Why does my sewing machine keep jamming?

Sewing machines are an essential tool for any sewing enthusiast. They make the process of assembling fabric, thread, and needles into a finished garment faster and easier than hand stitching.

Your sewing machine keeps jamming and you’re frustrated. You’ve been using the same needle, thread, bobbin, and fabric for a while now but it just won’t sew right. The stitches are uneven, they come out too short or too long, or the threads get tangled up in knots. It’s also really hard to push down on the foot pedal because something is catching underneath it.

Sewing machine jamming can be caused by various factors, including poor quality needles, tangled thread, loose spool holder, or insufficient bobbin tension.

Why does my sewing machine keep jamming – Causes and Solutions

What could be going wrong with your machine? Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of why sewing machines keep jamming.

Your Sewing Machine Keeps Jamming: The Needle is Dull

The needle is the most important part of your sewing machine that keeps it running smoothly. If you use a dull needle, then it will damage your fabric and cause stitches or thread to get stuck underneath it when pressed down on the fabric.

If you are experiencing jamming in your sewing machine and the needle is dull, then you should replace it immediately.

The sewing machine is dirty

If you notice any leftover thread in your sewing machine, then it may be jamming as well. Remove all remnants of thread from inside your machine and make sure there aren’t any loose bits of thread lurking around.

You may also want to take a closer look at your sewing machine. It might be jamming because there is a foreign object underneath the foot pedal. Make sure that nothing is caught under the pedal and if possible, try working from another angle so that you can see from behind what’s causing the jamming.

The Needle is Bent or Damaged

It’s important to check the condition of your needles frequently because if they’re bent or broken, then they can damage thread and fabric while sewing.

If you notice that the tip of your regular sewing machine needle has become bent, then you should replace it immediately.

The Bobbin Case is Dirty or Full of Lint

If your sewing machine has a jamming problem, then you should check the bobbin case to see if it needs cleaning

After using fabric for a while, particles will accumulate in your bobbin case. This could lead to uneven stitches and thread jams.

Make sure that your bobbin case is clean and free of lint. You can use a brush to remove any dirt, debris, or dust that has collected inside the bobbin case.

The Spool Holder is Loose or Damaged

Your spool holder affects the tension and movement of the fabric as you sew. If it’s not working properly, then these issues could lead to thread jams and uneven stitches.

If your sewing machine keeps jamming, then check if the spool holder is loose. You can tighten it with your fingers or use pliers if necessary.

Your sewing machine keeps jamming, but it’s definitely not the needle, thread, spool holder, bobbin case, or any foreign objects underneath the foot pedal.

The Bobbin Tension is Too High

If your bobbin tension is too high, then it will cause the thread to unravel and knot up. The higher the tension, the tighter the stitches and vice versa.

Lowering or loosening your bobbin tension can help you sew with consistent results. Loosen your bobbin enough so that there’s a small loop beneath your finger when you pull the thread up.

Your bobbin tension is too low if it’s hard to pull the thread upward. Increase your bobbin tension until there’s a small loop beneath your finger and watch as the stitches tighten.

The Bobbin Tension is Not Correct

If you’re not sure about whether or not your bobbin tension is correct, then you can try putting in a different bobbin. If your machine sews without jamming with the replacement bobbin, then your old one was most likely causing the issue in the first place.

If you can’t find another bobbin to test with, then it might be time to buy some replacement bobbins and use them one by one until you find the difference-maker.

How to Adjust Bobbin Tension on Janome Sewing Machine

The Sewing Machine Foot is Misaligned

If your sewing machine foot is misaligned, then it will affect your ability to sew straight lines and curves. It could also lead to thread jams and skipped stitches.

You can test this out by moving your needle to the left and right of the foot pedal. If your machine continues to jam, then you should take it in for repair.

The Feed Dogs’ Speed is Inconsistent

If your feed dogs are not working at a constant speed, then the feeding process will be uneven. This lack of consistency could lead to thread jams and wonky stitches.

The best way to check if your feed dogs are causing the sewing machine jam is by lowering your presser foot while you’re still sewing. If the feed dogs’ travel speed is too fast, then the thread will keep on piling up until it’s impossible to push.

However, if your presser foot falls down once you lower it, then you’ll know that your feed dogs are working just fine.

The Feed Dogs’ Take-up Lever doesn’t Work

When you’re threading your sewing machine, you might have noticed that only one side of the thread spool has a tiny take-up lever attached to it. The other side is smooth and doesn’t have a lever.

The Take-up Lever’s job is to keep the thread from unwinding too quickly or too slowly. It also keeps tension on the thread so that it feeds through your sewing machine at a uniform speed. A broken take-up lever can cause thread jams, skipped stitches, and all sorts of sewing malfunctions.

If the Take-up Lever is broken or damaged, then you’ll need to replace it. Otherwise, your thread will keep hanging and causing issues with your sewing projects.

The Machine’s Bobbin Case is Worn Out

When you’re replacing a bobbin case on a sewing machine, then there are several things to watch out for. It’s possible that your bobbin case is too worn out and needs replacement as soon as possible.

First, take a look at the bobbin case to see how much thread it holds. If there’s still a lot of room left, then you should replace it with a new one. Otherwise, it can cause tension issues and thread jams.

Finally, try out a few different brands of bobbin cases if yours is worn out. Depending on the machine’s manufacturer, some bobbins cases work better than others.

The Thread Tension is Incorrect or You are Using the Wrong Type

You may have set your thread tension incorrectly because there are two different dials for this on most sewing machines. One of these controls the top thread tension and the other one controls the bobbin thread tension.

Adjusting the tension will control the amount of thread that is being pulled through, which can affect how tight your stitches are and if they’re even. If you have a bobbin case instead of a drop-in bobbin then you should adjust the bobbin tension to fix this problem as well.

Using thhe wrong thread for the project

Many sewing machine jams happen because the wrong type of thread is being used. If you are using a heavy-weight or specialty type of thread, then this could be causing the machine to jam because it’s too thick for the sewing machine needle.

How to Thread a Sewing Machine – Full Guide

Check for Missing Needles

If you are using a machine that uses two needles, then make sure that both of them are installed and correctly placed. It can also help to remove the needles and clean underneath it as well as around the bobbin case and spool holder. This prevents problems like jams or thread getting caught where there is no needle present.

Check for Thread Tangles

When you remove your project from the machine, it’s a good idea to check for loose thread. This can happen when the bobbin is inserted improperly or if there is any kind of tension problem with it or the top thread. It’s important to go over every inch of your work and cut away anything that isn’t attached to your project.

There could also be thread tangles if you aren’t using a sewing machine that has a built-in cutter like an overlocker. It’s always better to use one of these machines and never cut your thread by hand because they can cause problems.

How to Thread a Sewing Machine – Full Guide

Check for Sewing Machine Damage

Another reason that the needle may be jamming is that there is a problem with your sewing machine. This can usually happen when you have been using it for a long time, so check the whole body of your machine and remove any obstructions that could be in the way or damage caused by mishandling.

You should also take a look at the needle’s position in your machine and ensure that it’s not bent or out of place.

If your sewing machine is having a problem, then you may need to do some maintenance on it. Check if the tension disks need to be cleaned and check clear any debris around the bobbin case or spool holder as well as remove thread tangles from inside them.

The Thread is Old or Damaged

If your thread has frayed ends, then it may not be able to feed through the machine correctly. The needle can get caught in these loose threads and cause a jam which will stop it from sewing. It’s always best to have new thread on hand so that you don’t have this problem while sewing something important.

If the thread has been damaged, then you should replace it immediately because it could damage your machine even if the needle doesn’t get caught in it.

Skipped Stitches

The most common cause of sewing machine skipped stitches is using the incorrect needle. The needle’s guideline is that you should use a ballpoint needle for knit fabric and a sharp one for woven cloth. However, if you swap needles frequently or force the material into the device rather than feeding it in, this might result in bending needles.

When you’re performing straightforward mend, it’s not difficult to understand which needle to use and when. Make sure you know how to correctly utilize each one.

You’re Using the Wrong Thread for the Job

Using the wrong type of thread can cause problems that you may not be able to fix easily. It’s important to always use high-quality thread which is well made because it will be stronger and won’t break easily while sewing. Cheap thread is usually much weaker than this so stick to buying good quality items to avoid problems with your work.

The Motor Failure

The motor fails to function. The motor of a sewing machine is a part that provides the power for the needle to move and sew. It can fail due to a variety of reasons but this generally means that the machine is broken and it will need to be repaired or replaced. In some cases, you may be able to get it working again by opening up the machine and cleaning out all of the thread inside it.

The Fabric You’re Sewing is too Thick or Heavy

Thread can easily break if you are using it on heavy fabric. It’s important to only use the right needle for your project and if this doesn’t work then you may need to change it to a thicker type. This will hold the thread well without any problems occurring while sewing.

If your fabric is too thick for a standard needle, then you should use a leather or denim one which is designed for heavyweight projects.

What Tension Should My Sewing Machine Be On?

Different types of fabric will need different tensions. Generally, a sturdy fabric will require a lower sewing machine tension while softer fabrics have a higher one. This is because too much pressure can cause the needle to break and be unable to create the thread path that is needed for sewing.

You should start by experimenting with various tensions until you find a level that works well with your project type.

On many machines, this will usually be an adjusting wheel located on the front or side of your machine – usually near where you load it with thread and bobbin. Depending on what type of material you are working with, there may be markings for high-medium-low-extra low tension areas on the device itself which would make setting this more standardized.

If the tension seems to be off on your machine, then try winding the tension wheel in one direction or another until you get it into place.

Final Words

Sewing machines are complicated pieces of machinery that require a lot of maintenance to get them working correctly.

Make a timetable every month to check and clean the relevant components on your sewing machine, whether you are doing it as a pastime or for a profession.

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