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Thread: tension on a Kenmore sewing machine

  1. #1

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    I bought a used Kenmore machine, and I am having trouble getting the tension set correct. I have the stitch guide set on 10-12.
    Thanks for your input.
    I really enjoy reading this blog each day.

  2. #2
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Brenda10, what kind of symptoms are your getting? What kind of machine is it? Do you have a manual for it to help you troubleshoot problems, thread it correctly, etc? Does it act up every time you try to sew, or only when you are doing a certain stitch or only when you are trying to sew specific fabrics?

    I know there are lots of people who will help you on this board, but we need a little bit more info to go on. :)

    The general instruction is to set the bobbin tension for the thread you're using in the bobbin.

    Use the right needle in the right size for the thread that you're using on top and thread the machine correctly.

    Balance the needle tension with the bobbin tension so that the two threads are interlocking between the fabrics. You should have a line of even stitches that lie smoothly on each side and no puckering of the fabric. :)

    If you aren't getting this, then describing what the stitches look like will help people figure out what's wrong.

  3. #3

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    Hi!
    The maching is a Kenmore ultra Stitch 6 model 13402.
    I have it properly threaded , and do have the manual. I am sewing cotton, and the upper thread is loose. The book doesn't tell me what the tension should be set on.
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Oh, okay, that's a pretty simple machine and might be easy to figure out. :)

    Try turning the tension dial a couple of numbers lower and see what that does. Then turn it a couple of numbers higher and see what that does. If there is no difference either way, the thread is possibly not seated properly between the two disks or the disks are sticky.

    If the stitching gets better when you turn it a little lower and the stitching on the back still looks good, keep turning it lower and testing until the stitching on the back starts getting loose or loopy. At that point, the tension is too loose, so you would tighten it back up to the loosest setting that gives you a balanced stitch on both sides of the fabric.

    It's possible that the tension on your bobbin case is too low and you may have to tighten that up. There are directions in your manual. If you have a removable bobbin case, I would recommend cleaning out the tension spring on the bobbin case before setting the tension. Even a tiny bit of old lint/oil can keep the spring from applying enough tension to the bobbin thread, even when you tighten the tension screw all the way down.

    Just some things to check out. Let us know what you try and what the stitching looks like. :)

  5. #5
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Sometimes people have taken apart the upper tension mechanism and re-assembled it incorrectly. You may need to hunt online for a manual that shows correct tension assembly and re-do it yourself. However, I'd try everything else first!

    One thing that can affect upper tension is lint. Try "flossing" between the tension discs with *non-waxed* dental floss. A piece of lint or thread caught between the tension discs will keep them further apart, keeping tension too loose.

    Also try looking for another thread guide up above that you might have missed. That can drastically affect tension.

  6. #6

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    I think I have it figured out. I watched a you tube video on threading the maching, and I may have done one step wrong.
    I also saw where the tension was set. I think the sewing is fine now.
    Thanks to all of you.

  7. #7

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    I think I have it figured out. I watched a you tube video on threading the machine, and I may have done one step wrong.
    I also saw where the tension was set. I think the sewing is fine now.
    Thanks to all of you.

  8. #8
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda10
    I think I have it figured out. I watched a you tube video on threading the machine, and I may have done one step wrong.
    I also saw where the tension was set. I think the sewing is fine now.
    Thanks to all of you.
    Congrats on solving the dilemna. I also have (an older) Kenmore machine - getting tension right was an issue when I had lint in bobbin case; glad your problem has been fixed.

  9. #9
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    ressurecting an old thread. I have a kenmore 148.1207. my tension was all wacky. I tried to adjust and I think I put it back together wrong. took it to be fixed and had a new tensioner put on. I have the old one and I think I should be able to fix. I am looking for a service manual that shows the correct assembly. any one have this? I have looked on the web here and came up with our (like it is mine) QB.
    this is my machine
    Attached Images Attached Images Click to view large image 
    😊 wilburness 😊

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