To get the best results when sewing with Janome sewing machines like the Janome 8900QCP, it is essential to understand how each machine works and its various adjustments. One such adjustment that is critical on all sewing machines is thread tension. Without proper tension, sewn garments may not turn out as desired. To prevent tension problems from affecting a project, sewers should understand what can cause improper tension and how to adjust it.
What Is Thread Tension?
Thread tension is what keeps the thread on sewing machines easily flowing so it creates strong, balanced stitches that look good on both the upper and lower portion of the fabric. Unbalanced tension, which is tension that is either too tight or too loose, is noted by either stitches that are too tight or too loose on the top or bottom of the fabric.
Setting Thread Tension
Before attempting to sew any project, it is important to ensure the tension is properly adjusted. This can be easily done by first putting in new sewing needles, then re-threading the machine with a spool of thread on top and a full bobbin underneath. Set the tension regulator to medium (usually 4 or 5 on most sewing machines), and the stitch length to 2mm; then sew on a piece of preferably the fabric that will be sewn and examine the stitches. Based on how balanced the top and bottom look, adjust as necessary until the stitches are balanced.
Thread Tension Problems
When tension problems arise, there can be many causes. Before automatically reaching for the thread tension adjustment dial, check the following things first, since most of the time the problem lies in one of these areas:
- Bobbin - A bobbin that is threaded too loosely or tightly or is improperly wound can affect thread tension. Try rethreading the bobbin, replacing the bobbin, or making sure the bobbin case itself is not damaged in some way.
- Threads - Check to make sure that both threads on the machine are the same type and size and correspond well with the fabric being sewn. Differences in thread material and thickness can affect how thread behaves when used on Janome sewing machines.
- Needle - Along with using the right threads, also ensure the needle is large enough and not bent or damaged. A needle that is too small for the thread being used with it can create tension problems.
- Clean the Sewing Machine - Dirty sewing machines can also experience thread tension problems. Take the machine apart and give it a good cleaning to ensure there is no dust or lint balls affecting the flow of the thread.
- Rethread the Machine - If all else fails, remove the thread and bobbin and start over by rethreading everything anew. At this point, if the tension is still off, then move on to re-adjusting it by using the adjustment knob.
Proper tension is required to get best results from sewing machines of any kind. Without balanced thread tension, stitches will be too tight or too loose. To obtain the best results from Janome sewing machines like the Janome 8900QCP, sewers should understand how to set tension and the variety of things that can cause improper tension!