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Tension Tags

Treva1's picture

Hello all I am in so much need of some sewing help.  I took a sewing class back in high school, 10 years ago.  I am currently trying to help my husband by sewing in tags for his clothing line.  The sewing machine that I have is his mothers, a Kenmore from Sears.  My problem is the bobbin, and tension.  Can someone please walk me through how to tread the bobbin, and the correct tension.  The back stitch is bunching up and it's slowing me down.  HELP!!!!

sandermom's picture

(post #24527, reply #1 of 4)

Back stitches bunching up...not something I can readily identify but here's a suggestion.  When you begin to sew make sure you have the two thread tails in hand with a slight bit of tension on them as you take your first stitch or two forward.  Keep hanging on as you do your first couple of back stitches.  Bobbin tension is not for the easily frustrated to tinker with.  A lot of sewers simply buy several bobbin cases to set for varying tensions and use a dot of color to identify which case/tension is for what use.  You probably don't have bobbin tension issues if the tension is okay when you're sewing a longer straight run.  Make sure your needle is the right size for the fibers you're piercing...some labels are non-woven with an almost sticky backing.  A dab of 'sewer's aid' silicon on the needle can help keep your needle gunk free if that is the issue.  Good luck.

Klaatu Barada Nikto

stitchmd's picture

(post #24527, reply #2 of 4)

Those tags are heavy, densely woven material, not the easiest thing to work with using a home machine. Get a heavier duty needle and change needles often. Rethread your machine to make sure you didn't miss anything, use really good quality thread, practice with some scrap fabric and a label until you get the upper tension set right. Bobbin tension is rarely the problem. Experiment with longer stitch lengths too, the label only needs to stay put, not endure the same stresses as a seam.


What kind of material are you sewing the tags to? This can affect your choice of needle. I'm puzzled why you need to do them at home-is the clothing made in a factory? Is it not already being sewn to assemble it?

SewTruTerry's picture

(post #24527, reply #3 of 4)

If the bobbin thread is the one that seems too loose before adjusting the bobbin tension take the time to unthread the upper thread and rethread.  Also make sure that you have the needle in the full upright position (oops now I sound like a flight attendant ) before threading it.  Also find out who the manufactured your Kenmore as every year they bid it out for low ball pricing and it could be that you actually have a machine built by Singer. If that is the case always always buy Singer needles for the machine.  I spent lots of time and energy at the repair shop to only find out that I was using the wrong needle.  Also when was the last time you had the machine serviced and cleaned? If you have to lint built up in the tension disc that can mess things up as well.


Good luck and let me know how it works out for you.

BonnieM16's picture

(post #24527, reply #4 of 4)

Take the model number off the machine and go to Sears to see if they can get you an owner's manual so you can have some instruction for the machine.  Bonnie