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Thread: Singer 201 Reverse Sewing Tension Issues

  1. #1
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    Singer 201 Reverse Sewing Tension Issues

    I recently bought a Singer 201 in very good shape, although I am not sure when it was serviced. It seems very clean and I don't have any problem sewing with it in forward, but when I put it in reverse, the bobbin thread becomes very loose and actually forms small loops. Adjusting the needle tension to 0 almost eliminates the problem, but I don't think I should have to adjust the tension when I sew in reverse?

    I would appreciate any advice.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Brynn's Avatar
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    Are you sure it's the bobbin thread? If it's looping on the back, it's likely actually the top thread. Try cleaning out the needle tension area, even take it apart if you're feeling brave enough. Also try increasing your top tension, see if that settles things out.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your advice. I'll try taking the needle tensioner apart - I found instructions online

    The loops are on the top which, of course, doesn't pull the needle thread down to the fabric. I am experimenting with it and found that I don't have the problem when I folded over an old pillowcase a few times to increase the thickness of the material.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Brynn's Avatar
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    Ah, yes, then it's definitely the bobbin tension. I'd give it a good cleaning, and add a drop of oil where the bobbin spins on the case.

  5. #5
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    I'm preparing to clean the bobbin area - not looking forward to it - and wondering why the problem only happens in reverse?

  6. #6
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    Hi Claire, I doubt it has anything to do with the bobbin tension, so please do not re-adjust it! If the bobbin tension was off, it would be off in both forwards and reverse. If it's only off in reverse, it's either a feeding issue or something with the check spring.

    To explain: When you place a machine in reverse, the only thing that actually changes is the direction of the feed
    dogs, which start going backwards. But both the upper tension mechanism and the bobbin tensions stay the same, they do not (and can not) themselves go backwards or do anything different than they do when the machine is set in the forward direction.

    In other words, if the machine is stitching well in the forward motion, they ought to do the exact same in reverse--provided the reverse feeding motion is exactly the same. If it's not the same, it's possible your feed dogs are worn/blunt and only feed well in the forward direction; or that they are set too high or too low to gain proper purchase on the material in the reverse direction. If you look at the feed dog teeth, you'll see that they only "point" in one direction--in other words, they're not symmetrical front-to-back--which would explain why, if they're blunt, they won't feed exactly the same in forwards and reverse.

    If you check the feed dog height and sharpness and they seem okay to you, the next area to look at would be the check spring. See if it has too much, or not enough, "snap" to it and adjust it accordingly.
    - Rain

    Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog
    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
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    Hello, I also have same problem. The forward sewing is good. But, going in reverse have loose loops on top of fabric.
    Now I will check how to check feed dogs and check spring.
    Thanks, Laura

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