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6 Common Sewing Machine Problems

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It can be incredibly frustrating when a sewing machine starts to show problems and stops functioning in between the sewing project. There are often simple solutions to these problems, from broken threads to skipped stitches. To help you keep going, we’ve compiled this list of common sewing machine problems and quick fixes so you can get back on track quickly.

common sewing machine problems on machines like the one this lady is using

1. Thread Cluster in the Needle.

Thread bunching up in the needle is one of the most common sewing machine problems that can be frustrating and time-consuming to fix. You can do a few things to help prevent thread bunching, including using the correct type of thread, adjusting the tension on your machine, using a stabilizer, and using the correct needle.

2. The Needle Doesn’t Move.

The needle no longer moving is another one of the most common sewing machine problems. If the motor is running, but the needle does not move when the hand wheel turns, the needle may not have been properly tightened back to its sewing position after bobbin winding. On the other hand, if it has been correctly tightened but still does not move, then there can be a problem with the motor belt, such as slipping due to wear or being loose. Try to look out for adjusting serger knife options. 

3. The Machine is Making Loud Noises.

Any grinding or rubbing noises likely indicate an issue with your machine. We recommend you regularly clean and oil the machinery to prevent further problems. Maintaining your sewing machines—even if they seem fine now is essential. Just remember, even a small amount of fur, pile, or stray thread can cause significant problems down the road.

4. Sewing Machines Stop Working.

Tough fabrics can be challenging to sew through, and you may need to lend your machine a hard move by turning the handwheel. However, if it needs force and doesn’t start sewing even after that, you should stop immediately, as continuing further can damage your machine.

To troubleshoot the issue, check that the needle installed is correct and suitable for the fabric you are using. Then remove it to make sure it isn’t bent.

If it’s still not functioning properly, we recommend you read the instructions on cleaning and maintenance procedures in your machine’s manual – excess pile or thread is often one of the most common sewing machine problems and this may be the problem. 

5. The Machine is Skipping Stitches.

Skipping stitches is a common sign of an issue with your sewing machine. To start troubleshooting, ensure that the needle is installed correctly. It should not be bent or otherwise damaged, and use the type of needle appropriate for your project. Check that both the top thread and bobbin thread are being threaded appropriately. If you are unable to fix this issue, then it’s time to call for expert repair services. 

6. Dropped or Bent Needles.

Dropped or bent needles pose a significant risk to any sewing project. A needle may be bent or dropped in normal use by hitting tough or inappropriate surfaces.

It is also essential that you use the right type of needle for the task which depends on the type of material being stitched. For example, jersey and knit fabrics do best with a ballpoint, which should always be used new. Other dense and tough fabrics need blunt needles.

After installing the appropriate type of needle again, make sure to re-thread and check your sewing machine manual according to the instructions before resuming work. If you consistently experience such issues despite using proper technique, mechanical timing problems may be causing it, and expert repair is likely required.

Final Words on Common Sewing Machine Problems

We hope this blog post on troubleshooting common sewing machine problems has been helpful and that you’re now able to fix your sewing machine problems at home. Thanks for reading!

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