Troubleshooting a White Serger

By Renee Shelton

White sergers are great machines for most sewing applications, and when properly maintained will provide years of trouble free serging. Most problems with a serger can be fixed with a few simple adjustments to either the needle or the serger tension dials. When stitches start to pucker or break, troubleshoot your White serger at home before you take it to a repair shop. You will save money on a repair bill if the problem can be fixed at home.

Check the power cables for the serger and the foot control. Ensure that each is plugged in all the way into their sockets and the machine is turned on. If any of the outlets are loose, the machine will not run or will stop in the middle of sewing.

Choose the correct tension for the project. Irregular and pulled stitches will often be caused by an incorrect tension setting. The lower the number the lower the tension and the higher the number the higher the tension. To correct pulled stitching, lower the tension. To correct loose and irregular stitching, increase each dial until the stitching resumes normal.

Change the needles if any of them bend during stitching or if the threads are consistently breaking. A bent needle or a dull needle will result in skipped or broken stitching. When replacing needles, re-thread the serger in the order of the serger manual recommendations.

Fix puckering of the stitching by adjusting the thread tensions. Reset each tension dial to a neutral setting and increase or decrease to make the stitching even.

Untangle any twisted thread and re-thread the serger if any threads are tangled. Follow each guide for threading each cone of serger thread separately and in the order as recommended by the manual. Improper threading of the serger will cause the thread to break and twist.

Things Needed

  • White serger
  • Appropriate serger sewing needles for the project
  • Serger cone thread

About the Author

Renee Shelton is publisher of the periodical, Pastry Sampler Journal, and is editor and contributing writer to several niche blogs. Her personal webpages have been referenced in numerous cookbooks. When she isn't writing about food, you'll find her hunting down historical cookbooks at swap meets.