No matter what type of quilting machines you use, one of the most frustrating problems can be improper thread tension. Achieving proper tension may be more challenging with long arm quilting machines, which work a differently than standard sewing machines.
The next time you have thread tension issues with your Juki TL 2200QVP-S long arm quilting machine, try the tips below to fix the problem.
Test Tension In Advance
Thread tension on quilting machines can be affected by a variety of things, including the type of thread and fabric that is used. To save time and avoid damaging your fabric, test the tension with a sample quilt sandwich made from scraps of your fabric and batting along with the thread you plan to use.
If the stitching indicates an adjustment is necessary, it should be done before you start the sewing the project. Tight top stitches mean either the bobbin tension is too loose or the top thread is too tight. Tight bottom stitches suggest the opposite. Determine which problem you are having and make the appropriate adjustments.
Rethread the Machine
As simple as it sounds, sometimes simply rethreading your Juki TL 2200QVP-S is all that is necessary to correct tension imbalance. Begin by unthreading the top thread and removing the bobbin and case. Clean everything and rethread the machine and test again. Use high quality thread to reduce the likelihood of tension problems.
Check the Bobbin and Case
As with any other machine, bobbin and bobbin case problems are a common source of bobbin thread tension issues on long arm quilting machines. Check the case for any damage and ensure it fits properly into the machine. Make sure the bobbin itself is not bent and is properly wound.
Clean the case and machine of any lint that may be caught and preventing the bobbin thread from advancing properly. Replace the bobbin and/or case if it has ever been dropped on the floor.
Try A Bobbin Case Tension Gauge
If everything seems fine with the bobbin and case yet you still have thread tension problems with the lower thread, try a bobbin case tension gauge. These nifty little devices allow you to insert your bobbin and case and test the tension on the thread as you pull it through. Based on the tension reading, you can easily adjust the tension screw on the bobbin case to improve the tension on the thread.
Adjust Top Thread Tension
When other options have failed and you still cannot get the top thread balanced with the bobbin thread, turn to the upper tension control on your machine. Slowly tighten or loosen the top tension as needed, then test on your test swatch after each slight adjustment. Work this way until the upper and lower thread are balanced and stitches look normal on both sides of the fabric.
When working with polyester, metallic, or other specialty threads, you may need to set the tension slightly looser than normal. Change the thread altogether if tension problems persist even after resetting the top tension.
The general rule of thumb with any quilting machines including the Juki TL 2200QVP-S Long Arm Quilting Machine is to test the thread tension and carefully adjust it according to specific fabrics and threads being used for a project. By slowly adjusting the top and bobbin threads, stitching on long arm quilting machines can be easily balanced. If attempts to adjust thread tension fail to help, you may want to call a repair shop certified to repair your sewing machine brand!