Question about Kenmore 12102

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Bottom thread will not catch

I have pulled the machine open and oiled everything and it still will not catch the thread on the shuttle around the bobbin. I have tried different needles and material and still nothing. The bottom thread will not catch for anything. I tried just sewing without catching it first and it still will not catch. Help. I have tried everthing to get the needle to catch bobbin thread. I have tried changing needles, re doing bobbin taking bobbin out and putting back in.

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  • 11 more comments 
  • Kaar Nov 12, 2007

    I am having a problem with the needle thread picking up the bobbin thread. The machine has been used only a few times but my daughter broke the original needle and I bought some cheap replacements - I am thinking perhaps they are not long enough. Any other solutions?

  • Anonymous Dec 05, 2007

    it's wadding up under the material

  • Anonymous Mar 12, 2014


  • Anonymous Mar 13, 2014

    The thread isn't moving when I insert the bobbin in it's proper place and doesn't catch.

  • Anonymous Mar 15, 2014

    I had taken off the lock wheel that is on the side wheel working on another machine. When I put it back on and try to load a bobbin my needle moves when loading the bobbin. There is only to part how do I put them back correctly?

  • Anonymous Mar 18, 2014

    won't catch bobbin thread

  • Anonymous Mar 19, 2014

    I downloaded a design to my embroidery machine. It worked for a few minutes then the needle thread just lays on top of the fabric and is not catching the bobbin thread. What can I do. I changed needles, thread and bobbin thread and nothing happened.

  • Anonymous Mar 20, 2014

    The needle will not catch the thread of the bobbin, so the bobbin thread isnt geting pulled up and it isn't sewing

  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2014

    model 806 Riccar Was working fine, then just stopped pulling bobbin thread through?

  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2014

    bobbin thread won't catch

  • Anonymous Mar 28, 2014

    I know it's the bobbin but I am not sure how to fix it, if a screw came out or what, I need a picture of the bobbin encasing

  • Anonymous Mar 29, 2014

    once the bobbin is loaded and the machine threaded can not get the thread from the needle to catch the thread from the bobbin

  • Anonymous Mar 30, 2014

    top thread not catching the bobbin thread



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Unplug the machine and remove the needle plate so that the bobbin case if fully exposed. Lift out the bobbin case and the cup that it sets in will be visible. Locate the "hook" on this cup. It is a finger with a sharp point at the upper edge of the cup. The hook is what grabs the thread from the needle while sewing.

  • Thread the needle.
  • Turn the handwheel by hand.
  • Watch the hook as it approaches the needle from right to left.
If the hook passes by the needle AFTER the eye of the needle is above it, you timing has slipped and the machine must be taken in for repair.
If the hook catches the thread from the needle, put everything back together and try threading again.

Posted on Nov 14, 2007

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I was having the same problem and finally took my machine into the repair shop. When you have tried everything and nothing works, the problem is usually that the timing is off. So when all else fails, I do suggest having the timing checked, most service stores will "troubleshoot" free of charge.
I also just wanted to let you know that even the most seasoned sewers usually cannot set the timing on their own. So don't feel bad!

Posted on Jan 03, 2008

  • lynn landry
    lynn landry Dec 01, 2013

    thanks for the help Lynn



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1 Answer

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Sounds like there could be a burr or nick somewhere that is catching the thread and shredding it. Change the needle. Wrap your index finger with some fine fabric (old hosiery, chiffon, silk) and run it around inside the machine around the bobbin/shuttle, feed dogs, needleplate, presser foot. If there is a burr, you will probably find it. If it is minor, it can be smoothed with a fine emery board or fine sand paper. If it is major, you may need to replace the part.


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Kenmore 385. 15343600

Remove bobbin, presser foot, needle. Tip machine back on towel gently. Unscrew plate--don't lose screws! Do not service in presence of children and curious pets. Put foot pedal next to you on tabletop. Use Zoom Sewing Machine oil. Any part MOVING that are NOT gears get one drop oil. Any DRY ONLY gears get dab of Singer sewing machine lubricant. Replace screws. Secure screws. Open left front compartment & one drop oil @ top of needle bar. Open race shuttle (where bobbin case fits in). One-half drop oil of on oscillating hook (bottom left - hand corner...smear that oil around! Insert NEW needle all way UP in needle bar groove, flat needle shank toward back. Turn handwheel towards you and raise. Raise presser foot so that threading locates all tension slots a's you pull thread TAUT from spool to each tension slot and left to right through silver, metal take-up lever, and down to tension bracket, pass needle, then pull 6" thread towards you and thread from FRONT to BACK of needle. Place bobbin into case and "thread" it. Set presser foot on DOWN position. Turn handwh towards you, dipping needle into needle plate. Make loop with bobbin thread, pull towards you. Place a good 7" underneath presser foot (both threads). Let machine RUN on 24" scrap to distrubute oil/lube. That's it! Jimmy

Apr 05, 2012 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Why does the shuttle hook grab the spool thread instead of the bobbin thread? It wraps the thread around the bobbin and binds the machine up.

The shuttle hook is suppose to hook the needle (spool) thread and loops it around the bobbin case to form the lock stitch. Is it possible that something was adjusted without proper clearances as to allow the thread looping around the bobbin case to do so without catching up where it should pass through freely?

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The bobbin thread will not catch with the top thread i have cleaned and oiled the machine any suggestions

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1 Answer

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Raise the needle to it's highest position.

Lift the lever on the back of the bobbin case and hold it open as you insert the case into the shuttle; arm on the case pointing up. You may have to turn a bit to the left or right - it will click when in place.

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