Thread tension issues can be the bane of anyone trying to make great things with their Juki sewing machine.
When tension problems happen, most sewists immediately look to the top thread tension and tension adjuster, then end up frustrated when it turns out that isn’t the problem.
Before you assume it’s got to be the top tension on your Juki HZL-G220 causing those weird stitches and broken threads, don’t forget to check your bobbin tension.
A bobbin issue is the culprit more times than not, as there are a number of ways that mishandling the bobbin will affect thread tension.
1. Wrong Bobbin
The simplest and most overlooked bobbin problem is that you’re using the wrong bobbin in the bobbin case that came with your Juki sewing machine.
Bobbins and cases are both specific to different machines and models; even if the bobbin slides nicely into the case, it may still be the wrong one.
Refer to your user manual to make sure you’re using the right bobbin and bobbin case for your machine.
2. Bobbin or Case Loaded Incorrectly Into the Machine
Another common problem that can affect thread tension is when the bobbin and/or case is not loaded into the machine correctly.
It’s essential that the bobbin slides smoothly into the case and then the case slides right into its spot in the machine without jamming so the thread can pull out freely.
Additionally, the direction you put the bobbin in matters; the bobbin should turn counter-clockwise when you pull the thread in a drop-in machine like the Juki HZL-G220 and clockwise in a front-loading machine.
A bobbin spinning in the wrong direction is going to create tension problems with the thread.
3. Bobbin Thread Not Wound Correctly
The way the thread is wound on the bobbin can also affect how easily it pulls out while the machine is making stitches.
The bobbin must be wound tightly in even layers that don’t cross each other in order to prevent too much or not enough thread from spinning out or knotting as the thread gets pulled from the bobbin.
A properly wound bobbin finishes off with an even row of threads all the way across the width of the bobbin without bumps or dips.
4. Bobbin Too Full
In addition to making sure the bobbin is wound correctly, it’s important that you don’t overfill it.
The thread should fill the bobbin to within 1 to 2 mm of the edge so it can be easily loaded into the case.
An too-full bobbin where the thread is too close to the edge or even bows outward over the edge will be too tight in the case, causing the thread to bind as it gets pulled out.
5. Thread Tails Sticking Out of the Bobbin
For the bobbin to work correctly and the thread to pull out smoothly, it’s essential that there be nothing extra in the way that will prevent it from doing so.
Thread tails left over from starting the bobbin on the winder can get in the way and cause the bobbin to bind in the case as can loose thread fibers and machine lint.
Make sure your bobbin and case as well as the bobbin insert in the machine are clean before you load everything; also trim back any thread tails to prevent interference.
Bobbin Thread Tension Problems Are Easy to Fix
When you start having thread tension problems with your Juki sewing machine and automatically look to your top thread, stop and change that thought.
Investigate the bobbin thread on your Juki HZL-G220 first, as many easily-fixed tension problems start with the bobbin!