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Adjusting Sewing Machine Tension

I need some help with my new small sewing machine my mum bought me for Christmas. I'm having trouble with the tension in the bottom bobbin. How can I get the right tension when there is no guide for the thread to even out on the bobbin when you start a new one, I just use my finger?


As when I was sewing, the bottom of the material had small loops and the bobbin thread was not taking up in sections. I've tightened the tension guide for the top one but that doesn't seem to help. Can anyone help me please as I don't want to give it up and lose interest? I hope this makes sense.

Lambchop from Western Australia


Adjusting Sewing Machine Tension

I used to know more details on how to do this but I'll give it a try. You could also call your local sewing machine retailer for help.

The thread in the bobbin makes loops on the bottom of the material. You do not want loops that stick up, that means you don't have enough tension. Nor do you want loops that pull too much, that means you have too much tension. You want loops that are firm and are flat on the material. If your bottom thread is breaking you might have too much tension in the bobbin. Release a little tension.


You might also be using cheap thread. I compared thread from the dollar store and from a sewing store. The sewing store thread was much thicker and stronger, and well worth the extra money (1.75 us for 1 spool). I could break the dollar store thread with my bare hands.

Likewise with the needle, it makes loops on top of the material. You want firm, but not puckering loops. (01/17/2007)

By bulrush

Adjusting Sewing Machine Tension

It sounds to me like your bobbin tension is to loose. You need to tighten it. Did you get a manual with your machine? If so, look under "tightening bobbin tension". There's a little screw on the bobbin case, turn it to the right a little at a time. Sew a seam and check the stitches after each tightening.

I hope you understand this, maybe there is someone out there that can explain this to you better than I can. I hope I've helped. (01/17/2007)


By msettamae2

Adjusting Sewing Machine Tension

I agree that you should check in the manual that came with the machine. If the machine was not purchased new and there was no manual, do a search online for the brand of machine that you have, and you might be able to find a manual to order, or one to download. The screw on the bobbin casing, as stated in the other post, is probably what you need to adjust, depending on the brand of machine. (01/17/2007)

By teachpad

Adjusting Sewing Machine Tension

One thing I've discovered with my Bernina is that I can't usually use thread from the same spool on the top and in the bottom. I have tension problems - discovered the solution by accident. Give that a try and see what happens. (01/18/2007)

By Marlene

Adjusting Sewing Machine Tension

Have you tried to load your bobbins with more even feeding, even if you have to use your fingers to help it out? Try to do it evenly, because it can cause unequal bobbin threading sometimes if unevenly tight on the bobbin.


Also, you just MIGHT have the bobbin in backwards. Try reversing it if you cannot find the manual or help otherwise. I've taken machines completely apart and replaced every single piece in cleaning and oiling, etc. but it's been over thirty years since I did it. The manual on a similar model might work, if all else fails. You might find one on the Internet. God bless you. : ) (01/20/2007)

By lyndagayle62

Adjusting Sewing Machine Tension

Hello to everyone who helped me with your tips. I found out that the bobbin was the wrong way around and I didn't know there was a right and wrong way, but there is. I also found afterward I have to sew in short spurts as the top thread gets caught around the needle arm and gets tight to the point of stopping the machine and then it knots up on the back. It took me all this time to work it out and I nearly gave up and passed the machine to my partner to use as spare parts, that would have been a shame! So thank you once again to everyone who replied.:-) (01/30/2007)


By Lambchop Western Australia

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