How do you measure tension on a sewing machine?

What tension should I use for cotton?

Cotton requires a moderate tension setting, usually between three and four.

Why is the tension wrong on my sewing machine?

Needles, threads, and fabrics: Different thread sizes and types on top and in the bobbin can throw off basic tension settings. A needle that’s too large or small for the thread can also unbalance your stitches, because the size of the hole adds to or reduces the total top tension.

How do I know if a thread is rotten?

According to Deborah Moebes in her Whip-Stitch.com article “Your Thread Has a Shelf Life,” there is a simple test to determine whether thread is expired or not: Tie a knot in the middle of a forearm-length piece of thread. Gently pull the thread from both ends. If the thread breaks, it’s too old to use.

What does correct tension look like?

A correct thread tension looks smooth and flat on both sides of the seam. The needle and bobbin threads interlock midway between the surfaces of the material.

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