How To Fix Tension On Kenmore Sewing Machine

Prepare the Machine

Before attempting to fix tension on a Kenmore sewing machine, it is important to make sure the sewing machine is prepared correctly beforehand. Start by cleaning the machine and lubricating the moving parts. Check for frayed threads around the needle and hook and clear away any loose threads. Make sure the bobbin is inserted properly and all of the settings are at their default values.

Investigate the Problem

Once the sewing machine is ready to go, it is time to investigate the tension problem. Innovative Threads magazine suggests privately serviced sewing machines should fix tension problems 95% of the time. If the problem persists, unthread the machine and thread it slowly with a single thread. Test the machine’s tension and compare it to the manual or online support, making note of any discrepancies. If the tension is too high or too low, the problem could be that the tension disk or tension spring is loose or broken.

Adjust the Tension Disk

If the tension of the thread is off, the most common and easiest solution is to adjust the tension disk. Disconnect the power and unscrew the needle plate to access the tension disk. Keeping the tensions disk in the same vertical place, rotate it gently between the fingers to adjust it, helping the thread to slide underneath and creating the required tension. Make sure to check the manual or online support for the correct settings and that the settings match those in the manual or support guide.

Check the Bobbin Case

The bobbin case can also affect the sewing machine’s tension, as this holds the thread. First, press the bobbin release, which is usually located on the side or the front of the machine, then take out any loose thread and lint from the bobbin case. Make sure the bobbin is properly inserted with the bobbin winder in the correct position or it will be hard to wind the thread properly.

Replace the Tension Spring

If all else fails, the problem could in the tension spring. Unscrew the needle plate and locate the tension spring. If it appears to be worn out or not functioning properly, it is advisable to replace it. This can be done by unscrewing the thumb screw and lifting the spring out of its place. Insert the new tension spring and screw the thumb screw back in position.

Change the Needle

A sewing machine needle that is dull, notched or bent can cause a tension problem. Make sure the needle is sharp and the size is the correct one for the task. The size of the needle is determined by the type of fabric used. If the wrong size needle is used, tension issues can occur. Replace the needle and recheck the machine.

Test the Sewing Machine

To make sure the tension of the machine is properly adjusted, test the machine by turning the hand wheel and make sure the stitch is regular. Then, sew a few test lines of stitches that run through the same kind of fabric that will be used in the project. If the tension is correct, the top and bottom thread should meet in an overlapping pattern with the same width on both sides.

Check the Thread Path

Make sure that the thread is following its path correctly. Check the entire thread path, starting at the spool pin, to the take-up lever, through the tension disks then the needle plate and finally the needle. Make sure all of the parts are properly connected and secured. Thread the machine correctly and re-test the tension.

Clean and Lubricate the Machine

If all of the above steps don’t seem to be helping to fix the tension on a Kenmore sewing machine, the machine may be due for some general maintenance. It is always recommended to get the machine serviced regularly. Cleaning and lubricating the machine will help prevent tension issues along with other problems.

Cutting Settings

It is important to adjust the cutting settings to ensure proper tension. If the lower tension is too strong, the fabric might be cut unevenly and the fabric may become too loose. If the upper tension is too strong, it might cause thread breakage. Check the manual or support guide for more information about the recommended cutting settings for different types of fabrics.

Threading Issues

When attempting to fix tension problems on a Kenmore sewing machine, it is important to take a look at the threading. Make sure the spool of thread is placed in the correct position. If the thread is not properly inserted, it can cause tension issues. Before threading the machine, it is important to check the manual or support guide for the correct threading procedure.

Stitch Settings

The stitch settings on a Kenmore sewing machine should also be double-checked when working with tension issues. If the stitches are too close together or too far apart, it can have a negative impact on the tension. Check the manual or support guide for information about the recommended stitch settings.

Reassembling the Machine

When the problem is fixed and the machine is working properly, it is time to reassemble the machine. Make sure all of the parts are secured in their proper place and the machine is powered back on. Check for any remaining lint or frayed thread and clean the machine with a lint brush. Once the machine is ready, it is time to start sewing!

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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