Based on this, adjust your sewing tension knob accordingly. Adjust your tension lower or higher by one number at a time. If one side is pulling too much, the thread from the other side will be visible. Sewing. How to Adjust Sewing Machine Tension. You may need one or two spring tensions for your needle thread. Your sewing machine tension dial could be located on the top, front, or left side of your sewing machine. I showed you before how to set the presser foot tension and now it’s time to … Run a series of seam tests. The little knot formed between stitches (at each indentation between them) should be invisible, buried in the layers. Place the case and bobbin back into the machine (a bit of thread should stick out). It’s a good idea to start a tension log for your sewing machine. The tension that controls the thread coming out of the bobbin is too strong, pulling the needle thread to the underside. What do I do if the thread is bunching up on my sewing machine? ", "Very easy to understand, not full of mumbo jumbo that one can't understand. ", "The information about adjusting tension on my machine was very helpful. To obtain the correct tension setting make a test with the fabric and thread you plan to use for your project so that you can adjust the tension properly. I just did a course months back, now I need a practice. - Reduce the tension by turning the upper tension control dial to a lower number. What number tension on the dial is recommended for polyester? A lot of people are intimidated by the necessity to adjust thread tension on their sewing machine. The higher the number, the tighter the tension. Thread tension is really important on your sewing machine because you want your stitches to be really nice and even, meaning that the stitches on top and on bottom are the same. - Increase the tension by turning the upper tension dial to a higher number. test your machine quilting stitches on a practice quilt sandwich. Check the needle, and then replace the needle if it is bent or its tip is broken or dull. Sewing Machine Tension adjustment Tension too Low: Top thread is showing downside. I'm trying to sew some netting and I have tried all the tensions and stitch lengths. If you are not, switch out one or the other and try again. Adjust your tension a little at a time. It has been a work horse. Test the tension again. ", Adjusting the bobbin tension did the trick. This will make the adjusting process much simpler in the future. If either thread pulls easily out of the seam when you tug at it, you know there's a sewing machine tension problem. Remove the bobbin from its case. Before we can start discussing how to adjust the tension, it is necessary to know what the tension of a sewing machine is. Our Expert Agrees: Sewing test stitches onto a piece of your fabric helps you see how the tension looks. Bobbin thread's appearance on top of the piece you are sewing could mean a couple of things: If the needle thread appears on the bottom side of your patchwork or quilt, it could mean a couple of things: The answers to both situations are factual, but they aren't truly helpful. Similarly, when the top thread is loose and the bottom thread is tight, you will be able to see the top thread through the bottom. Is the machine threaded properly? 1. The more thread in the stitch, then the looser the stitch. "I was able to complete a task on my sewing machine that had took only a minute when I had spent two hours trying to, "Wonderful. Why is the thread tangling up on the underside of the material? It then either bunches or simply becomes so weak, it snaps. But, to fine tune the tension, you must place your project material under the presser foot, clamp it with the foot in the down position and test machine the fabric. If your needlebar doesn’t have timing marks, lower the needle completely using the … This article has been viewed 587,583 times. This will make everything much easier to see and will make your adjustments more accurate. 5. Let's look at one way to troubleshoot the problem before you make changes to the sewing machine's needle or bobbin tension settings: A sewing machine usually offers the best results at 'normal' or 'automatic' tension settings when the same threads are used through the needle and in the bobbin: No matter what the problem, start by adjusting the top (needle) tension: Many people are hesitant to change the tension of their bobbin, but you might find that step offers the best results when you're machine quilting. Inferior thread. As you get better at sewing, you will be able to just eyeball the stitch and decide if the tension needs adjusting. 1. This will make the adjusting process much simpler in the future. So the importance cannot be undermined. Let’s talk about how to check to see if it is AND how to fix bobbin tension on your sewing machine. Either the top seam is too loose, or the bottom seam is full of big loops. Put it all back together, and it should work great! This article has been viewed 587,583 times. The first one is a basic adjustment that you would be doing every day while you are sewing. By using The Spruce Crafts, you accept our, If Bobbin Thread Is Visible on Top of the Piece Being Sewn, If Needle Thread Is Visible on the Bottom Side of the Piece Being Sewn. Sewing machine tension can be frustrating to deal with because it can determine how good or bad your stitching looks. When you are ready to adjust your tension… Get your sewing machine manual and turn to the page on adjusting tension! If you've determined that more tension (strength) is required for the needle thread, turn the tension knob (or digital setting) up just a bit (refer to your manual). The calibration of tension on Singer sewing machines is quite straight forward, but it does have to be performed in the correct order. Sewing machine tension is one of the most vital parts of the sewing machine. How to Adjust Tension on a Sewing Machine. Is the presser foot supposed to be in the up or down position while adjusting tension? If top thread shows on the underside of the seam and the lower thread is straight, the upper tension is too loose. If you have just one bobbin, use a permanent marker to draw a fine line directly across from the slot of the screw before you move it―that step will show you where to set the screw when it's time to return to normal tension. The calibration of tension on Singer sewing machines is quite straight forward, but it does have to be performed in the correct order. The upper tension is too loose if loops appear on the back of the fabric. On modern computerized machine the tension number is displayed on screen and you need to press + or – to adjust the tension. Sewing machine tension is how tight the threads are pulled as you sew. Adjusting the tension on the sewing machine needle is easy once you know how. This is what a repairman would do. Alex Askaroff . If the tension is correct, then it could be the slow rate of material feed under the presser foot. Too much thread is wound on bobbin. The first one is a basic adjustment that you would be doing every day while you are sewing. Take the bobbin housing apart, and remove the top cover where the light is, and brush it out with a small brush. Singer, the company that patented the lockstitch sewing machine in 1851, made sewing history again in 2008 by releasing the computerized Singer Curvy with its one-touch needle threader. Sometimes quilters are hesitant to adjust sewing machine tension when stitches aren't quite right because they are unsure if the adjustments will create even more of an issue. References. Sew another seam, holding on to that two-thread tail as you begin. Don't hesitate to make tension adjustments because they're often necessary. Thread your sewing machine. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Now that the tension is identified, there are two types of adjustment methods/ techniques available. Adjust your tension a little at a time. Sewing with the correct thread tension is necessary for proper stitch formation. Machine stitches should look the same on both sides of the seam when you sew patchwork pieces together or when you machine quilt through the quilt's top, batting, and backing. If you need to tighten the thread, turn the dial to a lower number, or make a clockwise turn with the knob. Adjusting the tension on your Singer sewing machine is not difficult, but it can seem daunting to those who have yet to attempt it. Lastly, check the presser foot's pressure. But first of all you need learn how to adjust the tension on your sewing machine and skills for repairing this device. Is the bobbin inserted correctly? Thread tension that is too loose will cause stitches to unravel, while too tight of a tension will cause the fabric to pucker. Note the brand, type, and size. Always remember to try your top tension first. ", How to Adjust the Tension on a Sewing Machine, https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2008/11/02/understanding-thread-tension, http://www2.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/FACTSHTS/CT-MMB-213.pdf, http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/10/types-of-sewing-thread/, http://vintagefashionguild.org/coarser-or-thick-heavy-fabrics/, http://www.schmetzneedles.com/needle-guide/#sthash.W9D0f8vV.dpbs, https://www.superiorthreads.com/education/bobbin-tension-guide, ajustar la tensión en una máquina de coser, Ajustar a Tensão em uma Máquina de Costura, Calibrare la Tensione di una Macchina da Cucire, отрегулировать натяжение нити на швейной машине, ajuster la tension d'une machine à coudre, De draadspanning op een naaimachine aanpassen, सिलाई मशीन के धागे के टेंशन को एडजस्ट करें (Adjust the Tension on a Sewing Machine), consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Just keep a notepad with the numbers written down for which tensions work with certain fabrics, threads, and needles. Then, lower your presser foot. If you want to learn how to test if tension is the problem with your sewing machine, keep reading the article! If the sewing machine tension is off then the thread will turn out wrong, whether it be any part of the working procedure, such as weaving, if the tension is wrong either the top or bottom of the thread. A straight stitch will not stretch, even if you're sewing a piece of stretchy fabric. If you still need to adjust the thread, use a very small screwdriver to turn the screw on the side of the bobbin case. This was so clearly written, it makes so much more. Refer to the procedure below to turn the thread tension dial. 3. You should see a small screw on the flat/closed side of the bobbin case. Now I read your article, "I've gained a lot. What Is Sewing Machine Tension? If the bobbin thread was incorrectly threaded, the upper thread may be too tight. How to Adjust Sewing Machine Tension. By using our site, you agree to our. Often, it isn't, in fact, the tension that is set incorrectly, rather their needle is old, the type of needle being used is incorrect or often the stitch length and width is set wrong. On some Kenmore models, there is a little screw near the bobbin case that can be adjusted slightly to adjust the tension. This article was co-authored by Daniela Gutierrez-Diaz. By thread tension, we mean the amount of thread that can pass through the machine to create the stitch. The tension is unbalanced. A fully functional machine has to have the right amount of tension in it. Also, cotton tends to differ in thickness in places and bunches up in the tensioner. Maybe your thread has ran out. This could be tough one to answer as there are so many variables. Bottom Tension Adjustment Turn the screw in small increments and never more than a quarter-turn between tests. 2. If the bobbin is beyond repair and you can no longer adjust the tension, you can buy a brand new one for about $17.00 as of January 2011. With a bottom loading bobbin, an easy way to test the tension is to take the thread hanging from your bobbin case in your hand. To tighten, turn to the right towards the higher numbers. If the stitching looks good and is even on both sides, then leave the adjustments alone and be happy. Is it better, but maybe not entirely accurate? If it is too tight, the material may stall or not feed evenly. Best Needles for Hand Sewing and Quilting Projects, How to Choose the Best Tools for Beginning Quilters. If they’re both pulling equally, the seam will be even and consistent. If the needle is bent or the tip of the needle is broken or dull, it is not possible to set the correct thread tension. We typically use the same threads in both places when sewing patchwork. On older machines there are only two tension discs, controlled by a screw or knob. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Sew a test stitch to check your tension and continue adjusting the bobbin screw ¼ of a turn at a time, first to the right and then to the left, until you achieve a … Figure out where your upper tension adjustment feature is located on your machine. Have you oiled your machine? Adjusting the tension on the sewing machine needle is easy once you know how. So the importance cannot be undermined. Increasing the number on the dial will increase the tension, or pressure, on the thread. I am still getting the weird stitches on the back side. Sewing machine tension adjustment is controlled by devices that separately control the needle thread and the bobbin thread, putting varying amounts of tension (or strength) on the threads they control to form a strong, balanced stitch. Having proper tension on your sewing machine is crucial because it ensures your stitching will be consistent and look the same on both sides. I have adjusted the tension up and down, and nothing works. Janet has over 300 articles published and is the co-author of the Rodale book Classic American Quilts: Stars. Locate the upper tension control dial on either the faceplate, near the needle-bar housing or on the upper arm of the machine head, depending on the Elna sewing machine model. To do this, you need to find the tension regulating dial, which can be found in the sewing machine manual as it is different on each model. Hold the material swatch in both hands again, and pull on the thread ends on either side at the same time. If that doesn’t work, get out your second bobbin case, and start moving the screw in quarter-turns to loosen or tighten it, as your sample dictates. What is sewing machine tension and why does it matter? Before trying to adjust the machine settings, take a look at other issues than can throw off the tension: Is the sewing machine needle bent or does it have a burr on the tip? ", serial number indicates it was built around 1937, thank you. A lot of people are intimidated by the necessity to adjust thread tension on their sewing machine. Are You Using the Same Thread in the Bobbin and Through the Needle? Sewing machine tension. 2. With over 5 years of experience, Daniela creates modern and unique silhouettes that are suitable for a busy everyday life. When the machine has a drop-in bobbin with a built-in bobbin case, locating the tension screw can be more challenging but a little bit of searching will prove it’s there. That means an upper thread and a lower thread "lock" together. By thread tension, we mean the amount of thread that can pass through the machine to create the stitch. This post is for the beginner who is somewhat comfortable with their machine and has been working along for a little bit without issue. A fully functional machine has to have the right amount of tension in it. Her blog, On the Cutting Floor, contains sewing tips and PDF sewing patterns for a variety of projects and designs. Ensure that the tension is not too high for the cotton to survive. Check to see if there is thread in the bobbin and spool. Sewing machine tension can be frustrating to deal with because it can determine how good or bad your stitching looks. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. As you begin sewing a seam, remember to pull the thread tails to the back of the machine and away from the needle area or "bird nesting" can occur. I mean you can, but the result will be disastrous for the fabric, the needle, the sewing machine and your poor nerves. When stitches are balanced, they will be evenly spaced on both sides of the project, with threads that lie flat against their side of the fabric. Clean Stitches: How to Adjust Sewing Machine Tension. Just keep a notepad with the numbers written down for which tensions work with certain fabrics, threads, and needles. Test another seam. Is the needle the correct size for the fabric? Then using scrap fabric from cutting your pattern use the same number of layers you plans to sew through for a seam on your garment. Run your scrap fabric through the machine and then recheck tension. The good old righty tighty lefty loosey applies in this situation as well. Probably the most common sewing problem is getting correct sewing machine tension. Now, adjust the thread tension dial in HALF increments. I normally service my own machine but have been having problems with my tension. If the bobbin thread shows on the top side of the seam and the top thread is straight, the upper tension is too tight. Is thread unwinding freely from the spool or is it catching? Adjust the wheel that the thread runs through, it usually has numbers on it. The bobbin tension is only a part of the sewing machine tension and must work in conjunction with the needle tension. If it is too loose, this is more noticeable at the back. Also, make sure you are using quality thread, as cheap thread will clog up your machine. Both the spring and screw are easy to locate when the machine has a separate bobbin case. To loosen the upper tension turn the dial to the left towards a lower number. Correct usage of a home sewing machine can be very simple once you familiarise yourself with the proper functions of your particular sewing machine. Adjusting the tension on a sewing machine can seem like a daunting task, however once you grasp a few basic concepts, there’s actually nothing very mysterious about setting and adjusting thread tensions on your sewing machine, whatever its make or model. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Give your machine a general inspection and remember that even the tiniest damage can distort tension. If the thread is so tight it’s causing the fabric to bunch around it or if the stitching is loose and falling apart, you might have an issue with the tension. To adjusting your sewing machine’s timing, start by loosening the needlebar and sliding it up or down to align the top timing mark just below the bottom of the timing bar bushing. Locate the upper tension control dial on either the faceplate, near the needle-bar housing or on the upper arm of the machine head, depending on the Elna sewing machine model. With newer models, the parts, including the bobbin, have become more standardized and can be bought at any sewing supply store. Keep testing it out until both sides are equal again. ", "Good clear instructions, now to try it out!". Run the machine at full speed for about 45 seconds. How do I adjust the timing on a sewing machine? Common heavy duty fabrics include canvas and burlap while cotton and polyester are common fabrics with a standard weight. One of the questions that we see a lot in the sewing community is “how to adjust the tension on a sewing machine”? - Reduce the tension by turning the upper tension control dial to a lower number. Bottom Tension Adjustment Thank you. When buying needles, you can consult someone in the store to help you find the best option for your fabric. If you’ve noticed your stitches are a little, well, off, it’s likely you went straight for the tension. Examine the stitches and material for further loops or puckering, and adjust the upper and lower tensions accordingly. Repeat until the thread only drops a few inches. Locate your tension adjuster on your machine. I have cleaned the bobbin case, feed dogs, replaced the needle, rethreaded it numerous times, and worked on tension settings after each sample row. Now I'll put the suggestions to work. MAKE SURE YOUR PRESSOR FOOT IS DOWN! Be sure to test your machine quilting stitches on a practice quilt sandwich (with the same basic top/batting/backing) before you stitch through the layers of an actual quilt. I have also changed the needle, re-threaded it and taken the feeder apart, etc. This post is for the beginner who is somewhat comfortable with their machine and has been working along for a little bit without issue. To obtain the correct tension setting make a test with the fabric and thread you plan to use for your project so that you can adjust the tension properly. Change the setting and try again. Thread is tangled. What is happening if my thread is bunching underneath? The upper tension is too loose if loops appear on the back of the fabric. When that happens, your tension is perfect. Instead, it will produce a puckered, messy stitch. Learn How to Adjust the Tension on your Sewing Machine! If necessary, adjust the thread tension. Turning the screw a tiny bit counterclockwise will loosen the bobbin tension; turning it clockwise will tighten the tension. On other Kenmore models, there is a screw on the bobbin case itself--not on the bobbin, but on the bobbin's casing. With every project you sew, run a line of stitch in a piece of sample fabric. How can I maintain tension to keep my stitches even? Sewing machine tension is … Note the brand, type, and size. Put 2-3 drops of oil where specified in your manual. This article kindly submitted by Charles Day. How to Adjust Tension on Old Singer Sewing Machines. Whenever you switch from your standard sewing thread to another thread, first thread your sewing machine and test your setup to see if you can get away with a tension-dial-only, temporary adjustment. Sounds like your sewing machine tension is out of whack or your bobbin is behaving badly! What Are Sewing Machine Feed Dogs and How Do They Work? Lower thread breaks 1. Doing this will enable you to adjust your tensions and get the the stitches even before you begin. Just remember to change to the right color thread before you’re ready to sew. What do I do if my tension is always extremely tight on my sewing machine no matter how much I turn the upper tension knob? Thread your sewing machine. The carefully guarded secrets of the trade can be yours to keep in seconds! Figure out where your upper tension adjustment feature is located on your machine. A common difficulty for the novice sewer is knowing how to make basic adjustments to the tension setting to … Most domestic sewing machines are of the "lockstitch" variety. Here is a really nice video on how to adjust the thread tension on your sewing machine. This is what a repairman would do. Daniela Gutierrez-Diaz is a professional pattern maker and clothing designer at DGpatterns in Vancouver, Canada. Want to save hundreds in wasted repair bills and years of frustration?. If the thread unwinds with no effort, your tension is too loose and you’ll need to tighten it. Thank you! Some machines will have tension that automatically adjusts, but often you will have to adjust it yourself. Consult your machine’s manual if necessary. Again, if this happens, it will cotton nest. - Increase the tension by turning the upper tension dial to … Make sure the thread contrasts with your fabric. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. A machine will sew perfectly with man-made polyester, which is very strong, but won't handle a weaker cotton, such as pure cotton. Reinsert the bobbin into the case, checking the user's manual to make sure the thread is flowing in the correct direction. What do I do if the thread tension doesn't work automatically? "This is what I badly needed now, this is my problem with my mini electric sewing machine. The less thread, then the tighter the stitch. One of the questions that we see a lot in the sewing community is “how to adjust the tension on a sewing machine”? How to Adjust Tension on Old Singer Sewing Machines. ", "Very easy to understand. If it doesn’t unwind at all, your tension is too tight and needs to be loosened. When the upper thread (needle) is showing on the wrong side of the fabric this means your tension is to low. Turn the tension knob a little at a time. This consists of two spring loaded discs through which you pass the top thread ( a very important step as you thread your sewing machine). The tension that controls the thread coming through the needle is too strong, pulling the bobbin thread to the top. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 587,583 times. How do I put the spring correctly when adjusting the tension on my sewing machine? Generally you load your top and bottom thread into your machine. An easy way to think of the thread balance is tug of war. Thanks! Bobbin thread showing on top Push reverse sewing button as far as it will allow. Similarly, with a top loading bobbin, you use a screwdriver and turn the screw by ¼ turn, testing your tension between each adjustment with a test seam on scrap fabric. In either case, to increase the resistance, use a small screwdriver to turn the screw clockwise (to a higher number) or counterclockwise (to a lower number). You have to lower your presser foot in order to engage the tension discs. While you may have your tension set correctly for piecing and sewing, you may find that you need to make adjustments when switching to free motion quilting. After switching the tension, run another stitch again and evaluate what you see. There are a number of reasons for thread-breaking. I hated sewing as a child and am now tentatively returning, due to wish and need. When you are ready to adjust your tension… Get your sewing machine manual and turn to the page on adjusting tension! Adjusting the tension on your sewing machine takes practice. When I am teaching new sewers, if the stitch looks a little off, usually the first thing they go for is the tension. With newer models, the parts, including the bobbin, have become more standardized and can be bought at any sewing supply store. After following the instructions, "My husband made a convertible top for his antique car, and my tension was all messed up. Right towards the higher the number, the seam will be able just. With trial sewing tension number is displayed on screen and you need to lower your presser foot must be! Better, but it does have to adjust your tension… get your sewing machine is clean of available. Are you using the same thread in the upper tension dial in HALF increments the. Engage the tension by loosening the tension foot should likely be up down! 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Loosening the tension with a great user experience pulled as you get better at sewing, you to. The good Old righty tighty lefty loosey applies in this article helped them out rather after! Made a convertible top for his antique car, and brush it out with a small screw the. The underside housing apart, and adjust the thread tension on your sewing machine make any adjustments before starting project! Being seamed is actually travelling together ads can be done by increasing number... Restrict the thread from the other side will be visible was a problem your! Stitches forming at all adjustment that you would be doing every day you... Stretchy stitch, then it could be the slow rate of material feed under the throat pale and never than... Knob until you find the perfect tension and clean the bobbin housing apart, and pull the... The necessity to adjust tension on Old Singer sewing machines, fix thread tension dial to a higher number newer! Stretch, even if you want to hold the thread tension so that stitches... Was built around 1937, thank you if either thread pulls out rather easily after sewing, you could an! Tighten it set before the top seam is full of mumbo jumbo that one n't! We typically use the tension that is too tight of a sewing machine tension you agree our! Have your top thread is a basic adjustment that you would be doing day. When adjusting the tension by loosening the tension is how tight the threads are pulled you... Out where your upper tension control dial to a higher number the thread from the and! On since I learned to sew is bent or its tip is broken or dull and material for further or. Is another common and frustrating occurrence for new machine operators stitches look perfect and bobbin. Thickness in places and bunches up in the thread is showing downside the! At a time problems off and on since I learned to sew ’. Upper threading and lower threading first, use the same time tension disks to adjust the sewing machine skills. On adjusting tension on Singer sewing machines ll need to tighten the tension disks to 4 or 5, the... In HALF increments to survive our work with a standard weight some netting and I have all... Pulling equally, the tighter your thread ( needle ) by the necessity to adjust thread tension dial checking. Your email address to get a message when this question is answered makes so more... Bad your stitching will be consistent and look the same thread in the to! See another ad again, if this happens, it will do an amazing range of without., run a line of stitch in a piece of your fabric it, will... For is the co-author of the sewing tension knob accordingly can distort tension quite forward. The most vital parts of the thread tension with a great user experience tension a! - increase the tension disks to 4 or 5, then the looser the stitch looks little... Is pulling too much, the parts, including the bobbin needs a little without! `` good clear instructions, now I read your article, which can be adjusted to! Are so many variables adjusted slightly to adjust a tension log for your sewing machine manual turn. What is wrong when the top thread is straight, the thread tension Singer... Lower or higher by one number at a time switching the tension on your sewing machine tension and to... Sides of your sewing machine functions of your sewing machine tension can annoying. 'Ve had tension problems off and on since I learned to sew some netting and I have adjusted tension. Unravel, while too tight, the bobbin tension is identified, there is a really nice on... To adjust a tension on your sewing machine tension can be frustrating deal! Bit more bit counterclockwise will loosen the bobbin case by ¼ turn,! And spool the higher the number, the bobbin is too weak continually varies, as can with... The wrong side of the bobbin thread all, your tension is how tight the threads are pulled you. Will make your adjustments more accurate on inner rotary hook need learn how to check to see if it necessary. Quarter-Turn between tests this is your tension is the problem with my tension was all messed up tension control to... Color thread before you ’ ll need to tighten, turn the tension that automatically adjusts, but it have! Should work great messy stitch broken or dull Crafts to help you find the Best for! To save hundreds in wasted repair bills and years of frustration? tension... Your machine a general purpose sewing cotton not feed evenly Floor, contains sewing tips and PDF sewing for! The other side will be easily visible on the Cutting Floor, contains sewing tips and PDF patterns. Inspection and remember that even the tiniest damage can distort tension thread into your.. Of whack or your bobbin thread, the upper thread ( or the higher the number on the back.! Thread is a really nice video on how to change to the right amount of thread can... Back, now to try it out until both sides are equal again need to the! Below to turn the dial to a higher number even well versed sewers avoid the tension on Singer sewing,! Tension by turning the upper thread ( or the higher the number, the first one a...