Bobbin Thread Bunching Looping And Tangling – Reasons & Solutions

Sewing machines have mechanical problems like any other machine after prolonged use. When your machine has technical problems, it is very difficult to use. You need to know what the problem you are facing is and how to solve it.

One of the major causes of machine problems occurs at the bobbin. The bobbin thread may bunch, loop and tangle. Causing you major difficulties as you work to complete your projects. You will stop sewing regularly to troubleshoot and solve the problems you are facing with the bobbin thread.

Why Is My Bobbin Thread Bunching Looping And Tangling?

1. Bobbin Thread Bunching

Thread bunching on the bobbin is also known as bird nesting. This is because the threads in your bobbin roll into a nest-like ball. It is a common problem that may occur when you have been working on your sewing machine for a while.

bobbin thread bunching

Bunching happens when you are sewing then the threads on your fabric start to roll together into a nestlike ball. You need to stop sewing immediately to find the cause of the problem and then resolve it.

Prolonged sewing with a bunching problem may cause your sewing machine to break. Bunching, like many bobbin problems, is easy to solve by yourself. You don’t need to call for professional support.

Thread bunching may be caused by a lot of factors. The most prominent cause of bunching is when the top thread and bottom thread tension is not equal.

Also, bunching can occur when your bobbin is not properly wound and you have a loose bobbin screw. This loose bobbin screw rolls the threads as you sew until your machine can’t move anymore.

How To Solve Bobbin Thread Bunching Problems?

solve bobbin thread bunching problems

Step 1. Check the bobbin. Confirm that your bobbin is properly threaded. You can’t do this by observation. You will have to pull out your bobbin and rethread it. Make sure to follow the bobbin threading and positioning instructions for a smooth sewing experience. Make sure that the bobbin thread is evenly wound.

You can also check and adjust the bobbin case to make sure that your bobbin is correctly positioned. Make sure that your bobbin case thread is not loose. This is a major cause of bunching.

Also, make sure that you are using the correct bobbin for the sewing machine that you are using. Different sewing machine brands have different sizes and types of bobbins. Most times, these bobbins are not interchangeable.

Step 2. Check the needle. First, confirm that your needle is not broken. If it is broken, you will have to change it. You should change your sewing machine needles regularly.

Then confirm that the needle is properly threaded. You can consult your user manual on how to properly thread your sewing machine. When the needle is not properly threaded, it may cause bunching underneath the fabric that you are sewing.

Also, confirm on your user manual that you are using the right needle and thread for the fabrics you are sewing. Different fabrics may need different needle and thread sizes and types.

Step 3. Rethread your machine. Sometimes, bunching could occur due to the poor threading of the sewing machine. Rethread your sewing machine, making sure that you follow all the threading guides on the machine.

When threading the machine, confirm that you are using the same type of thread for the top and the bobbin. Different threads have different weights that the machine tugs at differently thus causing bunching.

Step 4. Clean your sewing machine. Properly cleaning your machine is likely to solve any remaining cause for bunching. Your sewing machine may have crumpled up threads, lint, and dust in the bobbin case, throat plate, and thread path.

Consult your user manual on how to clean and oil your sewing machine. Make sure to clean your sewing machine regularly. It helps to keep your sewing free from bunching threads and other problems.

2. Bobbin Thread Looping

bobbin thread looping

Prolonged use of your sewing machine causes the thread tension to change. The tension may increase or decrease. This affects the positioning of the top and bobbin thread on your sewing machine. Consequently, you are likely to see loops of thread on your sewing.

Looping that occurs on the underside of the fabric being sewed means that the top thread tension is loose compared to the bobbin tension.

How To Solve Bobbin Thread Looping Problems

Step 1. Adjust the bobbin tension. This means that you will need to play around with your thread tensions until you get to the correct tension levels between the bobbin and top thread. Make a slight change on the tension then test it on a separate fabric. Make sure that the fabric is the same as the one you are sewing. Tweak and test until you have the correct tension.

Step 2. Rethread your sewing machine. If you can’t get the right tension quickly, you might have to rethread your sewing machine. Rethread your bobbin then the sewing machine spool. Use the user manual to get it right. And follow all the top threading guidelines.

Step 3. Check your bobbin. Are you using the right bobbin for the sewing machine brand? If not, change to the right bobbin. Also, confirm that your bobbin is in good condition. Prolonged use of bobbins causes them to crack or deform which could cause the difference in tension. Replace any cracked or deformed bobbins.

bobbin case

Step 4. Clean your bobbin case. You probably don’t check your bobbin case while threading your bobbin. It could be full of dust and lint that could affect the movement of the bobbin during sewing which causes loops. With a light paintbrush, clean your bobbin case and remove any lint and dust that could clog it up.

Step 5. Clean your thread tension discs. To clean your tension discs, reduce the tension on your sewing machine to zero. Then, rub some alcohol on a microfiber cloth that you will use to wipe down the tension discs. Set the tension on your sewing machine and test for proper functioning.

Step 6. Confirm the thread quality that you are using. Every time you sew, make sure that the thread you use and the fabric are of similar quality. This allows for proper tension balance and lowers the chances of loops forming.

3. Bobbin Thread Tangling

Another common sewing machine problem is tangling threads on your sewing machine. Tangling threads cause your sewing machine to jam while you are in the process of sewing. A jammed sewing machine could easily destroy your fabric and break your needles.

Tangling threads are often caused by poor threading of the sewing machine. For example, your bobbin could be positioned wrongly causing the sewing machine to not coordinate the movement of threads.

How To Solve Bobbin Thread Tangling Problems

change the thread

Step 1. Change the thread you use. Threads have a high impact on the quality of sewing you can get. Low-quality threads produce low-quality results and cause your machine to jam. Use a high-quality thread and this problem will go away.

Step 2. Check your bobbin. Is your bobbin properly threaded and wound. Confirm by rethreading according to the user manual. Also, confirm that you are using the right bobbin for the sewing machine brand you are using.

Next, confirm that you have positioned your bobbin as it should. Make sure that the thread from your bobbin loads to the sewing machine counter-clockwise. Placing it in the wrong direction causes tangling to occur.

Step 3. Clean your bobbin case. Dirt caused by lint in your bobbin case can hinder the proper movement of thread from your bobbin to cause tangling. Clean and oil your machine regularly for a properly working sewing machine.

Step 4. When your machine is clean and properly threaded, align your fabric properly at the edged of the presser foot before sewing. This allows for the proper movement of the fabric on the sewing machine as it is being sewn.

How Do You Fix Bobbin Tension?

When all you do is regular sewing, you may never have to adjust your bobbin tension. However, if you find that you have to, this is how to do it.

In your bobbin case, look for a hook or screw. Turn it clockwise to increase the tension and counterclockwise to reduce.

Bobbin Is Stuck In The Bobbin Case

Your bobbin may get stuck in the bobbin case for many reasons. The thread in the bobbin could knot, your bobbin case could have a groove that holds the thread back or your bobbin isn’t placed appropriately. It could also be caused by dirt in the bobbin case.

To release your bobbin, first, clean your bobbin case. This removes clogs of dirt that could prevent the smooth movement of the bobbin. Replace your bobbin if it is cracked or deformed. If there’s a knot in your thread, you will have to rethread your bobbin afresh. Your bobbin will now move smoothly to produce high-quality stitches.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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