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Old 07-08-2009, 09:32 PM
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Help with why my upholstery material is ripping while sewing

I just purchased a Consew 226 machine and am working on my first upholstery project. I am upholstering a console. I have glued 1/2" foam to the vinyl material. While sewing a seam (needle going through 2 layers of vinyl and 1/2" foam), the thread is cutting the foam and in some places the vinyl material. I have the stitch set at 5 and it looks like the thread tension for both upper thread and bobbin is fine (thread locks in the middle). Not sure why the material keeps getting cut. If I sew very slow, it doesn't cut but once the speed of the machine picks up, the material rips. I have adjusted the pressure of the walking foot. Can it be that I put too much glue on the material? Wrong size needles? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 07-09-2009, 07:07 AM
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Too much glue on the material would not be the problem, but as long as you mention it, you only need enough glue on both pieces to hold it together til you sew around the perimeter of the piece. I don't use contact adhesive for this step because if I make a mistake, the piece is trashed. I use foam to foam glue because it's more forgiving. Are you using sew foam, with a backing on it to hold the stitching or just regular 1/2" foam?
If not, that would account for the cutting of the foam, but still doesn't explain the vinyl cutting. The tension is probably the problem. Even though the stitches look O.K. both tensions are probably too tight. What size thread are you using? If you're using nylon #69, you might want to change to polyester #92, which is slightly stronger and half again thicker than size 69 thread. The thinner the thread the more chance it has to cut the vinyl. Polyester handles UV rays better than nylon also. If you're using thread that came with the machine, throw it away and buy new thread. You never know if it's good or not. Did you have a pro go over the machine before you started using it? If not, that's the best advice I can give you. For under $100 a pro will time it and set it up properly. It's the best money you'll ever spend on the machine. Good luck, and let us know what happens.

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Old 07-09-2009, 07:19 AM
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Hard to diagnose without seeing the machine, but here is a thought:

- Is the foam riding on the bed of the sewing machine? Foam will not slide freely and needs something between it and the bed of the machine to prevent sticking. I use muslin, I have heard some use a silicone spray to make the bed slipperier but never tried it.

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Old 07-09-2009, 10:03 AM
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I'm just shooting from the hip... Maybe the stitch is to tight..
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