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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Thread tension question ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Thread tension question
beserres
beserres
Intermediate
DC USA
Member since 4/17/13
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Date: 4/28/13 1:52 PM

Hi Everyone - I am having some issues, I believe with my thread tension. I am working on a babylock quest machine. The first picture below is of the bottom stitch, you can see it's kind of wonky and jagged. The second picture is of the top, which looks fine. I've been playing on scraps of this fabric and the same thing happens whether I'm at tension of 4, or 6. Could it be the tension on the bobbin case needs adjusting?

Thanks!
Ben

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/28/13 2:21 PM

I can't really see what the bobbin thread is doing in the first picture. Was this the first time it did this? Has it been ok before now?
There are several things to check before messing with your bobbin tension-it can be tricky and once you start messing with it then you are committed to fixing it. First, though, make sure you have the right needle in the machine and that everything is threaded correctly. Take the bobbin out, the shuttle etc and clean the bobbin area then replace the bobbin correctly. Your manual should have some pictures about tension issues-see what it says and what it recommends. Make any changes in small increments as the smallest change can make a big difference. HTH

beauturbo
beauturbo
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Date: 4/28/13 4:33 PM

I kind of doubt it, as you should not have to change your bobbin case tension screw by your your fabric choice at all each time. Most times if you want a small change you would just change your top tension a bit instead. But it looks like your bottom thread might be a bit loose. My guess is it is that way, now suddenly instead, not because your screw there suddenly changed all by it's self at all though. Maybe you by accident put your bobbin in there flipped the wrong way, with the thread feeding off the opposite direction? Or maybe you got a bunch of thread/fabric lint down in there and time to take your bobbin case out and clean a bit? Maybe check those things out? And then put the top tension back to normal and just see what happens?

Is that the same threads top and bottom? Or is the thread on the bottom, actually larger and more heavy than your top thread?

If in doubt maybe pull that thick heavy nylon bag fabric out of the machine, use two different colors garment sewing thread top and bottom for the thread, (so you can at least see what is happening a bit better) and sew on some firmly woven cotton like that instead. And with a size 12 sharp needle. If all looks perfect that way, then no reason to change your tension screw at all. But it does look like you are sewing over some kind of pretty dense woven and bumpy looking nylon or polyester canvas or something like that. Maybe you also need a new really sharp needle?
-- Edited on 4/28/13 4:33 PM --
-- Edited on 4/28/13 4:44 PM --

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 4/28/13 4:35 PM

The right needle and stitch length according to the fabric. There should be a chart in the manual for your machine.

Tension can be tweaked a bit, make sure the presser foot is down when you do this as when the foot is up the tension is open and may not adjust as well, if at all.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Mufffet
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Date: 4/28/13 10:14 PM

Your two pictures have such a different scale that it is hard to know what the bobbin thread really looks like in reference to the top thread, but I wonder if a little more top tension is all you need there. And perhaps just a tiny bit longer stitch with such a heavy fabric. What are you sewing and what is your fabric? Can you tell us the sewing machine you are using? I love the look of your top stitches! :)

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
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sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/29/13 11:50 AM

Try a larger needle. This fabric looks really heavy.

Sharon Rose
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Date: 4/30/13 7:23 PM

Have you tried increasing your foot pressure? I agree with the comments from others. This looks like heavy fabric. I once had a similar problem and all I needed to do was increase the foot pressure.

missticky2
missticky2
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Date: 5/1/13 4:34 AM

To me it looks like the top thread is coming through to the back. Try tightening your top tension a little and see if that helps.

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Janice

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