Tension problems can give you a headache, but it does not have to be that way!
Last time, we talked about how tension works for sewing and embroidery machines. When I have a problem with the tensions being off, say my bobbin thread is showing on the top, the first thing I do is rethread the machine. Then I go ahead and retest. It's always best to rule out improper threading as a possible issue before digging deeper. We all know how to thread our machines, but sometimes thread doesn't land where it's supposed to, i.e., doesn't get completely into the take up lever.
How to Test Stitch Balance
When troubleshooting tension, I always do a test stitch between every correction that I try. If not, there is no way of knowing which adjustment fixed the issue. Sometimes educating yourself as you go really helps when diagnosing and fixing future issues.
I have heard from two different technicians that I should use a built-in block font of the letter "A" to test machine tension. Why? Because the letter "A" goes all different directions to test every angle. If it's good enough for the professionals, it's good enough for me! It’s really simple and takes about a minute to stitch out. With a nice satin zigzag, you get to see what the stitches are doing and it shows you what you need to know about the machine’s tension.
The back of the embroidery should be what I call 30-30-30 split. It should be at least 30 percent embroidery thread then 30 percent bobbin thread showing and then another 30 percent embroidery thread.
If I have an issue, with the bobbin thread showing on top and not enough embroidery thread on the back, I start with the easiest fix, which is to adjust the upper tension. I reduce the computer screen setting a couple of notches by pushing the little minus sign twice. Less is more here, don't overdo. That releases some resistance on the upper tension tug of war. Then, do another test.
If I'm still having tension issues, maybe I will floss the machine by taking unwaxed dental floss and run it through the upper tension disk just to make sure no fuzzies or thread got caught up there. Then test again. See how to floss your tension discs here. Only change one thing between each test sew.
Check back to find out how to adjust your bobbin tension. See the full video here.
Have a day blessed with perfect stitches and GlitterFlex!!