Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems And Solutions(common fixes)

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Sewing machines have been existing for a long time and remain relevant to date regardless of the vast technological revolution. If you have been using a sewing machine or it is your first time getting one, you should know that sewing machines often develop various problems.

The most common one being issues with the bobbin. In this article, we are going to shine some light on the common sewing machine bobbin problems and the best solution. Some of the sewing machine bobbin problems include;

Common sewing machine bobbin problems

1. Unusual noise

When using a sewing machine, it is imperative to ensure that the only sound being produced in the sewing machine is the normal noise. When you realize that there is a strange noise coming out of the bobbin, the first thing that you will need to do is clean your sewing machine.

Usually, a sewing machine will make strange sounds when the needle comes to contact with something inside the machine. Also, these noises can be due to a piece of fabric or thread getting stuck inside the bobbin.

2. Loose bobbin case

When you suspect that your bobbin case is loose, the first step that you need to take is to confirm if it is actually the bobbin case that has problems. That’s because you can easily mistake a loose bottom plate for a bobbin that is not well fixed.

If it is indeed your bobbin that is loose, you need to check if the hinged latch locks in place as it should be. You can do this by turning the handwheel towards your direction until the needle is at its highest point. Next, you will need to pull the hinged tap to remove the bobbin case.

When you are done with all that, the next step is to insert the bobbin case, and you need to ensure that it clicks into place. The clicking sound is important because it should be a good sign that your bobbin is now intact.

When installing your bobbin, always make sure that the needle does not get into contact with anything. If the problem persists, you can try re-installing the bobbin once more.

3. Looping of the bobbin thread

You may realize that thread keeps creating loops on the back of the fabric instead of creating perfect stitches. Usually, this is due to the tension of the needle thread.

The upper thread should have the right tension to pull the bobbin thread to create the perfect stitch. Therefore, if you experience this problem, the first thing to do is to adjust the upper thread and adding more tension to it.

Setting the tension of the upper thread can be challenging, but, it is safe to start with numbers between 3 and 5. You will also need to ensure that there are no irregularities like knots on your thread. You also have to confirm that you have the right thread quality since low-quality threads can also lead to thread bunching.

4. Bobbin thread not coming up

By turning the handwheel towards you after inserting the bobbin thread, you should be able to grab the bobbin thread. If this isn’t happening for you, then you need to check if the bobbin winding spindle to ensure that it is well installed and pushed back to the left. When doing this, ensure that the pressor is up.

If this does not solve your problem, then you have no choice but to take your sewing machine to the repair shop. Also, keep in mind that the timing between the needle and the bobbin thread might be off; hence, the needle cannot pick the thread to finish the stitches.

5. Tension problems with your bobbin thread

You may realize that your bobbin thread tension is irregular or does not suit your preferences. Note that, adjusting the tension of your bobbin thread is easy. However, you need to test the thread tension by hanging your bobbin by the thread.

While doing so, you need to snap your wrist a couple of time to note how fast the yarn unwinds. If the bobbin does not drop a couple of millimetres down, then the tension is probably too high and vice versa.

To adjust the tension of your bobbin thread, only need to adjust the small screw on the side of your bobbin. You will, however, want to ensure that you do not make so many turns of the screw as you may end up missing the right tension.

Note that the bobbin thread tension is not usually adjusted unless otherwise. However, keep in mind that your bobbin thread tension may have little effect on the quality of your stitches.

6. Stuck bobbin case

This is one thing that happens all the times. When the bobbin case gets stuck, you need to get it out carefully and open it to see what the problem is. In many cases, a bobbin case gets stuck because of burrs that get inside the bobbin case. You will also need to open the bottom plate of your machine and check if anything is stuck.

At times, the bobbin can get stuck in such a way that you cannot easily pull it out to check what the problem is. If this is the case, you have no option but to have an expert sewing machine repairer have a look at your machine.


Are bobbins universal?

Bottom line

To have a sewing machine that is functioning seamlessly, you need to ensure that you take good care of the machine. Part of your responsibility is to ensure that your sewing machine is cleaned and oiled regularly. That is because, sewing machines are made up of moving parts that can easily be interfered with when they get too dry, or things like pieces of fabrics and needles get stuck in between.

Also, always ensure that you have the right bobbin. Note that plastic bobbins are not recommended hence if you are experiencing issues using a plastic bobbin, the only way out is to get a metal bobbin. There are several resources from where you can get the right procedures to clean and care for your sewing machine.

2 thoughts on “Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems And Solutions(common fixes)”

  1. Hi , I have bought a vintage Janome New Home 551 ( made in Japan ) in reasonable nick and the previous owner assured me that it is working fine . I thoroughly cleaned it and generously oiled it and it seems to be running well ( considering it’s age 50+ years old) . My problem is when I am trying to insert the bobbin along with its case which in itself is very awkward because it is side loading vertical oscillating mechanism there is “ NO CLICK “ no matter how hard I tried to redo it repeatedly. The case looks fine there are no signs of visible damage & there are no nicks on its surface both inside and outside. This is really frustrating and I am very hesitant to use it because I might “ DAMAGE/ DISRUPT “ some delicate mechanisms which is key to its functioning. This is a Jenome NewHome 551 semi- industrial model known for its sturdiness. Could you please kindly help!
    Regards, Ram.

    • Hey Ramana,

      It’s very hard to tell without seeing the bobbin case.
      Could you send us a picture of it?

      You can upload it to this website and comment back with the link so we can take a look.

      It may be something with the tension of the screw, it might be too tight or too loose, you can use a screwdriver and see if a gentle adjustment will help!


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