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Tunneling/Fabric Rolling

Serging Sheers and Fine Fabrics


Fabric Tunneling or Rolling when serged?   


This is usually a combination issue of incorrect Tension settings, incorrect Differential Feed settings, or not enough fabric support with for thin fabrics...   (See also Differential Feed: Understanding and using the Differential Feed)   


This can also frequently happen when serging only one piece of fabric on an unsupported edge (see below, Washaway Wondertape)


Serger stitches tunneling imageThe rolling usually happens when you have your tension too tight on a looper. I see your upper looper is on 7. That's a bit high. Try lowering that tension and moving your width back to the default of 5. Tip by Admin Karen Wood



Is your fabric being pulling into the feed dogs as you serge?


Serging sheers and fine fabrics is a challenge, but it can be done. For finishing a rolled hem edge, or construction seams, on chiffon, lightweight knits, or slinky fabrics like lycra or spandex, rayon challis, sometimes the best trick is the tissue paper method.

Dollartree Dollar Stores sell 24"x36" plain white tissue paper in packs of 50 sheets for $1.00 - this works well and is easy to get for for people.

Place a piece of tissue paper under the fabric and on top of the fabric, matching edges and serge the paper on the seams, then tear off after serging. Having some nice serging tweezers handy helps removing any leftover "chads" of paper.

This technique is demonstrated in a sewing video from Professor Pincushion - but it works just as well for serging.

Sewing  with Chiffon and tissue paper Youtube image Sewing with Chiffon and Tissue Paper

Another good video on Serging Chiffon



Another method is to use Dritz Washaway Wonder tape folded over the edge to be serged - this seals in all those little pokey threads that often show through a serged rolled hem. Available locally at JoAnn Fabrics stores, some Walmarts in ones that have a sewing section, and via Amazon...

Sewing  with Chiffon and tissue paper Youtube imageWashaway Wondertape - The 8th Wonder of the World.
Dritz Washaway Wonder Tape image
All About Needles by Schmetz
Buying a new or used serger : Presales Considerations
Knits - Mock Coverstitch, Flatlocking and more
Maintenance - Overview

Serging sheers, knits and thin or slick fabrics

use washaway wondertape or other knit stay tape   

Starter Thread - why did my new serger come already threaded?
Threading Your Serger

Using Scraps


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