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Technician's Notes

March 2013 Tip of the Month

 If you read owner’s manuals for the new machines, the ones with factory preset automatic tension, you will find statements like “this machine is factory preset to sew with 50 weight polyester thread”.

If you quilt, embroider, or do other things, those settings may not work for you.

Sewing machines are built for the world market, and the world market sews.  Quilting, embroidery, etc. is not what people generally do.  No matter what the literature or the graphics on the machine case say, your new machine is factory preset to sew best on medium weight polyester thread.

So…… a quilter using, for instance, 40 weight cotton thread, you may have to make some tension adjustments.  Take a few minutes and read the manual to see how your particular machine can be “taught” to sew with the materials, thread and fabric that you use.

When you bring your machine in for service, we adjust it using 40 weight cotton thread in both the bobbin and the top thread.

If that isn’t what you use, tell us when you bring your machine in for service and we’ll adjust it for what you want to use.

Here’s another tip:  use the same weight thread in both the top and the bobbin.  Doesn’t have to be the same color; just the same weight.

If you don’t want to do that, we’ll be happy to adjust your machine for any combination of thread weights and types you want.  If you switch around, you’ll have to make adjustments.

Think of top and bottom tension as a tug of war.  Lower bobbin tension, for instance, if you are using light weight “bobbin” thread and heavier top thread will result in less top thread being pulled to the back, and you’ll see the bobbin thread on the top.  Once you understand the “tug of war” principle, it’s easy to adjust tension to make it work.

In the case above, you would reduce top tension a bit, to allow the lower-tension bobbin to pull more top thread to the back.  The same result would be obtained if you increased the bobbin tension, which might also give you a better stitch.

This is a pure mechanical situation, and physics will prevent us from getting too far off the track.

One more little tidbit:  if you set the tensions in embroidery so that very little bobbin thread shows on the back, you won’t see bobbin thread on the top, but you will use a lot more expensive top thread, since embroidery uses a lot of stitches, so take a few minutes and tune up the tensions before you start a large project.

OK…….lots of talk here.  I hope it helps.

When we do a service seminar, this is always an interesting part of the class.  It’s also the most common adjustment I make when servicing your machine. ---  Boone