Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Jamming?

Sewing machines are an essential component of any sewing kit. They make the task of stitching a lot easier and faster as compared to hand stitching. However, there are certain times when your sewing machine will jam or get stuck on one spot. Here’s why it keeps happening and how you can fix this problem:

This is a common scenario that happens with every sewing machine user at one point or another. There are several reasons why a sewing machine might keep getting stuck during the process of stitching.

Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Jamming?

1. The Problem of Tension

Tension is one of the most important things to be taken care of when using a sewing machine.

Inadequate tension means that it not only gets difficult for the thread to make it through the fabric but additionally, there is a great chance that your stitches will come out uneven. 

If you have increased the length of your stitch to reduce tension, then you might need to adjust your machine’s tension dial.

This usually happens when you or someone else has adjusted the settings on or around the machine without consulting with a professional. 

It works by increasing the amount of pressure applied to both the top thread and bobbin thread simultaneously which prevents them from slipping.

2. The Problem of Needle

Most modern sewing machines are equipped with an auto-threading feature. Sometimes this can create problems with regards to how well it does its job because most times when there is no manual intervention involved in threading needles, they end up being threaded in a very rough manner. 

Apart from that, the needle tip might have been damaged which causes shreds of thread to be left loose inside it.

If you are not very familiar with sewing machines then you should consider getting someone else to thread your needle every time. 

It is also crucial for you to remember that coarse threads can cause problems with your machine because they are so thick and stiff.

Make sure that the brand of needles you use are compatible with your machine or get professional help if necessary.

3. The Problem of Bobbin Case

If your bobbin case has become jammed, then there’s a good chance that the bobbin will start working its way out while stitching or when it transfers its contents to another spool while winding.

If it starts to work its way out while winding, then there is a high possibility that your thread will get tangled up with the bobbin case which results in jams.

4. The Problem of Bobbin Thread

Just like how things can get messy when you have an improperly threaded needle, chances are that your bobbin thread might get too short or get stuck together if it’s not properly wound before use. 

Just remember to always adjust tension for both your top and bobbin threads. Using the proper thread for sewing machines will ensure that all of these elements function correctly which will help reduce the chances of jams occurring on your machine.

So keep in mind the reasons why it keeps jamming so you know what troubleshooting steps you need to take.

5. The Problem of Stitch Length

Stitch length is another factor to consider if you are having problems with the thread getting stuck on your sewing machine. If you have used a longer stitch length, then there’s more chance that the thread will get caught up in it which may result in jams. 

You can fix this by adjusting your stitch length to be smaller so that it matches the fabric type you are working with. Fewer stitches also mean fewer chances of thread getting jammed so always try to stick with the recommended lengths when stitching each fabric.

6. The Problem of Fabric Type

Different fabrics require different degrees of tension for them to look their best while being sewn together. This is why if your machine suddenly starts jamming after using it on a different fabric then you should check your tension settings and stitch length. 

Check the manual of your machine if unsure about what to do with different types of fabrics and always use a test swatch whenever attempting to sew something different.

7. The Problem of Lint Build-up

If there is lint build-up within the feed dogs or bobbin case, then this can cause threads to get stuck as they pass through those areas which will usually result in your machine jamming.

One way to prevent this is by removing lint from time to time using a lint brush or other such device that may be used for the purpose.

Most machines also come with handy brushes that can be inserted into crevices and nooks where lint and dust can gather and this too will help prevent jams from happening.

8. The Problem of Damaged or Misaligned Parts

Many parts on your sewing machine need to fit together in just the right way so that they won’t hinder the proper operation of your machine.

If you have bent, broken, or misaligned parts inside them, then there is a chance that it might be preventing any thread from passing through smoothly which will cause it to get tangled up with itself eventually leading to a jam.

Check for all these problems when getting rid of jammed threads from your machine because they are often not visible to the naked eye.

9. The Problem of Dust

Dust is another major problem when it comes to sewing machines since bits of lint can easily get stuck on them and cause jams.

Getting rid of dust from time to time will help ensure that your machine is working properly and as expected so remember to give your machine a thorough once-over as often as you can so you know if there’s an issue with how it functions.

10. The Problem of Not Using Supplies Recommended by the Manufacturer

Not using supplies recommended by the manufacturer for your sewing machines might lead to problems such as jams or misaligned parts, so always read up on what is needed when performing maintenance on them.

Your sewing machine manual should tell you everything about what kind of lubricants you need, which needles are best suited for use, any tips, and tricks for taking proper care of different kinds of fabrics, etc.

If you are having problems with your machine jamming then these are the things you should check first since they are the most common problems. If none of this helps then it might be time to look for sewing machine repair services.


There’s no reason why you should have to suffer jams on your sewing machine, especially if it is due to simple reasons that can easily be fixed. By following our tips and tricks here, hopefully, all of your jamming problems will be sorted out soon.

It’s always better not to let them last too long because they can ruin your projects if left unrepaired for too long. So work quickly instead of wasting thread just because your sewing machine keeps jamming!

If you do run into any issues with your sewing machine, be sure to check out our website, improvesewing.com 

Feel free to contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have. 


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