How to Unjam a Sewing Machine Jamming and Why It Happens

Fact Checked By:Aithley Balder

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Here’s A Quick Way to Fix The Sewing Machine Jamming Problem

It is important to keep sewing machines in excellent operating condition at all times. A sewing machine that won’t work is pointless. We’ll go through a few of the most common causes of a sewing machine jam in this section.

There are several reasons why your sewing machine is unable to operate. When you’re first starting out, it might be difficult to figure out what the true problem is. There might be a problem with the machine, or you could have used the incorrect needle.

Nothing is more frustrating than a sewing machine that won’t sew. There are a number of possible causes for this issue, as well as a number of possible remedies.

You should know what you’re up against by the time you’ve finished reading sewing machine jamming issues and solution.

sewing machine bobbin jamming

Low Feed Dogs

Feed dogs can be adjusted on certain machines. Tension must be adjusted correctly otherwise the fabric will not be properly drawn in. As a result, stitches begin to build up, clogging the machine.

  • Feed dogs should be on at all times.
  • In order to see how the handwheel rises, spin it.

Under the faceplate, lint may build up on the feed dogs. Check the feed dog mechanism for debris after removing the faceplate.

Wrong Needle

If you use the incorrect needle for the cloth you’re stitching, the top and lower threads may not meet. Skipped stitches and uneven threads above and below the material are common as a consequence. When the threads are too short, the machine stops.

  • The rule of thumb is to start a new project with a fresh needle.
  • Make sure the stitch length isn’t too short for light-weight textiles by using the correct needle size.

Injured Needle

When needles come into touch with pins or are overused, they may be damaged. As a result of excessive stress or thick cloth, a needle may bend. Broken or damaged machine parts may be caused by a needle that is bent.

  • Take out your needle and give it a good look over.
  • The tip should be inspected for any nicks.
  • Check for bends by laying them flat on the ground before inspecting them.
  • Trying a new needle is always a good option when you’re not sure. Don’t toss the used needle, particularly a fresh one, if it turns out that isn’t the problem.

The upper threading is incorrect

When threading is done incorrectly, the strain on the machine will be either non-existent or excessive. A dog on a leash, for example, may come to a sudden stop if the machine is clogged up with thread.

Unthread the machine completely. 

Take your time and make sure you don’t miss any thread guides or tension grooves while re-threading. That your thread spool is positioned horizontally, check to see if the spool cover is securely in place.

Spool edges should be checked for regions where the thread may catch and cease flowing smoothly through the machine.

Bobbin Threading Error

Poor threading of bobbins, despite their apparent simplicity, may result in a wide range of sewing machine issues.

Disconnect the sewing machine’s bobbin case. If your machine has a front-loading bobbin, remove the bobbin spool from the casing.

The thread should now glide smoothly through the tension slots on either the bobbin case or the sewing machine when the bobbin is reinstalled.

Using the handwheel, pull the bobbin thread up and over the faceplate. A thread may become trapped in the mechanism if the thread is left under the plate.

The Presser Foot Is Wrong

Most sewing projects may be completed with a simple presser foot, but others may need more care. When sewing through numerous layers, a walking or even-feed foot, for example, may aid manage the heavier layers.

Some machines are equipped with a hump jumper, a gadget used to leap over obstacles. Hemming jeans requires the use of this instrument, which is used to stitch over thick seams. Using this tool will help prevent the sewing machine from getting jammed at the seam.

  • Presser foot for heavier textiles have a special coating on the bottom to prevent friction.
  • Make sure your machine can handle the weight of the cloth before sewing it.

The Threads Are of Poor Quality

It’s possible that your machine won’t work correctly if you haven’t oiled it recently. You must lubricate the equipment on a regular basis if you want it to operate properly. Your sewing machine should be oiled once a month or more often if you regularly use it. Add a drop of oil to your machine every day.

Dry rather than damp is desirable, and it should not be unduly soaked in oil. A drop of oil every day should be enough to keep a sewing machine running smoothly.

Also, if the machine hasn’t been used in a while, give it a good oiling for a couple of days. After that, place it in a sunny spot to help in the smoothing of machine components. Make sure your machine doesn’t jam by following these steps.

A Rusty Device

A buildup of dust, lint, lint, and even hair may occur in machine components if they are not cleaned on a regular basis. As you stitch, fabric debris falls into the bobbin compartment, which is extremely important to keep clean.

Sewing machines may freeze if debris in the oil reacts with it. In severe cases, these clogs may solidify, causing the machine to malfunction or not function at all.

Examine every accessible location of your computer. Then, using a tiny paintbrush, cotton swab, or tweezers, remove any remaining dust, lint, and fine threads from the surface.

For extensive cleaning, remove all components as possible from the bobbin area. It’s imperative that you reinstall them in the exact same sequence that you removed them.

Treatment with oil and waiting for them to soften before removing crystalline components may be necessary.

Refer to your machine’s owner’s manual to discover which parts need oiling. Make sure you don’t overlubricate. There is a risk of fabric discoloration as a consequence of this.

If you often sew, you should get your machine serviced on a monthly basis. As a result, there will be less traffic and less risk of machine damage.

Thread with a Short Tail

It is essential that the bobbin thread be dragged up above the faceplate and dragged for many inches behind it. Make sure there is enough thread to keep the machine from jamming by not allowing it to fall into the bobbin area.

Problems with the Machine

The cloth may not be able to pass through the machine due to a variety of issues. Because of the complexity of modern electronics, a machine’s software may malfunction. Customer service or a repair shop can now fix most of these problems.

The following are examples of machine malfunctions to be on the lookout for:

sewing machine stuck

Stuck in the Reverse Function

To aid start a stitch, you may use the reverse lever on your sewing machine to sew backwards. To keep your stitch in place, it’s common practice to sew back and forth for a half-inch before starting to sew.

Using this method isn’t anything new. Sewers and other professionals, I’m sure, do it all the time to prevent their stitches from unwinding. After sewing, you may also use the reverse feature to hold your seams in place.

Sewing backward is important, but we don’t want the sewing machine to be trapped in that position. Your sewing machine won’t be able to sew anything if it’s in reverse.

Foot Pedal Stuck

You may have an issue with the foot pedal if your machine is operating at full speed. First, check the foot pedal on your sewing machine to see whether it’s working properly.

There is a possibility that something is stuck in the footpedal. Because of this, the motor can only go so fast before it becomes stuck. Our recommendation is to inspect it for filth and debris to make sure it’s in functioning condition. After properly cleaning the foot pedal, you should investigate the foot pedal’s power cable if the issue continues.

Having Trouble Getting Out Of Bobbin Mode

There may be a changeover or programming issue. If the bobbin holder continues to spin without a bobbin attached, you’ll know.

Turn the machine off, then turn it back on. Contact customer care if this doesn’t help.

Squeaky Handwheel

This might be an indication of a problem elsewhere or an internal component that is broken or disconnected. Your equipment may eventually need the assistance of an expert in maintenance.

Problems with the software

Programmable machines may include settings like unique stitches or speed settings that become stuck. Try restarting the system after turning it off and on again. The customer support line for your equipment or a repair shop may help if it doesn’t work.

The Zig-Zag mode

Zig-zag stitching is often used for sewing elastic or reinforcing buttonholes. Just because you need zig-zag stitching doesn’t mean you want your sewing machine in zig-zag mode all the time. However, what happens if you are unable to remove it off the zig-zag path?

If you can’t find any useful information in your sewing machine’s owner’s handbook, you should contact the manufacturer of the machine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Why is my thread always bunched up underneath?

When working with a variety of fabric and thread weights, it is necessary to alter the tension of your thread. Be sure that the thread you are using in the bobbin and the thread you are using for the top part of the project are both the same weight. If you don’t, your tension may be inconsistent, which may lead you to end up with thread that is clumped together beneath your cloth.

Why isn’t my sewing machine working?

It’s possible that the needle won’t move if the clutch isn’t engaged, the drive belt is damaged, or there’s a problem with the internal drive gear. If you have the hand wheel clutch disengaged for the bobbin winding process, you need to activate it. If you engage the clutch but the needle still won’t move, disconnect the sewing machine and look at the drive belt.


Everybody has to deal with a broken machine at some time. This is an issue that cannot be solved by anybody! Hopefully, the information in this page will help you figure out what’s wrong with your sewing machine. Call a repairman if the recommendations don’t fix the problem.

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Aithley Balder

Hello there, my name is Aithley Balder from Texas. I am a cookware, sewing, toilet, technology enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 4 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page.

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