Needle thread tension, Tension test – SINGER 1288 User Manual

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Needle Thread Tension

Having selected the correct needle and thread com­

bination for the fabric being used, it may be necessary
to adjust the tension of the sewing machine to insure
a well-balanced stitch.

A well-balanced stitch is produced when the top and

under thread appear the same on the fabric.

Your machine has an adjustable top tension control
system. This control exerts tension on the threads as
they pass through the machine to form a stitch.

• Too much tension will produce a tight stitch which

will cause puckered seams.

• Too little tension will produce a loose stitch.

When an even amount of tension is exerted on both
threads, a smooth even stitch known as a balanced
stitch, is produced.

Tension Test

To help understand the effect of tension on fabric and
thread, try this simple test:

• Take two pieces of a medium weight woven fabric

in a solid light colour about 15cm (6 inches) long.

• Place a 2020 size 14 needle in the machine.

• Thread the top of your machine with a polyester or

cotton dark colour thread and use a lighten colour
thread of the same fibre and size in the bobbin.

• Select straight stitch.

• Seam the two pieces of fabric together starting with

the top tension control at 1. Then as you sew, slowly
turn the tension control from 1 through 9.

• Sew another row turning the dial back to 1. You

should have a balanced stitch on each row mid-way
between the start and finish in each case.

• The different coloured threads will help you to see

the effect that the tension has on the top and bottom

Now that you have observed the effects of tension,

we suggest that you perform a similar test on a scrap
of fabric you plan to use, being sure to duplicate the

number of thicknesses of your garment.