How to Adjust the Tension on a Singer Serger Sewing Machine

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Singer sergers are designed with ease-of-use in mind, and the many models that Singer makes have a simple tension adjustment system. While the Singer serger models vary widely in their features, functions, speed and cost, the process for adjusting the tension remains similar for all Singer brand sergers. The tension settings on these sergers control the way the stitches are formed, and a minor setting can make a major change to your stitch outcome. When adjusting your tension, have your owner's manual on hand so you can easily refer to the suggested tension settings for your machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Owner's manual
  • Set up your machine for the stitch you want to serge. Sergers differ in the amount of cone threads they hold, with some holding three and others holding four or five. Different types of stitches require a specific number of thread cones to make the stitch, so check your owner's manual for the proper number and placement of the thread cones.

  • Adjust the needles and add or remove needles as necessary. Singer sergers have a variety of needle positions. Consult your owner's manual to see what type and where to place the needles for your stitch.

  • Thread the serger according to the manufacturer's instructions. Always thread the lower section of the serger first, followed by the needle section.

  • Find the suggested settings or your desired stitch in the owner's manual. Each thread cone has its own corresponding tension dial, and all Singer serger tension dials are color coded. Each tension setting suggested or your stitch will have the corresponding color listed, making it easy to determine which setting goes where. Find the corresponding color coded tension dial and adjust each one.

  • Adjust the seam width finger knob, most often located on the lower left side of the serger, to the suggested setting for your stitch. Adjust the stitch length with the stitch length knob, most often located on the middle right side of your serger, to the suggested stitch length.

  • Serge a few rows of test stitches to ensure your serged stitches are balanced and even. Adjust your settings if necessary.

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