Repair Sewing Machine Tension Problems: Quick Fixes

By: Kaylee Pope, Editor of



We have all been there. You are in the middle of a big project or even just sitting down to start one. 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, is here to help! Just scroll down and read Sewing Machine Tension Problems: Quick Fixes before doing anything!


Repair Sewing Machine 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.



  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.



  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!


  1. 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 tension or doing anything else!


  1. 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.


  1. Compare your threads: Having two different types of thread in your machine can cause tension problems as your machine might be 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).



  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, you can avoid any future tension problems: 

Tension Probelms


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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.


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