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My feed dogs will not pull my material through.

When I am straight sewing the machine does not pull my fabric through. In order to sew I have to pull the fabric over the feed dogs.

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  • Baby Lock Master
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Check to be sure you have not inadvertently dropped the feed dogs on your machine. Dropped feed dogs are used for 'darning' or 'free motion quilting.' Below is info from Troubleshooting Manual:

Fabric does not feed through the machine
The feed dogs are lowered. Use the feed dog position switch to raise the feed dogs. 81
The stitches are too close together. Lengthen the stitch length. 42
The wrong presser foot was used. Attach the correct presser foot. 179
The needle is bent or blunt. Replace the needle with a new one. 34
The thread is tangled. Use scissors, etc., to cut the tangled thread and remove it from the race, etc.

Posted on Apr 13, 2015

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  • Baby Lock Master
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There is two things that will cause this:
1. The pressure foot isn't set properly. Your manual should tell you how to set this. If you can pull the material over the feed dogs while they are raised the pressure isn't enough or the pressure foot is set too high. If they are too high they will need adjusted; preferably by a pro.
2. The feed dogs should only move the material while the needle is in the up (above the throat plate) position.
a. By hand move the hand wheel.
b. See if the feed dogs are ever above the throat plate at the same time the needle is below the throat plate?
If you have noticed these issues then you will need your sewing machine timed.

Posted on Apr 12, 2015

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1 Answer

Janome Machine will not feed material !!


If the fabric is not feeding, the feed dogs are probably not operating properly. Check that they have not been dropped below the needle plate (which is done when darning or free motion quilting). In this setting, the feed dogs never rise above the needle plate to grab and pull the fabric.

The other issue could be that the feed dogs are defective or perhaps seized.

Since you did not provide a model, I can provide only this assistance. It would be helpful to locate (search for make model manual) for your machine.

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Be sure you have the stitch length set high enough that the fabric will actually move instead of sewing mostly in one spot.

One other thing to check is the presser foot applying enough pressure to the fabric so that the feed dogs can grab the fabric? On the top left side of the machine, there is probably either a dial or a push-type button. That would most likely be the pressure adjustment. The tighter that is set, the harder the pressure the presser foot will apply and the more the feed dogs will grab the fabric.

Check that the feed dogs are in the "up" position so they will pull the fabric through the machine. Are the feed dogs actually moving forward, raising above the needle plate, pulling toward the back of the machine, and then dropping below the needleplate before moving forward again? If not, then the problem could be with the feed dogs.

Your machine appears to be a mechanical model. If so, it could be the machine needs a good over-all cleaning and oiling--a couple drops of fresh, good quality sewing machine oil every place that metal rubs on metal (no plastic parts, belts...). Feed dogs are frequently affected when the sewing machine does not receive regular maintenance.

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I only have a small amount of feed through the sewing claw, i mostly have to pull it through on my Toyota 2400, is this normal is is something wrong?


Unable to locate much information about your make/model machine.

If your machine has the capability of dropping the feed dogs for darning or free motion quilting, check that the feed dogs are in the up position for sewing. Also, verify that the stitch length is set to at least #2. Any shorter stitch selection will cause the machine to advance the fabric so slightly that it will nearly sew in place.

Some machines also have a pressure adjustment for the presser foot. If the fabric you are sewing is very fine, the feed dogs may have difficulty gripping the fabric to advance it through the machine. You can add body to the fabric by including a stabilizer when sewing the fabric, ie a wash-away stabilizer.

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Is the feed dog raised into sewing position and not dropped as for darning? Feed dogs need to be in the raised position in order to pull the fabric through the machine.

If the stitch length is set too short, it will cause the fabric to barely move thereby causing the machine to stitch in one place.

Raise your presser foot and gently rotate the handwheel and watch the feed dogs. Do they rise when coming to the front of the machine, move toward the back of the machine, drop down below the needle plate, and move forward to the front of the machine again? If so, the feed dogs are working properly.

If the feed dogs never rise, they are in the dropped position for darning or free motion quilting when you would move the fabric manually.

If, on the other hand, the feed dogs do not move at all, then they are seized and you should probably get your machine serviced.

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***Your feed dog under the pressure foot seems to be pulling on one side a little harder which indicates wear. It is likely to solve the problem by replacing the feed dog.
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When you sew the machine must be set at the correct settings. If your machine won't straight stitch, turn it off at the power point and then turn it back on. Most machines reset to the default straight stitch setting. Secondly when you sew the presser foot must be down. This engages the "feed dogs" or the triangular looking "teeth" below the presser foot. As you sew, the feed dogs grab the two layers of fabric pulling them through, the thread above (spool) and the thread below (bobbin) meet to form the stitch. Finally, maybe fiddling around with dials and settings you may have dropped, or disengaged the feed dogs. Check with your manual on how to re-engage the feed dogs. Hope this helps and happy sewing. Remember, when all else fails..... read the manual.

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