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Bobbin Tension 101 (part 2 of 2)

Posted: 28 August 2014 at 6 a.m.

How to Adjust Bobbin Tension

Bobbin tension is easily adjusted with the aid of a flat head screw driver.  Unlike top tensions, a little goes a long way. 

To make adjustments to your bobbin tension, we turn the large screw on the bobbin case. (If your machine has a drop-in bobbin mechanism, this post isn’t relevant for you as you will most likely pop in a new bobbin case for embroidery, quilting, sewing, etc.) Think of the adjustment screw like a face of a clock, we recommend making adjustments in 5-15 minute increments.

Testing Bobbin Tension

There are two quick ways to check your bobbin tension to see if adjustments need to be made. 

-Use a bobbin tension gauge, like the TOWA, to get an accurate tension reading

-Do a lift test by placing the bobbin case (with the bobbin inside) in the palm of your hand and pulling the tail of the bobbin up with your other hand.  The case should lift to a vertical position and then rotate freely in your palm.  If bobbin case lies flat while thread is unwinding, tighten the tension.  If bobbin case lifts off your hand, loosen the tension.

Adjusting your tension is easy.  Although most thread issues can be solved using the top tension, now you are empowered to know when and how to adjust your bobbin tension.

When is the last time you checked or adjusted your bobbin tension?

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  • 2. Celeste @ Superior Threads (28 August 2014 at 11:50 a.m.)

    Jill, Adjusting the bobbin tension as shown in the video is the same for a domestic machine. Bobbin tension is usually geared towards longarm machines because you change the thread types more often.
  • 1. Jill Hoddick (28 August 2014 at 11:29 a.m.)

    Not until one plays the video in the second part of the instructions does it say these are for a longarm. Are thee instructions similar to those for a domestic machine?

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