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Thread tension question on light vinyl
Bottom thread wonky on lightweight vinyl
beserres
beserres
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Member since 4/17/13
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Date: 5/26/13 9:37 PM

Hello - I am sewing through a very lightweight vinyl, testing out my machine's (baby lock quest) dual feed for using vinyl so I can try out a faux leather bag. I have the upper thread tension set at 7, my machine always seems to need high thread tensions or else the stitch is very loose. The top comes out perfectly straight, but the bottom comes out wonky, all most looking zig zag. It is pretty strong though. Any tips on tensions given the top being ok but the bottom being wonky? Should I play with the bobbin case's tension setting? Tighter or looser?

Thanks!
Ben

beauturbo
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In reply to beserres <<
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Date: 5/29/13 1:12 AM

Maybe it has nothing to do with the thread tension at all, and more to do with the vinyl trying to climb up the needle as sticking to it, or sticking to your stitch plate or even the little needle holes in the vinyl trying to close up and seal up before all the thread can travel though them. I think vinyl can be really kind of a stinker to sew on for lots of different reasons actually. If it was some thin clear vinyl sold off a roll, and had printed tissue paper cut off from it by the yard when you got it, you can use that same tissue paper on top or underneath it too, later even when sewing into it, and sometimes that stops some of that stuff.

Also if sewing it to fabric, having the fabric side down on the feed dogs most times sews better than having it the other way around I think.

Sewing clear thinnish non backed with anything else kind of vinyl on those rolls though just to it's self is something I don't like to do and try to avoid. If I can't avoid it, then I at least sew though some kind of paper, top or bottom or both, and rip that off afterwards. You could try that.

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 5/29/13 10:05 AM

If the stitching is okay with a different fabric without changing the thread, tension or needle, then you may want to try using the layers of tissue.

I was going to suggest a Titanium coated needle, but only if the needle is the only issue.

When you thread the machine, do so with the presser foot up.

When you adjust the tension setting, be sure the presser foot is down.




-- Edited on 5/29/13 10:07 AM --

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to beserres <<


Date: 5/29/13 12:09 PM

Why not try a roller foot? It's made for leather, but it works on vinyl as well.

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deeannb
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Date: 6/3/13 9:37 PM

Most of my sewing experience is on marine vinyl using an industrial walking foot machine. Will your machine have a walking foot attachment? Might change the way the vinyl is feeding through and thus improve the tension differences.

My first thought, with what you described, sounded like loose bobbin thread. If you have a spare bobbin case, try adjusting that one (I hate changing the bobbin tension on the bobbin case I usually use, because you can never seem to get it back to where you want it when you go back to 'usual' material).

Take care with making the thread too tight, and the stitches too short.

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