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Helpful Hints to solve machine problems


Problem Causes Solutions
Upper thread breaks
  • Incorrect threading
  • Knots or twists in thread
  • Needle too small
  • Tension too tight
  • Damaged/ old needle
  • Re-thread machine with presser foot up
  • Try a different spool of thread
  • Replace needle
  • Set top & bottom tensions separately.
Bobbin Thread breaks
  • Bobbin case not correctly threaded
  • Bobbin case incorrectly inserted in machine
  • Bobbin does not move smoothly in bobbin case
  • Lint in bobbin case
  • Bobbin tension too tight
  • Remove bobbin & make sure when you hold the bobbin case in your hand, the bobbin goes around clockwise when you pull the thread.
  • Check that bobbin case & bobbin is perfectly round
  • Clean bobbin case & hook area of the machine & oil.
  • Check & re-set bobbin tension
Skipped Stitches
  • Thread tension too tight
  • Damaged needle
  • Needle wrong size
  • Sewing machine out of time.
  • Check top & bobbin tensions one at a time
  • Replace needle
  • Change size of needle
  • Change type of needle, ie ball point, metallic, quilting etc.
  • Take machine in for service, ask to have hook needle clearance, timing and needle bar height checked.
Frayed Stitches
  • Needle too small
  • Tension too tight
  • Damaged or poor quality thread.
  • Increase needle size
  • Re-set tension
  • Change brand of thread or color
Thread loops on the bottom
  • Thread not in top tension
  • Machine not threaded correctly
  • Top tension too loose
  • Burr on hook
  • Make sure the presser foot is up when you thread machine
  • Check to make the thread is in the take-up lever
  • Increase top tension
  • Have a technician remove the burr
Irregular Stitches or malformed stitches
  • Wrong needle size
  • Incorrect threading
  • Upper tension too loose
  • Operator pulling fabric thru machine
  • Bobbin wound unevenly
  • Ensure correct needle for the type of fabric you are using & thread type
  • Un-thread machine & carefully re-thread
  • RE-set upper & lower tensions separately
  • Check presser foot pressure
Fabric Puckers
  • Excessive stitch length
  • Needle point is dull or burr
  • Excessive thread tension
  • Fabric is too soft
  • Thread displacement- too much thread in a small area
  • Fabric not feeding
  • Decrease stitch length
  • Change needle every two bobbins
  • Check top & bottom tensions
  • Use stabilizer or interfacing
  • Decease density of embroidery designs
  • Check presser foot pressure
  • check needle plate for burrs
  • Check feed dogs