Sewing Machine Isn’t Catching the Thread – Reasons & Solutions

Do you know your sewing machine creates stitches by locking the top needle and bottom bobbin thread together? What if that does not happen? It makes your sewing experience a nightmare, right? Well, in this article, you’ll learn why your sewing machine isn’t catching the thread and solutions. Read on.

Sewing is fun. Not only do you get to create your beautiful fabric, but also let your imaginations do the magic. All that is possible if your machine can create stitches. So, what makes your device not to make them?

It can be stressful if your machine isn’t catching thread. That is because that is the only way you can stitch and join your fabrics. There can be a couple of reasons why that happens. So, you shall read the below information together with how to solve them.

Why Isn’t Sewing Machine Catching Thread?

If you are having this problem, it can be due to various reasons. It can be due to your bobbin’s improper positioning, a fizzing, dirt in the bobbin case or the needle is bent enough to miss a bobbin thread. You can read below more reasons on why your machine isn’t catching thread.

Reasons – The Sewing Machine Is Not Catching the Thread

sewing machine is not catching the thread

Well, to end up with a well-stitched fabric, your sewing machine must be up to the task. That is because the basics of making stitches involve the needle passing through the machine throat and grabbing the bottom bobbin thread to lock. That way, you make stitches on your fabric.

What happens when that does not happen?  It leaves you with many questions on why you are running the machine and making no stitches. The following are some of the reasons why your device isn’t catching the thread:

1. Thread Issues

How well do you thread your bobbin? For the top thread to catch the bobbin one, you must wind the bobbin thread the right way. Loose and not neat thread on the bobbin produces knots, causing jamming. That makes the thread not to move smoothly. That interferes with both the upper and lower threads’ smooth-rolling, causing them not to lock and form stitches.

2. Dirty Shuttle Case

How clean are your sewing machine surfaces and throat plate? Making fabric involves a lot of cutting and tearing. Dirt, debris, and pieces of materials build up inside the shuttle area.  That obstructs the thread path and causes it not to move swiftly.

3. Thread Tension

thread tension

The thread tension plays a significant role in stitch making. That is why a bobbin case has a tooth that catches the upper needle thread and, in a circular motion, locks it to make stitches. So, what happens when the yarn is too loose or tight?

That messes up with the right tension. Too tight threads break the threads before they join and lock. Besides, too much loose condition makes the stitches lose and unneat. That is why it is paramount to get your tension right before starting to stitch.

4. Machine Timing Issue

It might surprise you, but it might also be why your sewing machine isn’t catching thread. When your timing is off, it makes you wheel the device away from you instead of towards you. That causes misalignment of belt and gear.

In short, it leads to the needle and bobbin hook not being where they are supposed to at the same time to make a stitch. That is why it is advisable to do routine servicing using a technician. That is to make sure all the parts are working well.

5. Poor Quality Thread

poor quality thread

“Cheap is expensive” is what people say, and indeed it is true. Going for cheap threads may seem like a good budget cut idea, but it comes with consequences. That is because cheap threads are of low-quality hence break more often. They also have tiny knots that cause issues in your machine.

Solutions – Fix Sewing Machine Not Catching the Thread Issue

What can you do to eliminate the problems?  For your sewing machine to catch the thread and make stitches, the following are some of the measures you can take:

1. Check the Bobbin

A bobbin holds the bottom thread. As said earlier, it has a tooth that catches the upper needle thread and pulls it in a circle to lock and for a stitch. You need to make sure the yarn smoothly unrolls from the bobbin on the spool. So what do you do?

If your machine isn’t catching thread, take out the bobbin and reinsert it. Make sure you wind the yarn in the right direction. It should not be too loose or tight. To be sure, test the tension using an extra fabric before you start your work.

2. Rethread Your Upper Thread

rethread your upper thread

Sometimes all you need is take a few steps back. When threading, it is easy to miss a stage, and that can mess with the tension. To be sure, undo the entire top thread of your machine and re-enter keenly.  That might be the effective solution you are looking for.

3. Check the Needle

Yes, it is easy to notice a bent needle because probably it won’t go through the pressing foot, but what happens if it is bent but still go through? That can be one of the causes of your sewing machine, not catching the thread. So what do you do?

Replace any worn out or bent needles. Secondly, make sure you use the right size of the needle. For delicate and light fabrics, use a small needle. If you are sewing heavy fabrics, use a bigger needle, and see if your machine catches thread.

4. Tension

different tension

There are no set standards on which tension you can use. That is because different fabrics have different tension. You need to be keen on the tension by threading well and setting the tension mob to what you need.

You may have messed with the tension mob, or your kids might have when playing around. Before you start stitching, test with a spare fabric to see if the tension is right. You know whether it is correct or not when your machine makes perfect stitches.

5. Change Your Fabric

Sometimes it might not be all the above. Your machine might not be catching thread due to the fabric you are working on. Try a different material and see if it works. If the fabric you are working on is the issue, then you might have to change the techniques on how to handle it.

6. Check Thread Type

Like mentioned earlier, the quality of the yarn you use matters. Cheap threads are of low quality hence break more often. You need to use quality yarn for your sewing. Look for one that does not form knots, damage, or jam your bobbin case.

If your machine needle is fine, the feed dog and pressure foot are dust-free, and the tension is right. The only thing that might be standing between you and beautiful, the well-made fabric is a good quality thread. Get the right thread, and enjoy your stitching.

How to Thread Bobbin Correctly on a Sewing Machine?

Though the way you thread a bobbin differs from one machine to another, the basics are the same. You thread the top thread in the needle to come to the spool through the machine’s throat. The bottom thread is in the bobbin. You correctly wind and load it from the spool to lock and form stitches.

What Should You Check When Sewing Machines Don’t Catch the Thread?

Take these steps. First, check the needle and bobbin. Make sure the needle is of size and straight and bobbin in the correct place. Next, check your threading. Use high-quality threads and make sure your threading is proper. Lastly, check the tension and for any dirt and knot that can cause jamming.



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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