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Towa Bobbin Tension Gauge

How to Use a Towa Bobbin Tension Gauge

Knowing how to set correct thread tension is crucial to ensuring your embroidery and quilting machines sew correctly and trouble free. With the Towa TM-1 & TM-3 bobbin case thread tension gauge, you can easily measure and adjust bobbin tension on your embroidery machine or longarm quilting machine. Itʼs fast and simple and will help you eliminate unsightly bobbin thread showing on top, looping top stitches and thread breaks. Your embroidery will look its best with consistent, balanced thread tensions.

Instructions for Use:

  1. Remove the bobbin case from your machine. Be sure the bobbin thread is out of the pigtail and place your bobbin case with the bobbin in it into the gauge slot. Snap the bobbin case in place.
  2. Wrap the bobbin thread around the two pulley wheels and around the plastic hook end on the gauge.
  3. Steadily pull the thread and note the reading on the gauge. This represents tension readings in grams. Correct bobbin tensions should be 180 to 220 grams (up to 250 grams when embroidering caps). Please Note: If your gauge is shown in units of 10ʼs, the correct bobbin tensions should be 18 to 22 grams (up to 25 grams when embroidering caps.)
  4. Adjust the bobbin case spring tension screw as needed to get the desired reading. To loosen the tension, turn the screw in small increments counter-clockwise. You should only make small adjustments when tightening or loosening the tension screw.

Note: The gauge needle should provide a steady reading. If you experience a bouncing, erratic reading it can be due to a dirty or defective bobbin case.
Tip: Slide a business card back and forth under the bobbin tension spring to clear any dirt.

Final Testing: Once you have adjusted your thread tensions, you should always first run a test. 

  1. First run the H stitch test pattern.
  2. If you experience any top stitch looping, slowly tighten the main upper tension knob until this looping goes away (looping can also occur if your bobbin tension is too tight).
  3. Proper tensions for satin stitches should reveal 1/3 bobbin and 2/3 top thread color on the underside of the embroidery.
Note: Too much bobbin showing on the underside and/or showing on the topside usually means either the bobbin tension is too loose or the top thread tension is too tight.

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