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Tension setting

KBL | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I have a Kenmore 158 sewing machine & rarely use it & I’m having problem with tension setting.  The bobbin thread keeps bunching up.  Maybe the problem is something other than tension setting?  Maybe I don’t have it threaded correctly?  Can anyone help?



  1. suesew | | #1

    Is the thread through the take up lever? Usually the best thing to do is remove the thread and bobbin and rethread everything. If the bobbin is loosly wound, you might want to rewind that also.

  2. User avater
    Thimblefingers | | #2

    Make sure that your presser foot is up when you thread the machine. When the presser foot is down, the tension discs close and the thread will not go into them.

  3. woodywoodpecker598 | | #3

    You didn't mention if the birds nest was happening at the start of your sewing or if it was during the sewing. If you hold the threads when you first start sewing does it still happen? Most problems are with the top tension, but you could check that your bobbin is in correctly and is threaded proper. (the thread thru the little slot). Another good thing to do,  thread your machine with 2 different colored threads to see which one is actually giving the problem.I remember reading once that if you hold the bobbin case by the thread and give it a little jerk it should only drop a small amount and stop. I tried this with mine and was amazed that it really worked, had visions of thread all over the  place, before I tried it. You also should check the other dial settings, like the pressure foot, if it is set for satin stitch, feed dogs are up, ect. When was the last time it had a good cleaning, sometimes if I get alot of lint under the needle plate it will give a problem as well.

    My sewing machine usually sits on 4.5 for the top tension,also have a Kenmore 158

    Edited 12/31/2007 2:22 am ET by woodywoodpecker598

  4. Teaf5 | | #4

    The problem is far more likely to be the wrong size or worn-out needle than anything else. Check that first.

    Bobbin tension rarely needs to be changed, unless it gradually loosens up, as it does on my Kennmore.  As other posters mentioned, be sure you're threading the top thread correctly, have the bobbin inserted in the right direction, and that the flat partof the needle faces the back of the machine (or the direction noted in the manual).  Then adjust the top thread tension first to see if that helps.

    Let us know what works--we've all been there, had that happen to us!

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