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How to Check Thread Tension | Video

Jun 25, 2019

Poor thread tension makes seams that are uneven, unattractive, and weak. For great-looking seams that hold your projects together securely, check your machine’s thread tension before sewing.

This video tip shows an easy way to see whether the needle and bobbin threads are properly balanced for good thread tension. Sew diagonally—along the bias—on a square of plain-woven fabric. Then pull the stitching line ends to break the threads. If the needle and bobbin threads break at the same spot, the tension is correct. If only one breaks, it is too tight compared to the other. Adjust the needle thread tension up or down to balance the threads. Make small, incremental adjustments to get the tension just right.

This reader tip was sent in by April Mohr and featured in Threads #113 (June/July 2004).

Find out more about sewing machine thread tension in “Understanding Thread Tension on Your Sewing Machine,” and “How to Achieve Ideal Sewing Machine Thread Tension.” 

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