Each serger on the market has a specific threading order to ensure that the threads cross over and connect properly.

Please check your machine manual and use this information as a guide only. 🙂

Threading Tips and Tools

There is a logic to threading a serger. Once you understand the logic, you will never have a problem threading your serger in the correct order again.

For those who have automatic or air-threading overlocks, you should learn this logic as well. One never knows when a little bit of knowledge will come in handy.

Most sergers have color coded threading paths. When threading the loopers or needles, follow the color codes on the outside and the inside of the machine. If your machine came with a DVD on threading, take the time to review this information.

(use this as a guide – check your manual for proper threading order)

Thread the looper that sits at the back of the machine or the upper looper first.

Then thread the lower looper which sits in front and below the upper looper.

Needles are threaded from left to right.

Threading the serger in the proper order is important.

The loopers and needles move in a way that loops the threads together in a specific order.

Lay-In or Dial Tensions

The Brother™ 5234PRW serger has lay-in tensions. What does that mean? It simply means that the thread is laid in to the tension discs, rather than wrapped around a tension dial.

Which one is better? That is probably matter of personal opinion as both tension systems work well.

However, lay-in tension may be a little bit of a misleading term for some of the overlocks on the market. Even with lay-in tensions, thread should be gently “flossed” into the tension discs to ensure the thread is seated properly and to avoid tension issues.

Tips For Easier Threading

When threading your serger have a good quality pair or tweezers on hand. They will help thread the looper guides and catch the thread behind the  loopers.

Bent tip tweezers are generally easier to work with. Experiment with different tweezers until you find a pair that suits you best.

Dental Floss Threaders are wonderful threading tools and can be easily found at your local store.

Making some temporary changes to your machine will also make threading easier.

If your machine has a snap-on or removable presser foot, remove the presser foot from the machine.

Lower the upper knife. Taking the knife out of the way allows easier access to loopers.

Check your manual for instructions on lowering or raising the cutting blade or knife. 

Remember to return the knife to the UP position.

Some sergers have automatic needle threaders. (these are great) For sergers that don’t have this feature it is a good idea to have a sharp pair of snips next to the machine. It is much easier to thread needles when the end of the thread is neatly cut.

I have a couple of favorites that I keep handy from Famore Cutlery. They’re small and sharp enough to cut through multiple threads – even decorative ones.


The next post will be Video 3 in our serger series – next week we’ll post some more basics about thread and such.

Have a great July Fourth!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *