Janome Tensioning Issues

I bought my MB4 last year right after they came out. I don’t know if I madea good decision or not. I am on my second one. The seller finally gave me a new one because he couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. I have major trouble with my tension. My top threads are making loops and my bobbin thread doesn’t even show up underneath.Example, I’m sewing with red top thread and black bobbin thread but it shows red thread top and bottom. I have adjusted both tensions until I’m blue in the face. Any suggestions would be very helpful. – Catnip

18 Responses

  1. Reneah Raffay
    Reneah Raffay January 28, 2009 at 1:11 am |

    You may want to check the threading of the machine both upper and bobbin threads. Also what type of embroidery thread are you using? Also, is this a problem with all 4 needles? Did you change the needle?

    Hope this helps.

    Reneah
    Janome Tutorials

  2. Parvoleta
    Parvoleta January 28, 2009 at 11:07 am |

    Hi,
    I just purchase Janome 350e and i have simmilar problem with the tension, but still not fixed from the service, don’t know what could be.

  3. Christine Blagburn
    Christine Blagburn February 4, 2009 at 4:03 am |

    Hi

    I had similar problems with my 200e bought at Christmas. I took the machine back to the demonstrator who threaded it with janome bobbin thread and top thread and it works! i have other thread which I need to slacken the tension but I think that’s the problem.

    Hope this helps

  4. Anne Husa
    Anne Husa February 4, 2009 at 6:06 am |

    what kind of stabilzer are you using for these embroideries? And what type of fabric are you embroidering on?

    I”ve found that if I’m stitching on with a lot of stitches…a cutaway on the back helps a lot.

    If you are stitiching on knit or streach fabrid…you want to use a lightweight cutaway on the back and some water soluble stabilizer on the top. That keeps the stitches from get deep into the fabric.

    is the tread you are using for embroidery? if you are using a single needle machine…its better to have the same weight thread in the bobbin and top. Or use a good embroidery bobbin thread in the bobbin

    I hope that helps
    Anne

  5. grammy2fivekids
    grammy2fivekids February 4, 2009 at 6:15 am |

    I share your frustrations with tension issues on my new Janome MC11000 Special Edition. When using one color on the bobbin and another on the top it is easy to see that the tension is off and not allowing for correct interlocking of the threads. I can see both color threads,particularly on the underside of my fabric when doing any stitch with a zig zag. Straight stitch seems to be better. (I am using thread recommended by Janome.) I have taken the machine back to the dealer 3 times in the 4 weeks I have owned it, but he just tightens the tension a little more, which helps but doesn’t totally fix. My fear is that the tension in the embroidery module will not be thrown off due to the adjustments. Any suggestions, other than asking for a new machine?

  6. Lana L Jones
    Lana L Jones February 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm |

    Hi Catnip,

    My first questions would be the usual, do you have the right needles? what type of thread and bobbin are you using? what are your tensions set at? is the bobbin in correctly? which I am sure you and your dealer have already gone over. Next I would ask are your needles in properly? Since they are round and not flatback, it is easy to get them in crooked. After placing them in, place the old needle in the eye and make sure that needle comes out perfectly straight towards you (the eye and groove should be forward, then tighten the screw. The tensions on mine are usually set around 5-7 depending on the thread I am using at the time. Check your threading process, are you opening the tension release when you are threading the machine or changing thread colors? Also make sure you oil it as described in you manual.

  7. Jan Pickinpaugh
    Jan Pickinpaugh February 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm |

    Have you tried the bobbin tension or just the upper tension? I change my bobbin tension quite often.
    Love my MC 10001 JanP

  8. Diane
    Diane February 4, 2009 at 4:11 pm |

    I have Janome 10001. I couldn’t get the tension adjusted right. No matter what I did, the bobbin would always show on the top.
    Then I read an article in Designs Magazine by Deborah Jones about adjusting the small screw on the bobbin case. It was a very small adjustment. It solved the problem.
    If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, then ask the technician to do it for you. I did it myself because my theory is ” if it isn’t working, then it’s already broke”. Sure hope this helps.

  9. Carol Reynolds
    Carol Reynolds February 4, 2009 at 4:36 pm |

    Have you tried changing the tension on the bobbin case? I know we all are afraid of trying this but sometimes it will make a difference.

  10. CA
    CA February 4, 2009 at 8:37 pm |

    I have a 300e. I had trouble once with its tension. I had the nasty habit of pulling the thread back out from the top of the machine when it was finished with a colour. The tension got messed up because my luck ran out and one of the threads frayed and broke off inside the thread track. Someone at Janome suggested that I open the side of the machine and look for any scraps of thread caught or floating around where the thread would normally travel. I found enough thread in there to cure me of my bad habit. I now cut the no longer needed thread at the spool and pull it out through the bottom of the thread track. I am sure if your machines have been in for service they have checked this, but maybe not. I wish you luck getting your problems corrected as I love my Jamome.

  11. Ricky
    Ricky February 4, 2009 at 10:06 pm |

    Hi, I have a Janome 300E and have absolutely no problems with the tension. I have my tension set at 2. I was told by my dealer never ever to touch the tension screw on the bobbin.It has been set at the factory and if you play with it you could have a lot of trouble getting it to be just right. Take it back to your dealer and get him to check it.

  12. Marsha Gentry
    Marsha Gentry February 5, 2009 at 10:55 am |

    When I first got my MB4, I also had what seemed to be tensioning problems. I replaced my bobbin case with a bobbin that has a ‘pig tail’ for one thing. This helps the bobbin tension to remain consistent. The bobbin thread that you use may also be an issue. I have found that the best to use is something like Maderia bobbin thread or OESD bobbin thread rather than the poly filament (very very thin).

    Try these things and see if that helps.

    Marsha in North Carolina

  13. Annelle
    Annelle February 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm |

    Hi Catnip
    I have a similar problem with my 300E as have some of my friends with the same machine, a couple have had the timing adjusted and feel it helps, as yet I have not had a chance to get mine done but the technition who is doing this has done numerous Janome machines with this problem. I have had my machine serviced twice in a few months trying to fix, it becomes an expensive process I know I am up for another $70 odd when I have the timing done.

    May be this is an option.
    Regards Annelle

  14. G
    G February 12, 2009 at 9:13 am |

    I have a Janome 350E. I read my instruction manual for tension problems. If followed, the tension issue will be resolved IF you are using the proper thread. I have found my machine LOVES Maderia Rayon and Poly thread and HATES Anton as well as, all Coats and Clark threads! It also is a HUGE help to utilize a thread stand; e.g., black metal base with the tall metal arm that you utilize BEHIND the machine when you are using metallics, etc. This keeps the thread at a constant tension thus alleviating the tension problems I have encountered. Hope this helps. Thank you.

  15. judi
    judi February 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm |

    I wonder if you have changed the foot tension dial to 2. I have the 11000 and it is on the top of the machine on your left if you face the machine. If you have a different machine look at the manual for info on the foot tension and see what it advises. I’ve had my machine for quite a long time but I think the manual said to set it at 2 for embroidery. Wish you great luck!!!

  16. rafaella
    rafaella August 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm |

    Hi…Iam brasilian and I love my 3 machine Janome 1000 and 1001.The problems rs the same,bobin.But Iam studying whith you.Thank you.

  17. Nancy
    Nancy November 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm |

    I also have upper tension problems…it will not stay tight…MC11000…I have never had any luck with the embroidery…I use floriani medium weight stabilizer, Marathon pre-wounds, and I’m only doing redwork!!!…so frustrating…

    It’s going to a dealer on Wednesday…I hope he fixed it…*sigh*

    Nancy in Canada

  18. carol christoffel
    carol christoffel March 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm |

    Don’t know if this helps,but on Janome 1100se, and on Babylock quilter’s choice, I experienced tension problems when I did fancy threads. By experimenting,I discovered the embroidery bobbin threads vary considerably, and some top threads are too heavy or uneven for them.I learned to switch out bobbin thread and play with needle size to improve results, then adjust tension.Make sure it is 2 on the dial for embroidery.

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