Threads Bunching, tension problem?

Hey Kirsten,

I’m having a problem with the thread bunching and pulling as I’m sewing. I’m guessing it’s a tension issue, but I have no idea how to fix it. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

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3 Responses to “Threads Bunching, tension problem?”

  1. Threads Bunching, tension problem? http://t.co/asMqiYqF #HeyKirsten #sewing

  2. Kirsten says:

    The best way to fix a problem like this is to unplug the machine, de-thread it and re-thread.  making sure you have all of your tension settings back to factory spec.  There are usually markers in red or black on the machine next to the upper tension dial.  Make sure to check your bobbin and case so that the tension on it is set right too.  Over time with the use of different size threads your tension on your bobbin can become loose or even rusty, should you not be using your machine on a regular basis.  The way to test this is to have a standard white embroidery fill thread loaded onto your bobbin, Mettler 1001 is the right size for Bernina so a good base to start from.  Load your bobbin and then have a thread tail hanging out.  If you can hold the thread and let the bobbin with the bobbin case on it drop for a time count (ex. 1…one-thousand, 2…one-thousand, 3…one-thousand, etc.).  If I am remembering correctly you should be able to make it to five before it has dropped something like ten inches.  I can double check that when the rest of my research  materials get here.  Then once everything is loaded correctly, plug it all back in and turn it on.  Sew a sample stitch and if it is still having issues, then your are going to need to test strip it changing the tension in increments.  Tighter will make the upper thread pull the lower thread through the top of the fabric and looser will make the bobbin thread pull the top thread through the back of the fabric.  What you don’t want to see is tiny little beads of thread sticking though either side of he fabric.  This means the knot of the thread that the stitch makes is pulling through the fabric.  It is supposed to be directly in the center of the fabric, unseen on front or back.
    Note: keep your foot position in the lifted position.  Some machines engage the tension disks when the foot is down.  And use a simple cotton muslin for testing.  Remember some machines gain a fabric memory over time and use and when you switch fabrics they no longer want to sew properly. At that point it is time to reset using a base fabric and experiment with stitch tension, fabrics and stitch length.  Remember your least expensive repair is going to be the purchase of thread to do testing so always start there.
    Hope this helps.