Brother Sewing Machine Error E6 – How To Fix?

Brother sewing machines are quite reliable and have various features to ensure their customers one of the best sewing experiences.

The machines themselves are renowned for their smart features, which not only give smooth finishes to clothes but also help in avoiding mistakes by showing errors on the display screen. Such error which is quite common on the Brother Sewing machines is Error E6. But it is not something to worry about.

What Does Error E6 Mean on Brother Sewing Machine?

The Error E6 in a Brother sewing machine means that the motor has been locked up because a thread got entangled. This means that a thread got inside the motor and jammed it, so now it does not move, and hence, the sewing machine does not work. 

How to Troubleshoot Brother Sewing Machine E6 Error?

Interestingly, there are many reasons why a Brother Sewing machine can show an Error E6, and we are going o talk about each one of them. 

1. Are You Using Third-Party Bobbins?

A Brother sewing machine is built to use the bobbin, which has been specially developed to provide the greatest stitching results. It is very important that you use only genuine Brother bobbins in the exact size for your sewing machine. 

All contemporary top-loading Brother machines use an 11.5 mm bobbin (SFB). However, some older versions use a 9.2mm bobbin (SFB) (TLB). The proper size may be found in your machine’s handbook.

Going for the third-party bobbins can cause a poor stitch or even machine damage. Metal bobbins should never be placed in a Brother sewing machine that has a top loading bobbin mechanism or quick set bobbin mechanism. These bobbins can cause the thread to become entangled with the motor and thus, hinder its working.

How to solve it?

  • First, carefully bring the upper thread out and get rid of any loose threads.
  • Raise the pressure foot and remove the needle. This is so the sewing machine can be re-threaded.
  • Take the bobbin and its case out.
  • Clean the lint and remove the threads from the bobbin. 
  • Put the bobbin back in its place and align it with the machine spring. 
  • Make sure the needle is not bent. If it is, even in the slightest, put it away and place a new one in the machine.
  • Run a trial patch to make sure that the error does not exist anymore.

2. Pay Attention to the Fabric Feed

The fabric feed can also be a cause of the E6 error. Many sewing machines have the feature of allowing free-motion stitching. Feed dogs are those parts that make the fabric slide as the needle stitches it. The feed dogs may be causing the problem. 

How to solve it?

  • First, make sure that the feed dogs are working properly by checking the settings to see if they can easily move the fabric under the needle or not. 
  • If you find that the feed dogs were the issue, put the settings on a reset, which may have caused the feed dogs to be lower or higher than their actual positions.
  • If the feed dog setting is okay or if it does not exist, carefully take the throat plate out.
  • Take a clean cloth and wipe away any dust or small threads that may be stuck near the throat plate.
  • See if the machine needs oiling, and then put the throat plate back.

3. Don’t Ignore the Thread Spool

The thread may be getting winded with the thread spool, the nick, or the notch. 

How to solve it?

  • Simply alter the thread’s direction in the spool.
  • Run a trial stitch to see if the error still exists.

4. Managing the Thread Quality & Improper Needles

Poor quality threads or even improper use of needles can result in an E6 error. If the thread is of lower quality or is very old, it can easily break and get stuck in the motor. 

Also, if the thread is of a special kind that is unsuitable for normal needles, you will often see this problem. That’s not all because even if the needle is sewn over the pins, it can break the thread, which can get stuck in the motor and cause an E6 Error. All of this means that you have to exercise caution while handling needles and pay attention to the thread quality if you want to avoid the E6 error nuisance. 

How to solve it?

  • If using a poor-quality thread is the issue, simply change the thread to a new, high-quality thread and run the machine again.
  • Make sure the needle is not sewn over the pins.
  • When using thicker threads, use special needles which have a large directional. 

Some Key Tips While Using Needles

  1. The thinner the needle, the lower the needle number. The needles become thicker as the numbers increase.
  2. While sewing with light materials, use thin needles; use thicker needles when sewing with heavier fabrics.
  3. When working with stretch materials, consider a ball point needle 90/14 to prevent missed stitches.
  4. Consider a ball point needle 90/14 to prevent missed stitches when stitching character or ornamental stitches.
  5. For needlework, go for needle 75/11.
  6. For embroidering on heavy materials or stabilizing goods, a 90/14 needle is advised (i.e., Denim, puffy foam, etc.). A 75/11 needle may deform or shatter, resulting in damage to the cloth or even a physical injury.
  7. Ball point needles 90/14 are not suggested for embroidery since they are prone to breaking or bending, causing damage.

Fabric / Thread / Needle Combinations

The sewing machine needle to use is determined by the cloth and thread thickness. Always remember never to use a thread of weight 20 or lower because it can lead to malfunctions and damage to the cloth and the machine.

Medium Weight Fabrics

  • For Broadcloth, use a cotton thread having a 60-90 weight, with a needle of weight 75/11 to 90/14.
  • For Tafetta, use a synthetic thread having a 60-90 weight, with a needle of weight 75/11 to 90/14.
  • For Flannel and Gabardine, use a silk thread having a 50 weight, with a needle of weight75/11 to 90/14.

Thin Fabrics

  • For Lawn, use a cotton thread with a 60-90 weight and a needle of 65/9 to 75/11.
  • For Georgette, use a synthetic thread having a 60-90 weight and a needle of 65/9 to 75/11.
  • For Challis and Satin, use a silk thread having a 50 weight and a needle of 65/9 to 75/11.

Thick Fabrics

  • For Denim, use a cotton thread of either 30 or 50 weight. If using a size 30, the needle should be 100/16 but if using a weight 50, use a needle of 90/14 to 100/16.
  • For Corduroy, use a synthetic thread of weight of 50-60 and a needle of 90/14 to 100/16.
  • For tweed, use a silk thread of weight of 50-60 and a needle of 90/14 to 100/16.

Stretch Fabrics

  • For Jersey, use a thread for knits having a weight between 50-60 and a gold-colored ball point needle of weight 75/11 to 90/14.
  • For Tricot, use a thread for knits having a weight between 50-60 and a gold-colored ball point needle of weight 75/11 to 90/14.

Easily Frayed Fabrics

  • Use cotton, synthetic, or silk thread for all easily frayed fabrics. The cotton and synthetic threads should be between 50-90, while the silk thread should be 50. The weight of the needle for all three threads should be between 65/9 to 90/14.


  • For top-stitching, use either a synthetic thread with a weight of 30 with a needle of 100/16 or a silk thread with a weight of 50-60 and a needle between 75/11 to 90/14.

The Bottom Line

Having a properly working machine with no error is very important to have a flawless stitching session and get the desired results. If your Brother machine shows an error, it is very important to resolve the error with proper precautions to prevent further damage to the machine. If the issue remains unresolved even after consulting guides, it is better to get the machine checked professionally. 



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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