What a Bunch of … Thread!

Thread nesting and bunching

Mild Bunching

Thread bunching under your fabric?

Makes you want to curse out loud and take a hammer to your machine sometimes, huh? Before you rip your best friend apart, try these easy solutions. They will clear up the majority of problems lickety split!

1. Hold your thread tails and apply a little tension toward the back as you start to sew. Or you can start by taking two stitches with your handwheel before applying the power. (Especially if you start in reverse.)

2. I know this seems obvious but we sometimes forget. Make sure your presser foot is down. Also, don’t start your stitching over lumpy areas. The foot has to be flat. (If you absolutely must start on a hump, there are tricks for dealing with that, but that’s a whole other post.)

3. Rethread your machine. And be sure the presser foot is up and your take-up lever is fully in the up position when you do it.

4. Check to make sure your bobbin is threaded correctly. Some machines unwind the bobbin in a “p” and some unwind in a “q”.

5. Dump all the dollar store and bargain bin thread. Make a display out of any vintage thread you might be tempted to use. Then go and get yourself some good quality thread. Please! Cheap thread will wreak havoc on your machine and your sanity. It has to do with the loose fibres, plus the twist and torque of the strands as they unwind. We’ll skip the physics lesson, but for the sake of all sewing, get good thread! If there’s one thing a frugal fibre artist is not allowed to scrimp on, it’s the fibre.

6. Check your upper thread tension. Your bobbin thread might be bunching because your upper tension is too low.

7. Are you using the correct size of thread and needle for your project? (Another point that requires its own separate post to cover.)

8. Still bunching? Ok, now you can start futzing about with your bobbin tension, but be careful that you don’t lose that tiny screw or you will be screwed…

Note: The post has only one sad little photo because I am hopeless at photography and on the verge of tossing my camera over the balcony (again). Before that happens, I’m putting down the apparatus and starting Wine Time.



What are your thoughts on this post?