The Sewing Place

Is this a tension issue?

rubywishes

Is this a tension issue?
« on: November 09, 2017, 06:23:53 AM »
I'm scratching my head and hoping (no, it's not nits!)  that someone can help me. I can't get a good enough photo so please bear with me while I try to describe my problem.
I have 2 different colored threads in my machine, a mechanical straight stitch only Juki. Now, when I sew a line my bottom stitches look fine....nicely formed and with no hint of the top thread colour there at all. Excellent. My top stitches also look fine but I have tiny dots of the bottom thread showing through. The stitches are well formed, the thread is not just "lying on top of the fabric" and I can't pull either threads out. So...do I have correct tension? I have tried decreasing my top thread tension, changing bobbin, re-threading etc but it makes no difference, I still have my little dots. Am I over worrying?
1980 Janome (aka Joan...she's no nonsense or frills),  Bernina 710 (aka Bernice), Juki TL2010Q,  1917 27K treadle (aka Gertie), 1957 99k (aka Vincent), 1951 99k knee lever (aka Shirley), 1950 99k handcrank (aka Alice), 1927 28K (aka Dora).
....and the dusting and vacuming can wait!

Sewbee

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 06:39:02 AM »
I am no expert, but I wonder if a smaller needle would sort this. It would leave smaller holes and thread from the other side less likely to show.

Ploshkin

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 07:56:27 AM »
Just a thought or two but is it anything to do with the colour of the bottom thread in relation to the fabric.  Would the bottom thread still show if the thread colours were reversed?
Could it be to do with thickness of fabric / thread ratio  If you've got a couple of layers of quite thin fabric there is a limited amount of space for the thread links to be buried in.  Would you still get the same issue with thinner thread or slightly thicker fabric?
That's all my brain cells can come up with this early.
Life's too short for ironing.

rubywishes

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 09:16:02 AM »
Thanks Ploshkin, yeah, I thought that might be the case too as I was sewing batik fabric to cotton fabric so there is a discrepancy in fabric thicknesses.....and I was excited to come to this conclusion...yay...logic...okay....happy to move on.

Until I decided to sew a line on a couple of pieces of standard quilting cotton.......bother :angry: same thing happening. Since posting this question I found an article in Threads magazine regarding tension and it states to sew on the bias, corner to corner a straight line on a 5" square of the fabric in question. You then grab opposite corners and pull until you feel your thread snap.....if it snaps both threads (upper and lower) in the same spot...your tension is fine. And mine was, so I'm going with that as I can't for the life of me figure it out any other way.
1980 Janome (aka Joan...she's no nonsense or frills),  Bernina 710 (aka Bernice), Juki TL2010Q,  1917 27K treadle (aka Gertie), 1957 99k (aka Vincent), 1951 99k knee lever (aka Shirley), 1950 99k handcrank (aka Alice), 1927 28K (aka Dora).
....and the dusting and vacuming can wait!

Ploshkin

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 09:49:58 AM »
Colour probably comes into play too - if top and bottom thread were the same colour you just wouldn't notice those tiny dots.
Life's too short for ironing.

Greybird

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2017, 09:50:34 AM »
Might be worth a try increasing your bobbin tension slightly. I had the same problem once and that did the trick.

rubywishes

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 10:31:29 AM »
Eeeeek Greybird.....touch my bobbin tension?  :o Did that once years ago on my old Janome and entered a whole world of pain that took me a lifetime to get over! :)

Yes Ploshkin, you're probly right, I should just change back to the same coloured thread...I should just let it go and stop dwelling on it.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 10:33:04 AM by rubywishes »
1980 Janome (aka Joan...she's no nonsense or frills),  Bernina 710 (aka Bernice), Juki TL2010Q,  1917 27K treadle (aka Gertie), 1957 99k (aka Vincent), 1951 99k knee lever (aka Shirley), 1950 99k handcrank (aka Alice), 1927 28K (aka Dora).
....and the dusting and vacuming can wait!

Lowena

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 10:59:50 AM »
You know me and my advice Rubes... always take the line of least resistance and never touch anything you might regret  :D Just use the same coloured thread and you'll never know  ;)
Triumph of hope over experience :D

BrendaP

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 12:36:50 PM »
Might be worth a try increasing your bobbin tension slightly. I had the same problem once and that did the trick.

NO!  reduce the top tension slightly.  Don't mess with the bobbin tension unless you really have to.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Ohsewsimple

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 14:21:03 PM »
Agree with BrendaP, don't fiddle with the bobbin tension.  It can be difficult to get it back where it should be

Greybird

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 19:56:59 PM »
Oops! Sorry, didn't mean to cause a wave of horror. The instruction booklet for my old machine suggested tightening the bobbin tension to solve this problem and it was only a small adjustment to the screw which did the trick. I think it had worked it's way looser than it should have been and the stitching was much better generally afterwards.

Kenora

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 20:58:35 PM »
I've been used to drop-in bobbins all my sewing life (60+ years). So when I bought another machine last year, and it had a front-loading bobbin, I was determined that I was going to control it, and not vice versa. I watched every YouTube video on the subject and read every article that I could find. Then I spent hours changing the bobbin tension and sewing samples to see what effect the different changes had. Very boring and tedious |O - but I can now alter the bobbin tension with confidence and I'm not afraid of it any more. :D
Minding my P's & Q's in Portreath

arrow

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 00:20:41 AM »
We sometimes have to adjust bobbin tension for thicker or thinner threads to get perfect stitching. That said it's often enough to balance out the stitch by adjusting upper tension, but at some point it can get too tight all together. Some keep a separate bobbin case for this and there are tension gauges for it; there are reasonable work arounds for this. I would of course start by just loosening the upper tension, but if I understand you right you already have.

Other factors can be needle size, size of the eye on the needle, as well as blunt needle that needs to be changed. Two layers of ligth fabric is the worst to get just right, but if you have three layers, a double fold or something like that, the locking of the thread should not show.

rubywishes

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 04:44:41 AM »
Thanks everyone for your opinions, most appreciated and ruminated over!
1980 Janome (aka Joan...she's no nonsense or frills),  Bernina 710 (aka Bernice), Juki TL2010Q,  1917 27K treadle (aka Gertie), 1957 99k (aka Vincent), 1951 99k knee lever (aka Shirley), 1950 99k handcrank (aka Alice), 1927 28K (aka Dora).
....and the dusting and vacuming can wait!

arrow

Re: Is this a tension issue?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2017, 17:06:50 PM »
I hope you have managed to get it right today rubywishes. I don't know about "opinion" in cases like this, to me it's much more a list of check points (there's nothing really new on this) and I think they all have been mentioned in the post. It could always be described in more detail if necessary.