Complete Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems and Solutions Guide

Sewing is full of challenges. When you sew you want to have a little peaceful time to yourself where you can work and just think. Yet challenges come up which interrupt your plans and can delay your sewing time immensely.

Tangled bobbin thread is one of the more common challenges any sewing machine user faces. But while the problem is easy to fix, the bobbin may not be at fault. Sometimes the needle, the threading, and other simple issues are the source of the problem. Re-threading helps solve it.

To learn more about these different sewing machine challenges and how to fix them, just continue to read our article. The information inside this article should save you some time and a lot of frustration as you learn the different solutions.

How to Troubleshoot Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems


The first thing you need to do is look for the more common problems that may cause the issues with your sewing machine. One of those common problems is when your sewing machine skips a stitch or does other weird things.

While you may suspect too much tension on your bobbin thread, that may not be the culprit. After checking to see if the tension and bobbin are okay, check your needle. It may be bent, broken or damaged in some way.

Next, you should check the bobbin when piles of thread start to tangle underneath your fabric. If the thread on the bobbin is smooth and evenly wound, then this is not the source of your problem.

The bobbin gets falsely accused of things it had nothing to do with. Part of troubleshooting challenges is to eliminate the suspects and normally you can eliminate the bobbin often. It is normally the go-to target when things go wrong.

Singer Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems

Most Singer sewing machine bobbin issues can be solved if you take the time to consult your owner’s manual. Inside there should be a list of issues that can and will arise with your bobbin when you are sewing.

Also inside is a list of solutions. But in case your owner’s manual isn’t handy here are a few tips to help you solve those problems when they arise:

First, if the stitches are irregular, you may have to rewind the bobbin if the thread is not even.

Second, if your needle is dull it will not pick up the bobbin thread. In this instance, you have to replace the needle with a sharp one. Third, if the bobbin thread breaks, it means you have not threaded that part of your sewing machine correctly. Re-threading is your solution to this problem.

Finally, the bobbin thread may break or jam if there is too much lint, etc., falling into your bobbin case. You have to clean the case out so the thread runs normally.

Bobbin Case Problems


One of the basic and main problems that arises with the bobbin case is that you may not have inserted the bobbin inside correctly. Not all sewing machines have their bobbins inserted in the same way. Singer, for example, has both a clockwise and a counter-clockwise placement. Which one you have depends on your machine.

Another problem would be that the bobbin case is dirty. Lint and thread have a way of gathering at your bobbin case and making a mess of things. What you have to do here is to clean the bobbin case thoroughly and do it on a regular basis after that.

One final problem may be that the oil wick found on the Janome 6500 that dries out and causes both your needles and bobbin case to have problems. A new drop of oil should clear up the problem without you making a mess and getting oil everywhere.

Bobbin Case Not Turning

There are a couple of sources for this challenge. First, it may be that your bobbin thread tension is too tight. When this happens it is possible that your bobbin won't turn. All you have to do to fix this is to readjust your tension then double-check to make sure the bobbin turns again.

The other source may be due to your bobbin thread winding up under uneven tension. To fix this issue, you will need a new bobbin, wind the thread slowly and make sure the tension is nice and even.

Then replace the old bobbin with the new one and resume sewing again. Make sure you double-check the tension as well. You do not want to walk into this problem immediately after solving it.

Bobbin Case Stuck in Sewing Machine


This may be a difficult fix if you cannot solve if you have a Singer sewing machine. Sometimes small pieces of lint to thread get deep down into the bobbin case or bobbin and cause the bobbin to get stuck.

What you need to do is get a flashlight and shine it into the depths of the bobbin case and see if you can spot the lint, etc. If so, take a pair of tweezers and pull the lint free. If this doesn‘t work or you cannot see the little lint then you would have to go to a professional repairman and get the job done right.

For a Brother sewing machine these 7 steps may help solve your problem: First, turn your machine off. Second, raise your needle to its highest point and remove it. Third, remove the presser foot and presser foot holder.

Fourth, remove the needle plate cover, then, fifth, use the disk-shaped screwdriver and loosen the two screws inside on the needle plate. Sixth, remove the bobbin and the bobbin case.

Finally, put your bobbin back in matching the marks on the bobbin with the marks on the machine. If the problem continues, take it to a Brother repairman to get it fixed.

Loose Bobbin Case


The Touch and Sew model of sewing machine has the reputation of this problem taking place. The best advice is to take it to a serviceman to get it fixed as it may not be solved by doing it yourself.

This model of sewing machine is not popular due to this issue. You may want to get your money back if it is still under warranty or sell it to someone else as it is a difficult machine to fix when this challenge arises.

An old cause may be the problem as well. If you hear a clicking or similar noise coming from your bobbin case then it may need to be cleaned. One thing you should not do when your machine is under warranty is to not touch the screw inside.

That screw is factory set and you could cause yourself some warranty problems if you turn it the wrong way, etc. One other possible solution would be to take the machine in to a repairman and watch them fix it for you so you can do it the next time after the warranty runs out.

Singer Bobbin Holder Problem

It may be that the bobbin case is not functioning right and you have to replace it with a new one. The steps to do that are as follows:

  • First, make sure to turn the power to the machine off or just unplug it.
  • Second, go to the bobbin cover and slide it off. No screws are holding it.
  • Third, pull the release lever on the bobbin case and away from the case. A hinge helps that to take place.
  • Fourth, slide the bobbin case on to the spool inside the compartment.
  • Fifth, put the lever back and so it is fitting tight against the bobbin case. If you do this right the lever should lock in automatically.
  • Sixth, test the case to make sure it has a tight fit. Too loose it will fall off during your sewing time.
  • Finally, replace the cover and start sewing again.

Why Does My Bobbin keep Jamming

Why-Does-My-Bobbin keep-Jamming

One reason for this challenge to appear is because you probably forgot to do routine maintenance and put oil inside your machine. A lack of oiling will cause your bobbin to jam when you are working.

Three other problems are the machine is dirty, the thread was not threaded correctly, or the tension is too tight. All of these issues do not need a repairman to fix. You can do it yourself and get back to work in a few minutes.

If the machine is dirty, especially in the bobbin area, clean it. For the wrong threading, you have to stop what you are doing and re-thread the machine. Finally, if the tension is too tight, just release the tension until the bobbin spins properly again.

Most issues that arise, especially related to the bobbin, do not need a trip to the repair shop or the dealer. You should be able to fix them without voiding your warranty.

Bobbin Thread Jamming Up

The same problems listed above are usually the same culprits for this challenge. Before you start sewing you should do a little test to make sure the bobbin thread is moving correctly. This will save you some headaches and frustration as it won’t interfere with your sewing project.

Once you see that the thread is moving fine, you should be able to complete your project with ease. If your thread still jams and the above issues are not the problem, then you may have the wrong bobbin inside your machine.

This mistake can happen as a lot of people do not realize that all bobbins are not a universal fit. If the bobbin is out of align, then you may have to replace it with anew one.

One final reason for the jamming may be that you started sewing on the edge of your fabric and knots have already formed jamming your machine.

Bobbin Winder Problem


This is a challenge that can crop up from time to time. You may see your needle go up and down as you try to wind your bobbin. The reason for that action is that your bobbin winder did not disengage properly or at all.

There are at least two reasons for this situation rising and the fix is not that hard to do at all. First, there may be some old oil still on the machine. If this is the case, you would have to clean all the old oil off and possibly put some new drops in.

The second cause may be due to the fact that the ring under the bobbin winder clutch is out of position. Here is a link to the complete instructions as they are a little more detailed for the space we have here.

To make a long story short, you have to put the ring back into its proper position.

Bobbin Tension Repair

This is probably the easiest fix of all. If your bobbin tension is too tight, you need to turn the screw counter-clockwise to loosen it up. If the tension is too loose, then turn the screw clockwise to tighten it.

You can also help your bobbin out by adjusting the tension on your needle thread. If your bobbin needs to work a little more, then lessen the needle thread tension a bit. Tighten it up if it doesn’t.

Make sure to do some tests so you know if you solved this problem or not.

Some Final Words

Now you have a lot more knowledge on how to fix bobbin challenges. The main thing to remember that your bobbin problems may not come from the bobbin, its thread or its case. It may be in your needle or other non-bobbin parts.

Don’t assume it is the bobbin when a problem arises. It often gets accused of things it has not done. Make a checklist up for where to check and put a possible fix next to those entries.

If it isn’t one of those parts, then it is probably the bobbin.

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