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  1. #1
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    Setting Tensions on Singer 201

    A question for the experts. I've posted before that I found a Singer 201 at Goodwill. It's all cleaned and oiled. It sews - excuse me - injects thinner thread beautifully. The stitch is tight and even. I guess it's called "balanced". Now that I have poly thread from Joannes, the thicker thread is a bit "loopy" occasionally when I sew on strap material. I've increased the upper thread tension to 8 on the dial and increased the foot pressure, and that helped. It seems that it sews really well at near "full speed", but if I go slower the stitches are sometimes loose on the top - the bottom is good. Do I need to increase thread tension even more?

    The first picture is an example of the top stitching with the loose loops. The second picture is the bottom of the strap. The third is the Gutermann thread Im using - upholstery thread.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    what is happening is the top thread is pulling the bobbin thread through the fabric. As this is an occasional problem I would sugget you _lower_ your spool tension slightly. It will take you a bit to get it right. It is best if you use the same thread top and bobbin but not required. _IF_ this was a constant issue I might suggest a change in the bobbin tension. But in as much as it is occasional I would leave the bobbin alone. Any tension adjustment should be easily made on the top thread.

    HOWEVER.... (you knew that was coming) it may not be a tension problem at all. Change the needle to a brand new one and see what happens. Clean the lint from the needle path. Do not pull the fabric/webbing through the machine, let the feed dogs do their work. Last but not least... put another bobbin in with good thread and see what happens. If you have old nasty thread in the bobbin it may be uneven in texture or finish and could result in the symptoms you are encountering.
    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

  3. #3
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    Thanks Ramblinrev. It appears to be a human problem after all. Your right when it could be me "helping" the material by pulling on it. I didn't even realize I was doing it. The needle is new and a #18. Anything smaller would break the thread as it was going thru the needle. I'm learning - slowly. I'll practice some more and report back.

    Thanks again for your help!

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    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    Here's when I don't help it along.

    Thanks again, Ramblinrev!
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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    ain't that sweet.....
    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

  6. #6

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    Singer 201

    Check your bobbin again. The other suggestions were good (i.e. New bobbin, quality thread, etc.). However, the bobbin thread should come straight across the top of the assembly when feeding correctly (manual has an illustration). Mine comes derailed occasionally & the bottom thread tension goes up markedly and creates the kind of stitch problems that you illustrated.

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    Remember to thread the machine from the spool to the needle with the foot up. If the foot is down when you thread it, the thread won't sit correctly in the tensioner.

    That was one of the first things my mom taught me when I started sewing 30+ years ago, but I totally spaced it. I was having a heck of a time figuring out why I was having intermittent tension issues. I went back and read the manual and smacked my forehead when I read that little tidbit.

  8. #8
    Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doheir View Post
    Check your bobbin again. The other suggestions were good (i.e. New bobbin, quality thread, etc.). However, the bobbin thread should come straight across the top of the assembly when feeding correctly (manual has an illustration). Mine comes derailed occasionally & the bottom thread tension goes up markedly and creates the kind of stitch problems that you illustrated.
    Doheir - If I look at the bobbin the the cover plate off, it seems to feed directly across the bobbin. So bottom tension can cause the top thread to become "looped" or untight? - pardon me for my lack of correct names for parts and terminology. I just cranked on more tension on the top thread and it started to sew better. I know I will have to experiment alot to balance things. Sometimes it's frustrating, but its a learning curve. I watch others sew and they make it look easy - I keep forgetting that they had to learn also and have been doing it much longer than I have (a few weeks). I believe Ramblinrev has it correct - If I don't help the piece along it sews MUCH better - as soon as I start pulling the piece it messes up big time.

    Aven - thanks and I do make sure the foot is up when I thread the needle. What I have to remember is to make to make sure the direction of the flow is correct - I've run the material the opposite way and then had to start over again more than once!
    Last edited by Lost_Biker; 07-25-2011 at 14:24. Reason: more info

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