Troubleshooting Sewing Machine Thread Tension Problems


Troubleshooting Sewing Machine Thread Tension Problems

Learn how to fix sewing machine tension and more with our sewing machine troubleshooting guide.

Sewing Machine Tension Repair Problems

You are so ready to sew, but when you put the pedal to the metal on your sewing machine something is not quite right.

Your sewing machine tension is clearly not where it should be. Maybe one thread is too tight or another is just hanging loosely. These problems are the most frustrating sewing machine problems.

Plus, fixing sewing machine tension problems can be daunting!

Adjusting all those settings? What if something goes wrong? Opening up your machine? Forget about it! Never fear, the editors at AllFreeSewing are here to help!

This page, Troubleshooting Sewing Machine Thread Tension Problems, goes over how to fix sewing machine tension involving not only thread but other features of your sewing machine.

With images and details to help you rethread and check your machine, you'll be ready to tackle your issues. Not to mention that we're also including additional resources to help you with other sewing problems you might run into.

Just scroll down and read this guide on sewing machine tension repair and get the quick fixes you need before doing anything that might make things worse.

Join Our Sewing It Up Newsletter for More Help and Free Patterns >>>

Sewing Machine Thread Tension Problems: Quick Fixes

Before doing anything to your machine, you need to go through this checklist. You might not even having sewing machine tension problems! Something else might be going wrong.

  1. Rethread your machine: If there’s any glitch or hiccup with your threading, your machine might not work properly.

Did you miss a step when threading a sewing machine? Image shows the top view of a sewing machine. An arrow shows where the tread travels.

  1. Check your bobbin: Try a new bobbin or try rethreading your bobbin. A loose or too-tight bobbin can cause your sewing machine tension problems.

Did you wind your bobbin too tight or too loose? Image shows a close-up of the base of a sewing machine where the bobbin is placed.

  1. Clean your sewing machine: A dusty or dirty machine can hinder the thread moving through your machine easily. Make sure there are no dust bunnies in the way!
  2. Check for broken parts: A bent needle or broken bobbin can easily cause your machine to malfunction. Be sure to insure that these parts are in tip-top shape before adjusting the tension or doing anything else!
  3. Check your thread: Make sure you are using the right thread for the fabric you are using! The wrong thread can cause sewing machine tension problems.
  4. Compare your threads: Having two different types of thread in your machine can cause tension problems as your machine might have a harder time pulling one through. Try to use the exact same thread (or at least the same type if you want two colors).

Are you using the right thread for your machine? Image shows a close-up of a spool of thread and a threaded bobbin.

  1. Check your needle too: Too big or too small of a needle can make your fabric pucker stretch incorrectly. Be sure to look up which size needle to use with your chosen fabric.
With this easy sewing guide, we hope that you can avoid any future tension problems! However, that's not all. Check the next section for more guides to help you out with other problems.

You can also save or pin this image below if needed!

Image shows the overview for troubleshooting sewing machine thread tension problems.

PLUS! Beginner Sewing Resources

Want More?

What is a Serger Machine?

Now that you have solutions for sewing machine thread tension problems, what other problems have you had with your sewing machine?
Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Comment


Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Excellent article. But I would add that presser-foot selection may solve problems. I'm working with a very lightweight crepe with an unusual finish, and found that a teflon non-stick foot totally solved the problem.

This is not only a great tutorial for beginners but also a really good reminder for me so thank you! Also I never realised that the wrong size needle could cause tension problems so that is something I will look out for in future as well as all the other possible causes explained above.

These are some great tips to follow and I have experienced all of them before the most is the threads being to different weights. It is hard to remember if you used a new spool of thread or existing one when you did bobbin and had not used that color in awhile so now that is the first thing I check. Most of the time it is the thread not threaded properly or wrong size needle. This is a must watch tutorial to read for a beginner to get familiar with sewing. You will be glad you did. This is well worth your time to read.

Thank you for all your tips.I'm slowly getting back into sewing

Also, the spool is put in wrong. The spool should be put on the machine so it spins as thread is unwinding. If you have a thread cone then it stands up and thread comes off the top.


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Close Window