How To Adjust Bobbin Tension On Brother Sewing Machine

What Is Bobbin Tension?

Bobbin tension is the tension exerted on the thread of the bobbin when it is being wound or used in a sewing machine. Too little tension means that the bobbin thread will loop and be visible on the top of the fabric. Too much tension will cause the bobbin thread to break. Adjusting the bobbin tension correctly is an essential part of ensuring that you get the perfect stitch with your Brother sewing machine.

How to Tell If Your Bobbin Tension Is Too Tight

The most obvious sign that your bobbin tension is too tight is when you notice loops appearing on the top of the fabric. This is caused by the excess tension being put on the bobbin thread which is being pulled up through the fabric. You will also find that the stitches are uneven and puckered. If this is the case, you will need to adjust the bobbin tension.

Adjusting Bobbin Tension

Adjusting the bobbin tension on a Brother Sewing Machine is a relatively simple process. The first step is to locate the tension dial which can be found on the top or side of the machine. The tension dial will have a set of numbers ranging from zero to nine, with nine being the highest tension. Once you have identified the tension dial, you can adjust the tension of the bobbin.
Begin by turning the dial back to zero and then slowly increase the tension in small increments. Test the tension by sewing a few stitches on a scrap piece of fabric. When the thread tension is correct, you should see the upper and lower threads being held firmly in the fabric. If the bobbin thread is looping on the top of the fabric, you will need to increase the tension further.

Testing the Stitch

Once you have adjusted the bobbin tension, it is important to test the stitch. To do this, sew a few stitches on a piece of fabric and then inspect the seam to ensure it looks neat and even. If the tension is still too tight, you will need to increase it further until you are happy with the stitch.

Cleaning the Bobbin Case

Even if you adjust the bobbin tension correctly, you may still find that the stitches are uneven. This is often caused by a build-up of lint and dust in the bobbin case. To prevent this from happening, you should regularly clean the bobbin case with a small brush or cotton swab. This will help to ensure the bobbin tension remains consistent.


Adjusting the bobbin tension on a Brother Sewing Machine can be a tricky task. It is important to follow the correct steps and ensure the correct tension is set to get the perfect stitch. Always start by turning the tension dial back to zero and then increase it in small increments. Make sure to test the tension on a scrap piece of fabric and clean the bobbin case to remove any lint or dust. With a bit of patience and practice, you will soon master the art of adjusting the bobbin tension on your Brother sewing machine.

How to Repair a Broken Bobbin Thread

A broken bobbin thread can be a nightmare for a sewist. If you find that the bobbin thread has snapped, the first step is to check the bobbin tension. The tension may be too tight which can cause the bobbin thread to break. If the tension is correct, then you should check that the bobbin thread is not caught in the bobbin case or pulled too tightly around the spool pin.
Once you have identified the source of the problem, you can repair the bobbin thread by winding it around the spool pin and then pulling it through the eye of the bobbin. To ensure it stays secure, you can use a dab of sewing glue to keep the thread in place. When you are ready, re-insert the bobbin into the machine and start sewing again.

How to Change the Bobbin Case in a Brother Sewing Machine

In order to ensure that your sewing machine is working at its best, it is important to check the bobbin case on a regular basis and change it if necessary. On a Brother sewing machine, replacing the bobbin case is relatively straightforward. Firstly, you will need to remove the bobbin by pressing the needle plate release button, then gently lifting the plate out of the way.
Once the bobbin is removed, you can access the bobbin case by unscrewing the thumbscrew. You will then be able to take out the bobbin case and replace it with a new one. When inserting the new bobbin case, make sure it is firmly in place and tighten the thumbscrew. Finally, re-insert the bobbin and the needle plate and you will be ready to start sewing again.

Using a Bobbin Winder

If you find that your bobbin is running low, you may want to consider using a bobbin winder. This is an easy way to quickly wind bobbins and save time when sewing. Most Brother sewing machines come with a built-in bobbin winder or you can purchase a separate one. All you need to do is thread the spool through the eye of the bobbin and then attach it to the bobbin winder. You can then wind the bobbin at a consistent speed until the bobbin is full.

Using a Magnet to Hold the Bobbin Thread

Another useful tip for keeping your bobbin thread in place is to use a small magnet. Place the magnet close to the bobbin case and the magnet will attract the bobbin thread, making it easier for you to pull it through the fabric. This is a great way to save time when threading the bobbin and eliminate the risk of the thread being pulled too tightly around the spool pin.

How to Troubleshoot Common Problems With Your Brother Sewing Machine

If you find that your Brother sewing machine is having any issues, it is important to check the basic settings first. Ensure the presser foot is correctly assembled and the bobbin tension has been adjusted correctly. You should also check for jams and the needle plate for any blockages.
If the issue persists, then it is important to consult the troubleshooting guide for your machine. Most Brother sewing machines come with a comprehensive troubleshooting guide that can help you to identify and resolve any common problems. If you are still in doubt, consult a professional sewing machine engineer who can provide expert advice.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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