Sewing Machine Repair Header Fix Sewing Machines


How To Balance Tensions on a sewing machine.

When the tensions are out of balance on your sewing machine, the stitching can be a disaster.  You can get gobs of thread collecting under or on top of the fabric.  The seam may have irregularly formed stitches as well as skipped stitches. 

This is one of the most common problems facing the sewer.  It can be terribly frustrating to finish a seam and discover it looks really bad.  There may be no real problem with the bobbin tension assembly or the upper threading system, or there may be some little snag in the works. 

Balance Tensions on a Sewing Machine pic.


The solution, however, is to fix the tension balance.  Fortunately, this is usually a pretty quick fix. You need to understand the tension system of your sewing machine and how to set the tension balance properly.

How do you balance tensions on a sewing machine?

Balance Tensions on a Sewing Machine pic 4.

Tension is the amount of drag or resistance on the thread as it moves through the sewing machine.  The tension on top and on bottom should balanced properly. The threads will join in the middle of the fabric with no excess thread on top or on the bottom of the fabric.

The thread from the top and the thread from the bottom meet and form stitches in the center of the fabric. There should be no excess thread on top or bottom. Hence, tensions are said to be balanced.

How do you balance tensions on a sewing machine?

Imagine you are trying to line up three square blocks in mid air by holding on to the two outer blocks only.  In your left hand you hold the “Bobbin Block”. In your right hand you hold the “Upper Thread Block”.  Your goal is to hold all three blocks in a straight line with no block out of skew.    If you move the left hand block one way it automatically affects the other two.

Balance Tensions on a Sewin Machine

Another illustration of this can be seen in a game of tug of war.  Two teams grab their thread one from the bobbin and one from the needle area. 

If the two teams pull with equal force, the thread knot or stitch will be centered inside the fabric. 

If one team pulls harder than the other, you will see the thread knot bubble to that side.  The stronger side pulls harder than the other.  The harder it pulls, the more thread collects on that side of the fabric.

How do you balance tensions on a sewing machine?

Now if you look at your seam, do notice a bunch of thread collected under the fabric? Which side is pulling harder the bobbin team or the needle team?   That is right the team that pulls the hardest gets the excess thread collection.

The thread collects on the bottom of the fabric.  The bobbin team is pulling harder than the needle team.  The same would be true in reverse.  If the thread collects on top of the fabric, the needle team is pulling harder than the bobbin team.

So, how do you fix the problem of excess threads collecting on one side of the fabric?

How do you balance tensions on a sewing machine?

To balance the tensions, simply adjust the upper tension in relation to the lower tension.

You may think the bobbin tension could be poorly adjusted.  This happens if you just changed the size of thread you have been using.  Reset the bobbin tension.

Otherwise, you should not have to adjust the bobbin tension.  Note if you do change the size of thread, your bobbin tension may need to be adjusted.  You may need to compensate for the difference by adjusting the upper tension. 

There is excess thread on the bottom of the fabric.  Increase the tension on top by turning the adjustment knob to a larger number (usually turn clockwise). There is excess thread on the top of the fabric.  Decrease the top tension by adjusting the tension knob to a lower number (counterclockwise).

Check The Following Items.

1. Rethread & Double Check threading.
2. Test lower and upper tensions as you thread.
3. Test sew and adjust upper tension – increase or decrease.
4. If you continue to have tension challenges, take the machine to your local sewing machine service center for a thorough service.

So, this is how you balance tensions on a sewing machine?