How to Set the Tension on a Brother Sewing Machine

Updated February 21, 2017

Brother is a brand of sewing machines that comes in many different varieties for home usage. While all Brother sewing machines are slightly different in terms of how to thread and maintain them, the tension dial is always pretty uniform. The tension on a sewing machine refers to how loose or tight the thread is when sewn into the fabric. Tension disks, which you control with the tension dial, adjust this setting.

Plug your Brother sewing machine in and turn it on.

Thread the Brother sewing machine according to the machine's guidelines. Be sure there is thread in both the needle and the bobbin.

Look for the tension dial on your Brother sewing machine. It is usually on the top of the machine and features numbers from zero to nine.

Turn the tension dial clockwise to a higher number in order to increase the amount of tension on the thread, which will tighten your stitches.

Turn the tension dial counterclockwise to a lower number to reduce the amount of tension on the thread, loosening your stitches.


Remove the bobbin case from the machine, if possible, and loosen or tighten the tiny screw next to the thread opening to adjust bobbin tension. Tightening the screw increases the tension, while loosening the screw decreases the tension.

Things You'll Need

  • Brother sewing machine
  • Thread
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About the Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.