Why Is My Singer Sewing Machine Jamming


Sewing machines have been around for centuries, evolving over time to make the process of garment creation easier and faster. The Singer sewing machine is one of the most iconic, renown and most-used models, with a rich and lengthy history. Despite its popular use, many who have invested in a Singer machine have found themselves frustrated and confused when their sewing machine begins to jam. In this article, we will explore the reasons why a Singer sewing machine may be jamming and provide insights on how to fix the problem, to get back to the enjoyable process of garment construction.

General Causes of Jamming in Sewing Machines

Regardless of the brand of sewing machine being used, there are a number of reasons why a machine can begin to jam. These include: not aligning the needle correctly, using the wrong type of needle, using the wrong type of thread, using the wrong pressure, using too thick a fabric, using poor-quality thread, using blunt needles, using a damaged presser foot, using fabric that’s not been pre-washed, using the wrong needle size, using a damaged bobbin, using too warm a setting on the machine, using worn-out parts such as drive belts, and using the wrong type of oil.

Common Causes of Jamming in Singer Machines

When it comes to Singer machines, there are a range of causes that are specific to this model which can lead to a machine jamming. These include: not having threaded the machine correctly, not having the right amount of tension on the thread, having incorrect timing, having the wrong type of needle, having a bent needle, having a wound-up bobbin, having a jam caused by faulty settings, having a faulty pedal, and having a visible piece of debris stuck in the machine.

Identifying the Problem Prevalence

In order to determine the most likely cause of a Singer machine jamming, it’s important to identify the problem prevalence. In other words, identify the most likely area of the machine causing the jam. Singer machines usually display a range of ‘error codes’ to show that there is a specific problem with the machine. If no such code appears, the most likely cause of the jam is a tangled bobbin or needle thread, an incorrect needle size, incorrect tension, incorrect timing, or an incorrect setting.

Fixing the Jam

When attempting to fix a Singer machine that is jammed, it’s important to take a considered approach. The first step should be to review the instruction manual provided with the machine, which may provide some guidance on how to find and fix the issue. It’s important to follow the troubleshooting steps outlined in the manual, such as checking the tension, checking the timing, or checking the needle or bobbin. If the problem persists, a more general approach is recommended, that includes checking the parts and components of the machine, checking that the right parts are being used, resetting the settings and cleaning the machine components with a brush.

Taking Appropriate Precautions

When using a Singer sewing machine, it is important to take appropriate precautions to reduce the chances of a jam. This may include checking the instruction manual prior to use, double-checking the settings and threading, using the correct type and size of needle, using good-quality thread, and maintaining the machine by oiling and adjusting when required.

Preventative Services

To reduce the chances of jamming, it’s also important to consider taking a Singer machine to a specialist to be serviced regularly. This can help to identify issues inside the machine that may be preventing it from working correctly, as well as keeping components clean and lubricated to facilitate smooth operation.

Short Term Solutions

In the short-term, if a Singer sewing machine is jamming, it can be helpful to take it to a sewing machine repair specialist. This can help to identify why the machine is jamming and provide a solution to the problem. It’s also important to research the most likely causes of the jam, as this may provide some guidance on the problem, as well as provide a range of advice on how to fix a jammed sewing machine.

Advanced Strategies

For those confident in the use of a Singer machine and the process of troubleshooting, there are a range of more advanced strategies and techniques which may be employed. This may include removing and cleaning the needle, checking the needle bar, adjusting the tension, adjusting the feet, adjusting the timing, cleaning the parts of the machine, checking for under or over lubrication, as well as checking the gears and pulleys.

Using the Right Tools

In order to reduce the chances of a Singer machine jamming, it’s important to use the right tools for the job. This means using the correct type of needle, the correct type of thread, and making sure that the machine is set at the correct settings. It’s also important to use the correct type of fabric for the machine, and to clean and maintain the machine regularly.


When it comes to understanding why a Singer machine may be jamming, it’s important to consider understanding the general reasons for machine jamming, the Singer-specific causes, identifying the problem prevalence and taking appropriate precautions. Short-term solutions may include taking the machine to a specialist or researching the issue online. Advanced strategies include cleaning the needle, adjusting the tension, adjusting the feet, adjusting the timing and cleaning the parts of the machine. It’s also important to use the right tools for a Singer machine and to maintain and clean the machine correctly.

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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