How to Fix Bobbin Thread Malfunctions

Bobbin thread
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A birds nest of loopy, looping bobbin thread on the bottom side of your sewing is one of the most common sewing machine problems that can stop the creative process of sewing in a flash! The first step is n to not panic. This problem is almost always an easy to fix sewing machine problem.  Everyone immediately blames the bobbin for the loopy bobbin thread on the bobbins side of the sewing... but most of the time it has NOTHING to do with the bobbin and you aren't going to need a repair person to fix the problem!

The looping bobbin thread is usually caused by the upper threading of the sewing machine. These pointers should have you sewing again in no time. If bobbin thread is smoothly and evenly wound on the bobbin, the bobbin is not the culprit.

  • Always thread the sewing machine with the presser foot up. As long as the presser foot is up, the thread can seat properly. When the presser foot is down, the tension is engaged and it will not allow the thread to seat properly. If the thread is not seated in the tension disks, it can not engage any tension on the thread and stitch malfunctions are bound to happen.
  • Your first thought when the bobbin thread makes a tangled mess is that the bobbin is at fault. That is not usually the case. The upper threading is usually the culprit so re-thread the upper part of the sewing machine making sure the thread is passing through every thread guide on its way to the sewing machine needle. Your sewing machine manual is the best guide to how to thread your particular sewing machine.
  • If you're still having, loopy bobbin thread, change the sewing machine needle. Be sure you are using the proper sewing machine needle for the fabric you are sewing and the job at hand. Everything About Sewing Machine Needles offers everything you need to know about sewing machine needles.
  • In rare cases, the bobbin can be at fault if it has not been threaded properly. If the thread is not smooth, is uneven, has knots or is very loose on the bobbin, it has not been threaded correctly. Knowing how to wind a bobbin eliminates this risk.
  • Is the bobbin in the bobbin case correctly. Your sewing machine is the best resource to check how it should be inserted in the bobbin case. If you do not have the manual for your sewing machine it is possible to Find Free Sewing Machine Manuals or Replacement Manuals. Forming a "V" with the thread and bobbin case is a great way to ensure you have threaded it when you are not sure.
  • Still not fixed? How long has it been since you cleaned the machine? Are there wads of lint and thread hiding under or around the bobbin case? Has your upper thread been shredding and possibly leaving pieces in the upper threading path? It's time to clean out the lint and oil the machine if that is what your machine calls for as maintenance which you can find in your sewing machine manual. You have nothing to lose by stopping and cleaning your machine!
  • Are you using the correct sewing machine needle for the fabric you are sewing? Is it possible you have bent the sewing machine needle? The needle is part of the upper threading and is a very inexpensive part to replace. Always remember to let the feed dogs do the work. If you are pulling the fabric to the back of the machine rather than letting the machine feed it through, you are risking bending the sewing machine needle which can lead to all kinds of sewing machine problems.