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.
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.
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.
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
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. We have discussed about bobbing related jamming issue below.
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.
11 Possible Reasons for Bobbin Jamming Issues
There can be any reason for your sewing machine’s bobbin to jam. But, we listed 11 common reasons that happen frequently.
1. Thread Tension Is Set Incorrectly
When thread tension isn’t set correctly, it can cause the bobbin thread to jam. The tension on the bobbin should be just right – not too tight and not too loose. If the tension is too tight, the bobbin thread will not be able to flow freely and will get tangled. If the tension is too loose, the bobbin thread will not be pulled up correctly and become tangled.
To resolve this, change the tension until both sides of the cloth appear equal.
2. Bobbin Is Inserted Incorrectly
If your bobbin is inserted incorrectly, it can cause jams. Be sure to check your manual to see how to insert the bobbin correctly. Once you have it correctly inserted, re-thread the machine and try again.
3. Bobbin Case Is Dirty
If your bobbin case is dirty, it can cause the bobbin to jam. To clean the bobbin case, remove it and use a soft cloth to wipe away any dirt or debris. Be sure to re-assemble the bobbin case correctly before sewing again.
4. Wrong Size Bobbin
If you are using the wrong size bobbin, it can also cause jams. Check your manual to see what size bobbin is recommended for your machine.
5. Needle Is Damaged Or Bent
A damaged or bent needle can also cause jams. If this may be the problem, replace the needle and try again.
6. Feed Dogs Are Damaged
The feed dogs are the teeth that move the fabric through the machine. If they are damaged, they will not be able to grab the fabric and move it correctly. This can cause jams.
To fix this, you will need to have your machine serviced.
7. Machine Is Not Oiled Properly
If your machine is not oiled properly, it can cause jams. Be sure to check your manual to see how often to oil your machine and what type of oil to use.
8. Fabric Is Too Thick
If you are trying to sew through too many layers of fabric or thick fabric, it can cause jams.
How to fix this, you will need to use a thinner needle or a different type of foot.
9. Stitches Are Set Too Tight
If your stitches are set too tight, it can cause the fabric to bunch up and jam. To fix this, simply loosen the stitch width until the fabric feeds through smoothly.
10. Machine Is Not Threaded Correctly
If your machine is not threaded correctly, it can cause jams. Be sure to check your manual for the correct way to thread your machine. Once you have it threaded correctly, re-thread the machine and try again.
11. Stitches That Have Been Skipped
If you are sewing and the sewing stitches start to skip, it could be that the needle is not in far enough.
You can fix this by simply turning the handwheel towards you until the needle is in the down position. Then, push the needle up into the fabric and continue sewing.
These frequently happening reasons can be avoided by taking proper care of your sewing machine. So do care and enjoy a stress-free swing.
How Do I Stop My Bobbin from Jamming?
Now you already have enough knowledge about the bobbin jamming issue. So, let’s see how you can prevent it from happening again.
Check the Thread Tension and Bobbin Case Regularly
The first step is to check your tension. If the upper thread tension is too loose, the bobbin thread will show on the right side of the fabric. If the upper thread tension is too tight, the bobbin thread will show on the wrong side of the fabric or not at all. To solve this, simply adjust your tension until the stitches look even on both sides of the fabric. You should also check your bobbin case regularly for any dirt or debris.
Use the Correct Size Needle and Foot
Use the correct size needle and foot for your project to prevent bobbin jamming. Always use that needle specified for the type of fabric you’re sewing. For example, a ballpoint needle is best for Knit fabric, but if you sew it with a sharp needle, it will cause jamming. So, it is best to use the size recommended for the fabric.
Use the Correct Type Of Bobbin
Be sure to use the correct type of bobbin for your machine. There are two types of bobbins, standard, and drop-in. Standard bobbins must be wound before they can be used, while drop-in bobbins can be inserted into the machine without winding. If you are unsure which type of bobbin to use, check your manual or ask a salesperson at your local fabric store.
Don’t Overload Your Machine
Don’t try to sew too many layers of fabric at once. This will cause your machine to work harder and can lead to jams. If you’re working with thick fabric, take it slow and be patient. Sew a few stitches, then stop and check your work before sewing any further.
Keep Your Machine Clean
To prevent bobbin jamming, you should also keep your machine clean. This means regularly cleaning your Bobbin Case, Hook Assembly, and Needle Plate. You should also oil your machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A well-maintained machine is less likely to jam.
Be Careful With The Thread
Be careful not to damage the thread while you’re sewing. Don’t let the thread get tangled or knotted. Also, be sure to use a high-quality thread that is compatible with your machine. A cheap thread is more likely to break or cause jams.
Have Your Machine Serviced Regularly
Finally, one of the best ways to prevent jams is to have your machine serviced regularly. A qualified technician will be able to spot any potential problems and fix them before they cause a jam.
Doing all these things will help you to solve the bobbin jamming problem. So, next time you start sewing, be aware of all these things and enjoy problem-free sewing.
What Is the Best Way to Install A Bobbin in Your Sewing Machine?
The bobbin is an essential part of the sewing machine, and if you don’t know how to fit it correctly, your sewing machine won’t work properly. Here are some simple instructions on how to fit the bobbin on a sewing machine:
Step 1: Threading the Bobbin onto the Spindle
Start by threading the bobbin onto the spindle of the sewing machine. Make sure that the thread is tight on the spindle so that it doesn’t come loose while you’re sewing.
Step 2: Inserting the Bobbin into the Housing
Next, insert the bobbin into the housing on the side of the sewing machine. There should be a small notch on the side of the housing that lines up with the groove on the bobbin.
Step 3: Pulling the Thread Through the Tension Disc
Once the bobbin is in place, pull the thread through the tension disc on the side of the sewing machine. The tension disc controls how much tension is on the thread, and you want to make sure that it’s not too tight or too loose.
Step 4: Pulling the Thread Through the Needle
Finally, pull the thread through the needle and start sewing! If your bobbin isn’t threaded correctly, your stitches will be loose and uneven.
Step 5: Troubleshooting
If you have any trouble threading the bobbin, consult your sewing machine’s manual for more detailed instructions.
Now that you know how to fit the bobbin on a sewing machine, you’re ready to start sewing! Be sure to practice on some scrap fabric before you start working on your project to get the tension right.
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 surfaces of the machine, including the sewing bed.
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.
What Is the Best Way to Change the Tension on Your Sewing Machine?
Assuming you would like a guide on how to set the thread tension on a sewing machine:
Step 1: Check Your Machine’s Manual
Each sewing machine is different and therefore has different ways of adjusting the tension. The best way to learn how to adjust the tension on your specific machine is to read the manual that came with it.
Step 2: Clean the Throat Plate and Needle Area
Thread tension can also be affected by lint or debris buildup in the throat plate area (the metal plate located under the needle). To clean this area, remove the throat plate and use a soft brush or can of compressed air to remove any lint or debris. You should also check the needle area for any buildup and clean it as needed.
Step 3: Adjust the Tension Dial
The tension dial is usually located on the top of the sewing machine near the thread path. To increase tension, turn the knob to a higher number; to decrease tension, turn it to a lower number.
Step 4: Test Your Stitches
Once you’ve adjusted the tension dial, sew a few test stitches on a scrap piece of fabric to see if the tension is set correctly. If your stitches are too loose, turn the tension knob to a higher number and try again.
If they’re too tight, turn the knob to a lower number and try again. Repeat this process until you find the perfect tension setting for your machine.
How to Install a Foot Presser on a Sewing Machine?
A step-by-step guide for installing a foot presser on a sewing machine.
Step 1: Disconnecting the Sewing Machine
Start by disconnecting your sewing machine from any power source. This is to ensure your safety while you’re working on the machine.
Step 2: Removing the Presser Foot
Next, remove the presser foot from the machine. You can do this by depressing the release lever on the side of the machine.
Step 3: Taking a Look at the Needle Plate
Once the presser foot is removed, take a look at the needle plate. You’ll see a small metal rod protruding from it. This is known as the foot presser shaft.
Step 4: Sliding On the New Foot Presser
Now, take your new foot presser and slide it onto the foot presser shaft. Make sure that the presser is facing the right direction before doing so.
Step 5: Replacing the Presser Foot
Once the presser is in place, replace the presser foot on the machine. Again, make sure that the presser is facing the right direction before doing so.
Step 6: Reconnecting the Sewing Machine
Finally, reconnect your sewing machine to a power source and test it out. You should now be able to use your device with the new foot presser attached.
How Do You Lubricate Your Sewing Machine?
There are a few things you need to do to make sure your sewing machine is properly lubricated. These include:
Step 1: Checking the Oil Level Regularly
The first step is to check the oil level regularly. This will help you ensure that your machine has enough oil and that it is properly lubricated. You can check the oil level by removing the screw from the top of the needle plate and looking inside. The oil should be at the level of the hole in the needle plate. If it is below this level, you will need to add oil.
Step 2: Adding Oil As Needed
If the oil level is low, you will need to add oil. You can do this by removing the screw from the top of the needle plate and adding oil until it reaches the level of the hole in the needle plate. Once you have added oil, replace the screw and tighten it securely.
Step 3: Cleaning the Oil Reservoir Periodically
It is important to clean the oil reservoir periodically to remove any buildup that may occur. You can do this by removing the screw from the bottom of the reservoir and emptying it out. Once you have emptied it, you can rinse it with soap and water and then dry it thoroughly before adding fresh oil.
Step 4: Changing the Oil Every Few Months or As Needed
You should change the oil every few months or as needed. This will help to keep your machine running smoothly and prevent any problems that may occur from using old oil.
To change the oil, you will need to remove the screw from the bottom of the reservoir and empty it out. Once you have emptied it, you can add fresh oil and then replace the screw.
How to Thread a Sewing Machine Properly?
If you want to start sewing, one of the first things you need to learn is how to thread a sewing machine. It may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, it will become second nature. Here we will show you how to thread a sewing machine properly, step-by-step.
Before you start, ensure your sewing machine is unplugged, and the power is off. Then, follow these steps:
Step 1: Find the Spool Pin
Find the spool pin on your sewing machine. This is where you will place the spool of thread.
Step 2: Placing the Spool of Thread
Place the spool of thread on the spool pin and pull a few inches of thread off the spool.
Step 3: Wrapping the Thread Around the Tension Disk
Wrap the thread around the tension disk (this is usually located near the spool pin).
Step 4: Inserting the Thread into the First Thread Guide
Take the thread behind the machine and insert it into the first thread guide (this is usually a metal bar with a small hole in it).
Step 5: Pulling It Through the Second Guide
From there, pull the thread down to the needle. There should be a second thread guide above the needle; pull the thread through this guide as well.
Step 6: Turning the Hand Wheel Towards You
Finally, holding onto the end of the thread, use your other hand to turn the hand wheel towards you until the needle lowers all the way into its lowest position. The thread should now be properly threaded through the sewing machine.
Now that you know how to thread a sewing machine, practice a few times to get the hang of it. With a little practice, you’ll be an expert in no time!
How Do You Clean Your Sewing Machine Properly?
If you’ve been using your sewing machine regularly, it’s essential to clean it thoroughly every so often to prevent dirt and debris from buildup. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean a sewing machine:
Step 1: Unplugging the Sewing Machine
Unplug the sewing machine from the power source.
Step 2: Remove Them
Remove any thread or fabric that may be attached to the machine.
Step 3: Cleaning the Exterior of the Machine
Use a soft, dry cloth to dust off the exterior of the machine. Pay special attention to the area around the needle and throat plate.
Step 4: Manually for Replacing Any Removable Parts
Take a look at the manual for your specific model of sewing machine to see if there are any other parts that can be removed for cleaning purposes. For example, some machines have a bobbin case that can be removed for cleaning.
Step 5: Cleaning the Interior of the Machine
Use a small brush to remove any dust or debris from the interior of the machine. Pay special attention to the feeding mechanisms and gears.
Step 6: Replacing Any Removable Parts
Once you’ve finished cleaning the interior of the machine, replace any removable parts and reattach any thread or fabric that was removed earlier.
Step 7: Testing the Sewing Machine
Plug the sewing machine back in and test it out to make sure everything is working properly.
Now that you know how to clean a sewing machine, it’s important to remember to do so on a regular basis. A well-maintained machine will last longer and sew more smoothly than one that isn’t properly cared for.
What Other Issues Do the Sewists Face While Sewing Other Than Jamming?
Sewists face many issues while sewing other than jamming. One of the most common problems is sewing machine sewing backward. This is an issue that occurs when the machine sews in the opposite direction of the original stitch line. It can be caused by issues with the tension, improper threading of the machine, or a worn-out needle.
Another issue that sewists can face is a broken stitch. This can be caused by the tension settings being too high or the wrong type of needle being used.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my bottom bobbin keep getting jammed?
If your bottom bobbin keeps getting jammed, it is likely due to a problem with the tension. The tension should be checked and adjusted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Why does my bottom thread keep jamming?
The problem occurs because of tension and needle if tension is too tight or loose, thread tangled while sewing. It’s better to keep tension in the default setting or change it manually to the middle. If tension is ok, then the needle will be the cause behind thread jamming. Use the correct size needle to solve this problem.
Why is my top thread getting tangled in the bobbin?
If you made any mistake on upper threading, your top thread gets tangled in the bobbin. The best solution is to cut the thread and start re-threading from the beginning.
How do I know if my bobbin tension is correct?
If your bobbin tension is correct, the thread will unwind from the bobbin smoothly and evenly. The thread will be loopy and messy if the tension is too loose. If the tension is too tight, the thread will break easily.
What tension should my sewing machine be on?
The tension on your sewing machine should be set to the middle position or “4” on most machines. You can adjust the tension higher or lower if needed, but the middle position is usually a good starting point.
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.