month’s tech tip on is how to achieve the proper tension for your machine.
While for most experienced operators, proper tension might seem very basic,
a surprising number of problems that embroiderers experience (regardless of
machine brand) are solved by learning how to properly tension their machine.
If you haven't already learned a good method, you can follow the directions
in this article to learn how to test and adjust the thread tension for your
10, 12, or 15-needle embroidery machine, either single-head or multi-head.
1. Download the tension test design for your appropriate
machine. Example, if you have a 12 needle machine then download the
Set Bobbin Tension: Now before we get started we need to
make sure the Bobbin Tension is correct first. Click on
this link to
learn how to correctly set the bobbin tension.
Load the proper H Test design
into your machine.
4. Set the color sequence so that each color
change is assigned a different needle. For best results,
set color change #1 to Needle 1, change #2 to Needle 2, change
#3 to Needle 3, etc.
5. Hoop 2 to 3 layers of cutaway backing into the 320 x 320 hoop.
This is an ideal sewing material and helps minimize any other
factors affecting the results.
6. Install the hoop and center it on the machine.
7. (As always) trace the design to make sure it is within the hoop before
8. Run the design.
9. Examine the results: Remove the hoop from the
machine and look at the back of the sew-out. (no need to
remove from the hoop) A white stripe of bobbin thread should
be visible in the center of each section of satin stitching.
Compare the width of the bobbin thread "stripe" against the
width of the colored thread "stripe" surrounding it.
Look for the following:
correct tension: bobbin stripe is 25%-35% of the
total width of the satin stitch.
upper tension too loose: bobbin stripe is
significantly narrower than 25% of the width, or
upper tension too tight: bobbin stripe
significantly wider than 25%-35% of the width.
10. Make adjustments accordingly:
bobbin showing: Tighten the upper
tension knob 1-2 full turns clockwise.
stripe is showing but not wide enough: Tighten the
lower tension knob 1/2 to - 1 full turns
11. Re-sew the test in a new location
in the hoop and repeat as necessary. Do not
worry about getting exactly 1/3 width in each needle. As long
as you have a nice streak of bobbin thread showing, the
tension is approximately correct. See the below link for an
example of incorrect and correct tension.
You can click
to view an example of the test design sewn, with tension in