The tension dial is a small knob located on the front of the machine. It’s just under where you insert your sewing thread, and it has three settings. Depending on your preference, you can adjust how much tension the machine uses while you sew, which ranges from light to heavy.
If you’re new to sewing, it might seem not very clear at first. There are many different sewing machines on the market and even more setting dials. But surprisingly, there are only three settings on most basic models that you can adjust with your own hands.
The Tension Dial is used to control how tight or lose your stitch is, depending on what type of stitches you are trying to sew. Let’s get more in detail.
3 Main settings for tension dial on a Sewing machine
It is generally used for lighter fabrics such as cotton or silk. The light tension setting will give you a looser stitch result and make the job go faster. It is also known as “tension control” or “turning down the needle.” You will experience a looser stitch, often known as the “faulty net” effect or the “bobble.”
It is used for heavy fabrics such as denim and heavy denim shirts. The heavy tension is great for working on really thick fabrics. You can use the medium tension on other heavier materials, just not too much heavier than jeans. It will give a nice stretch stitch result and give you that “tough” look. You will experience a tighter stitch, often known as the “buzzing” or “stubble.”
It is the neutral or middle tension setting, which stands between the first and second. This one is the “best” tension because it gives you the optimal stitch result in most cases. It will give you a nice straight stitch without much effort at all. Remember, this setting should always be used when sewing on different kinds of fabric with different weights because it will give you a great balance of tension, giving you even stitching.
Most Common Setting:
I would say that the most common setting is the third, middle, “neutral” tension. Many people also like to refer to this as the double lock setting. You would want to use this setting on fabric that needs slightly more tension because it will give you a nice straight stitch.
Pros of using the tension dial:
- It will change the appearance of your stitches.
- It makes your sewing job easier to do
- Useful for beginners who are just learning how to stitch
- It will affect how well your sewing machine works.
- It will change the durability of your fabrics.
Cons of using the tension dial:
- It cannot be easy to use because you have to guess the right setting or try it out by feel.
- You can damage your fabric if you’re not careful.
- It can cause your machine to overwork and break frequently.
- Using the wrong tension will make it very difficult for you to work on thick or heavy fabrics.
In conclusion, I highly suggest that you use the tension dial when sewing. It will change the look of your stitches, making the job faster. I hope you enjoyed reading this article on what the tension dial on a sewing machine does.