How To Fix Thread Stuck In Sewing Machine

Understanding Your Problem

Sewing machines are strong, reliable and can provide you with years of enjoyment provided you use and look after them responsibly. However, one of the more common problems sewers face is a thread getting stuck either in the bobbin or in the main mechanism of the machine. In some cases, this can cause considerable disruption and frustration. Understanding how this happens is the first step in finding our how to fix it.

Inspection and Preventative Maintenance

Before actually attempting to solve a thread jam, it pays to inspect the machine and check for anything that looks out of place or faulty. Common culprits can include frayed wires, an obstruction or an issue with the belt. You should check the entire area around the machine, ensuring the motor or belt isn’t loose, the bobbin isn’t sticking, and that all screws are tightly secured. By carrying out a routine inspection each time you use your machine, you’ll quickly become aware if something isn’t right.

Avoiding the Problem

The next step is to make sure the problem doesn’t arise in the first place by taking simple steps such as establishing regular maintenance regimes, using high quality accessories, being mindful of the various settings and choosing the correct tension springs and needles. It is also wise to be watchful for any signs that the thread is starting to stick and act quickly if it does.

Remedying the Problem

If a thread does get stuck in your sewing machine then don’t panic. After switching off the machine and unplugging it, gently try to pull the errant thread carefully, taking particular care not to make it worse through yanking or pulling. If this doesn’t work, then it is time to open the machine. This should be done slowly and carefully, paying attention to the instructions outlined in your instruction manual.

Diagnosing the Problem

Once you have the machine open, take care not to touch any of the mechanisms themselves but have a look around at the inner workings of the machine and see if you can identify the source of the problem. If not, then you may have to remove the bobbin and its casing and check for thread snagging there. Taking pictures at various stages of your progress may prove beneficial if things don’t go to plan and you need to put it back together.

Troubleshooting and Resuming Normal Sewing

If the bobbin is not to blame, then try to get it working again by careful disassembling and observation. It may be a simple case of cleaning the mechanism, checking the screws are all in place or even oiling the machine. If you find yourself out of your depth at this stage then you may need to consult your owner’s manual or take the machine to a qualified technician.

Tips for Avoiding Thread Jamming

To keep the problem from recurring, try these helpful tips:
•Buy high-quality thread and yarn for your machine.
•Test the tension settings before use.
•Change the needle when it becomes worn.
•Thread the machine properly and ensure that it is clear of knots or tangles.
•Keep the area around the machine clean and free from dust.
•Follow the instructions in the user manual.
•Occasionally oil your machine.

Identifying the Right Parts for Repair

If you need to replace any parts, it pays to have a qualified technician observe the inner workings before you buy them. This will help to ensure you get the right parts for your make and model of machine, as each one is unique. If you are handy with tools, fitting works best when done correctly with the right parts.

Learning More About Sewing Machines

There is no substitute for knowledge and understanding when it comes to any potential maintenance on these machines. If you would like to learn more then sign up to an online course or join a local sewing club. This way, you will not only increase your knowledge but also learn additional techniques, troubleshooting tips and access to a valuable resource of advice and support.

Talking With Other Sewers

Your fellow sewers may have encountered similar problems. a quick internet search will no doubt uncover a wealth of forums and helpful articles from other sewers. Sharing experiences and exchanging valuable advice is a great way to gain further knowledge and possible solutions to your problem.

Finding Professional Help

If all else fails and you can’t identify the source of the thread jam, it is time to find a qualified technician who understands mechanics. Research reliable and affordable technicians who understand the inner workings of the machine. Many of them advertise online and should be able to provide you with a quote and confirm the parts needed before you bring it in for repair.


Fixing a thread stuck in a sewing machine isn’t always easy, but through careful inspection, identification and troubleshooting you should be able to identify and remediate the issue you are facing. Remember, if anything is beyond your capabilities, it pays to find a qualified technician who can get your machine back up and running in no time.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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