View Full Version : HELP! Tension on Embroidery Machine!

B's Mommy
07-10-2011, 01:19 PM
The tension on my embroidery machine is all messed up (I think that's the problem), and I have NO idea how to fix it! It's a Brother SE-400, and all my designs are showing the bobbin thread on top instead of the top thread! I've tried adjusting the little tension dial on top from 0 all the way to 8 with no difference in the results! :banghead: I only got the machine a few days ago, did I break it already?! I have NO idea how to adjust the bobbin tension, if it's even possible...It has a drop in bobbin, so there is no casing or anything that I'd adjust...Anyone else have this problem and how do I fix it? I've rethreaded both the bobbin and the top thread...and I'm using some "medium" tear-away stabilizer...:headscratch:

B's Mommy
07-10-2011, 01:38 PM
Ok...so I might have fixed it somehow myself (even though I have NO idea how...)....I just redid all the threadings again...and I rewound the bobbin...everything looks exactly the same as it did before, but now it's working properly. Ugh! :banghead::banghead: This is the ONE thing that I hate about sewing machines!! Any idea what it could have been? The bobbin thread wasn't loose, so I highly doubt that was the issue...*sigh*

07-10-2011, 06:41 PM
Maybe the tread wasn't seated in the tension disk? I've done that on my serger before. That was likely all it was as changing the tension did nothing, but retreading fixed it.

But you can actually change the tension on your bobbin if you ever need to in the future (though it can be a pain to adjust so I'd suggest buying an extra bobbin case for when you need to adjust) If you take out the plastic case that your bobbin sits in, you will see a small screw on the side - it adjusts a small tension bar on inside.

B's Mommy
07-10-2011, 08:23 PM
I *think* it was that I didn't catch the bobbin tension disk while putting it into it's thing. It doesn't actually have a case that it sits it, it goes in at the top, and then you run the thread along this path it has...I can't take anything from the bobbin area out, however, I read my manual again, and it says that my machine has automatic bobbin tension....Anyways I noticed the tension spring is quite a bit lower than the path, and so I probably missed it. =) Doncha love getting to know new machines? lol

07-10-2011, 08:47 PM
I have the same machine (I think - looks the same - different model number - mine's 2 years old) If so it does have a case - it's the plastic thing you drop the bobbin into under the clear lid (my old brother and my new Janome have the same type of thing so I expect most newer drop in bobbins are the same). If you remove the plate that surrounds the clear bobbin cover (if your machine is the same as mine you should be able to remove it without removing metal needle plate - you pull it towards you) then you will see the case in the bobbin area... you should remove it every once in a while to clean out lint anyway.

B's Mommy
07-10-2011, 09:01 PM
The thing under the clear cover is metal, but I think I understand what you mean. How do I take the plate that surrounds the bobbin cover off? I probably won't mess with the bobbin tension since the manual says it'll adjust itself based on the upper tension, but I agree about the lint! I was wondering how I'd clean it out! =) Thanks!

07-10-2011, 09:35 PM
Hmm if it's metal your machine is not exactly the same as mine then.

On my Brother machine there is a grey plastic plate that surrounds the clear bobbin cover - it's shaped like an 'L' and it pulls off - I take the clear bobbin cover off and use my finger at the edge of the plate from there and pull while I pull at the top of the 'L' it pops off without much force at all.

On the Janome the metal needle plate is larger and extends all around the drop in bobbin. For that one I have to remove 2 screws that are into the needle plate - and the whole plate then comes off and you have access to all the linty stuff under there.

B's Mommy
07-11-2011, 10:17 AM
Ah. I'll look in the manual for exact instructions. Thanks again! =D

11-01-2011, 04:19 AM
I would be interested in knowing if you ever got yours figured out. I have the SE-400. Some days it works great with no problems, other days it shows the bobbin thread on top all day long with the same adjustments, same fabric, same stabilizer, same thread, etc. I was going to attempt to adjust the bobbin tension, but there is a piece of wax over the tension screw as if it's screaming out, "Don't touch me!"

11-01-2011, 04:47 AM
I have that machine too and I usually find if the tension seems off while embroidering I usually have the wrong needle for the fabric or wrong stabilizers.

For pretty much any project I've done the tensions been between 2.5-4.