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Janome 15000 - Top Tension settings for machine embroidery

SparkleFever
 
Edited

In embroidery mode on the 15000, Do you find that the default top tension setting is usually okay or do you find that you end up adjusting the top tension settings quite a lot?

On my machine, for Rayon 40s (eg. Madeira), a tension setting reduced to between 1 and 1.6 seems to work best and for Polyester 40s (eg. Kingstar) it's often reduced to around 1.4 to 1.8.   That's in embroidery mode, using the standard bobbin case (not yellow dot), a  60 wt bobbin thread. 
It feels like quite a large adjustment bearing in mind that the default tension settings for the various stitches in sewing mode usually need very little adjustment if any.



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SparkleFever

onlinesewing@...
 

If this has been the case since you got your machine, the top tension may need to be adjusted. This is a simple procedure that your dealer can accomplish in minutes. If it has come on progressively over time, then you may need to clear out the thread guide at the top of the machine. The steps are listed on page 159 of the instruction book. However I have noted that these steps are not included in the Quilt Maker 15000 manual, so they may have eliminated the ability to do it in this later model. Thread debris that builds up in this area can create additional tension on the thread, so you are actually compensating by reducing the regular tension.

Pixey
 

I have encountered this on my 15000s, using plural because my first one had to be replaced under warranty as it was acting very strange and would unexpectedly and erratically release the top tension in the middle of embroidering a design. I notice this most when embroidering on thinner or lighter weight fabrics, I have a theory that the 15000 default settings are for embroidering on heavier fabrics or quilts (multi-layer w/ batting). When I do these type of projects, I don’t have to make any adjustments but if I am embellishing a t-shirt, I have to change the tension by a couple of notches (or just use my 500E which seems to have totally different default tension settings and does great on the lighter weight fabrics.

Pixey

SparkleFever
 

Thanks for that.  What you say suggests that the default setting should be the norm.

The lint trap on the upper thread guide is cleaned frequently (as is the machine) and as the default top tensions for sewing mode are fine I'm confident that it's unlikely to be the reason.

Would the 'fix' by the dealer be a mechanical calibration on the upper tension unit?
or
Would the fix be to re-calibrate the bobbin case to work better with the default top tension ?

 If either of those, surely it  would affect the default settings in the sewing mode?

or
Would the fix be to set a new, different default setting for embroidery mode inside the machine's control settings?

My previous machine was an 11000 and although the standard bobbin case worked fine for both sewing and embroidery mode, when using polyester embroidery thread I used a spare bobbin case that had been re-calibrated specifically for working with the polyester top thread.  
 
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SparkleFever

onlinesewing@...
 

The bobbin case tension is carefully set at the factory to be appropriate for both sewing and embroidery, so that should never need to be changed. Unfortunately many "old school" mechanics always start by changing the bobbin tension instead of finding out where the actual problem is. I used to get machines in for service that had been fixed elsewhere with the bobbin tension so tight that it almost didn't let the thread go through.

For most things the default machine settings should work fine, but the adjustments are available in those situations where they are needed.

SparkleFever
 

@Pixey - Thanks for that, It's on lighter weight fabrics that I notice how much the tension needs to be adjusted.  
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SparkleFever

Betty S
 

I have a 15000, original version but now updated to the Quiltmaker. I read in the manual about cleaning out the thread guide but I do not see how it opens up?
Betty

onlinesewing@...
 

On the original 15000 it snaps on, though it does take a little force to get it loose. The Quilt Maker manual no longer mentions this, so I'm thinking they may have taken that feature off.