Tension Trouble Shooting

Duration: 7:45

Learn how to troubleshoot and fix basic sewing machine tension issues with Nicki LaFoille.

Sewing Machine Tension

Nicki begins by talking about the basics of sewing machine tension and explaining some of the different issues that unbalanced tension can cause, like skipped stitches, thread breakage, thread nests, and many other stitch quality problems.

While the sewing machine tension generally comes balanced on a machine when you first purchase it, there are times when the tension needs to be adjusted. Some of these times are when the projects being stitched are very thin or very thick.

Nicki then walks you through a checklist of things to check and fix if necessary if you are experiencing any kind of stitch quality issues. While you may want to immediately jump to adjusting the tension, Nicki explains that it is equally important to double-check that your machine is threaded correctly and that the bobbin is wound and inserted into the machine correctly.

If you are unsure about your bobbin – learn how to wind a bobbin correctly every time.

Nicki also recommends changing the needle, as a dull need or the wrong type of needle for the project being stitched can cause stitch quality issues as well.

Once you have run through the initial checklist and fixed anything needed, Nicki explains how to tell if the needle tension or bobbin tension is the issue. You can determine this based on where you see the issues on your project – right side or wrong side.

Nicki then walks you through how to make adjustments to the tension on your machine. It is always recommended that you start with the needle tension and only make changes to the bobbin tension if it is absolutely necessary.

If you are unsure where to make these adjustments on your specific machine, watch this tutorial to get a better understanding of the basic parts of a sewing machine.

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