What Causes a Sewing Machine to Skip Stitches?

Last Updated on November 16, 2022

What Causes a Sewing Machine to Skip Stitches: Everyone who is engaged in sewing (whether a professional or amateur sewing just for himself) knows: that if the line ceases to be perfectly even and correct, then there can be no question of any quality of the product. 

But the problem with uneven stitching is when the sewing machine skips stitches. Uneven stitches not only look unpresentable – the connection of the parts will become weak, and the seam will quickly disperse. 

What Causes a Sewing Machine to Skip Stitches?

From time to time, all models of sewing machines, like advanced sewing machines or beginner sewing machines, can experience skipping one or two stitches when sewing, and this is normal, but if this happens all the time, then you need to think about fixing the problem.

Stitches in machine sewing are formed according to the algorithm:

  1. First, the shuttle point captures the upper thread at the moment of “meeting” with the needle.
  2. The hook forms a loop, throwing the thread over itself.
  3. As a result, the upper and lower threads overlap, forming a stitch.

This article will look at the most common reasons why the sewing machine skips stitches and what you can do to fix this problem yourself.

Reasons Why the Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches

Why Is My Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches? The stitch is the result of the interaction between the needle and the hook. If the interaction is broken, skipped stitches occur. What can break this interaction?

Skips and mis-stitching occur if the hook nose cannot pick up the thread. The most common malfunction due to which stitch skips occur is the failure of the settings for the joint operation of the hook nose and needle. A correctly adjusted needle with respect to the hook maintains a gap of 0.3 mm with it; if this distance increases, the tip will not be able to capture the thread.

Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches

The most common reason is too much gap between the needle’s tip in its lowest position and the hook’s nose. This gap should be 0.3 mm, and even less is better. If the gap has increased for some reason, then the shuttle mechanism cannot pick up the thread, and a gap occurs. It is the main reason, although not the only one. 

The quality of the stitch also depends on the adjustment of the tension of the upper and lower threads, the quality of the needle and threads, the correspondence of each other sizes, and the fabric’s thickness. Cleaning and lubricating all moving parts are not the last factors in trouble-free sewing.

What Causes the Gap Between the Needle and the Nose of the Shuttle to Increase?

Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches

What Are Three Possible Causes of Skipped Stitches

1. Wrong Marking Needle

Each type of sewing machine has its needles. Despite their external similarity, the needles differ in the bulb’s shape, the blade’s length, and the shape of its sharpening. Therefore, if you take a needle unsuitable for your sewing machine, the gap will not be the same, and skips are inevitable in the stitches. 

The instructions for your machine model indicate the number of sewing needles suitable for it in terms of parameters. Do not break them. Buy only needles of this marking and a trusted manufacturer. If you don’t have instructions, take an old needle that didn’t fail with you to the store and buy the same one.

2. Blunted Needle

Needles are recommended to be changed frequently, ideally after each stitched product. A dull (in fact, worn out) needle tip not only tears the fabric but can also worsen the quality of the line because the gap increases and stitch skipping begins. The same situation will be with bent needles and even more so with a broken tip.

3. Part Deformation

With continuous operation of the machine for an hour at an average speed of 300 rotations per minute, more than 35,000 hits on the shuttle are obtained, and, accordingly, the shuttle suffers greatly. Deformation of parts occurs, and because of this, the gap increases.

Before you start repairing sewing machines and adjusting the gap, you need to make sure of other parameters:

  • Degree of thread tension ;
  • Whether the thread number is suitable, the brand of the needle;
  • Whether the characteristics of the equipment corresponding to the thickness of the fabric;
  • The relevance of the mode of operation ;
  • Whether accessories and materials are correctly selected.

Other Possible Causes of Skipped Stitches

The sewing machine may skip stitches for a number of reasons:

  • The wrong model and wrong size needle were installed: Carefully choose a needle before sewing, study the instructions and find out which model the manufacturer recommends. The needle may not be suitable for the type of material – knitwear, leather, and denim need special needles.
  • The needle is bent and dull: If she has not yet broken from such a deplorable state, then she will skip stitches. Replace this important accessory before it is completely worn out.
  • The thickness of the upper thread does not match the size of the needle: Thicker threads make it difficult to form stitches, then break.
  • The needle plate hole is broken.
  • Inappropriate quality of threads: it is better to replace threads that are too twisted and inelastic with high-quality analogs.

How to Fix Skipped Stitches on Sewing Machine – Stitches Skip Causes and Remedies

Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches

Before you start repairing sewing machines and adjusting the gap, you need to make sure of other parameters:

  • Degree of thread tension.
  • Whether the thread number is suitable, the brand of the needle.
  • Whether the characteristics of the equipment corresponding to the thickness of the fabric.
  • The relevance of the mode of operation.
  • Whether accessories and materials are correctly selected.

Fabric

Each type of fabric needs the right type of needle. The thickness and density of the fabric or leather are taken into account. For knitted fabrics, needles with a rounded tip are used. Nylon and a similar type of fabric cause the most incredible difficulty skipping stitches. The friction of the thread on such a fabric is the smallest, so there is no overlap loop. Respectively, a stitch skip occurs.

Upper and Lower Thread Tension

Adjusting and adjusting the tension as a stitch plays a big role. If the tension is incorrect, skips are also possible. The discrepancy between the thickness and density of the threads and the size of the needle. Thick threads and a thin needle cause skipped stitches.

Always choose the appropriate thread sizes. If the thread is too twisted, the loop will not form properly, leading to skipped stitches.

Why is My Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches and Breaking Thread?

Flagging is one of the most frequent reasons for skipped stitches and thread breaks with sewing. Flagging describes the situation in which the seam rises with the needle and fails to make a suitable needle loop because it is not kept fixed as the needle is rising.

Some other reasons for skipping stitches and breaking thread in a sewing machine are:

  • Inappropriate thread for the application 
  • Poor thread quality
  • A mismatch between the needle and thread size, 
  • Worn or damaged eyelets
  • High thread tension
  • Incorrect position of the needle
  • Needle heat 
  • Dull or faulty sewing machine parts
  • Out-of-adjustment sewing machines
  • Inappropriate feeding
  • Wrong operator handling
  • Poorly wound bobbin

FAQ

Q: Why is My Sewing Machine Skipping ZigZag Stitches?

Sewing machines mostly skip ZigZag stitches due to poorly wound bobbinsandimproper feeding.

Q: Why are My Industrial Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches?

Industrial Sewing Machines mostly skip stitches due to wrong needle size and wrong operator handling.

Q: Why are My Mini Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches?

Mini Sewing Machine skips stitches due to the incorrect position of the needle and a mismatch between the needle and thread size. 
 

Conclusion

If you are an experienced seamstress and have correctly matched the fabric, thread and needle, checked the gap, adjust the thread tension, and your machine is well cleaned and oiled – but the stitching is still not happy, so how to fix skipped stitches on a sewing machine? and what to do? 

More serious reasons can no longer be eliminated on their own since this may be damage to the shuttle socket or the adjustment of the mechanisms responsible for raising and lowering the needle, and the thread take-up has gone astray. It requires troubleshooting. 

Many factors affect how a straight stitch is formed, so eliminating one (skip stitches) can result in looping or thread breakage. Finding a balance in tuning can be very difficult, especially for an inexperienced tuner.

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