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Sewing Machine Keep Jamming – Reason and Solutions

It can be very frustrating having to contend with a device that keeps giving problems. This malfunction could lead to different issues like damage to materials, in this case, fabrics, amongst other things. The importance of sewing machines in the tailoring business cannot be overemphasized, but sewers have often time complained about how frequently their machine gets jammed while working. This article aims to help sewers and fashion designers alike to know the possible cause for their jammed sewing machine and possible ways to resolve these issues.

Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Jamming?

When your sewing machine gets jammed while stitching a fabric, the most probable cause is the feed dogs. The feed dogs are the tiny teeth that move the material under the sewing machine needle. If the feed dogs are too low or contain lint and debris, then your sewing machine stands the risk of getting jammed. If the presser foot is also too low against the feed dog, the fabric won’t be able to move through the machine, which is also not good.

The working mechanism of the sewing machine involves two threads running through a piece of fabric. A part of the thread runs through the needle from a spool, and the other one comes from the bobbin. When the needle lowers and penetrates the fabric, it carries the thread with it. The needle begins to lift and forms a loop of yarn under the fabric. This mechanism can be quite complex and can cause problems for your sewing machine.

A variety of reasons could cause a jamming sewing machine. While these problems can be unique to some machines, the jamming of your machine can be attributed to one or more of the following reasons.

1. Some stitches have been skipped.

When your sewing machine is skipping stitches, then you are using the wrong type of needle to sew your fabric, which could cause jamming. It is advisable to use a ballpointneedle for a knit fabric and sharp needle for a woven fabric. This doesn’t necessarily solve the problem as other factors might be in play.

If you have no problem sewing with your machine, but you’ve had to change yoursewing needle too often, then you are forcing the fabric through the sewing process instead of letting the machine feed the fabric itself.

Another result ofskipped stitches is if the needle is bent. This occurs when you force the fabric to stitch.

A sewing machine needle is the smallest and the most essential part of a sewing machine. You should understand everything about sewing machine needles before using them for stitching your fabric.

2. Improper threading, which results in tangling.

Most sewers usually misplace this fault for a bobbin issue, which is not the case. When a bunch of threads is tangled, the common cause is improper threading when setting up your sewing machine for work. One of the common mistakes tailors make is threading a sewing machine with the presser foot down. This will engage the tension disks or become too tight, thus preventing the thread from settling properly between the discs.

3. Poor quality threads.

Trying to minimize cost might seem like a good idea, but shouldn’t be at the expense of your sewing machine. Sewing threads made of poor quality material tends to shed a lot of lint. This lint subsequently gets into your machine’s parts, thereby forcing a jam. Moreso, tiny knots can form on threads with such quality, which can also cause jamming while trying to be pushed through the material. When a thread is weak, it breaks frequently, and that is not good for your sewing experience.

4. Presence of clog in your machine.

The formation of lint and specks of dust is a part of a professional sewer tailoring experience, most especially when working on loads of fabrics.  If, after every sewing session, you don’t take some time to clean out the debris, it could stand in the way of the smooth running of your machine’s working mechanism.

The problems you face with your sewing machine as a sewer is mostly human-made except there was an issue with the machine from the manufacturer’s end. The jamming can only damage your sewing machine if you don’t take appropriate measures to put the problems mentioned above in check. It is, therefore, imperative to check any of the above reasons anytime your machinejams. Additionally, sewers misinterpret a freeze for a jam; the next paragraph will show you how to figure that out.

How to Fix a Jamming Sewing Machine?

It can be very frustrating, having to work with a machine that is uncooperative, either because of a bobbin issue, knotted thread, or clogs in the machine.

To have a wonderful project while working with your sewing machine, then you need to try as much as possible to resolve any jamming issues associated with your device. All this can be done without taking your machine for repairs that could be quite expensive.

  • If the issue is associated with knotted threading, you should remove your fabric from the machine and cut through the extra thread, but be careful, so you don’t damage the mechanism of the device. Remove your top thread and ensure to re-thread the machine following the given guidelines. Also, remove and re-thread your bobbin and follow the instructions strictly.

Make sure you are using the same type of thread in both the top thread and the bobbin. More importantly, adjust your tension settings.

  • If the issue is associated with a broken or bent needle, always use a new needle for a new task. Ensure that you are using the exact needle meant for the project at hand—ballpointneedle for a knit fabric, and sharpneedle for a woven fabric. If your needle breaks during a project, carefully remove and dispose of accordingly, then replace it with a new needle and re-thread.

If the problem has to do with the feed dogs, make sure your machine doesn’t have a feed drop setting that is not activated. Also, check and confirm that you have an embroidery or darning plate covering the feed dogs. More importantly, make sure that your presser foot is down, and is set to the correct pressure for your fabric. When too little or too much pressure is applied to your presser foot, it results in a poor feed.

  • If your machine thread knots inconsistently, loosen, or tangles, then the problem must be associated with lint and specks of dust. When fiber and dirt build up in your machine, especially in and around the bobbin area, it causes a great deal of difficulty in the smooth running of your machine. You can avoid these issues by occasionally cleaning your machine, following the instructions provided in the manufactures manual. Some manufacturers recommend using brushes or vacuum attachment to remove lint.

Carefully following all the instructions provided above will set you on the path to enjoying a hitch-free sewing experience.  All you have to do is identify the problems; if you can address none of them, then you should contact your technician.

How Do I Know If My Sewing Machine Is Frozen?

Sewing machines are beautiful appliances that enable creative expression and real-life applications. And just like every other mechanical device, it has its faults.

Whenever you find that out that some parts of your sewing machine won’t move or there is too much friction within the parts during movements, then it is probably frozen.  Most people confuse this with a jammed machine.

When sewing machines are put through conditions like exposure to pressures from the environment or long-term neglect, they eventually fail to work. Lint, hair, dirt, and debris, in turn, get in contact with the oils and grease used to lubricate the sewing machine. After which they become less viscous, dries up and turns sticky.

They then become crystallized within the sewing machine and then form a hard crust. What happens is that the parts of the sewing machine freeze up and fail to work. The shafts become mixed up with the dirt, tightens up, and turns into a solid piece.

A frozen sewing machine can be frustrating when sewing. It is usually challenging to use such a machine for productive work.

It might be quite arduous to repair a frozen sewing machine. When it comes to fixing a deadhead stuck sewing machine, it needs the services of a highly qualified sewing machine technician. To find out if the sewing machine is a deadhead, try turning the handwheel. If it binds and refuses to turn, or freezes, it is locked-up.

In certain sporadic cases, bobbin-area problems can also result in a sewing machine binding. For machine users, it is so important to periodically clean out the bobbin area and put a small drop of pure, clean sewing machine oil on the moving parts. The lint, dirt, and gummy residue from lubricants are a lot of issues if not tended to.

Fixing most jamming-related issues in your sewing machine requires that you pay attention to your machine. Some ways you can tend for your sewing machine and fix these issues before it blows out of proportion are highlighted below.


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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