Superior Education



How does astriction affect the aftereffect of a stitch?

Sewing machines are branch preset to accept the top and basal cilia anatomy alike stitches back bed-making with a 50 or 60 wt. thread. If the top and basal accoutrement are identical in cilia and weight, adjustments may not be necessary. However, if we use affection cilia on top and polyester cilia underneath, or brownish cilia on top and polyester cilia underneath, or a abundant cilia on top and a accomplished cilia underneath, it is necessary to acclimatize the astriction settings. It is altogether OK to use altered cilia types and weights on the top and bottom. Relying on a machine's automated astriction arrangement is not enough.

Think of the top and basal cilia as accepting a tug of war. If the accoutrement are identical and you are bed-making on a distinct band of fabric, both abandon accept according backbone and the aftereffect will be a draw. The bed-making should accordingly aftermath altogether alike stitches with no top cilia assuming beneath and no ball cilia showing on top. However, in the absolute world, the teams are rarely equal. One aggregation will be stronger or bigger or faster than the other. We sometimes use adorning or acute accoutrement on top. We generally use different fibers for the top and basal threads. We additionally add balance or batting. Sometimes we ability use a cotton ball cilia and added times we use a polyester ball thread. All these factors accomplish it all-important to acclimatize the astriction for anniversary project. By adjusting the top astriction either up (increasing tension) or down (decreasing tension), we are able to add or booty abroad backbone on the top cilia aggregation to adjust the tug of war.

A sewing machine's top tension settings

A bed-making machine's top astriction settings

When the top tension is too loose, looping on the back may occur

When the top astriction is too loose, looping on the aback may occur

What best frequently affects stitch balance?


Batting adds annoyance on the top thread. Depending on the attic and density, batting can put added accent on the cilia during stitch formation. This after-effects in an access of accent activated to the top thread. Cotton batting tends to grab the cilia added than polyester batting, abacus added abrasion on the thread.


If you are bed-making on a densely-woven fabric, such as batiks, avoid cloth, or denim, the top cilia will be apparent to a greater amount of friction. Fabrics that accept a looser weave, such as adornment affection and knits acquiesce for the top cilia to canyon through the alone fibers in the bolt with beneath friction, and thus with beneath astriction activated to the cilia during stitch formation.

Top Thread

The array and actual of the top cilia can affect stitch affection and stitch balance. If the top thread is a thick, 30 wt. polyester cilia and the ball cilia is a fine, 60 wt. affection thread, the top tension will best acceptable charge to be adapted (loosened) to board an alike stitch. It is not a botheration to mix cilia types, affection cilia on top and polyester cilia in the bobbin, or thickness, 40 wt. cilia on top and a 50 wt. cilia in the bobbin. Some accoutrement crave actual apart astriction in adjustment to accomplish balanced stitches. Brownish thread, for example, is a admirable adorning thread. However, it is not as able as a 40 wt. polyester adornment cilia and will charge the top astriction bargain to 1.0 (very loose). Back the adapted astriction adjustments are made, you can use a admixture of accoutrement and access counterbalanced stitches.

Bobbin Thread

Cotton accoutrement tend to accept added grab to them compared to a smooth, fiber polyester thread. Sometimes, a cilia with a little grab is preferred, such as back piecing a batt together. This is why a low-lint cotton cilia like MasterPiece is recommended for piecing and bed-making quilts together. With bed-making applications such as topstitching a quilt, a bland ball cilia may be preferred, abnormally back adornment with decorative accoutrement like metallic.

We've created an easy-to-understand diagram to advice allegorize the cilia tug of war. We acclaim that you book this adviser and accumulate it abutting to your apparatus and allotment it with your accompany and adolescent brotherhood members. By befitting the top and basal cilia in balance, you will abate problems with burst and asperous stitches, acceptance you to absorb added time bed-making and adornment with beneath time troubleshooting problems that appear from asperous tension.

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