Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Jamming? – (With Solution)

Last Updated on August 15, 2023

Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Jamming? Sewing is a rewarding craft, but nothing’s more disheartening than encountering a thread jam or a tangle of knotted threads amid your creative process. If you’re tired of battling thread chaos, you’re not alone.

Sewing Machine Keeps Jamming

Why does my sewing machine keep jamming?

Your sewing machine may keep jamming due to various reasons, including operator error (not holding thread ends), incorrect threading, bobbin issues (tangles or improper insertion), needle problems (dull or bent), fabric complexity (stretch or thickness), machine build-up (dust or lint), low-quality thread, incorrect bobbin type, presser foot pressure, lack of maintenance, bobbin winding problems, needle plate misalignment, incorrect thread tension, improper fabric handling, or using incompatible accessories.

Careful troubleshooting and addressing these factors can help prevent and resolve sewing machine jams.

1. Operator Error

  • Problem: Not holding onto thread ends or starting too close to the fabric edge.
  • Solution: Leave sufficient thread length, hold onto thread ends firmly, and start sewing a bit further from the edge.

2. Incorrect Threading

  • Problem: Top thread not properly seated within tension disks.
  • Solution: Rethread the top thread carefully, ensuring it passes through all the necessary guides and disks.

3. Bobbin Issues

  • Problem: Tangled or incorrectly inserted bobbin.
  • Solution: Remove the bobbin, clean the bobbin case, reinsert the bobbin properly, and ensure it unwinds in the correct direction.

4. Needle Trouble

  • Problem: Dull, bent, or incorrect needle size.
  • Solution: Replace the needle with a new one of the correct size for your fabric.

5. Fabric Complexity

  • Problem: Sewing on fabrics with excessive stretch or thickness.
  • Solution: Test on plain cotton fabric to eliminate fabric-related issues and adjust your sewing techniques accordingly.

6. Machine Maintenance

  • Problem: Lack of regular maintenance and servicing.
  • Solution: Follow your machine’s maintenance schedule, including oiling and periodic check-ups, or seek professional help if needed.
Sewing Machine Keeps Jamming

7. Machine Build-Up

  • Problem: Accumulated dust, lint, or debris.
  • Solution: Thoroughly clean the bobbin area, under the metal plate, and other accessible parts of the machine.

8. Thread Quality

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  • Problem: Using poor-quality or incompatible threads.
  • Solution: Switch to high-quality thread suitable for your machine and fabric.

9. Incorrect Bobbin

  • Problem: Using a bobbin that doesn’t match your machine’s specifications.
  • Solution: Ensure you’re using the correct type and size of bobbin recommended for your machine.

10. Presser Foot Pressure

11. Bobbin Winding Problems

  • Problem: Uneven or incorrectly wound bobbins.
  • Solution: Wind the bobbin evenly and correctly, ensuring it is properly placed in the bobbin case.

12. Needle Plate Misalignment

  • Problem: Needle plate not aligned properly.
  • Solution: Ensure the needle plate is securely fastened and aligned correctly to prevent thread jams.

13. Incorrect Thread Tension

Thread tension
Thread tension
  • Problem: Incorrect thread tension settings.
  • Solution: Adjust the thread tension as needed for your fabric and sewing technique, and ensure both upper and bobbin thread tensions are balanced.

14. Fabric Handling

  • Problem: Pulling or pushing fabric excessively while sewing.
  • Solution: Guide fabric gently and evenly, avoiding excessive force that can lead to thread jams.

15. Machine Compatibility

  • Problem: Using incompatible accessories or attachments.
  • Solution: Ensure you’re using the right presser foot, needle, and other attachments suitable for your sewing machine and fabric.


Thread jamming, though infuriating, is a common sewing woe with a range of possible causes. By following these steps and systematically addressing each potential issue, you can eliminate thread jamming and enjoy uninterrupted sewing sessions.

Don’t let thread jamming discourage you, whether it’s operator errors, simple adjustments, or seeking expert help. With persistence and a little troubleshooting, you’ll confidently conquer this challenge and create beautiful stitches. Happy sewing!

I hope these insights help you bid farewell those frustrating thread jams and make your sewing sessions more enjoyable and productive. If you found these tips helpful, give this article a thumbs up and leave a comment sharing your experience.