Last Updated on 9 months by Susan Mayrich
To understand how to set tension on Singer sewing machine, you need to know when to loosen or tighten the thread tension. We will also talk about adjusting the bobbin tension on a Singer sewing machine if required.
For additional information, it might help that you read about how to fix the timing on a Singer sewing machine. You should know the common ways to adjust and improve your sewing machine when you notice issues with sewing.
You can also browse our sewing blog for different tutorials on Singer and other sewing machine brands.
How To Set Tension On Singer Sewing Machine Correctly
- Thread your sewing machine with different color threads for the top and bottom
- Fold a piece of scrap fabric in half and sew a seam with a straight stitch
- Check for any looping on the stitches on the top and bottom of the fabric
When to loosen the thread tension
Looping of stitches on the top of the fabric with the bottom thread means that you need to loosen the top tension since it is pulling the bottom thread through the top of the material. To loosen the top tension, locate the tension adjustment knob at the front of the Singer sewing machine and turn it counterclockwise by one lower number.
When to tighten the thread tension
Looping of stitches on the bottom of the fabric with the top thread means you must tighten the top tension since the bottom thread is pulling the top thread underneath the fabric. To tighten the top tension, locate the tension adjustment knob and turn it clockwise by one higher number.
After adjusting the top thread tension of the Singer sewing machine, make a 3-inch straight stitch on a piece of scrap fabric. The threads should perfectly meet in the middle, and the top thread is only on the fabric surface, and the bottom thread is only underneath the fabric.
If the stitches are still uneven, adjust the tension knob one number at a time. But when you notice that fixing the tension didn’t solve the uneven stitches, Singer recommends checking the thread quality or rethreading the machine.
How Do You Adjust The Bobbin Tension On A Singer Sewing Machine?
- Refer to the specific Singer machine manual of the particular model you have to know if you can adjust the bobbin tension
- Sew a test seam on a folded fabric and pull on it to try and break the threads
- If only one thread breaks, try changing the bobbin tension
- Remove the faceplate on the sewing machine to access the bobbin area
- Remove the bobbin and its case via the hinged latch but keep the bobbin in the case
- Locate the screw on the side of a bobbin case and turn it with the correct size screwdriver
- Do not turn in big motions, but instead, move the screw slightly
- Move clockwise to increase the bobbin tension or counterclockwise to decrease it
- Feel for the tension by pulling on the bobbin thread
- If the thread is easy to pull out, the tension is loose
- If the thread won’t come out, the tension is too tight
- Reinstall the bobbin in the Singer sewing machine
- Secure the faceplate again
- Test a seam by sewing on the diagonal of the fabric the same way in step 2
- The stitches should look even on the top and bottom, and they lock in the center
- Adjust as needed until no single thread breaks when you pull on the fabric
Do you not know how to set up the bobbin on a Singer sewing machine? Then, read the tutorial on how to fill a bobbin on a Singer sewing machine.
When to adjust the bobbin tension on a sewing machine
You must only adjust the bobbin tension if adjusting the top thread tension didn’t solve the stitch quality. Some sewers even prefer to replace the bobbin case altogether instead of changing the bobbin tension.
However, different factors can cause the sewing machine tensions to change. Ensuring that you thread your sewing machine correctly with quality threads and keeping your unit clean and well-maintained should prevent issues with tension.
Furthermore, the emphasis is necessary that you only turn the bobbin case screw in minor increments when adjusting the bobbin tension. Test some stitches after each movement and adapt as needed.
Only adjust the bobbin tension in the following situations:
- Tighten the bobbin tension if you’re using a very fine and smooth bobbin thread to prevent sewing machine backlash where the bobbin keeps unwinding even if the machine stopped sewing
- Loosen the bobbin tension if you’re using a very thick or heavy thread to prevent too much pressure on it that can cause it to unwind uncontrollably
Remember that manufacturers have already set the bobbin tension to the ideal setting for most projects. So always start with adjusting the top thread tension before trying the bobbin tension.
Was this article helpful? You just learned how to set tension on Singer sewing machine, whether to loosen or tighten it.
You only need to locate the tension adjustment dial and move it counterclockwise or clockwise towards the lower or higher number to loosen or tighten the top thread tension. But in some cases, you may need to turn the bobbin case screw in small movements to adjust the bobbin tension.
Ultimately, please read your model’s manual and always test the stitch quality when doing different projects.