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8 Sewing Machine Feed Dog Problems and Solutions

Every problem comes up with a solution, and this is among those sayings we have been listening to for a very long time. It doesn’t matter whether you are busy in any regular activities or looking forward to engaging in some other tasks.

If a problem is rising, a solution is also there. In the same manner, we can look forward to the sewing machine problems. Sewing machine problems related to the feed dogs are pretty standard.

Sometimes individuals are not able to figure out the exact cause behind it. So they put in a lot of effort, but unfortunately, no solution helps them fix the issue.

If you are also facing some feed dog problems, there is nothing to worry about anymore. But, today, we will highlight some common sewing machine problems related to the feed dogs to fix them.

Thus, the next time the problem arises, you can see a solution available in your hands.

8 Sewing Machine Feed Dog Problems and Solutions

Before we know about the tips to solve them, we suggest you know about the cause. Thus, kindly pay attention to the details so that fixing the problem will be easy for you.

1. Feed Dogs Not Moving Back and Forth

When the feed dogs are not moving back and forth, the stitch length might be the cause behind it. It makes the string projection difficult, and at the end, the feed dogs do not move.

Solution – Adjust Your Stitch Length

Whenever you are setting the sewing machine, check out the stitch length. Moreover, you can set it according to the fabric. Without moving the fabric forward or backward, set up the high enough stitch length.

The typical stitch length is zero, and according to the fabric, you can adjust the same. So on a rough fabric of the same stuff, try to change it.

Additionally, many machines come up with different options for stitch length. Thus, you need to check it out. Please don’t set it to higher because it also causes the back and forth problem with the feed dogs.

Additionally, check out if you didn’t install the bobbin correctly. That’s because incorrect installation can also cause the back and forth problem.

2. Feed Dogs Stuck in the Down Position

Sometimes the feed dogs get stuck in the down position. Yet, it is helpful in freehand sewing. But this is not applicable every time. So at that moment, you need to consider the below-mentioned tips.

Solution – Check the Lever

Check out the needle and make sure it is turned as high as it will go. If it is not in the same position, then this problem will happen. Check out the manual to know how to level the feed dogs in a particular scenario.

In some cases, people turned the needle in one complete rotation towards themselves, and this also raised the feed dogs above the needle plates.

Do check out the feed dog lever. If it is in a downward state, then you need to change it immediately.

Apart from these common issues, sometimes, when the users switch to the down position for sewing after a few stitches, the feed dogs do not work correctly.

Do check it out and then move ahead. Also, we suggest you get a test on the fabric to know whether it will work in your favor or not.

3. Troubles in Raising the Feed Dogs

Some users face a lot of trouble in raising the feed dogs. If the same is happening with you, then don’t worry at all and at the very first understand that it is not a simple thing to do.

You may need to follow a set of correct steps to rectify this issue. So, check out the solution below and see if it can solve this specific problem.

Solution – Use the Handwheel

Step 1: At the very first, make sure you raise the presser foot. It is crucial to raise the presser foot so that you implement the following steps.

Step 2: Now, after getting sure that it is in a position, manually turn the handle down until it is audible. Then, the feed dogs click back in place.

Step 3: If you are not able to hear the clicking sound, turn the handwheel again. Now, check out whether you raised the feed dog back into the position or not.

If the feed dog doesn’t raise even after following these steps, you need to approach the respective company to fix the issue. If you prefer to get it done by a local service provider, always approach a well-qualified technician to fix the issue.

4. Feed Dogs Getting Dirty

If the feed dog area is dirty and you can notice dust and debris in that place, moving the fabric will be difficult. Moreover, the task will not get completed.

At that moment, users need to clean the machine properly and try to utilize it again.

Solution – Frequent Cleaning Is Mandatory

If you want the machine’s life to get enhanced, keep track that all parts are working well. Moreover, make sure there is no dust accumulated in that place.

Check out the area underneath the needle place and around the feed dogs. That’s because such places are highly susceptible to catching dust.

In the end, the dust might cause a lot of problems. Sometimes it leads to jamming problems and all other related issues.

5. Feed Dogs Not Working Correctly Due to Fine Fabric

If you are using fine fabric at the moment, you may notice that the feed dogs of your machine are not working correctly. Unfortunately, it is quite a frequent issue with silky fabrics.

Solution – Adjust Pressure on the Presser Foot

Make sure to put appropriate pressure on the presser foot to get the best results. Also, to fix the same issue, you need to change the pressure over the presser foot, which is essential for keeping the fabric and moving it along.

If you don’t modify the pressure, you will not see the results on delicate fabric. According to the fabric, there is a certain pressure that you need to exert on the presser foot.

6. Problems With the Timing of Feed Dogs

Right now, there is a timing issue problem that happens quite often with modern sewing machines. You can notice the timing issue in different areas of the machine.

It majorly happens with the needle and bob. But it also has a minor influence on the feed dogs. So at that moment, to solve the same issue, the steps are as follows.

Solution – Check the Timing Issue

Step 1: At the very first, you need to replace all the worn-out parts. Put the machine on the straight stitch with a long stitch length.

Step 2: Turn the handwheel for a while and stop it immediately when the trim point is high enough. At this point, you need to turn the feed gears by hand and check out the movement from the feed dogs.

Step 3: If the feed dogs are not working correctly, you know the timing is off.

It is not a problem that an individual can resolve efficiently at home. Thus, it is a suggestion that you should approach the technician to fix it.

If you are trying to fix it, this may lead to some other timing issues and problems with the machine.

7. Broken Feed Dogs

Broken feed dogs are also a significant concern and will not let you use the machine properly. You better know how vital these feed dogs are to complete your sewing tasks.

So, if your machine has a broken feed dog, it may not work as usual.

Solution – Replace the Feed Dogs

At this moment, you need to approach the mechanic, who can replace it immediately.

For broken feed dogs, adopting any of the methods mentioned above is not a solution at all. Therefore, before moving ahead to any of the solutions, check out the broken feed dogs. Also, check out whether these are broken or in an appropriate condition.

8. Poor Feed Technique

Some people are not aware of how to operate the machine. So, in such situations, it leads to an inappropriate machine operation.

Thus, sometimes poor feed technique is also the reason. So, fix it before it gives birth to any other issue.

Solution – Learn the Proper Feed Technique

At this moment, we suggest you go through the manual available. Moreover, check out how to operate it sufficiently.

When you know how to operate your sewing machine efficiently, it will be easy for you to get the best results with the feed dogs installed.

How Do Feed Dogs Work on Sewing Machines?

Feed dogs are the metal teeth that come out of the hole of the sewing machine’s throat plate. These are essential to complete the sewing operations by producing a high-quality stitch.

If these are not working correctly, people will not get a high-quality stitch. Thus, there will be difficulty in completing the task.

How to Clean the Feed Dog on Your Sewing Machine?

For cleaning the feed dog of the sewing machine, you need to brush the bobbin area out of the feed dogs. So, with the help of paintbrush and cotton swabs, anyone can clean feed dogs quickly at home.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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