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When To Adjust Sewing Machine Tension? – Find Out Here!

If you are a sewing machine owner, then you should know your sewing machine tension. Knowing your tension is important so you won’t be damaging your sewing machine.

All sewing machines have their own tension. In fact, even identical sewing machines of the same brand will have a different tension from each other.

Tension is the amount of pressure that is applied by a sewing machine’s needle to the fabric that you are sewing.

Too little tension and the needle will not have the power to penetrate the fabric; too much and it will pierce the material too deeply, which will cause the needle to break.

Finding the perfect balance between too little and too much tension takes practice; your machine’s tension will come set to a certain default, but you will have to make adjustments to that default setting, depending on the fabric you are sewing and the type of stitch you are using.

A lot of people think that the tension of your sewing machine is something you can just fix by playing with the lever.

However, don’t you think that if it were that easy, everyone would look amazing in their clothes?

The truth is that you need to be aware of what your machine’s tension is set at and use that to your advantage.

If it’s set too tightly, your stitches will be too small and dense, making your seams prone to popping.

If it’s set too slack, you’ll have to sew over your seams repeatedly to get rid of the puckers that form on the underside.

Knowledge about your sewing machine tension is beneficial to you.

What Is Thread Tension?

Thread tension is an important sewing term, which refers to how tightly the thread is wound around the spool.

If a spool is wound too tightly, then the thread may tangle or become frayed; on the other hand, if the thread is wound too loosely, it will come off the spool in a sloppy, tangled mess.

Tension can be affected by several factors, including the thread type and the number of layers wound around the spool.

Thread tension is a vital sewing machine component that, when working properly, can provide a smooth and even stitch.

Too much or too little tension and you can find that your fabric is being pulled or stretched during stitching. This can make for an uneven and potentially messy final product.

Luckily, thread tension is an easy fix if you know what you’re doing.

When you first learn to sew, you will probably wonder why your stitches look so uneven or unevenly spaced.

The truth is that almost everyone struggles with tension when they are first learning, but it is an easy problem to fix.

Tension refers to the tightness of the stitches, and good tension will help prevent stitches from skipping or puckering.

The sewing machine has a set of screws that control the thread tension of each needle, and they are usually located on the top of the machine. 

When the tension is too tight, the thread forms a thick line of stitches. Tension is too loose when the stitches are too far apart and the thread shows between them.

Understanding Thread Tension on Your Sewing Machine

Thread tension issues are one of the most common reasons a sewing machine jam . To ensure you are getting the most from your machine, it is important to understand how thread tension works and how a stitch will be affected.

Take a look at the image above and below to see how thread tension affects the stitch.

If you notice your machine is having difficulty moving the needle, make sure you are using the right thread tension setting for the material you are sewing.

You can’t get proper tension without correct threading.

When you’re sewing, do you think of tension as something you need to achieve? Do you think of it as something that is separate from your sewing machine? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re not alone.

Tension is a tricky beast to tame and understand. When you understand the relationship between the machine, the needle, and the thread, tension suddenly becomes a lot less mysterious.

You need a professional quality sewing machine and good quality thread to begin. The machine and the thread are partners in achieving proper tension.

The machine must be threaded properly and the thread must be of high quality. The thread must match the type of stitch used, along with the bobbin case.

Many sewers have no idea how to thread a sewing machine since this is a skill not taught in most schools.

Even if you have been sewing for years, it’s always helpful to get a refresher on how to properly thread your sewing machine.

You can’t get proper tension without correct threading. This is why it is the first step in most sewing machine operations.

Tension refers to the evenness of the top and bottom threads as your machine sews so that you don’t have lopsided stitches that cause puckering and affect the quality of your finished project. 

Recognizing balanced tensions

The sewing machine is a precision instrument, with tensions and adjustments that must be finely tuned to ensure quality stitches.

It is also capable of producing a great range of artistic stitches, which is why many people enjoy using their sewing machines for creative projects.

If you do sew as a hobby, you know that tension issues are a common source of frustration.

Rather than taking it out on your sewing machine, it’s better to get to know how your machine works and how to balance tensions to optimize its performance.

Nowadays, it is easier to find a sewing machine that can handle multiple layers of heavy fabrics than it is to find a machine that is up to the job.

That being the case, test the tension dials on your machine before you start a project. Make sure you can set the machine to handle multiple layers and a different weight of fabric.  

If you have a built-in needle threader, use it when you’re working with delicate fabrics, because it will make your stitches much neater.

In Conclusion

Sewing machines are a lot like cars; there are many different models to choose from, and each one performs a little bit differently.  

In order to get the best out of your sewing machine, you need to know how to operate it properly.  The best place to start is by getting familiar with your sewing machine tension.

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.View Author posts

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