Frequent question: How do you adjust the upper tension on a sewing machine?

How do you balance the tension of the upper and lower threads?

Adjusting top tension

The tension discs are located at the front of the machine head before the uptake lever. Turning the thread tension nut in a clockwise direction will increase the tension on the top thread. To decrease the tension on the top thread, turn the tension nut in an anticlockwise direction.

How do I know if my sewing machine 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. Most of the time, the upper tension needs to be adjusted.

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.

How do I adjust the tension on my sewing machine?

You should see a small screw on the flat/closed side of the bobbin case. Turning the screw a tiny bit counterclockwise will loosen the bobbin tension; turning it clockwise will tighten the tension.

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What width should my sewing machine be on?

A straight stitch has no width so it makes sense to set the dial at “0”. However, each machine varies so you will want to set the Stitch Width dial at the position where the needle is centered over the stitch plate. This will give you the most accurate seam allowance.