Question about Brother XL-5130 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

I lost my book...

The bobbin thread keeps knotting up...I need to know, what control knob goes to what...I just want to sew in a straight line...

Posted by on

  • CHERIEALFORD Jul 23, 2008



  • Anonymous Mar 31, 2014

    How to change to straight line sewing. As I cann't turn the knob.



1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

  • Brother Master
  • 1,388 Answers

This image should Fixya !!

Also scroll down further to see a guide to tension setting.

I lost my book... - 4fbc7b7.jpg

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 for tension troubleshooting .......

Thissolution is for tension problems...if you cannot form any sort ofstitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me know if you needa 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 sideor 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.

Ifthe looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the toptension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation toallow 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 !

Makesure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so thethread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, includingthe last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.

Itmay be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep themslightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.

Iftensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channelbetween the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presserfoot and remove your thread.

Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strippiece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated ordenatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between thediscs with
a see saw / to and fro action.

In the worstcases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may benecessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zeroand the presser foot is raised, (to
disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.

Farless common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbintension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be givinga "false" tension.

I would not recommend fiddling with bobbintension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screwsand 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....

justtake it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook racewith a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount oflint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.

Then wipeall this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked)with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirtydeposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.

If itseems likely that you ......really .....actually adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped inthe 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, is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, butvery gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or yourisk tearing your hair out !

....this is abobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similarfashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantleit, take care so you can put it all
back properly.
Whenyou are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, setthe top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you justbegin to feel resistance.

Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.

Setyour zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjustthe bobbin tension screw very little at
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.

Youmay find you are playing with this balance for some little while and ifyou are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think itcannot be correct to do is,
and eventually, youdo get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens a user you won't be doing it very often unless there islint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)

Ifyou live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc withmetalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few smallpackets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine case ? then make some sort of cover !

Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.

Budgetfor a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavilyused) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware thatold oil will dry out and combining with
dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)

Ifit is worth spending the time, energy and money on making somethingthat you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, may seem to cost a little more at the
time, but theresults, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, andas a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between,because there is a more consistent diameter with good thread, and lesscompensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !

Posted on Jul 23, 2008


1 Suggested Answer



Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.

Here's a link to this great service

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Goes into zigzag when straight line sewing

it depends on the name brand of the machine, call some sewing machine repair shops tell them what it doing and ask about repair prices and then decide what to do .

May 25, 2015 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Why does my thread knot on the back when stitching in place?

Several things to try:
Pull thread tails (both bobbin thread and upper thread) straight back and when you lower the presser foot, make sure they are held down straight back. This may or may not be enough to solve the problem, but it is simple to try, and often works. You might want to hold the thread tails while you start sewing.
Use a starter--folded piece of fabric scrap about an inch long--and begin sewing oink middle of starter. Push the fabric you want to see right up to the starter and keep sewing from the starter right onto your project without lifting the presser foot or cutting the thread. When you finish sewing, cut the little piece of thread between the starter and your project.
Before lowering presser foot, use wheel to lower your needle once and then pull up bobbin thread to top surface of your project. Then hold both bobbin and upper thread tails, lower your presser foot, and begin sewing. Release the thread tails after a few stitches.
Hope this helps. Those nasty "thread nests" are a real pain.

Jul 13, 2014 | Janome Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How to controle loose stich

Check he tension on thread and on the bobbin. If you can see THE KNOT ON THE FACE OF MATERIAL then try loosening thread tension on top or tighten bobbin tension so stitch meets in the middle. May take a couple of tries to get it straight.

Mar 07, 2014 | Janome Sewist 525S Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

Trouble shooting

its the tensioner knob turn it a little bit till the stitch is back to the way its suppose\ed to be, don't turn the knob a lot ust a hair a little AT a time try the stitch each time you turn it to see if the stich is tight again. The knob has numbers on it you have to d this in straight stich setting

Apr 28, 2017 | Sew D'Lite Lightweight Portable Mechanical...

2 Answers

Drop in bobbin on singer 6234 will not thread empty Bobbiin thread winds around underside od bobbin

try using a different bobbin and see if that helps, if it doesn't
then the machine may need to be checked to see if there is
something wrong with the hook and the hook race.

Nov 29, 2012 | Janome Jem Silver 662 Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

Can't set the tension on needle or bobbin to match

1. make sure your machine is threaded right.2. set the tension between 3 and 4 and play with the tension as you need it to adjust it.3. make sure the bobbin is threaded right.make sure to visit the site below; it has solutions to multiple problems and instructions how to thread the needle or bobbin. Good luck.htt://Fix Looping/Knotting Thread Fix Knotting/Bunching Thread Looping Bunching & Knotting Thread

Aug 03, 2011 | Euro-Pro 1260DX Mechanical Sewing Machine

2 Answers

Bobbin thread keeps knotting

1. Do you mean that there are knots in the bobbin thread?
2. Is the bottom thread in your stitching looping and knotting.

If yes to 1. you need to rewind your bobbin fresh, and keep slight tension on the thread reel that you are winding it from. Put the handle of your scissors into the top of the reel to apply a gentle pressure while winding. Keep your eye on the bobbin as it winds and give it a nudge with a finger tip to ensure it winds the bobbin evenly top, middle and bottom.

If yes to 2, then you need to check your bobbin threading, is the thread even under tension. Is the bobbin tension set correctly. Break out your manual and revisit this to ensure it is set correctly.

Feb 27, 2011 | Brother XL-5340 Mechanical Sewing Machine

2 Answers

Singer 301a sewing machine does not sew for more than 2 thread just knots into a huge ball on bottom of fabric...everything is threaded correctly and all tension set step is trash...

Recheck the top thread and bobbin tension for equal balance of thread when sewing. The knotting of thread problem is usually because the tensions are too tight or too loose and/or thread may not be properly threaded. Another reason is when the bobbin thread is wind imbalanced it will cause the thread to knot-up when sewing. This problem is notorious when the bobbin is winded within the bobbin case on some machines. The bobbin thread need to be wind smoothly in the bobbin to avoid this problem.

Jan 24, 2010 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

The thread knots up under the feed dog on about the second stitch

hi! well, you can try to set up your thread accurately followed this
53de094.jpg fig.bobbins se up of thread.the thread should be clockwise rotation coming out to bobbins casing,insert thread on slot to acquired bobbins tension.after setting up you insert your bobbins on shuttle set up your upper thread tension.on fig is just a sample.9cbc7d3.jpg follow the red thread set, try this on single straight sewing with dial stich set up to # 8 range to #17,Dial tension to # 3. use cotton/polyester foe sample sewing. try on hand maual sewing first several time before applying foot pedal to avoid needle breakage,

Mar 17, 2009 | New Home L-373 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Upper thread knots up with bobbin thread when sewing a stich

Thread test
Test your thread quality to start, thread your machine and LIFT the presser foot (this opens the tension disks). Pull your top thread straight back. If you feel no tension no mater how much thread you pull, your thread is good. If that your machine passes that test, then let me know, we can go to step 2. If not, try different spool of thread, same test until you get a smooth pull (tip: always check your thread this way when you thread your machine)
Step 2:
Pull on your threaded bobbin thread while it’s in the machine. Does it pull smooth and even? If so, go to step 3. If not, try a new bobbin (bobbins get bent or distorted if wound too tight).
Clean thoroughly in the hook and bobbin case area and oil 1-2 drop is all.
Thread knotting on the bobbin can be a lot of things but here's some guidance:
If the thread is loose on the bottom of the fabric, it's actually the top thread is too loose. Think of 2 little elves playing tug of war in your machine, one on toip and one underneath. If you have loops on bottom, the top needs to pull harder (tighten top tension)
Jamming bobbin case:
If it is damaged from turning out of place once, it could have rough spots on it that makes the thread hang on it, and keeps making it turn over and over. Use a finger nail board (fine sanding) and smoothall rough spots. Then reset the bobbin case taking care to put the notch in the bobbin case in alignment with the proper spot in the machine (basically 5 o’clock) when looking at the round area where the bobbin case goes.

Mar 16, 2009 | Sewing Machines

Not finding what you are looking for?
Brother XL-5130 Mechanical Sewing Machine Logo

150 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Brother Sewing Machines Experts

Irene Tulloch

Level 2 Expert

498 Answers

Douglas Plant
Douglas Plant

Level 2 Expert

222 Answers


Level 1 Expert

19 Answers

Are you a Brother Sewing Machine Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides