount of the upper thread appears on the bottom side of fabric. Lower thread tension The bobbin tension has been set correctly at the factory, so you do not need to adjust it. Please note: - Proper tension setting is important for strong seams. - There is no single tension setting appropriate for all stitch functions, thread or fabric. - A balanced tension (identical stitches both top and bottom) is usually only desirable for straight stitch construction sewing. - 90% of all sewing will be between "3" and "5". - For zig zag and decorative sewing stitch functions, thread tension should generally be less than for straight stitch sewing. - For all decorative sewing you will always obtain a nicer stitch and less fabric puckering when the upper thread appears on the bottom side of your fabric. 1 A B C 22 D"

Doing further research, I found this statement on a machine review site:
"After reading reviews online from where I've bought my drop-in bobbin machines, I think many of the negative reviews are due to the bobbin thread coming up without laying across the bobbin. It can cause the stitches to look very sloppy and no amount of tension adjusting can fix the stitches."

There are several machine review sites wherein 4423 owners stated their disappointment in the 4423's performance. Some said the machine failed almost immediately and others said the machines developed problems when sewing heavy fabric.

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1 Answer

Bottom thread is still loose even if i try to balance the tension, how do i balance the thread tension?


You bobbin tension CAN be adjusted. First, thread your machine with different colors in the top and bobbin, set your top tension at its default, and run a line of straight, and then a line of zigzag stitches, and compare the results at the top and bottom. You will be adjusting your bobbin to your top tension. If the top tension looks like a straight line instead of stitching and the zigzag looks like "chicken tracks" instead of a zigzag, but the bottom looks like a zigzag, your bobbin tension is too loose.

Remove the bobbin case, and locate the straight-slot screw. There are generally two; one is a Phillips and one is straight--you want the straight one. Leave the other alone.

The rule is "lefty-loosy, righty-tighty." If your stitching displays the above symptoms, it needs to be tightened, so turn 1/4 turn to the right--no more--then test again. You will need patience, but don't turn more than that. It is easy to do, but if you don't do it systematically, you can make things worse, and very slight adjustments can alter the stitching significantly.

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Suggest you do rethreading ,then test the stitches on straight stitch. If top stitches is loose you have to reduce the upper thread tension, if the bottom stitches is loose you have to increase the upper thread tension. Adjust accordingly till you can get a perfect straight stitch. If okay then you can continue your embroidery work.

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Bernina activa 210 won't zigzag and has bobbin issues on straight stitch


it's very possible that the machine is slightly out of time & needs to be service at a sewing machine shop
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did you use every thread guide when threading the machine?
is the bobbin in correctly?
is the bobbin warped?

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If you're getting the bunching of thread on the bottom of your fabric, make sure that you have the machine threaded properly on top. If you pull the thread through the needle with the foot up, you feel little or no resistance. If you put the foot down, the thread should become harder to pull and the needle will bow. If this doesn't happen, the upper tension is not working correctly or is too loose.

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I have a singer 7258 that I can not get the tension to loosen up on. The top stitch is straight across and adjusting dial doesn't help.


Hello

Adjust the tension

Load your sewing machine with one color on top, threaded through the needle. Load the second color thread into the bobbin and thread.


Fold the scrap fabric in half, and sew a straight stitch at least 2 inches long. Look closely at the seam. If you see loops of the bottom color thread on top of the fabric, proceed to Step 3. If you see loops of the top color thread on the bottom of the fabric, proceed to step 4.


Loosen the top tension. Since the top tension is so tight, it is pulling the bottom thread up through the fabric. Loosen the top tension by turning the numbered knob on the front of the sewing machine counterclockwise by one number.


Tighten the top tension. Since the top tension is too loose, the bottom thread is pulling the top thread down through the fabric. Tighten the top tension by turning the numbered knob on the front of the sewing machine clockwise by one number.


Sew a straight stitch 3 inches in length. Check the stitching. It is perfect if the threads meet in the middle, and you can only see the top thread on top and the bottom thread on bottom. If it still needs adjusting, go back to step 2 to repeat the needed steps.


Using two different colored threads makes it easier for you to see which thread is being pulled.

Always use proper precautions when working with electrical machines.

Aug 01, 2011 | Singer Sewing Machines

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How to set to baste


You would select a straight stitch and adjust stitch length to maximum length. And turn down the tension a little.

The Swiss Elnas had a basting plate that you used on a big wide zigzag and it would "miss" hooking the top and bottom threads together on one side so you ended up with a long straight stitch but with plenty of looseness to the seam.

But I've always found a needle and thread by hand is most effective, especially when attaching interlining to a silky fabric or velvet. Machine stitching would creep, but hand sewing would lie flat.

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Stitching problems with my sewing machine


Make sure first of all that you have a perfect needle in and the correct way round, failing that you may need to retime the machine, if you email me I will attach instructions.
drivewithken@blueyonder.co.uk

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1 Answer

Hemming Levi's for husband. Using thick "jean" thread. Used 16 needle. Top stitch is perfect, bottom thread is anything but straight. I've re-threaded, cleaned the "hook", changed to a 14 needle. I...


Hi! Sounds like you're doing everything right to me, so let's see.

By not getting a straight stitch on the bottom, do you mean that the bobbin thread is loopy? If so, then most likely you have to reset the tension. Get a scrap of jeans material and practice on that....it would be great if you could use different color threads on top and in the bobbin, but that might not be practical if you don't have the jeans thread in different colors already.

You'll be adjusting the top tension, because even tho the top stitch looks perfect, it may not be tight enough to pull the bobbin thread up into the fabric where it belongs.

Sew a couple of inches on your scrap, then stop and check the bobbin thread. If it's loopy, you can also see the top thread on the underside. (Which is why using two colors is helpful.) With the pressure foot down, tightened the top tension just a bit. Sew a few more inches and check again. Keep on sewing, checking, and adjusting until you can't see any (or almost any) top threads on the bottom or bobbin threads on top.

Here are a couple of other ideas to check:

1. Make sure your bobbin is inserted correctly. If I happen to put one in backwards by mistake, the bobbin will make a lot of clanking noises.

2. Using your flywheel, lower the needle all the way through the stitch-making process to see if it's hitting anything along the way.

3. Oil your machine.

4. Make sure all the screws etc on your throat plate (also called needle plate) are tight. (I've had mine get loose and that will definitely throw a knock into the works!)

Check out these ideas and let me know if anything works, or if the problem is still there, ok?

Happy Sewing!

Robbie

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Juki HZL-E61: cannot get tension right on straight stitch


Loops on the bottom of the fabric direct the problem to the top thread. Rethread again and make sure the thread goes through the tension discs. Lift the foot, because this is what opens the discs. When sewing and the foot is down, the discs should be closed and thus giving the upper thread the tension it needs.

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