Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Jamming Underneath

Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Jamming Underneath?

Many new sewers experience machine jams, particularly underneath the fabric. When a sewing machine starts to jam, it can be frustrating and cause a lot of problems.

If you’re a sewer, then there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced your sewing machine jamming. It can be time-consuming to fix, but what’s even more frustrating is not knowing why it’s happening in the first place!

In this post, I’ll explore some of the reasons your machine may be jamming and how to prevent it. So read on for answers to all your jammed-machine questions!

What Causes the Sewing Machine to Jam?

The sewing machine is a complex piece of machinery, and there are many things that can cause it to jam.

Damaged Needle

One common reason is if the needle becomes bent or damaged. If the needle is bent or blunt, it can cause the thread to bunch up and break, which can lead to the machine jamming. Additionally, if the eye of the needle is damaged, it can also cause the machine to jam. So be sure to use only sharp, undamaged needles in your sewing machine.

The Needle is Not Properly Installed

If the needle is not properly installed, it can cause the sewing machine to jam. This can be a significant problem, especially if you are in the middle of a project. Because the needle is not properly inserted. If the needle is not all the way down when you start to sew, it can cause problems with the thread and fabric.

Feed Dogs and Hook Timing

Incorrect timing of the sewing machine’s hook and feed dogs can also lead to jams. If your sewing machine’s timing is off, the hook will not catch the top thread correctly, which can cause the needle to break.

Additionally, if the feed dogs are not set correctly, they can bunch up fabric instead of feeding it smoothly through the machine. Not only can this cause jams, but it can also ruin your project.

Thread Tension

Another reason for a sewing machine to jam is if there is a problem with the tension. When the top and bottom threads are not tensioned evenly, the threads can get tangled and cause a jam. The tension must be just right for the machine to work properly.

If it is too loose, the thread will not be pulled tight enough and can bunch up. If the tension is too tight, the thread can break. Sometimes, simply adjusting the tension knob on your sewing machine can fix the problem.

Fabric Can Cause It to Jam

The type of fabric you are trying to sew also plays a role in whether or not your sewing machine will jam. Certain fabrics, like denim or leather, are much thicker than others and require a stronger needle to penetrate them. If you are trying to sew these types of fabrics with a regular needle, your machine will likely jam. Switching to a heavier-duty needle should solve the problem.

Clogged Needle

Lint can build up on the moving parts of your sewing machine and cause problems. To clean out the lint, simply use a soft brush to remove it from all the nooks and crannies. You may also want to use compressed air to blow it out of hard-to-reach places. Regular cleaning will help keep your sewing machine running smoothly and reduce the risk of jams.

What to Do When Your Sewing Machine Jams?

When your sewing machine jams, if the machine is electrically powered, the first thing you should do is turn off the power. Then examine what is causing the machine to jam and take the necessary action. Here’s some basic troubleshooting you can do before trying out some complex fixing method.

Check the Bobbin Area

Check to see if there is anything caught in the bobbin area. Make sure it is inserted correctly and that the tension is not too tight.

Check Needle and Thread

If the thread is tangled or caught on something, gently remove it and try again. Check to see if there is anything blocking the path of the needle.

Remove the Needle and Reinstall

Try taking the needle out and re-inserting it. Make sure it is inserted properly and all the way in. Then, put the thread back again.

Cut the Thread and Take Out the Bobbin

If reinstalling the needle doesn’t solve the problem, try cutting the thread with scissors and then pulling it out. You may also need to remove the bobbin case and clear any debris that may be causing the problem.

How to Fix a Jammed Sewing Machine?

If your sewing machine has jammed, don’t panic! You can do a few simple things to try to fix the issue.

Check the Feed Dog and Hook

Why Is My Waffle Maker Sticking? 7 ...
Why Is My Waffle Maker Sticking? 7 Superb Reasons Why It Happens

If your sewing machine’s feed dogs are not moving or the hook timing is off, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem. First, check to see if there is anything blocking the feed dogs or hook and needle plate. If there is, remove it and try again.

Fix Needle and Bobbin

Take a look at the needle. If it is bent or broken, replace it with a new one. Sometimes a bent needle can cause the machine to jam. Also check the bobbin case. Make sure that the bobbin is inserted correctly and that the case is not damaged. If the machine still doesn’t work, take a look at the bobbin. It might be packed or jammed. If so, carefully remove, clean it and start again.

Tension Disc

If the problem persists, take a look at the tension discs. Improper thread tension can cause your machine to jam. Try adjusting the tension knob to see if that helps. You can adjust the tension by turning a knob on the side of the machine. Make sure that they are not damaged and that they are correctly tensioned. The tension should be set so that the thread moves smoothly through the fabric without breaking.

Remove Clogged Thread

Sometimes a thread can get wrapped around a spool or bobbin and cause the machine to jam. If something is caught, carefully remove it and see if that fixes the problem.

Oil Your Machine

It’s important to oil your machine regularly to keep it running smoothly and prevent any jamming issues. Use a light oil and apply it to all moving parts. You can also use a cotton swab or an old toothbrush to get into hard-to-reach areas. Be sure to wipe away any excess oil before you start sewing.

Take It to the Professionals

Finally, if the problem is still happening after trying all the solution, then it’s time to take your sewing machine to a qualified technician for further diagnosis and repair.

How to Prevent Your Machine from Jamming?

It’s important to keep your sewing machine in good working order, and that means regular maintenance. However, there are a few things you can do to try to prevent your sewing machine from jamming.

Keep It Clean

Sewing machines are delicate tools, and therefore require regular cleaning and maintenance to function properly. Lint and dust can build up over time and cause problems. A clogged or dirty sewing machine can easily lead to jamming problems, which can be frustrating and time-consuming to fix. To avoid these issues, it is important to keep your sewing machine clean, both inside and out.

Regularly cleaning your sewing machine’s exterior will help keep dust and dirt from building up on the moving parts. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down the machine’s body, being careful not to damage any of the delicate components. Once every month or so, you can also use a mild solvent such as rubbing alcohol to clean the surface of the machine.

Be Careful While Sewing

Avoid using too much pressure when sewing. This can cause the needle to break or bend and can also cause the fabric to bunch up and jam the machine. Make sure that your fabric is not bunched up when you start sewing. If it is, the machine will have a more challenging time sewing it and may end up jamming. Instead, use the proper needle and thread for your project. If you are unsure, consult your manual or ask an expert at your local fabric or craft store.

Use Correct Needle and Thread

Make sure you’re using the correct type of thread and needle for your fabric. You’ll need a heavier thread and needle if you’re sewing heavy fabric. If you’re sewing light fabric, you’ll need a lighter thread and needle. Using the wrong type of thread or needle can cause your machine to jam.

Always pay attention to your thread tension before starting the sewing process. If your tension is too loose, your stitches will be too loose and can cause your machine to jam. If the tension is too tight, stitches will be too tight and can also cause your machine to jam. Find the happy medium for your fabric and stick with it.

Be Careful What You Sew

Some fabrics, like denim, can be tough on normal household sewing machines. It’s good to be cautious while using your sewing machine because not every machine can sew all types of fabric equally well. For example, some machines might be able to sew denim fabric well but are not so great at sewing something like silk.

In general, it’s a good idea to test out your machine on a scrap piece of fabric before you start sewing your project. This way, you can see how the machine handles the fabric and make any necessary adjustments.

Read Machine Manual

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re unsure how to use your machine properly, you could end up causing damage. If your sewing machine does jam, don’t panic. Instead, try to figure out what caused the problem and then take the necessary steps to fix it. With a bit of patience and care, you should be able to get your machine running smoothly again.

Replace Parts Inspect Regularly

If your sewing machine performs its best, you must regularly inspect and replace parts as needed. This will help keep it running smoothly and prevent problems like jamming.

Check the needle often. It should be sharp and in good condition. If it is dull or damaged, replace it. Oil the sewing machine’s moving parts regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help to keep the machine running smoothly and prevent jams.

Get Your Machine Serviced Regularly

Even if you’re taking good care of your machine at home, it’s a good idea to have it serviced by a professional every few months or years. This will help keep it in top condition and catch any problems before they become serious.

Best Way to Store Your Sewing Machine to Keep It in Good Condition

When it comes to storing your sewing machine, you can do a few things to help keep it in good condition.

Keep It in a Dedicated Area

If you have the space, consider keeping it in its own dedicated cabinet or armoire. Basically, store it in a dust-free environment. This will help protect it from dust and other debris. If you don’t have the space for a dedicated storage unit, cover your machine with a clean cloth when not in use.

If possible, store it in its original case. Avoid extreme temperatures and keep it away from direct sunlight. To avoid corrosion and moisture, ensure the area around the machine is well-ventilated.

Clean Before Storing

Clean your machine correctly before storing it. This will help keep it running smoothly and prevent any build-up of dirt and grime.

Disconnect the Power

Unplug your machine when not in use. This will help prevent any accidental damage that could occur if the power were to come on unexpectedly.

Final Thoughts

Jammed sewing machines can be a real hassle. It can be really frustrating and can leave your project in a messy state. But with a little knowledge and some preventive care, you can help to keep your machine running smoothly for years to come.

I hope that what I have shown you today about how to fix a jammed sewing machine, you won’t have to experience the panic and frustration I went through when my machine jammed. Of course, the best way to store your machine is in a cool, dry place with plenty of air circulation- and if you follow these simple tips, hopefully, your machine will stay in good condition.


That’s it! We hope you found this article helpful. Whether you are a first-time user or an experienced hot glue aficionado, I have covered everything I know about hot glue. Be sure to check out our other articles for more tips and tricks on all things DIY. And as always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Until next time!

Sifat Muntasir

Sifat Muntasir


I’m Sifat. I work as a lecturer in the Department of Textile Engineering at Port City International University. I’m fascinated by the latest developments in the world of fashion and clothing, so I spend most of my time writing about them on this blog.

I also enjoy singing and playing games on the internet in my free time – though I’m not very good at either!

© Copyright - TextileTuts