How to Adjust a Rotary Bobbin on Your Sewing Machine

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When it comes to adjusting the tension on a sewing machine, most manufacturers recommend starting with the needle tension first and rarely adjusting the bobbin tension. However, small adjustment to the bobbin tension can be made and are fairly easy, ZJ Humbach shows you how.

Types of Bobbins

There are two main types of bobbins found on sewing machines today- drop in bobbins and rotary bobbins. While most home conventional sewing machines have transitioned into mostly the drop in bobbin type, many embroidery and quilting machines, especially long arm quilting machines, still use a rotary bobbin. ZJ shows what a rotary bobbin looks like and explains the basics on how it is different from a drop in bobbin. how to choose a sewing machine depending on the type of sewing you will be doing.

Tension Settings on Bobbins

Tension issues on a machine can cause thread tangles, thread nests, uneven stitches and all sorts of other stitch quality issues. Because of this it is important to make sure your tension is accurately set on your machine before you start a project. ZJ shows you how to test the tension on a rotary bobbin. She explains several different methods you can use as well as shows what her favorite method is. ZJ then shows what screw on the rotary bobbin can be adjusted to either loosen or tighten the tension.

She explains that all changes should be made in very small increments. While a needle tension dial is something that can accidentally be bumped while cleaning your sewing machine making it so you have to adjust it, bobbin tension typically only needs to be adjusted if you are changing thread weight or fabric type when sewing.