Fabric Not Feeding Through Sewing Machine – Causes and Solutions

Using a sewing machine seems to be an easy task, but it makes us feel annoyed for no reason when it is not working correctly.

Sometimes the fabric not feeding through the sewing machine issue arises. Thus, we feel like this will not be our cup of tea to resolve it.

But this is not the scenario because right now, possible solutions are available to solve it immediately.

Here we are presenting the best-curated list of solutions when fabric not feeding through a sewing machine issue arises so that you can resolve it immediately. Stay tuned with us to get the best solution for this problem.

Why Is My Fabric Not Feeding Through Sewing Machine?

Different causes are there which contribute to fabric not feeding through sewing machine issues. As per the problem available, a person needs to look through the solution. Let’s have a look at all of them.

1. Wrong Needle

Wrong needles are the primary cause behind the fabric not being fed through the sewing machine. Sometimes we do not pay attention to the needle, and it becomes the major problem behind it.

Solution – Get a New Needle

At that moment, replacing the needle will be the solution. It is essential to change the needle according to the fabric. Nowadays, the needles are available as per the fabric.

For a lightweight fabric, the needle size 60/8 or 70/10 is the perfect option. Likewise, for polymer, sturdy cotton, and stretchy polyester, different needles are available. Just check out the list and then get one available.

Using a needle according to the fabric is essential, but check out whether it is right and properly fixed. Sometimes it gets dull or damaged.

Thus, separating the needle and replacing it with a new one will be the solution at that moment. If you have not changed it in a while, it will not let you get the desired outcomes.

2. Stretchy, Silky, or Very Delicate Fabric

For some fabrics, the scenario might change, so you need to choose the same needle. But in some cases, the needle is not the only perfect solution.

In such cases, taking additional measures is essential. The additional measures are to avoid going too close to the edge and trying to do the stitching at a slow speed.

Solution – Use Presser Foot

As we know, the machine has a presser foot which promotes excellent stability for thin and slippery fabrics. Try to maintain the desired speed for completing the task.

Make sure to operate the machine accordingly because problems will arise if you are not paying attention to it.

We suggest you go for a straight stitch for quilting foot because it prevents fabrics from going down into the machine.

 3. Flimsy Edges

Some problematic fabrics are there which get jammed initially and primarily in the case when you try to backstitch for knotting a thread. But solutions are there to prevent it.

Solution – Catch Flimsy Edges

  • Start in the middle and then move towards the edges. Turn and sew from the same place accordingly in the middle to the other edge.
  • Along with the fabric used, you can also try tissue paper. Get the tissue paper that we often use in gift bags. Stabilize the fabric with the help of tissue paper. For this, keep the paper behind the fabric. And after the task completes, tear the paper off.
  • If the fabric is not appearing to be flimsy, keep the needle and Bobbin thread throughout on top and bottom. It will help you secure it in place whenever you start sewing.
  • Get another piece of fabric with the leading edge of the piece and sew from one place to another. It helps you to snap them apart, and this works well with stretchy fabric as well.

4. Stitch Length Setting Might Be Zero

Stitch length also plays an integral role. Make sure to use the pitch length according to the fabric. With some fabrics, the zero sizes are not the appropriate ones at that moment. You need to adjust the length.

Solution – Adjust the Stitch Length

We suggest you test the stitching from the middle of the fabric. Accordingly, adjust the stitch length.

If you cannot make the customizations in stitch length, we suggest you look at the knob right there on the sewing machine to help you adjust it.

5. Incorrect Threading

Incorrect trading is also an integral factor that contributes to fabric not feeding through the sewing machine issue. It is crucial to have a close look at the thread from the start to the middle.

Solution – Rethreading Works Excellent

Remove the thread and reset the machine again. After rethreading, try it on a waste piece of cloth to check out whether it is working correctly or not.

Also, inspect the fabric you are using to check out whether it is accordingly or not. Also, please pay attention to the bobbin because it may also contribute to the same trouble. Check out the bobbin and nearby area to make sure no thread is stuck into it.

6. Feed Dogs Down, Worn, or Jammed

Feed dogs are also the major contributor to such problems. If you have recently done stitching and have not paid attention to it, this problem will arise.

Don’t forget to raise the feed dogs after completing the task. Sometimes it does cause the issue where the fabric does not move and is stuck in between. Sometimes the feed dogs become loose, and it is essential to tie them physically and periodically.

Solution – Inspect Feed Dogs

Raise the presser foot and turn the handwheel whenever you are observing the feed dogs. Check out the machine handbook for all the suggestions. Moreover, you may contact the customer service provider to know how to deal with it.

7. Large Plate Cover Hole

The large hole plate cover appears to be ample for the thin fabric you are looking forward to sewing. Please turn it to a different presser foot but make sure the needle can still put the delicate fabrics below the plate.

Solution – Use Straight Stitch Plate With a Small Hole

Thanks to technology, now options are there with the machines you are utilizing. It is up to the user whether they wish to use it on a straight stitch plate or make the changes.

A small hole is also available that will not allow the fabric to move beneath the blade. Check it out. It is one of the most trustworthy solutions available.

Well, you can use this plate for making straight stitches. But if you want to make a zigzag or some decorative stitches, change to the regular plate to get the results.

If you ignore it, getting the expected results will not be your thing at all.

 8. Dirty Machine

You can’t keep the machine dirty. It is essential to clean the machine periodically. It doesn’t matter whether you are using it at frequent intervals or not, but no excessive dust should occupy its place.

Sometimes we forget to clean or oil the machine, which contributes to this issue.

Solution – Keep Your Machine Clean

At the very first, please move to the bobbin compartment and analyze it to the core. If you see specks of dust or spider web, clean them immediately.

Whenever you are cleaning the machine, make sure to oil it immediately. When you oil the machine, try to use it on the waste piece of cloth because it may release extra oil.

This oil may ruin the cloth if you run the machine on new cloth. Thus, to save yourself from this trouble, check out whether the machine is clean or not.

9. Thread Tension Is Too Tight

Thread tension requires adjustment according to the weight of the fabric. It is essential to use the same weight in the upper thread and bobbin.

Solution – Adjust Thread Tension

If the tension is even, it will let the thread snag and stop the machine. Also, a manual available comes with every new machine where it gives instructions about how not to mess with the bobbin.

Sometimes individuals try to be a mechanic and mess with it, which leads to unnecessary trouble.

10. Presser Foot Is Not Down

Some people forget to put down a presser foot before they begin to sew the fabric. It might be a common mistake that individuals make.

Solution – Never Run Your Machine with Presser Foot Down

Set up a reminder to pay attention to the presser foot whenever you are moving ahead to use it. The dog feeds have nothing to grab, and the fabric will not go anywhere if it is not down.

11. Overworking Sewing Machine

Now, many machines come up with an automatic shut-off feature whenever the motor gets too hot. If a person is working on the sewing machine for a longer duration and has not paid attention to it, the fabric might stop feeding through the sewing machine.

Solution – Stop Using Sewing Machine for a While

We suggest you keep it at rest for a while after you complete the sewing project. One can wait for the minimum to a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 120 minutes before starting to use it again.

So here we have come to an end after discussing the causes, which are the significant contributors of fabric not feeding through sewing machine issue.

We have also discussed all the solutions available. So please pay attention to them and then try to operate the machine once again.

Whenever you adopt any of the solutions, try to follow them to the end. That’s because if you ignore any essential step by leaving it in between, it will not give desirable results.

What Feeds Fabric Through a Sewing Machine?

The feed dogs are majorly responsible for feeding fabric to a sewing machine. The machine holds the fabric against feed dogs. The mechanism used here is what we call drop feed or feed system.

Thus, ensure to check out the feed dogs before engaging in any of the sewing tasks. That’s because this element may let you face unnecessary troubles if mishandled.

Can You Use a Sewing Machine With Malfunctioning Feed Dogs?

Unfortunately, No! You cannot use such machines. If the feed dogs are not working, you cannot make progress in any sewing project. But some recent sewing machines are there that come up with several functions.

So, it depends on the machine you have at the moment. The functioning of feed dogs is essential to move the fabric throughout the machine at the right timing and even for creating a proper lockstitch.



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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