Frequent question: How do I know if my sewing machine has the right tension?

What tension should my sewing machine be on?

The dial settings run from 0 to 9, so 4.5 is generally the ‘default’ position for normal straight-stitch sewing. This should be suitable for most fabrics. If you are doing a zig-zag stitch, or another stitch that has width, then you may find that the bobbin thread is pulled through to the top.

What does correct sewing machine tension look like?

A correct thread tension looks smooth and flat on both sides of the seam. The needle and bobbin threads interlock midway between the surfaces of the material.

How do I know if my bobbin tension is correct?

The thread should unwind just slightly and the bobbin case should drop an inch or two. If the thread unwinds without resistance and the case slips to the floor, your bobbin tension is too loose. If the bobbin case doesn’t budge, your bobbin tension is too tight.

How do I know if my tension is too high?

If there are loops on the right side (red thread with black loops), the upper thread tension is too tight. If there are loops on the bottom side (black thread with red loops), the bobbin thread tension is too tight.

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Why is my thread bunching underneath?

A: Looping on the underside, or back of the fabric, means the top tension is too loose compared to the bobbin tension, so the bobbin thread is pulling too much top thread underneath. By tightening the top tension, the loops will stop, but the added tension may cause breakage, especially with sensitive threads.

What tension should Jeans be set at?

Tension is ideal up to 6, but is too high after that and pulls the top stitch into a flat line. Regular thread, bobbin thread view. The bobbin stitches clear up around 6 but don’t improve much after that.

What should the tension be on a Brother sewing machine?

The standard tension setting is 4. Start with this, and based on what your test stitching looks like, tighten the tension (below 4) or loosen it (above 4). Typically on Brother machines, to loosen the upper thread tension, turn the dial left. To tighten it, turn the dial right (source).

How do you tighten thread tension?

Turning the screw a tiny bit counterclockwise will loosen the bobbin tension; turning it clockwise will tighten the tension. Some quilters keep two bobbin cases on hand, leaving one as-is from the factory and using the other when they need to make adjustments.

What tension should I use for thin fabric?

The standard tension setting on most sewing machines is 5, which is ideal for the majority of fabrics, you will need to set it tighter for lightweight fabrics such as silk and chiffon and looser for heavier fabrics such as denim or canvas.

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Why can’t I sew a straight line?

Since the needle is constantly moving, you will not sew straight if you watch it as you stitch. The seam guide does not move so it’s much better to focus there as your fabric moves along, resulting in much straighter seams.

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