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HELP PLEASE :-) Sewing Tension Question for Brother LS-590 Sewing Machine
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Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

HELP PLEASE :-) Sewing Tension Question for Brother LS-590 Sewing Machine on 01/18/2012 10:13:14 MST Print View

I've just been learning my new machine, and no matter how many combinations and re-tensioning and rewinding the bobbin and can't get enough tension in the bottom of the stitch and it is leaving big loops of loose thread on the underside of the fabric. Don't know if it's broken or I'm just missing something. Using the stock needle it came with, 70% Poly 30% cotton thread (J1). Practicing on an old Coleman stuff sack, and just running straight stitches up and down, or at least that's what I'm trying to do.

Anyone ? I'm at a loss.....machine is a BROTHER LS-590 cheapo that I'm hoping will work well enough for my needs. Thanks !

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: HELP PLEASE :-) Sewing Tension Question for Brother LS-590 Sewing Machine on 01/18/2012 10:26:43 MST Print View

Stupid suggestions, sorry : )

is the thread going through the tension adjustment mechanism correctly

try a new needle

is the needle rotated correctly? There's a little slot the thread is supposed to go through. It should be facing the front (or maybe the rear or possibly either side?)

adjust bobbin and top tension to right in the middle

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Re: HELP PLEASE :-) Sewing Tension Question for Brother LS-590 Sewing Machine on 01/18/2012 10:48:10 MST Print View

"is the needle rotated correctly?"

This was the largest headache in figuring out my hand-me-down machine, a older Kenmore.
I had re-threaded the machine multiple times, trying different size needles, and finally sitting down and reading the manual front to back. I had missed the step where the needle had to face a certain direction. This fixed all my issues in not sewing through thicker fabrics, thread tension, and thread breakage.

It sounds like it is your bottom tension that could be off though. Is the bobbin wound properly?

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Here we go... on 01/18/2012 11:21:31 MST Print View

It's a new machine right out of the box.

Here's what I've checked:

1) Thread is properly threaded

2) Bobbin is wound correctly

3) Needle is correctly installed (from factory) and is straight

4) Needle and thread / fabric combination seem to be fine

5) TOP thread tension is fine and has an adjustment knob

6) BOTTOM Bobbin has NO tension adjustment of its own, and seems to be unspooling faster than it should (it spins freely in the housing with no tensioning at all.......seems not right...... Operating manual only says to adjust thread tension from the Top thread adjustment knob and says nothing on how to tension the lower bobbin.....

7) I've Noticed that it is really hard to bring up the bottom thread from the bobbin for the first time. It seems to stick on something, and then after yanking on the thread till I think its about the snap it finally pulls up and spins freely..I have opened it up and there is nothing wrong or stuck as far as I can see....IT IS A REFURBISHED MACHINE. I'm wondering if its a defect..... Thoughts ?

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Here we go... on 01/18/2012 13:18:57 MST Print View

FYI, fairly new to sewing gear myself and am not familiar with machines w/o bottom tension adjustment.

On my machine I manually rotate the "needle advancement wheel" (not sure what the technical term is) two full revolutions to get the bobbin thread to come up. If the thread shows up from below and it is too difficult to pull free, I have to rotate the wheel a bit more. If you're having to pull at it forcefully, it may not be seated properly? What is the weight of the fabric that you are running tests on? I was using 1.1oz silnylon and 1.9oz silnylon with setting the top tension to about as low as I could go with satisfactory results.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
bobbin tension on 01/18/2012 13:47:15 MST Print View

Seth, double check how/where you are feeding the bobbin thread. Recheck the diagrams in the owner manual. It's hard to explain, but the thread exiting the bobbin must go through a it's own "tensioner" that's located next to where the bobbin sits. It's usually just a small metal slit that you have to make sure that the thread passes through. It's a common oversight. My only guess is that you've skipped looping the bobbin thread through the metal slit tensioner altogether before passing it through the grey plastic "arm looking thing" out the bobbin compartment altogether.

Edited by Konrad1013 on 01/18/2012 13:53:41 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: bobbin tension on 01/18/2012 14:26:38 MST Print View

I think Konrad's suggestion is on the mark for the bottom thread.
If the loops are in the top thread then you don't have top tension at all.

My suggestion is however very different. Find someone who knows how to use a machine and get just one lesson from them, IN PERSON. Maybe ask a neighbour; maybe you ask at a shop. Doesn't matter. One lesson, IN PERSON.


Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Konrad you are a kind of a big deal.... on 01/18/2012 20:48:53 MST Print View

Thanks to all who helped out with suggestions and took the time to help me trouble shoot !!

Konrad - I'm betting you have many leather bound books written about your awesomeness....You had the problem spot on and I've just corrected it and now my stitches look about 7 Trillion times better (national debt reference anyone ?) !!

Thanks to all and don't think you're off the hook stupidity knows no bounds, so I'm sure I'll be back here at some point soon crying man tears once again...

Thanks for the tip about 1-on-1 training Roger - I'll see who I can scrounge up !!

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
HELP PLEASE :-) Sewing Tension Question for Brother LS-590 Sewing Machine on 01/25/2012 10:14:19 MST Print View

[nevermind - just noticed it was solved]

Edited by slacklinejoe on 01/25/2012 10:18:07 MST.