20 Most Recent Kenmore 11206 / 11306 / 11506 / 11606 Questions & Answers


My bottom thread is loose when sewing a straight stitch

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.

Ensure sharp new needle,
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.

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

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 !

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.

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.

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 !

....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
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 !?!?!)

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 !)

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 !

2/13/2022 6:23:58 AM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on Feb 13, 2022

How long is sewing thread good for

As long as sewing thread is kept in a dry place - often a biscuit tin or one that has held confectionary is used - then it should remain in good condition for a very long time. I have cotton which is probably 30 years old, and some inherited reels which could be up to 50 years old and which are still in perfect condition.
10/31/2014 11:25:06 PM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on Oct 31, 2014

How to thread upper bobbin on Kenmore 11206

WAY OLD BUT .....slide the bobbin spindle from the left to the right and pull the handwheel out. YOU NEED TO DO BOTH. I never saw this til today hope its not too late!

8/24/2014 1:06:00 AM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on Aug 24, 2014

The cotton jam underneath the garment. How does it come about doing it ? How do i fix this on the Compal Opus machine

First thing I would try is to try to shift the handwheel on the right carefully to see if it would loosen up a little. Next thing would be to get to the screws holding down the needle plate and remove them. Remove the presser foot and the needle from it's clamp. Then slowly try to work the whole thing loose. If you can expose thread underneath the needle plate cut all that you see and try not to cut into the garment. With a little care you should be able to work it loose and out. Don't force anything if you can help it. Particularly the hook surrounding the bobbin case. Too much force and it might be shifted out of time and won't sew right once you get it all clear. good luck. The whole problem may have started from improper threading or upper tension not operational or too loose. Make sure when you rethread that the upper tension is engaged when the presser foot is lowered and loose when the presser foot is raised. Also when you have the needle plate off that the bobbin case is in the proper position so that it can't turn too much only a very little. Just Enough so that the thread can make its way around without catching. Tom
6/2/2014 4:18:16 AM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on Jun 02, 2014

Need to know how to thread 158.19461

email or call these sites a1sewingmachines.com sewvacdoctor.com
5/6/2014 3:56:50 PM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on May 06, 2014

Wider Satin Stitch???

what should the settings for a straight stitch for a kenmore sewing machine be
4/27/2014 6:34:50 PM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on Apr 27, 2014

Why won't my brother model 888 sewing machine , sew in a straight line I can only get it to do a zig zag stitch , I have lost the manual and this is quite an old machine although has been hardly used

The feed dogs under your pressure foot. Take a look. Is one side of the feed dogs worn more? If so you may need to replace your feed dogs. Just use a screwdriver and take out and order them or go to your local sewing machine repair shop and ask for some new ones.
4/26/2014 7:11:27 PM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on Apr 26, 2014

Manuel for Kenmore 385-17828490

You may download a copy of the manual here.
4/12/2013 12:34:21 AM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on Apr 12, 2013

My kenmore sewing machine won't pickup the bobbin thread

if you've tried changing the needle & tryed rethreading the machinethen it's possible that the machine need to have the timing checked
10/15/2012 12:47:01 PM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on Oct 15, 2012

My kenmore sewing machine model 11607090 won't pickup the bobbin thread

try changing the needletry rethreading the machine top & make sure to use every thread guidemake sure the bobbin is turned the right way in the bobbin caseit's also possible that the machine may need to be checked to seeif there is a timing problem
10/15/2012 12:44:20 PM • Kenmore 11206 /... • Answered on Oct 15, 2012
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