Friday, November 30, 2012

Good Tension: How to Take the Tension Out of Setting Bobbin Tensions!

Proper bobbin tension is essential to good embroidery. If tension is too tight, unwanted bobbin thread may begin to show on top of your garment and you may begin to experience frequent thread breaks which wastes time and money.

Improper bobbin tension can cause the bobbin thread to show through your top thread

Tips for Good Bobbin Tension:
  • Bobbin tensions should be 18 to 22 grams (up to 25 grams when embroidering caps).
  • Proper tensions for satin stitches should reveal 1/3 bobbin and 2/3 top thread color on the underside of the embroidery.

    Manual Bobbin Tension Test
    • Start with a fresh bobbin
    • Take the thread out of the pigtail. Pull out 9" to 12" of bobbin thread and hold in one hand
    • Drop hand abruptly while holding onto the bobbin thread
    • Bobbin case should drop 1" to 1.5"
    • If it drops less, loosen the tension screw. If it drops more, tighten the tension screw 

    If you are still experiencing bobbin thread on top of your garment after tensioning your bobbin thread, be sure that you are not using a damaged bobbin case, as this may cause undesirable results.  Other factors can include improper top thread tensioning and damaged needles. Old needles may produce burrs and lead to frequent thread breaks.

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