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TOWA Bobbin Tension Gauge

Adjusting Tension on your A-1 Longarm

Q. I have been having problems with my King Tut breaking and am trying to solve that. My A-1 longarm machine does not like Rainbows and other threads I have bought from you even though I have slowed my machine down. Do threads have a life date to them? I have many that still have the cellophane on them unopened and those I am using I re-wrap with saran wrap when storing them. Could they be too old and that's why I'm having breakage?  I've tested my machine for burrs, changed my needles & the whole gamut.What can I do to run these gorgeous threads?

A. It sounds like both the top tension and bobbin tension are way too tight.  A-1 machines should have no trouble running any of the threads you mentioned.  These threads do not go bad. The shelf life for our Cotton and Polyester threads is much longer than you or I will be around for. Do you have a TOWA bobbin tension gauge? If you have one, the bobbin tension should be set in the 160-180 range. That is most likely much looser than your current settings. Keep the top tension loose as well. If you are loosening the tension spring and still experiencing breakage, only thread the top thread through 1 or 2 of the 3 hole guides. This will significantly reduce the amount of tension placed on your top thread.

For a simple Tension balance explanation, please view our 'Tug of War' article which explains how to find the sweet spot with top and bottom tension.

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By: Bob Purcell