Frequently Asked Questions

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Embroidery Machine FAQ Results

How do I set upper tension? (Single and three head machines only)
  • The pretension knob or top knob should be screwed down until the top of the adjustment knob is even with the bottom of the slot (on the tension knob stud).   This is the standard adjustment and should remain in this position.
  • The lower or rotary tension knob should be set so that after the machine trims (and before it color changes off of the needle), the thread tail length should be even with (or 3/8" below) the bottom of the presser foot.  (The thread extends 70mm past the needle hole.)  If the thread tail length is too long, tighten the rotary tension knob by turning it clockwise.  If the thread is too short, loosen the rotary tension knob by turning it counter-clockwise.   a 1/2 turn at a time should be used until the next trim takes place.  Then re-evaluate whether to tighten or loosen more.  Note: This method is an alternate to using a thread tension gauge, or doing sew outs to test tension.  It is meant to get the upper thread relatively close to the correct tension (provided that the trim tail length setting on the machine is still at its standard or default setting).
  • If using sew outs to check for tension, ensure that there is 1/3 bobbin showing in the back of the sew out.  If too much shows, turn dial counter-clockwise.  If too much thread shows, turn dial clockwise.
How do I set bobbin tension?
  • Make sure that bobbin case and spring are clean before beginning this procedure.  This is to ensure consistency once proper tension is set.
  • Install a new bobbin of correct size into bobbin case.
  • Slide the thread under the tension spring.
  • Pull bobbin from under hole of tension spring.  If bobbin case has a middle thread guide or pigtail, do not thread through at this time.
  • Pull approx. 50mm of bobbin.
  • Hold the bobbin by the thread hanging out of the case to check the tension.  The ideal tension should be when the bobbin does not move, or is very slow releasing thread.  If the bobbin falls to the ground, it is too loose and you will need to tighten the screw (on the tension spring).  If the bobbin does not fall, loosen the screw until the bobbin is just barely holding its own weight.  Note: If a tension gauge is used, the correct bobbin tension is 20-25g.
  • Adjust the tension of the upper thread & bobbin thread for better balance when sewing.  The industry standard assumes 1/3 of the bobbin thread is visible in the back of a sewout.
How do I correct excessive thread breaks/frays on all needles?
There are many may causes of thread breaks and frays.  The following is a list of possible causes and fixes:
Poorly punched designs.
To verify if the problem is being caused by an improperly punched design, sew with a known good design.
Tensions not set correctly.
Set machine to proper tensions (see setting Upper Thread Tension and Setting Bobbin Tension procedures).
Machine not threaded correctly.
Check threading with diagram in machine instruction manual.
Garment hooped too tight or loose.
Hoop garment correctly.
Incorrect application of backing or use of no backing.
Use recommended backing.
Rotary hook needs to be lubricated.
Oil rotary hook manually.
Presser foot height not adjusted to correct height.
Adjust to .5 mm.
Presser foot bent causing it to rub against needles.
If presser foot is slightly bent you can bend back to shape.   If presser foot is severely bent it must be replaced.
Presser foot scratched or scored on the bottom.
Polish with crocus cloth of #52c crocus cord if scratches are minor.   Replace if scratches are severe or presser foot is scored.
Scratches on rotary hook.
Polish with crocus cloth of #52c crocus cord if scratches are minor.   Replace if scratches are severe or rotary hook is scored.
Scratches on bottom of needle plate or in hole.
Polish with crocus cloth of #52c crocus cord if scratches are minor.   Replace if scratches are severe or needle plate is scored.
Needles are not centered in needle plate hole.
Center needle plate.
Machine is out of timing.
Reset hook timing.
How do I correct excessive thread breaks/frays on one needle?
There are many may causes of thread breaks and frays.  The following is a list of possible causes and fixes:
Poorly punched designs.
To verify if the problem is being caused by an improperly punched design, sew with a known good design.
Needle not installed correctly.
Ensure that the needle is inserted all the way until it meets the end of the needle bar.  Set needle so that the notched part comes on the rotary hook side.
Needle is bent or dull.
Replace needle.
Incorrect needle being used for application.
Change to correct needle.
Tensions not set correctly.
Set machine to proper tensions (see setting Upper Thread Tension and Setting Bobbin Tension procedures).
Needle is not threaded correctly.
Check threading with diagram in instruction manual.
Thread is of poor quality or old.
Replace with a known good cone of thread.
Scratches or burrs in thread path (thread guides, take-up lever, etc.).
Polish with crocus cloth of #52c crocus cord if scratches are minor.   Replace if scratches are severe.
How do I correct bobbin thread showing on top of garment?
There are many may causes for this problem.  The following is a list of possible causes and fixes:
Bobbin tension too loose.
Tighten bobbin case (also see Setting Bobbin Tension).
Upper thread tension is too tight.
Loosen upper thread.
Bobbin case is dirty.
Clean bobbin case.
Bobbin tension spring is missing or weak.
Install, replace, or bend spring slightly to restore tension.
No backing being used.
Use correct backing.
Scratches on rotary hook.
Polish with crocus cloth of #52c crocus cord if scratches are minor.   Replace if scratches are severe or rotary hook is scored.
How do I correct looping of upper thread?
There are many may causes for this problem.  The following is a list of possible causes and fixes:
Upper thread tension is too loose.
Turn tensioner clockwise to tighten tension.
Presser foot is too high.
Adjust to .5 mm.
Presser foot scratched or scored on the bottom.
Polish with crocus cloth of #52c crocus cord if scratches are minor.   Replace if scratches are severe or presser foot is scored.
Needle not installed properly.
Ensure that the needle is inserted all the way until it meets the end of the needle bar.  Set needle so that the notched part comes on the rotary hook side.
Needle incorrect, dull, or bent.
Replace needle.
Incorrect rotary hook timing.
Set hook timing.
Needle depth set incorrectly.
Set to proper needle depth.
How do I correct wiper out errors?
There are many may causes for this problem.  The following is a list of possible causes and fixes:
Upper wiper stopper cushion is damaged or missing causing the wiper to go past the upper position sensor.
Replace cushion.
Screws holding upper wiper position sensor are loose.
Reposition sensor and tighten screws.
Set screws holding upper connection rod to solenoid are loose.
Reposition connecting rod in the up position and tighten set screws.
Magic tape in upper thread holder is loose or damaged.
Replace magic tape.
Upper thread holder is out of position.
Reposition upper thread holder.
Bobbin underneath fabric is cut, but thread above fabric is intact causing wiper to hang up.
Cut thread and make sure that wiper is reset to the home position.  Change knives if thread is not consistently cutting.
How do I correct motor lock errors?
There are many may causes for this problem.  The following is a list of possible causes and fixes:
Rotary hook needs to be lubricated.
Oil rotary hook manually. 
Thread stuck in or around rotary hook.
Remove thread.
Broken piece of needle stuck in rotary hook.
Replace hook.
Movable knife is in the out position.
Move knife to the retracted position as per instruction manual.
Movable or upper knife is out of adjustment.
Adjust knife.
Take-up lever is out of synch striking the top of the needle bar case.
Adjust take-up lever driver.
Ball of thread underneath needle plate ("birds nesting").
Clear thread.