Elna SU - Adjusting Lower Tension

madam_butterflySeptember 9, 2006

Funny thing! I went into a search engine to get information about this and found GardenWeb listed as an information source. This is funny because I love GardenWeb but have only participated in the Butterfly forum. I didn't know about you guys!

So, I make liturgical vestments and I've been having problems with puckering so, I need to adjust the bottom thread tension on my Elna SU.

Previously, I used a Featherweight - that I loved! I could adjust the lower tension on it. I did it fairly often and was always satisfied with the results.

I made up a prototype stole last week for a proposed kit and one side seam was a little squirrely. Before I get any further into the stole I'm working on now, I want to get that lower adjustment straightened out.

This Elna seems to think its tensions are adjusted automatically. It's not working that way. And I'd rather be able to adjust the tension myself, and whenever necessary, than resort to my professional who is half an hour away. I mean, this is a basic adjustment, isn't it? We ought to be able to do it ourselves??? Yes? No?

But, I don't know how!

On my Featherweight, I took out the bobbin case and tightened or loostened that little screw until the tension would just support the weight of a fully wound bobbin. On the Elna, I can't get the bobbin case out. I can't identify a little screw that looks as though it might adjust tension. And, I couldn't suspend the bobbin case from the thread of the fully wound bobbin anyway!

Help! Soon, please! I'm into that stole and I don't want to stop! You know how that is!


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I think on most of the newer machines there is no bobbin case per se.All the tensions are adjusted from the top.Get some scraps of the same fabric you are sewing,and keep playing with your top tension until both the top and bottom look good with no puckers.JMO

Maybe some of the other ladies will have other ideas.But i will also tell you that on the weekens it's kinda slow around here.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 2:06PM
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Did you get a sewing machine manual with your machine and did you read it? Did you wind a new bobbin correctly?

It could be you need a finer needle.

Then again, some of those puckers will press out.

I took a look at your machine on e-bay. As the other poster said, usually you can take it off automatic and nudge the upper tension higher or lower.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 7:11PM
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I have an Elna SU and love the machine. The lower tension is set so that most adjustments in thread tension are made on the upper thread. Generally, changing the lower thread tension is not recommended. If you change from the factory settings, you might want to remember the original setting so you can return to it. However, you can adjust the lower thread tension if you choose. Do you have your original manual? The directions for doing this are on page 5 of the white colored # 2 manual. If you do not have a manual, I will scan the page and send it to you via your email. Hope this helps...Arrie Jo

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 11:41PM
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