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Top thread not grabbing bottom thread - Sewing Machines

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  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 9,254 Answers

Be sure to use a brand new needle--old, bent/damaged needles will not pick up bobbin thread.

If that does not resolve the problem, most likely the machine is out of time. Search sewing machine timing or take it for service.

...

Posted on Dec 28, 2016

5 Suggested Answers

6ya6ya
  • 2 Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: Too many bobbin threads!

Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.
Specific detail on bobbin case adjustment (with picture) near halfway down reply, the remainder will help you achieve a balance of top and bottom tensions.

Ensure that all is clean and free of lint and jams, this is the most likely cause....now for tension troubleshooting .......

This solution is for tension problems...if you cannot form any sort of stitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me know if you need a different problem solved.....

It is quite long, but just work through each section in order.

The "knotting up" can reveal a lot. If you have loose threads on one side or the other, the tension on the opposite side will be the culprit.

QUICK SUMMARY FIRST:
Ensure sharp new needle,
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.

TOP THREAD TENSION:
If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your projects).

IS YOUR NEEDLE SHARP ?
If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !

TOP TENSION & GUIDES:
Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.

It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.

If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.

Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with a see saw / to and fro action.

In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.

BOBBIN TENSION:
Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension.

I would not recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screws and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean
the hook race area (where bobbin case sits)

...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....

just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.

Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.

If it seems likely that you ......really ....do .....actually .....need .....to adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned.

TOP LOADER:
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....

4c76dc1.jpg ...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so beware....it is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !

FRONT LOADER:
....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all
back properly.
165ca5c.jpg FINISHING UP
GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT:
When you are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.

Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.

Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension screw very little at
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.

You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it cannot be correct to do this.....BUT....it is,
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite quickly.....as a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)

OTHER ISSUES:
If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine
case....no case ? then make some sort of cover !

Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.

Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with
dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)

FINALLY, A WORD ON THREAD:
If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, .......it may seem to cost a little more at the
time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistent diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks

bargainbox.com.au

Posted on Sep 02, 2009

  • 13 Answers

SOURCE: I have an Euro-Pro 385X

Have you changed the needle? use good quality thread.

Posted on Sep 13, 2010

  • 1788 Answers

SOURCE: My Euro-Pro Shark machine is not sewing. The top

Did you try a new needle (flat side facing rear of the machine)? Sometimes a burr on it or being bent stops it from picking up the thread. Other than that, it may be the timing on your machine and unfortunately it needs to be done by a professional with expertise and special tools.

Posted on Jan 28, 2011

ellenmaemana
  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: My top thread (Needle) isn't grabbing the bobbin thread. Help

just adjust the needle bar down

Posted on Sep 05, 2012

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1 Answer

Why is the fabric bunching into the bobbin when embroidering with the Singer Futura


bobbin thread is too high pressure or too low pressure on teh top adjustment!

remove bobbin and turn tension screw about 1/8turn left (anticlockwise) check if still grabbing, if so - top thread turn about 1/4 turn (at embroidery ir should do automatically, but sometimes need kick...).

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How to bring up bottom thread


Be sure you leave a 3-4" tail on the bobbin when you insert it. Hold the end of the top thread, turn the fly wheel toward you until the needle goes down into the bobbin, grabs the bobbin thread and pulls it up. Take both threads toward the back of the machine and pull out about 6". Hold both threads as you take the first stitch in your fabric.

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My needle won't grab the bobbin thread but if I put some fabric in and start to sew the bobbin thread comes through. However, the bottom thread is all bunched up and causes the machine to jam.


the looping on the underside sounds like a needle thread tension problem. 1st off check top (needle) threading then turn machine by hand to pick up bobbin thread

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The bottom thread won't come up?
Make sure you:
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-Have all your lower pieces in and secure. (Mine tend to jump around if I'm not putting 'em in right)
If it's still not grabbing, I'm not sure. Sorry, hope it helps.

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