9 Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems And Solutions


Have you ever experienced the frustration of a tangled mess beneath your sewing machine’s needle? Or maybe you’ve encountered the dreaded bird’s nest – a clump of thread that seems impossible to untangle. These are just a couple of the many challenges sewers face regarding their machine’s bobbins. But fret not! This comprehensive guide on sewing machine bobbin problems and solutions will equip you with the knowledge and techniques needed to conquer these pesky obstacles and transform your stitching experience from chaos to perfection.

What is a bobbin?

A bobbin is an essential component of a sewing machine that holds the thread. It is usually a metal case with a spindle and various mechanical parts. The main parts of a bobbin are the spindle, housing, and tension spring. The primary purposes of a bobbin are to keep the thread taut for smooth feeding through the machine and to prevent unraveling.

Three types of bobbins are available for sewing machines: metal, plastic, and high-speed. Plastic bobbins are commonly used for everyday sewing but can melt quickly. Metal bobbins are more durable but may generate static electricity, which can cause fabric puckering. High-speed bobbins, made of carbon fiber, require special sewing machines and threads designed specifically for them.

Understanding the different types of bobbins and their functions is crucial for proper sewing machine operation. Choosing the right type of Bobbin based on your sewing needs will help ensure smooth stitching and prevent any potential issues from using an incompatible material.

What part of the sewing machine holds the Bobbin?

Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems And Solutions

The sewing machine part that holds the Bobbin is called the bobbin holder. It is located on the top of most home sewing machines and sits below the presser foot. The bobbin holder comprises a thread guide with two parts – the top and bottom threads. 

Over the top thread, two metal bars are connected by a pivot point. This pivot point moves up and down as you sew to hold the needle. Lower threads pass over lower metal bars, and these two bars are connected by a link called a needle roller. During sewing, the needle roller moves up and down with the top thread, pulling on the Bobbin to keep it in place.

The bobbin holder ensures proper stitching by holding and guiding the Bobbin and top threads during sewing.

What does Bobbin do?

In a sewing machine, the Bobbin is the part that holds the lower thread. It is placed underneath the needle and is responsible for creating the stitches on the underside of the fabric. The upper thread from the spool is threaded through the tension spring and then wound onto the Bobbin. As the sewing machine operates, both threads create a lockstitch, securing the fabric layers together.

The Bobbin aims to ensure smooth and even stitching by controlling the tension of the lower thread. The tension spring in the bobbin case helps regulate how much thread is released during each stitch, preventing it from becoming too loose or tight. This balance between upper and lower thread tension ensures that stitches are neat and uniform, contributing to high-quality sewing results.

How does the bobbin part of the sewing machine work?

The Bobbin is a crucial component of a sewing machine that holds the lower thread and works with the upper thread to create stitches. It is located underneath the needle plate and inserted into the bobbin case or holder. To wind a bobbin, place it on the spindle and thread the thread through various guides before engaging the winding mechanism. As you press the foot pedal or activate the winding function, the spindle starts spinning, which winds the thread onto the Bobbin evenly.

During sewing, both threads – upper and lower – are threaded through their respective tension discs and then interlocked by passing through a small loop mechanism called a hook. This hook rotates as you sew, catching the upper thread from above and pulling it around and beneath the bobbin case where it meets the lower thread. The two threads then intertwine to form a secure stitch. The presser foot ensures that the fabric stays flat against the feed dogs while also helping to guide it under the needle for precise stitching.

If your bobbin breaks or malfunctions, it is recommended to contact your seller immediately upon receipt of your sewing machine to find a replacement part. While some machines come with spare bobbins, others may require you to purchase them separately. Extra bobbins are always helpful in emergencies or when working with different colors or thread types.

Check Also: Are Sewing Machine Bobbins Universal?

Common Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems And Solutions

Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems And Solutions

Bobbin problems are common in sewing machines, and here I explain some of them.

  1. The damaged bobbin case
  2. Jumping Bobbin
  3. Loose bobbin thread 
  4. Loose bobbin holder
  5. Bobbin tension
  6. Shaking of Bobbin 
  7. Overloading of machine
  8. Bobbin thread bunches up
  9. Missing bobbin thread

The damaged bobbin case

If your bobbin case is cracked, bent, or broken, it is recommended to replace your sewing machine. Using a damaged bobbin case can lead to faulty stitches and may cause further damage to your machine. Ensuring that all parts of your sewing machine are in good working condition for optimal performance is important.

Similarly, using a damaged needle threader can also result in issues with your stitches. A faulty needle threader may not properly guide the thread through the needle, leading to uneven or skipped stitches. Replacing a damaged needle threader is best to avoid problems with your sewing projects.

Maintaining and replacing damaged parts of your sewing machine is always advisable to ensure smooth and accurate stitching results.

Jumping Bobbin

Jumping bobbin issues can be frustrating, but you can resolve them simply. First, check if your thread has any pounce or fuzz on it. This can cause the thread to drag on the Bobbin and result in jumping. If you notice any pounce, try switching to a fresh spool of thread.

Another solution is to use an elastic cord or other material to separate the threads in the bobbin case. By holding the threads away from each other while sewing, you can prevent them from dragging and causing jumping. Simply loop the elastic cord around the threads and secure it tightly.

If these methods don’t solve the problem, it may be helpful to clean your bobbin case and ensure that it is properly inserted into your sewing machine. Sometimes, lint or debris can accumulate in the bobbin area, leading to issues with thread tension. Taking minutes to clean and reassemble everything correctly can often resolve jumping bobbin problems.

Loose bobbin thread 

If you are experiencing loose bobbin thread, there are a few potential causes to consider. First, check if the needle is properly tightened. If it is loose, it may not secure the thread properly. Additionally, make sure that the bobbin hook is locked into place correctly. If it is not, this can also lead to loose thread.

Another possible cause could be an issue with your presser foot or tension spring connected to the bobbin hook. If these parts are faulty or damaged, they may need to be repaired or replaced to resolve the issue of loose bobbin thread.

It’s always a good idea to consult your sewing machine manual or seek professional assistance if you are unsure how to address the problem.

Loose bobbin holder

If your bobbin holder is loose, it can cause issues with your sewing machine’s performance. You can tighten the screws using a screwdriver until firm to fix this. If the bobbin case is damaged, it may not fit securely in the machine even after tightening the screws. In such cases, replacing the bobbin case or consulting a technician for further assistance might be necessary.

Another common issue that can cause skipped stitches is overly tight tension on the thread. If you have already tried other troubleshooting steps and still experience skipped stitches, check the tension settings on your machine. Adjusting the tension to a slightly looser setting may help resolve the issue.

If you are unsure how to properly address these problems or if they persist, you should consult an expert technician or consider getting a new sewing machine altogether. They will be able to provide expert guidance and ensure that your machine functions optimally for all your sewing needs.

Bobbin tension

Bobbin tension is an important aspect to consider when sewing. It ensures that the thread from the Bobbin and the thread from the needlework together smoothly. To ensure proper bobbin tension, it is crucial to thread your needle correctly. Ensure you use the recommended thread for your machine, as different threads can affect tension. Contact your seller for alternative options if you can’t access the recommended thread.

In addition to threading the needle correctly, attaching the needle to the machine using the same thread and not any other type of thread is equally important. Using a different thread can cause inconsistent tension and issues with your sewing project. Always check that your bobbin case is empty and threaded correctly before starting a new project. Incorrect threading of the bobbin case can also result in tension problems and affect the overall quality of your stitches.

Shaking of Bobbin 

Suppose you are experiencing shaking of the Bobbin while sewing. The thread has likely become caught between the spool wheel and the Bobbin. To resolve this issue, check if the thread is stuck by gently leaning forward or backward on your machine. If the bobbin wheel is still shaking and feels loose, you may need to remove that part of the machine and inspect it for any obstructions or damage. 

If the problem persists, try removing the bobbin case and running a stick or small tool through it to ensure no tangles or debris are causing the shaking. Once you have checked and cleared any potential issues with the spool wheel and bobbin case, reinsert them properly and attempt sewing again. This should help alleviate any shaking or vibrating caused by thread entanglement.

Overloading of machine

Overloading the machine is a common mistake that can lead to bobbin issues. Trying to sew with too much fabric or multiple layers strains the machine and can cause the thread to get tangled or break. It’s important to ensure you use the appropriate settings and needle for the thickness of your fabric to avoid overloading.

Another factor contributing to bobbin mistakes is being careless with hand sewing. If you are not careful when threading the bobbin case or adjusting the tension, it can result in uneven stitches or thread getting caught. Take your time and double-check your work to ensure everything is properly set up before starting your sewing project.

Bobbin thread bunches up

If your bobbin thread is bunching up, it could be due to either too much thread being wound onto the Bobbin or excessive tension. When the Bobbin has swallowed a lot of thread, it can cause the thread to get caught on itself and not go down into the bobbin case properly. To fix this issue, ensure your bobbin case is filled with thread and threaded correctly.

Check if you have wound too much thread onto the Bobbin. If this is the case, remove some excess thread until it is at an appropriate level. Additionally, ensure you thread the Bobbin correctly according to your machine’s instructions. Double-check that the thread is inserted through all necessary guides and tension disks.

Examine the tension settings on your machine. The thread will bunch up if there is excessive tension in the Bobbin. Adjusting the tension dial slightly may help alleviate this issue. Remember to test and sew a few stitches after adjusting to ensure everything works smoothly.

By ensuring that your bobbin case is adequately filled and threaded correctly while also adjusting any excessive tension, you should be able to prevent or resolve issues with your bobbin thread bunching up.

Missing bobbin thread

Suppose you are experiencing a missing bobbin thread while sewing. The first step is to check your bobbin case. Remove any excess thread or lint blocking the thread’s path. Ensure enough space for the thread to pass through easily without any obstructions. If you find insufficient room for the thread, it may be necessary to replace your machine.

In addition to cleaning the bobbin case, it is also important to ensure that you use the correct type and size for your machine. Using an incorrect bobbin can lead to tension and thread delivery issues, resulting in a missing bobbin thread. Refer to your machine’s manual or consult with a professional if you are unsure about which type of Bobbin to use.

Maintaining a clean and well-functioning bobbin case is essential for smooth sewing operations. Regularly cleaning and inspecting your machine will help prevent issues such as a missing bobbin thread and ensure optimal performance.

How to Fix Bobbin Problems in a Sewing Machine?

Here are some simple tips for fixing bobbin issues.

  • Check the bobbin thread for breaks or tangles
  • Check the bobbin case
  • Check tension spring
  • Cleaning of machine
  • Check thread tension
  • Check needle tension
  • Fix an overload issue
  • Stop thread from rolling and bunching up

Check the bobbin thread for breaks or tangles

If you are experiencing issues with your sewing machine’s bobbin thread, it is important to first check for any breaks or tangles in the thread. These can often cause the thread to not wind properly onto the Bobbin. Carefully examine the Bobbin and remove any knots or snags that may be present.

In addition, it is worth checking your needle threading tool as well. Sometimes, a faulty or incorrectly threaded needle can also lead to problems with the bobbin thread. Ensure that the needle is properly inserted and threaded through the machine according to your sewing machine’s instructions.

By taking these simple steps and addressing any potential issues with the bobbin thread and needle threading tool, you can often resolve problems with winding the Bobbin and get back to smooth sewing quickly.

Check the bobbin case

Checking the bobbin case is always a good idea if you are experiencing issues with your sewing machine. Ensure it is empty and clean, as any debris or lint can cause the thread to get stuck or not pass through smoothly. If you notice any damage to the Bobbin itself, it is advisable to replace it with a new one.

In some cases, the bobbin case may have become bent or cracked in certain areas, making it difficult for the thread to pass through properly. If true, you may need to replace the bobbin case entirely. It is important to regularly inspect and maintain your sewing machine’s parts to ensure optimal performance and prevent any future issues.

Check tension spring

If you are experiencing tension issues with your sewing machine, one possible solution is to switch from a top-loading bobbin to a drop-in bobbin. This change in bobbin style can sometimes help alleviate tension problems and improve the overall performance of your machine. 

Additionally, it is important to check that the tension spring is not broken or damaged. The tension spring plays a crucial role in regulating the thread tension, so any issues can result in inconsistent stitching or other sewing problems. If you notice any signs of damage or breakage, it may be necessary to replace the tension spring to ensure optimal sewing results.

Cleaning of machine

When encountering issues with your machine, one of the first steps is cleaning it thoroughly. Start by cleaning out the machine and accessory section and removing any dust, lint, or debris that may have accumulated. This can often resolve minor issues and improve the overall performance of your machine.

If the thread has been swallowed or there are more stubborn blockages in the bobbin case, a deeper clean may be required. In such cases, it may be necessary to disassemble the machine and carefully scrub it with a brush to remove any trapped threads or dirt. This can help ensure that your machine operates smoothly and efficiently.

Remember to refer to your machine’s manual for specific instructions on cleaning and maintaining it properly. If you’re unsure about disassembling or cleaning certain parts of your machine, it’s always best to consult a professional technician specializing in sewing machines.

Check thread tension

If you are experiencing issues with your sewing machine, it is important to check the tension springs. These springs play a crucial role in maintaining the correct tension of the thread while sewing. If you notice any loose or broken springs, they must be replaced. It is also worth noting that if shaving cream or canned whipped cream has been poured into the machine over time, it can cause damage to the tension springs. Therefore, avoiding exposing your sewing machine to such substances is advisable.

To check the tension springs, start by turning off and unplugging your sewing machine. Remove the needle plate and carefully inspect where the tension springs are located. Look for any signs of damage or breakage in the springs. If you find any issues, consult your sewing machine’s manual or contact a professional for assistance in replacing the damaged springs. Ensuring that your tension springs are in good condition can help resolve any sewing problems and ensure smooth and accurate stitching.

Needle tension

Needle tension plays a crucial role in the smooth operation of a sewing machine. If your machine is experiencing issues like thread breakage or tangling, it is worth checking the needle tension. Incorrect needle tension can cause these problems and affect the overall quality of your stitches. Refer to your machine’s manual for instructions on properly adjusting the needle tension.

Additionally, using the recommended thread for your machine is essential to avoid complications. Different machines have different requirements when it comes to thread thickness and type. Using the wrong kind of thread can lead to issues such as tangling or even damage to the machine itself. It’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding thread selection to ensure optimal performance and prevent potential problems.

Fix an overload issue

To fix an overload issue with bobbins, check the tension dial. Ensure it is set to the appropriate level for your sewing fabric. Excessive tension can cause the thread to break or result in uneven stitches. Conversely, if the tension is too loose, it can lead to loops or loose stitches.

If adjusting the tension dial does not resolve the issue, try rethreading both the top and bobbin threads. Sometimes, a simple error in threading can cause tension problems. Ensure the threads are properly seated in their respective guides without tangles or knots.

If all else fails, consider using a different type of thread or needle. Sometimes, certain combinations of fabrics, threads, and needles can cause tension issues. Experimenting with different options may help you find a better combination for your project.

Troubleshooting an overload issue with bobbins requires some trial and error. It may take a bit of patience and experimentation to find the right solution for your specific machine and project.

Stop thread from rolling and bunching up

To stop the thread from rolling and bunching up, there are a few steps you can take. First, ensure you have enough room for the thread to pass through smoothly without obstructions. You should check the thread for knots and tangles before starting your seam. If you notice any issues, gently unwind the thread and rethread it through the machine.

Next, check the tension settings on your sewing machine. If the thread is too tight and causing tension problems, it may be necessary to adjust the tension. Refer to your machine’s manual for instructions on properly doing this. Finding the right tension balance can prevent the thread from being pulled too tightly and avoid rolling or bunching up.

Make sure you use the correct needle type and size for your fabric. Using a too-small or dull needle can cause issues with thread tension and lead to rolling or bunching up. Ensure that the needle you choose is appropriate for the fabric type and thickness, and replace it regularly to maintain optimal sewing performance.

Following these steps and practicing good sewing techniques can minimize thread rolling and bunching up while using your sewing machine.

How do you know if your sewing machine needs a bobbin change?

Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems And Solutions

If your Bobbin is burnt out or has completely run out of thread, there’s no way to fix it, and you’ll need to get a new one for your sewing machine. But before you go ahead and make that decision, let’s go through some essential checks together.

First, take a look at your Bobbin. Make sure it’s not only full of thread but also sitting comfortably between the two threads. You can do this by pulling out a bit of thread and checking if there are two threads of equal thickness underneath. If you find they aren’t equal, it’s a clear sign that your Bobbin needs replacing.

Let’s talk about how to thread your Bobbin. It’s an important part of sewing; I’m here to guide you.

1. Find the spindle on your sewing machine. This is the place where your Bobbin will go. Take the end of your thread and guide it through the slot at the tip of the spindle.

2. Next, thread the Bobbin itself. Ensure you’re threading it in the same direction your needle will move. This might seem small, but the sewing process needs to work smoothly.

3. To ensure the thread is properly tensioned, press down on the tension spring using your fingers or a screwdriver handle. Tension springs are usually metal or plastic arms that hold the Bobbin.

4. You can use some thread lace to secure the end of your working thread. Simple items like lace or rubber bands will do the job nicely.

5. If your sewing machine has an adjustable tension spring, you can adjust it as needed. You might need to pull on a button or twist the spring while holding it down. In some machines, you’ll have to keep the sewing machine’s barrel still with your fingers and thumb while working on the Bobbin.

By following these steps and double-checking your Bobbin’s condition, you’ll be on your way to successful sewing. And remember, I’m here to help if you have any more questions. Happy sewing!

Maintaining and properly caring for your sewing machine can help prolong the life of your machine and its components. It’s always recommended to refer to your sewing machine’s manual for specific instructions on changing the Bobbin and performing routine maintenance tasks.

FAQ about Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems

Why is my bobbin thread not picking up?

There could be several reasons why your bobbin thread is not picking up. Ensure the Bobbin is inserted correctly in the bobbin case and is wound evenly with the right tension. The tension can be too loose or tight, causing thread pickup issues. 

Check if there is any lint or debris accumulated in the bobbin area. Over time, lint can build up and prevent the thread from properly engaging with the Bobbin. Clean out any lint using a small brush or compressed air.

Ensure that you are using the correct type of thread for your machine. Using a different weight or type of thread than recommended can cause difficulties in thread pickup. Also, double-check that you have threaded the machine correctly and that there are no tangles or knots in the upper thread path.

By troubleshooting these common issues, you should be able to resolve the problem of your bobbin thread not picking up. If these steps do not solve the issue, consulting your sewing machine’s manual or seeking assistance from a professional technician may be helpful.

What should I do if the bobbin thread keeps tangling or looping?

If the bobbin thread keeps tangling or looping, there are a few steps you can take to address the issue. First, make sure that the Bobbin is inserted correctly and that it is wound evenly. Unevenly wound bobbins can cause the thread to tangle or loop. Additionally, check that the tension on the top and bobbin threads is properly adjusted. If the tension is too tight or loose, it can result in tangling or looping.

Next, examine the needle to ensure it is not bent or damaged. A bent needle can cause issues with thread tension and lead to tangling or looping. Replace the needle if necessary.

Finally, clean out any lint or debris from your sewing machine. The build-up in the machine can affect how smoothly the thread feeds through and may contribute to tangling or looping. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your machine can help prevent these problems in the future.

Following these steps, you should be able to troubleshoot and resolve any problems with tangling or looping bobbin thread on your sewing machine.

Check Also: 10+ Common Sewing Machine Shuttle Problems

Why does my Bobbin keep running out quickly?

There could be a few reasons why your Bobbin keeps running out quickly. It could be due to the tension of your thread. An overly tight tension can cause the thread to pull more from the Bobbin, leading to it running out faster. If the tension doesn’t help, try adjusting it.

Another possible reason is that you may use a smaller bobbin size than your machine’s recommended size. Using a smaller bobbin means it holds less thread, resulting in it running out more quickly. Ensure you use the correct size bobbin for your machine to avoid this issue.

Check if there are any issues with your Bobbin winding mechanism or if the Bobbin itself is damaged. If the winding mechanism is not properly winding the thread onto the Bobbin or if there are any damages on the Bobbin, it can cause it to run out quickly. Consider getting your machine serviced or replacing the damaged parts in such cases.

Troubleshooting these common causes should help you identify and resolve why your Bobbin keeps running out quickly.

What can cause uneven stitches when sewing with the Bobbin?

A few factors can cause uneven stitches when sewing with the Bobbin. Check if the bobbin thread is properly wound onto the Bobbin. If it is not evenly wound, it can result in uneven stitches. Warm the thread tightly and evenly onto the Bobbin for smooth stitching.

Another possible cause of uneven stitches is incorrect tension settings. The tension controls on your sewing machine regulate the tightness of the upper and lower threads. If the tension is too loose or tight, it can lead to uneven stitches. Adjusting the tension settings according to your fabric type and thread thickness can help achieve even stitches.

Make sure that the bobbin case is inserted correctly in your sewing machine. If it is not securely placed or has any obstructions or lint in the case, it can affect stitch quality. Clean out debris from the bobbin case and ensure it is correctly positioned for optimal stitching results.

By addressing these common issues – proper bobbin winding, correct tension settings, and ensuring a clean and secure bobbin case – you should be able to resolve uneven stitch problems when sewing with the Bobbin.

Is it normal for my sewing machine to make noise while winding the Bobbin?

Yes, it is normal for sewing machines to make noise while winding the Bobbin. The process of winding the Bobbin involves the machine spinning rapidly to wind the thread onto the Bobbin. This spinning motion can create noise, especially if the machine is older or poorly maintained. Suppose the noise is excessively loud or accompanied by other issues, such as vibrations or irregular bobbin winding. In that case, it may be a sign of a problem with your machine, and it would be advisable to have it checked by a professional.

In general, regular maintenance of your sewing machine can help reduce any excessive noise during bobbin winding. This includes cleaning out lint and debris from the machine, oiling any moving parts as the manufacturer recommends, and ensuring that all components are properly aligned. Suppose you are unsure how to perform these tasks. In that case, consulting your sewing machine’s manual or seeking assistance from a knowledgeable professional can help ensure optimal performance and minimize noise during bobbin winding.

How often should I change my sewing machine’s needle when dealing with bobbin problems?

When dealing with bobbin problems, it is important to consider the condition of your sewing machine’s needle. The needle has a crucial role in the stitching process, and a worn-out or damaged needle can contribute to bobbin issues. Generally, changing your sewing machine’s needle every 8-10 hours of sewing time or after completing a large project is recommended. If you are experiencing frequent bobbin problems, changing the needle more often may be beneficial.

Regularly changing your sewing machine’s needle helps prevent bobbin problems and improves stitch quality and overall performance. It is worth noting that different fabrics and projects may require different needles. Therefore, selecting the appropriate needle for each project can help minimize potential bobbin issues.

Can I use any type of thread in my sewing machine’s Bobbin?

No, using any thread in your sewing machine’s Bobbin is not recommended. When you use the wrong type of thread, you may experience tension issues, resulting in poor stitch quality. It is important to use a thread designed for the Bobbin.

Different threads, such as cotton, polyester, nylon, and silk, are available for sewing machines. Each type of thread has its characteristics and is suitable for different types of fabrics and projects. Consult your sewing machine’s manual or ask a professional at a fabric store for advice on which type of thread to use in your Bobbin. By doing this, you can maximize your sewing machine’s performance.


In conclusion, threading a sewing machine correctly is crucial for achieving optimal results in your sewing projects. This article aims to provide you with an understanding of the threading processes of various sewing machine brands, ensuring you are well-equipped to tackle any threading issues.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions or problems that were not covered. We welcome your comments and suggestions, and if you have any solutions or tips to share, we would be grateful for your contribution. Thank you for reading this article; we hope it has helped improve your sewing experience. Happy sewing!

Rate this post

Leave a Comment