• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Blogger
Our KS location will be closed until further notice. Please use Live Chat for any inquiries.

Upper Thread Tensioning

Proper thread tensioning is essential to achieving trouble free, quality embroidery. 
Most threads breaks are due to poor tensioning. 

Looping of the top thread or bobbin thread showing on top of your design are other indications
of improper tensioning. Too loose, your thread will begin looping; too tight, bobbin thread may
begin to show on top and you may begin to experience frequent thread breaks, wasting time and money.

Stitching out a simple satin stitch is the best way to see if your tension is correct.

1/3 of the bobbin thread should be seen
running down the center with 1/3 of
the top threadshowing on either side.



Top Tension is

Too Loose

Top Tension is

Too Tight

Just Right!


Towa Bobbin Tension Gauge
"L" Bobbin Style

Set your bobbin tension correctly prior
to managing your top tensions. A bobbin
tension gauge can be most helpful.

  • Bobbin - set between 18 and 22 grams
  • Bobbin for Caps - set up to 25 grams

Click Here to order a 
Towa Bobbin Case Tension Gauge

Tajima Top Tension Gauge
Using a top tension gauge is a
great tool to use as a starting point. 

  • Rayon - set between 100 and 120 grams
  • Polyester - set between 120 and 150 grams

The settings for specialty threads vary for each
type and should maintain the 1/3 bobbin
thread showing on the bottom side

Click Here to order a 
Tajima Upper Thread Tension Gauge

If you are still experiencing thread breaks after proper tensioning your bobbin and upper thread, be sure
that your needles are fresh.  Old needles may produce burrs and lead to frequent thread breaks. 



Click Here to download a printable version of this page
Hang a copy in your shop for quick reference!