Sewing Machine Needle Stuck in Down Position – Causes and Solutions

You are excited that your sewing project is going on well. But, when you return to work on it next, the needle keeps getting stuck in a downward position. Your morale is lost, your project stagnates, and you don’t want to work on it again.

Well, there is no need to cancel it. Instead, here is a detailed guide on some primary causes and solutions. That means you can now be working on completing your project in no time.

What Is My Sewing Machine Needle Stuck in Down Position?

Below are a few ways to troubleshoot your sewing machine, especially if the needle keeps getting stuck in a downwards position.

If you try all these points and nothing works, it might be time to schedule your machine for maintenance.

1. Needle Insertion Wasn’t Correct

How you insert the needle will determine if you will proceed with your sewing project. It can go well or will have issues. For example, if you don’t insert it well in the holder, it will get stuck in the machine.

sewing machine needle insertion

Also, using the wrong needle can cause the lower and upper threads to miss. You will end up with an ugly-looking project with skipped stitches. There could be chunks of threads below and above your fabric.

When your thread pulls short, you will notice the jamming of the machine due to a stuck needle.

Solution – Use the Correct Procedure to Insert the Needle.

Step 1: Unscrew the holder to release the current needle you are using. Choose the right type and size of needle for your project. The flat side should face the rear of your machine.

Step 2: Push the needle upwards as far as it can go. Screw the holder to secure the needle in place.

2. The Needle Didn’t Go Further Up the Holder

We don’t know where you would be rushing if you can’t do something as simple as this. But, if you are new to sewing, we agree that you need some time getting used to it. That’s fine!

Your needle has to go up the holder to the farthest point it can get. That’s because it ensures that you have the correct length of the shaft to work with at the moment. Besides, it also prevents the excess from getting stuck downwards in the machine.

Solution – Set the Needle Once Again

Step 1: If you have the needle in the machine already, unscrew the holder to release it.

Step 2: Check for any damages or deformities that could have occurred within a few minutes. If any, don’t use the needle.

Step 3: Get another one and place the needle with the flat side facing the rear of your machine. Push the needle upwards and peep to check.

Step 4: It should be at the farthest end of the holder. After that, screw to secure it before testing on another piece of fabric.

3. Improper Machine Threading

improper machine threadingIt can occur in the upper threading of the machine. What’s more, it can cause too tight or too loose tension. Finally, it can result in the jamming of the machine from thread knots and tangles.

Solution – Rethread the Machine

There are no two ways about this. First, you have to unthread your machine and re-thread it. Be careful when doing this. Moreover, you can avoid skimming at any point. Ensure that your thread runs well through tension grooves.

If the thread spool will mount sideways, ensure that it is in its place and has a snug fit. Check for areas where a thread can get caught to prevent a smooth motion, especially on the spool edges.

4. Improper Threading of the Bobbin

improper threading of the bobbin

Bobbins seem very simple to thread. But it can be another reason why your needle can get stuck in a downwards position. You might never figure this out.

Solution – Unwind the Bobbin Thread

To solve this, remove your bobbin from the machine and unwind the thread. Yes! It can seem a difficult task to do. But it is the only way out.

Use the recommended direction on the user manual to thread the bobbin. Some machines are very strict about this. Thread the bobbin on a medium tension.

After that, reinsert your bobbin. The thread should feed well through the tension slots in the bobbin case and the machine.

Using your hand wheel, catch your bobbin thread. Ensure you pull it above the faceplate. Avoid leaving it beneath the plate. That’s because it can cause jamming.

Moreover, if you have another threaded bobbin, it will be better. That’s because it can save you from the hassle of re-threading the current one, especially if you are in a hurry to accomplish your project. Also, check the spare one for any tangles and knots before using it.

5. A Dull or Broken Needle

broken needle

Your needle can get dull, broken, or bent because of hitting pins or when you stress them when they can’t take the excess.

Also, very high tension or heavier fabric can cause your needle to be dull or bent.

It can make the needle jam in bobbin parts. It could later break or ruin other parts of your machine.

Solution – Solve the Needle Issue

Unscrew the needle holder to release your needle. Examine the needle well. Look at the tip for nicks. Moreover, to scrutinize it for any bends, lay it on a very flat surface.

Besides, if you are skeptical, it will be proper to use another new needle. But, first, ensure it is the right size and type.

Then, fix it well on the machine. Moreover, ensure it goes farther upwards to prevent the problem from recurring.

6. A Dirty Machine

As you use your machine, lint, dust, thread pieces, fluff, and dirt accumulates on the machine parts. So, if you don’t clean it well from time to time, there is a high chance that your needles will get stuck in it.

A bobbin section is a place that holds so much of such build-up. Gravitational force pulls all debris downwards from the fabric. So, if the debris combines with machine oil, this can cause a huge problem.

Solution – Check Machine Parts and Clean Them

Inspect all the accessible parts of the machine. You can use a small paintbrush, tweezers, a cotton swab, and isopropyl alcohol to remove the dirt and build-up. Spare more time as you have to go slow on the cleaning process.

You wouldn’t want to damage your machine in any way, so if you can disassemble some parts, the better. It ensures that you do a thorough job and also remove as much dirt as possible.

Some parts can have crystals. Coat these areas with machine oil. It softens them and allows you to remove the dirt with ease. Besides, ensure you schedule regular cleaning to prevent such occurrences. Otherwise, your machine can end up freezing.

7. You Haven’t Oiled Your Machine

Now you realize that your sewing machine, even if electrical, needs oiling. That’s because it has movable parts that can be affected by friction and cause jamming. Oiling reduces the friction so much and ensures that your machine operates well.

Solution – Regular Oiling Is Essential

Check the user manual that often comes with every sewing machine. It has details on the parts that need oiling. Follow it and use enough oil.

Over oiling your machine can cause leaks or stains on the fabric.

Also, you can’t use any lubricant to do this. Instead, there is special sewing machine oil. Buy one that is of good quality. It works best.

Tips to Prevent Sewing Machine Needle From Getting Stuck

1. Ensure there is enough tension in the upper thread. Check out for tangles of threads in your bobbin that can cause reduced tension. You may need it enough to pull up your thread through a fabric you are working on at the moment. Re-thread your needle if this happens often.

2. Work on a clean machine. If possible, clean it after every two to three days. It removes lint, fluff, dust, and dirt that can get stuck in your machine. Use a tiny brush with firm bristles to help with this.

3. Oil your rotatable parts from time to time. It encourages seamless sewing. In the bobbin section, you can use canned air to blow the residues away.

4. Use needles that don’t have any deformities. Also, ensure that the size and type of needle you are using is the right one for your machine and your project.

5. Check that the feed dog works well. If not, the primary cause of feed dog malfunction could be the accumulation of dirt. Clean it and adjust it well.

6. Use good quality thread always! Those of poor quality catch lint that can stick in movable parts of your sewing machine.

How Often Should You Change the Sewing Machine Needle?

The most recommended period is after completing every project. In short, use a new needle for every project.

Doing this reduces the risk of working with a bent or broken needle. It is something you don’t often realize. Instead of ruining a new project with blunt or broken needles, use a new needle each time.

How to Fit a New Needle in Your Sewing Machine?

To fit another needle in the sewing machine, place a paper under the machine’s foot. Then, loosen the screw that secures the needle.

Because of the shank design, the new needle will fit well. The shank’s flat side faces the rear of your machine. Push the needle as far upwards as possible. Lastly, tighten the screw to secure it in place.



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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