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.
What is the normal setting for a sewing machine?
Most sewing is done in the 2.0 to 2.5 range. If you are foundation paper piecing, you may want to decrease your stitch length so that the paper tears away easier. Top stitching and quilting are usually done in the 3.0 to 3.5 range. Basting and gathering stitches are the longest, from 4.0 – 5.0.
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.
If your thread is pulled tight on the underside and not forming an even stitch then (counter-intuitively) it’s usually the top thread tension that’s wrong. Sometimes very lightweight fabrics such as sheers can get dragged down into the machine so it’s a good idea to use a straight stitch plate.
What tension setting should I use for cotton?
Cotton requires a moderate tension setting, usually between three and four.
How do you adjust thread tension?
Changing Bobbin Tension
Turning the screw a tiny bit counterclockwise will loosen the bobbin tension; turning it clockwise will tighten the tension. Some quilters keep two bobbin cases on hand, leaving one as-is from the factory and using the other when they need to make adjustments.