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Thread: Tension Setting

  1. #1
    Senior Member SpaceCadet's Avatar
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    Tension Setting

    Can anyone help me out with the tension setting on my thread injector? I borrowed my mother's and she had a cotton thread in it. It worked just fine. Then I swapped in some poly thread and now it's bunching up the bottom stitch. After about two inches it gets stuck and I have to cut it. I've messed with the tension for hours and I just can't seem to get a decent bottom stitch.
    If you don't try due to fear of failure you've already failed due to fear.

  2. #2
    Jazilla's Avatar
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    Did you change the needle? What size needle are you using? When you pull your top thread to get slack does it move your needle, if it does it might be too tight. What is your stitch length and are you using a straight stitch?
    Last edited by Jazilla; 04-27-2011 at 07:58. Reason: I spell like 6th grader
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    Senior Member SpaceCadet's Avatar
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    I am using a straight stitch. It was set to 12 stitch length, but I've played with it down to 8 trying to find "the sweet spot". I changed needles. I actually broke 3 while I was learning how to use the machine. I don't know sizes and they are color coded on my machine. I have a purple one in if that means anything. I need to go by a blue one cause I think that's the right one for poly thread on nylon.
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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you have the machine threaded wrong. It's easy to do if you don't get all the twists and turns correct or if the tension plates are not properly engaged on the thread you will experience exactly what you are describing. General rule of thumb when you are having trouble getting the machine to work properly... unthread the whole beastie and thread it up again. If you are not sure what you are doing get your mother to help thread it up. That whould take care of the problem.

    Edit: To be clear once again.. problems with the stitches on the bottom of the fabric is a problem with the tension of the spool thread. It is not a problem with the bobbin. Bobbin tension is a whole different kettle of fish and should not need adjustment unless you what you are doing and why you are doing it. If the bobbin is in wrong all hob will break loose but you will not be experiencing the problem you are describing.
    Last edited by Ramblinrev; 04-27-2011 at 08:09.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  5. #5
    Jazilla's Avatar
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    I started having problems with my machine and it cause me to buy another and i started having the same trouble. Found out it was an operators error. If the needle is turned the wrong way it will cause a your thread to bunch up after a couple stitches and all kinds of frustrating problems.

    The owners manual always helps. If you don't have one you can always do a google search. Its how I found one for my mothers old table mounted machine.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member SpaceCadet's Avatar
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    Alas my mother is in a different state. And when contacted about the problem her response was, "I don't know honey, I rarely used it and it always just worked." Does the direction the thread comes off the spool matter? Maybe I need to flip the spool? I've threaded the whole thing at least 5 times. I follow the instructions from the booklet.
    If you don't try due to fear of failure you've already failed due to fear.

  7. #7
    Jazilla's Avatar
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    Thread direction doesn't matter. I don't use the machine thread holder, I used a homemade one coming in almost from the rear of my machine. Do check the needle, also check to make sure the bobbin it threaded right.
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  8. #8
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Spool direction can make a difference but it would not give the problem you describe. The old style spools have a nick in the edge to catch the loose end while being stored. The thread can sometimes get caught in the nick while on the machine but that results in breakage, not bad stitch quality. If you have a horizontal spool holder always make sure the nick is away from the thread feed. If you have a vertical spool holder have the nick on the bottom if the thread is pulled off upwards or reverse it if need be.

    Back to the original issue... my suggestion would be to swap the cotton thread back in and see if it works okay again. If so... you most likely have bad poly thread. Not all thread is the same. Cheap thread is exactly that. Avoid it like the plague unless you want problems. Use the same thread your mom had in the machine when you got it.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  9. #9
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    The singer purple needle is a Denim sized needle. If you're using all-purpose thread, try Gutterman's brand and an Orange sized needle. -- Some here have had the same problems you report with Coats and Clark thread... I only use a blue or purple needle when using heavier thread for straps.

    The only "direction" issues I have had has been with the bobbin thread. My machine specified that the bobbin should unwind opposite of what you would think...

    Find a manual for your machine, if you can... What model is it? Somebody here might have the same one...
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  10. #10
    Senior Member SpaceCadet's Avatar
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    It's a kenmore 5810. I did have the issue with the nick in the thread roll and already flipped it. I made sure the bobbin spins counter clock wise ala the manual. I am using Clarks and coats so I think I'm going to get some better thread before I worry too much more.
    If you don't try due to fear of failure you've already failed due to fear.

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