It does not matter how much experience you have sewing, the frustration is real when your sewing machine jams in the middle of working on a project. Whether your new to sewing or a professional who is paid for your work, you must take time out of your project to figure out why your sewing machine might be jamming.
There is that terrible moment when you realize nothing is happening when you press your foot on the pedal – no sound and no response. Your sewing machine is clearly not working correctly and the material is all tangled up. What’s wrong now?
There are a number of reasons why your sewing machine might be jamming. You need to understand the top reasons why this could be happening. This will help you determine what steps you can take to resolve the problem and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
No reason to get mad or to panic. You can easily resolve this troubling problem and get back to doing what you love most. To do this, you must first understand the main reasons your sewing machine might be jamming, and some possible solutions to fix it as quickly as possible.
Inadequate tension in the upper thread
You may be convinced that the problem causing your sewing machine to jam is the result of a big, tangled bunch of thread in the bobbin underneath the fabric. But before you jump to any conclusions (that may be wrong), you should now that the most common cause for sewing machine jams is the lack of adequate tension in the upper thread.
Your sewing machine needs a sufficient amount of tension to pull up the thread through the fabric that is being sewed. Without that tension, it is easy for the machine to jam.
The solution to this problem is pretty simple. Take a moment to re-thread the needle, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the sewing machine. Be sure to remember to lift the presser foot before you re-thread your needle.
Dust, lint and other debris clogged the sewing machine
A sewing machine can become clogged because of lint, dust or other debris sticking to the inside of the machine. You can try to stay ahead of this problem by regularly giving your machine a good cleaning.
It is important to take the time to clean your machine of any dust or crud that might build up in it from regular and frequent use. If your sewing machine does jam and you realize it is because of dust and debris, there are some steps you can take to handle the problem.
First, turn the stitching machine off. Then you should unthread it and perform as thorough of a cleaning as you can of the entire sewing machine, particularly its working components.
With a small brush, wipe away any stuck lint, dust or other material. You should also make sure that the metal parts of your sewing machine are oiled regularly to ensure the best and most seamless performance. You can use canned air to blow out any residues around the bobbin area.
A good way to reduce the chance that similar problems will occur again is to schedule monthly cleaning and oiling of your sewing machine. The amount of regular cleanings needed depends on the amount of time that you spend using your sewing machine.
Don’t get caught off guard. Prevent these jams by scheduling monthly cleanings and oiling of your machine. If you sew more frequently, even every day, you will need to schedule more frequent cleanings and maintenance.
The needle is broken or damaged
It is not unusual for your sewing machine to suddenly stop working because the needle is either bent or broken. When this happens, it stops the thread from piercing through the fabric.
Stop your work immediately and inspect the needle. If you find that it is broken or damaged, replace it with a new needle.
It is also important to make sure that you use the proper type and size needle for the sewing machine and for the project that you are working on. This can sometimes cause jamming as well.
Improperly functioning teeth under the needle, or feed dogs
Your sewing machine uses small teeth under the needle and presser foot to pull fabric through while you are sewing. These small teeth, known as feed dogs, must work properly to easily pull that fabric through. If the feed dogs are not properly functioning, it could be because of lint, dust and other debris stuck inside the mechanism.
You can fix this problem by cleaning the feed dogs. Stop working on your project, lift the presser foot and thoroughly clean them.
Make sure the feed dogs are lifted up in a raised position, allowing for a proper grip of the fabric. You can also ensure that the pressure foot is not too low above the feed dogs, which can cause problems with the fabric moving freely while sewing. Make the proper adjustments.
Poor thread quality
You may like the price, but chances are the poor quality of cheap thread will cause a number of problems for your machine. Poor quality thread can cause the shredding of lint, which then can stick in mechanical parts and lead to jams. Poor quality thread also breaks and knots, and that can slow down your machine or even damage your project.
Spend a little more money for a better quality thread, one that the manufacturer recommends. This will help you avoid costly problems in the future.
If you have tried everything and you still cannot figure out why your sewing machine might be jamming, it may be time to take it in for a professional to look at it. If it can’t be prepared, it is time for a new sewing machine!