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Thread: Tension problems. Please help!

  1. #1
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Tension problems. Please help!

    My Singer Superb just came out of hiding for the last two years. She has been cleaned and oiled. I keep having issues with the tension resulting in a very messy bottom stitch. I have double checked that my threading is correct, and have adjusted the tension tighter and looser with not perfect results. I would post a picture but I am on the site on my phone and don't know how to. Any idea what I am doing wrong?
    Jennifer
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  2. #2
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    Okay, try a new bobbin. Sometimes the bobbin doesn't feed right. And check to make sure that there might be a piece of thread in the bobbin area around where it is fed. And try a different thread, some machines don't like some threads.
    Best I can do.
    Busy in Ohio

  3. #3
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Also double check that the needle is in correctly
    Alyce

  4. #4
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Needle is in correct and I am using my go-to thread, which is Dual Duty all purpose thread. Never had an issue before with it. I will try a new bobbin and see if that helps.

  5. #5
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Wound a new bobbin and now I'm right back where I started with a very messing bottom thread. This is so frustrating. I have a limited amount of time to work on 3 baby quilts and it figures that my machine is going to give me problems.

  6. #6
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    How do I add pictures while on the site on my phone?

  7. #7
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    Are you sure it is the bottom thread with the problem? If you have issues on the underneath, it is sometimes the top thread tension causing the problem. If you are sure it is really the bottom thread, have you checked the tension on the bobbin?
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    When I sew, the thread you see on the top of the fabric is nice and straight and doesn't pucker and is not loose. Then I flip the fabric over, the stitching is all over the place, wobbly and loose. If I turn the tension all the way up it straightens out a bit but I shouldn't have to turn the tension all the way to the highest setting.

  9. #9
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    I'm also not sure how to check the tension of the bottom thread. There are no instructions in my manual that talk about bobbin tension.

  10. #10
    Super Member notmorecraft's Avatar
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    I know it's teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, but start at the beginning re thread new needle and check bobbin in properly. Hope it works out for you x

  11. #11
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    Clean your upper tension discs well. When you have wonky stitching on the bottom it is usually an upper thread tension problem. Fuzz or thread can get stuck in there and cause the upper thread not to fully engage into the discs.

  12. #12
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blzzrdqueen View Post
    How do I add pictures while on the site on my phone?
    I don't think you can add them from the phone - at least I haven't found a way yet. I hope you figure out your tension issue!!
    Alyce

  13. #13
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like your upper thread tension is off. To verify, sew a bit on a test piece of fabric with different color thread in the top and bobbin. I am also thinking you might have something jammed in the tension discs. with the foot up, take a piece of strong thread and 'floss'. When you rethread your machine, your presser foot needs to be UP for the threading process, until you get to the needle. Give the thread a small tug to seat it in the discs, put the presser foot down. at this point you should not be able to draw the thread thru the machine. Then thread your needle.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  14. #14
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    It sounds to me like your upper thread tension is off. To verify, sew a bit on a test piece of fabric with different color thread in the top and bobbin. I am also thinking you might have something jammed in the tension discs. with the foot up, take a piece of strong thread and 'floss'. When you rethread your machine, your presser foot needs to be UP for the threading process, until you get to the needle. Give the thread a small tug to seat it in the discs, put the presser foot down. at this point you should not be able to draw the thread thru the machine. Then thread your needle.
    I just took the machine apart, thouroughly cleaned every piece the thread touches and re-threaded the way you said to. My first ten lines of stitching came out great, then bam, all wonkey again!! I don't get it.

  15. #15
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    Does your machine use plastic bobbins? If so, try filling a bobbin just halfway and see if that makes a difference. Plastic bobbins can distort if filled too much over time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blzzrdqueen View Post
    My Singer Superb just came out of hiding for the last two years. She has been cleaned and oiled. I keep having issues with the tension resulting in a very messy bottom stitch. I have double checked that my threading is correct, and have adjusted the tension tighter and looser with not perfect results. I would post a picture but I am on the site on my phone and don't know how to. Any idea what I am doing wrong?
    This is from my experience. Check the bobbin case thoroughly, it could have the tiniest bit of thread in there. I had to use a dental pick to retrieve from my bobbin case. And it has happened to both the top and side loading machines. My tiny bit of thread was between the tension wire on the bobbin case.
    Last edited by slbram17; 12-28-2014 at 09:15 AM.

  17. #17
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    Have you tried resetting the bobbin tension? There is a little screw there that you turn. I put a tiny mark with a permanent marker on the side of the bobbin case to mark where the screw was originally set so I can go back to that setting. Remove the thread from the bobbin case before you set the tension.

    Since the bobbin stitching was normal for just a little way and then got wonky, you may have to take it in for repair.
    Penny

  18. #18
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    Is there a little adjustable screw around the bobbin casing? Tightening or loosening that screw is how I adjust the bobbin tension on my Juki. If you have checked everything else, changed needle and thread, it may be the machine timing is off somehow and you will need to take it in for servicing. That can be so frustrating.

  19. #19
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    Since you need to increase your top tension to the max, you need to increase your bobbin tension. If there are two screws on the outside of the bobbin case, the screw you need to turn is the larger of the two, and you need to turn it slightly clockwise. (Righty tighty, lefty loosy). Only tighten it in small increments, checking the stitches it makes at each adjustment. Once you get the bobbin tension corrected, you can adjust the top thread tension to match, and it won't need to be tightened all the way. It may even need to be loosened.

  20. #20
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blzzrdqueen View Post
    I just took the machine apart, thouroughly cleaned every piece the thread touches and re-threaded the way you said to. My first ten lines of stitching came out great, then bam, all wonkey again!! I don't get it.
    So sorry you are still having problems. It always happens in crunch time.
    Did you use 2 colors of thread to verify we are dealing with the top thread or bottom thread? THat will really narrow down the issue.
    One other thing. If it sewed OK for a bit, then started behaving badly, were you able to see if it was still threaded correctly? Did it stay in the tension discs? Did it jump out of the takeup lever?
    When it messes up, it's a good thing to look over the threading before re-threading...
    One other thing, did you try a different thread? I've found that some colors from the same manufacturer won't work in my machine. Usually it's a really dark color, and I think it makes the thread stiffer and more prone to jumping out of the take up lever.
    I know lots of posters are saying to look at the bobbin, but I really think it's the takeup lever or the tension disks.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  21. #21
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    It could be something like a piece of thread caught in the uptake arm on top. Unthread the machine and try to thread all over. If it is tension on the bottom then the bobbin is OK. It is coming from the top.
    Suzanne
    Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    Sounds like your upper thread is not in the tension disc or is out of the take up bar.
    Michelle Guadarrama

  23. #23
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    Typically, nest on the bottom means the upper thread is the problem. I had my long arm doing what your machine is doing and finally, found out the thread on the top was catching on the notch that you use to keep the thread from unwinding after using it. It would sew okay a little bit, then mess up royally. I started watching the thread all the way through and sew it when it happened. I repositioned the thread spool and no more problems.

    Another time it happened, it was a tiny bit of thread in the thread path up behind where I wasn't supposed to take my machine apart. The tech found it for $125. I know how to take that piece off now.

    Another time, I tried using an L bobbin when I was supposed to be using a Class 15. The top thread kept catching on some metal surrounding the bobbin case. This time it was top and bottom. Changed the bobbin and everything was fine. I have marked several bobbins that are Class 15 to use for comparison. Now I wonder why the bobbins don't come with a notation as to what number/type bobbin they are? Now if I start having problems, I check bobbin height first. My L bobbins are about 1/32nd of an inch shorter than the Class 15's. Not much, but enough to cause problems. I am actually in the process of checking all my bobbin heights and moving the L's into a safe place. The thread on them is a very tiny polyester that I will use as a top thread to stitch around applique.

    Another time, I didn't have the thread seated properly in the upper tension discs. It looked okay, but was just sitting in the discs....someone else had threaded the machine. They didn't tell me it was messing up on them. Re-threading stopped that problem.

    With the long arm, I had some bobbins, that weren't wound properly. From the mess under the bottom, I thought it was my upper thread...nope. I looked at the bobbins carefully and realized they weren't wound evenly. I pulled off half the bobbin thread and tried again. Worked perfectly.

    If somehow or other, your machine has jumped time, it will do the same thing. It's more likely to break needles and such, but if only out a tiny bit, it can make bird's nests. Now, that requires a professional for me.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Barb in Louisiana; 12-28-2014 at 02:49 PM.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by blzzrdqueen View Post
    My Singer Superb just came out of hiding for the last two years. She has been cleaned and oiled. I keep having issues with the tension resulting in a very messy bottom stitch. I have double checked that my threading is correct, and have adjusted the tension tighter and looser with not perfect results. I would post a picture but I am on the site on my phone and don't know how to. Any idea what I am doing wrong?
    Were you able to resolve it? I would love to know how you fixed it too.

  25. #25
    Senior Member blzzrdqueen's Avatar
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    So I walked away for a while. I just came back and changed both top and bottom threads to a thinner thread and this seems to have stopped the issue. I have never had any problems until now with the previous thread, so I am baffled.

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