Tension is A Breeze

I hope that you have just the right amount of tension for your machine and your life.  Too little tension is not good and too much tension is bad for both of you.  Without tension, your machine would not work.  Without a little tension, your life doesn't work either.  That is enough of that.

Your machine does not need Valium, it needs to be understood. . .

I remember the first time I had thread nesting under my new machine.  It got so bad that it was firmly in the opening of the needle plate.  It took me a while to get it cleared and remove all of snips, snails and puppy dog tails left behind.  As much as I loved to sew, I am no seamstress!!!  So, I had never seen anything like it and figured that I ruined the embroidery machine. 

Here are a few things that I have found, again around the Net and through discussions with other embroidery enthusiasts.  Nothing is ever chiseled in granite, but here are some things to check when tension just is not right.

Sewing and embroidery are NOT the same.  They both have a needle, thread and bobbin, but the similarity pretty much ends there. 

The top thread is looping -

The top tension is too loose and/or the bobbin tension is too tight. 

Changing one may or may not help.  That can become an issue because you may feel like it should be OK but you still have a loop.  In any misstep, it can be multiple things, so you may want to adjust as you progress to have the tension work its way through correctly. 

Machine is not threaded correctly. Don't just look at the path, I recommend cutting the thread near the spool and pulling the thread out through just above the needle.  That gives the opportunity for any 'lint' left in the thread path to be history.  Rethread and if the machine is new to you, be sure to check the manual, there is always a chance that there is something unique about the threading.

Top thread is fraying -

The needle is nearly always the issue on this one.

The needle is too small for the thread weight.  Been there, done that!!!  I nearly lost my mind on this simple one. 

The thread is too old/dry.   

When your favorite jeans get too worn, they fray, duh!  On this issue, I have used the silicon spray that is available in the automotive area of your store to spray the spool and let it dry for about 2 minutes.  This gives the thread time to absorb the silicon, which dries quickly and does not change the color or leave any sort of mark. 

You can try peeling off the top most layer of thread to expose the underneath thread which is likely not to be as dry.

Toss the thread, it is not good for much unless you cut and set it out for the birds to 'feather their nests' with it.  Some colors may make a charming nest!

Thread is 'bird nesting' (clumping) under the throat plate and/or embroidery.

Check for extra threads hanging around the bobbin area.  Thread uses this slogan 'tell two friends, and they tell two friends . . . and soon there is a party!' I personally have used a flashlight to see because they don't have to be large or easy to see, they just have to 'be.' 

Rethread your machine.  Somehow, thread can work its way out of the tension bars. They have been trained by professional acrobats, they can jump out of a tension wheel.

Check your bobbin, it can be out of the tension.  Additionally, use the corner of a piece of paper to slide under the side 'cover' to remove any lint.

 

 

 

 

Ever forget to put your bobbin back in after refilling??  Ahem, I have done that too!

Top thread is breaking

The top thread break is a common issue.  Remember that all these suggestions are just that, suggestions.  Additionally, you may have something that worked that is not shown here.  If so, please do give us that info.  We need to learn from each other.

Using too much spray adhesive or the adhesive on your stabilizer is just hanging around on your needle. Ann's stabilizers will NEVER do this!  Goo is an offender and just taking your index finger and thumb, run them through your hair, close to the scalp, and wipe the needle.  It may take multiple times but is a simple repair.  After all, you should not have to go looking for your head and fingers. . .

The needle plate could have a burr or other issue that is catching the thread.  Check it out with a magnifying glass for the best results.

Dry/old thread, (see the fraying instructions above).

Bobbin thread is showing on the top side.

Bobbin thread positioning for embroidery is really different from bobbin thread positioning for sewing:

 

 

 

Top thread is tangled - Some spools actually can catch, even if you reverse it (up to down).  If you notice your thread, occasionally you will see it be not very straight in its path.  That can cause thread to land where it does not belong.

Top and/or bottom tension needs to be adjusted.  When your machine is running perfectly, make sure you review the tension via pulling with your fingers so you know what the correct tension feels like. Different fabrics need different tension. 

The bobbin could be in backwards.  Some are clockwise and some counter clockwise loading. 

Prewound bobbins are an excellent deal.  They hold a great deal more thread and have even tension.

 

Lastly - I cannot believe it, but this begins my 5th year doing this blog!  My first blog was on 5/9/2008.  I treasure each one of my readers.  You make me feel that sharing with you is valuable to you, even if it is just to see what project I am working on.  I wish you all great embroidery and a terrific life journey for you and yours.  Thank you so much for being a part of my world!

Comments (3) -

Congratulations Pat!


You do an amazing job. Your valable help, tips, ideas, and projects benefit everyone who embroiders, from novice to experienced.


Time sure does fly, dosen't seem like it was 5 years ago that we were all in Orlando.


Marge in Fl.


Thank you sewblest!


Marsuz, I know, it was a great time and it would be wonderful if we could do it again.  Orlando was so much fun!!!


Pat


Please login to comment
Galleries
 by 
Sort By:  Items Per Page: 
db1921
db1921
08/13/2016
pat71896
pat71896
08/12/2014
llcarr
llcarr
08/12/2014
sunrai
sunrai
08/12/2014
sonnyperry
sonnyperry
08/12/2014
rnh
rnh
08/12/2014
lself1
lself1
08/12/2014
dreamstitcher
dreamstitcher
08/12/2014
cettlb
cettlb
08/12/2014
macsandy
macsandy
08/12/2014
grammy12
grammy12
08/12/2014
kathlene
kathlene
08/12/2014
lozanito2003
lozanito2003
08/12/2014
tnmomaw
tnmomaw
08/12/2014
annthegran
annthegran
08/12/2014
alssweetheart
alssweetheart
08/12/2014
ladenaclark
ladenaclark
08/12/2014
sewwhat2
sewwhat2
08/12/2014
debgamble
debgamble
08/12/2014
pattiann
pattiann
08/12/2014
carol
carol
08/12/2014
alyce48
alyce48
08/12/2014
sparkymom
sparkymom
08/12/2014
kathrynestry
kathrynestry
08/12/2014
thepegster
thepegster
08/12/2014
darklighter
darklighter
08/12/2014
randiohdesigns
randiohdesigns
08/12/2014
bethlang
bethlang
08/12/2014
photobee
photobee
08/12/2014
wagsmom
wagsmom
08/12/2014
grandmabeverly
grandmabeverly
08/12/2014
karihentzelt
karihentzelt
08/12/2014
valerigail
valerigail
08/12/2014
dianagirly
dianagirly
08/12/2014
dnadryad
dnadryad
08/12/2014
hon3yb
hon3yb
08/12/2014
momofthecrazy4
momofthecrazy4
08/12/2014
ddrgnldy
ddrgnldy
08/12/2014
janel
janel
08/12/2014
cindyb3
cindyb3
08/12/2014
2boysmom
2boysmom
08/12/2014
terryf
terryf
08/12/2014
absolutartist1
absolutartist1
08/12/2014
athenagwis
athenagwis
08/12/2014
marnel
marnel
08/12/2014
pcisneros1
pcisneros1
08/12/2014
sarahwhithers
sarahwhithers
08/12/2014
jalcumbrack
jalcumbrack
08/12/2014
hammockhanger
hammockhanger
08/12/2014
roberthomas
roberthomas
08/12/2014
tourlady522
tourlady522
11/11/2016
marsuz
marsuz
08/12/2014
borden47
borden47
08/12/2014
marciaelaine
marciaelaine
08/12/2014
apex
apex
08/12/2014
terryboc
terryboc
08/12/2014
clarkp10
clarkp10
08/12/2014
jsewnsew
jsewnsew
08/12/2014
mjb125m
mjb125m
08/12/2014
cherita
cherita
08/12/2014
diannalynne
diannalynne
08/12/2014
motheraunt
motheraunt
08/12/2014
maldonmum
maldonmum
08/12/2014
kitty1948
kitty1948
08/12/2014
rettabean
rettabean
08/12/2014
r_moore1@msn.com
r_moore1@msn.com
08/12/2014
tastic
tastic
08/12/2014
jamiedenise
jamiedenise
08/12/2014
pewtertm
pewtertm
08/12/2014
naughtsncrosses
naughtsncrosses
08/12/2014
amystoffel
amystoffel
08/12/2014
jojo99
jojo99
08/12/2014
chbranch
chbranch
08/12/2014
sweetiepie
sweetiepie
08/12/2014
tnchick
tnchick
08/12/2014
junglemom
junglemom
08/12/2014
realrach
realrach
08/12/2014
smileyscrap8
smileyscrap8
08/12/2014
ktullossdc
ktullossdc
08/12/2014
stacycarlson
stacycarlson
08/12/2014
terebinthtree
terebinthtree
08/12/2014
sarahmeyer
sarahmeyer
08/12/2014
kristmess
kristmess
08/12/2014
isabelmendez
isabelmendez
08/12/2014
princesssophie
princesssophie
08/12/2014
michellepieters
michellepieters
08/12/2014
robinb
robinb
08/12/2014
starwarsfans
starwarsfans
08/12/2014
designerlaura
designerlaura
08/12/2014
acmdesignz
acmdesignz
08/12/2014
madae
madae
08/12/2014
ccmentor
ccmentor
08/12/2014
lynncal
lynncal
08/12/2014
tinamf55
tinamf55
08/12/2014
jessicadixon
jessicadixon
08/12/2014
nancyc
nancyc
08/12/2014
jacc
jacc
08/12/2014
debbiescraps
debbiescraps
08/12/2014
bjella
bjella
08/12/2014
photocrazy
photocrazy
08/12/2014
mommiakai
mommiakai
08/12/2014
traeumerin
traeumerin
08/12/2014
seestern
seestern
08/12/2014
wmnwrtr
wmnwrtr
08/12/2014
physioscrapper
physioscrapper
08/12/2014
makabe
makabe
08/12/2014
sarahellen7768
sarahellen7768
08/12/2014
jenmaceyunas
jenmaceyunas
08/12/2014
flcindy
flcindy
08/12/2014
shanns
shanns
08/12/2014
phatellie
phatellie
08/12/2014
susanne79
susanne79
08/12/2014
donnatopia
donnatopia
08/12/2014
mmbbear
mmbbear
08/12/2014
thecomputerist
thecomputerist
08/12/2014
davesthreadart
davesthreadart
08/12/2014
nicc79
nicc79
08/12/2014
jeanie78
jeanie78
08/12/2014
cat44
cat44
08/12/2014
belindaadkins
belindaadkins
08/12/2014
jackieforzone
jackieforzone
08/12/2014
vorstermariaan
vorstermariaan
08/12/2014
nana2sew12
nana2sew12
08/12/2014
mashby2
mashby2
08/12/2014
stitchwitch53
stitchwitch53
08/12/2014
jcalkins
jcalkins
08/12/2014
lslscrapper
lslscrapper
08/12/2014
missdamsel
missdamsel
08/12/2014
khalgren77
khalgren77
08/12/2014
lisamariemlt
lisamariemlt
08/12/2014
alliscraps
alliscraps
08/12/2014
iamkate
iamkate
08/12/2014
pyralis
pyralis
08/12/2014
kimjohnson
kimjohnson
08/12/2014
sweetscraps
sweetscraps
08/12/2014
twinsmomflor
twinsmomflor
08/12/2014
sassynsweet
sassynsweet
08/12/2014
sunnie2004
sunnie2004
08/12/2014
melindah
melindah
08/12/2014
kraftycat
kraftycat
08/12/2014
colie
colie
08/12/2014
djw818
djw818
08/12/2014
tamerkins
tamerkins
08/12/2014
boilerbabe
boilerbabe
08/12/2014
fong33
fong33
08/12/2014
rhondogg
rhondogg
08/12/2014
bbsue@btconline.net
bbsue@btconline.net
08/12/2014
llinda
llinda
08/12/2014
shabbyshaz
shabbyshaz
08/12/2014
pcochran
pcochran
09/13/2014
candicew
candicew
08/12/2014
scrapmel
scrapmel
08/12/2014
mtorresusa
mtorresusa
08/12/2014
mkcdaisy
mkcdaisy
08/12/2014
suemary
suemary
08/12/2014
kt3234
kt3234
08/12/2014
AccuQuilt
sewblest
08/13/2014
Applique
sewblest
08/13/2014
Comforters
grammy410
11/03/2014
Embroidered Bible Book Covers
grammy410
11/01/2014
Christmas ornaments
grammy410
11/03/2014
In the Hoop
brabysd
03/27/2015
Embroidered Quilts
brabysd
03/27/2015
Projects
atgadmin
10/12/2016
jlo
jlo
05/28/2016
BUTTERFLY QUILT
jlo
05/28/2016
Freestanding Applique
sewblest
05/30/2017
Holiday Projects
sewblest
05/30/2017