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I can't pick up bobbin thread with my needle to even get started. What am I doing wrong?

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  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 10,777 Answers

Install a brand new needle and verify that it is installed facing the correct direction.

If the machine is threaded correctly and still will not pick up the bobbin thread, then it's very possible the machine is out of time. Search for sewing machine timing or take it for service.

Posted on May 10, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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  • 3 Answers

SOURCE: needle picks up bobbin thread but then thread gets stuck

I've had similar problems (as well as other problem with the thread breaking all the time and the "shuttle race" thing that holds the bobbin falling out. One very important thing that isn't mentioned in the manual but that the salesman stressed is that you have to use only "Schmetz" brand needles. They are a tiny bit longer, but that makes all the difference in the world if your stitches are skipping. I forgot and used Singer needles and had horrible results.

Posted on Aug 16, 2007

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: bobbin threading

You may have put the timing out, however, try this before you despair too much......

Ensure the presser foot is firm enough for the fabric you are using and that it will not just pull through easily by hand with the foot and feeddogs together (as the needle ascends), or things will not proceed, and you will be stitching in the same spot.

Generally a setting of 3 seems to work for general purposes, but if you are using very light or very heavy fabric, a sample is always a good idea before you start in earnest....also match the needle to the work for best results.

Ensure that all is clean and free of lint jams....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 consistant diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !

If you want any more help with this, just post back here, or, drop a line through the "Contact Us" page at www.bargainbox.com.au

Posted on Feb 24, 2008

SewExpress
  • 41 Answers

SOURCE: Picking up the bobbin thread

A few suggestions:

  1. Rethread top of machine from scratch with the presser foot raised, i.e. remove thread completely from all thread guides & paths and start from scratch, making sure thread is securely seated between tension disks. Once the needle is re-threaded, lower the presser foot and give the tail end of the thread a tug to make sure there's tension on it.
  2. Make sure the bobbin is turning the correct direction for your machine - and that the thread tail is under the tension plate or bobbin tension guide (depending on machine).
  3. Blow out any fuzz.
  4. Insert a new needle, making sure needle is pushed all the way up.
  5. Oil machine (in locations recommended in your owner's manual).
If the basic cleaning and re-threading (above) don't help, your machine(s) may be out of time or have another mechanical issue that will require a repair technician. We recommend a tech trained on your specific brands - they'll be better trained and able to get any repair parts that may be needed.

Hope this helps narrow down your stitching problems.

Happy sewing,
Kim & Linnette

Posted on Jun 27, 2008

  • 136 Answers

SOURCE: will not pick up bobbin thread

Unusual for this machine. Check to be sure the needle is inserted with the flat side to the back of the machine. If it is, remove the needle plate, bobbin and bobbin case. Turn the hand wheel slowly toward you and see if the point of the hook is above or below the eye of the needle when the hook point is aligned behind the needle. If the eye is above the point of the hook the machine is out of time and best taken to qualified technician.

Posted on Jul 04, 2009

Zenqi
  • 208 Answers

SOURCE: needle not picking up bottom thread

Remove the needle plate and the bobbin case.

Ensure that the needle is inserted all the way up into the needle clamp.

Set the machine for straight stitch, center needle position.

Slowly turn the handwheel in the normal sewing direction and observe the following hook timing setting:

When the needle reaches it's lowest point and travels up 3.5mm, the point of the hook should be directly behind the needle, or at least within 1 or 2mm.

Another view is as the hook passes the needle, it should pass the needle slightly above the eye of the needle.

If the timing looks good, use some alcohol on a bit of cloth to clean the hook, careful around the tip of the hook as it is very sharp.

If the hook timing is off, you will need to take it to a knowledgeable service person as there are several possible solutions and several other related adjustments which will need to be made.

Posted on Jan 16, 2010

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1 Answer

My upper thread wont pick up the bobbin thread suddenly. How do I fix that problem?


Install a brand new needle. A bent/dull/damaged needle sometimes will not pick up bobbin thread.

Check that the needle is installed facing the correct direction.

Also check that the bobbin is wound smoothly, the bobbin is turning the correct direction in the bobbin case, and the bobbin tension is threaded correctly.

If it still will not pick up the bobbin thread, there is most likely a timing issue, ie the needle is arriving at the wrong time to intercept the bobbin thread. Search the internet for sewing machine timing discussions or take it for service.

...

Nov 03, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How do I put bobbin in despite machine


The needle could be facing the wrong direction. The owners manual should show how to do this. On most machines, the flat part faces the back of the machine. But if the bobbin case is installed from the left side rather than from the front, the needle's flat side may face the right side of the machine. In the latter case, the thread is threaded from the left side through the needle's eye.

Be sure you are using a brand new needle. A bent/damaged needle may not pick up the bobbin thread.

If it still does not pick up the bobbin thread, the needle/hook timing may be off. There are multiple web sites and videos discussing sewing machine timing, or you can take it for service.

...

Sep 12, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

On my Singer 6235 sewing machine, needle will not pick up bobbin thread. Any suggestions to fix the problem?


Doesn't pick up bobbin thread
1. The bobbin may be in backwards.
2. The bobbin thread & top thread need to be pulled to the back before starting the stitching
3. You need a ballpoint rather than universal needle to sew on t-shirt knits.
4. the needle is in the machine backwards
5. Make sure the needle is the correct one for the fabric being sewed
6. Needle inserted wrong in the needle holder
7. Warped needle
8. Warped bobbin
9. Also could be a timing problem

Mar 01, 2016 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

The needle is not picking up the lower thread, I have cleaned the machine but the bobbin is not being picked up


Doesn't pick up bobbin thread
1. The bobbin may be in backwards.
2. The bobbin thread & top thread need to be pulled to the back before starting the stitching
3. You need a ballpoint rather than universal needle to sew on t-shirt knits.
4. the needle is in the machine backwards
5. Make sure the needle is the correct one for the fabric being sewed
6. Needle inserted wrong in the needle holder
7. Warped needle
8. Warped bobbin
9. Also could be a timing problem

Feb 10, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Needle thread will not pick up bobbin thread tried everything


Generally, this is because the needle is inserted wrong or because it's bent. In the first case, the top of the needle (called the shank) has a flat side-this has to be inserted so it faces the back or away from you.
In the second case, when a bent needle stops the top thread from picking up the bobbin thread. Even if you think your needle is fine, change it to see if this solves the problem.


May 09, 2011 | Yamata FY700 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

The needle does'nt pick up the bobbin thread


Generally, this is because the needle is inserted wrong or because it's bent. In the first case, the top of the needle (called the shank) has a flat side-this has to be inserted so it faces the back or away from you.
In the second case, when a bent needle stops the top thread from picking up the bobbin thread. Even if you think your needle is fine, change it to see if this solves the problem.

May 06, 2011 | Brother LS-2125 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

My machine is not picking up the stitches. I have rethreaded, checked needle and tension.


try these suggestions
Not picking up thread can be several issues
1.bobbin is miss wound
2. bobbin case isn't snapped in properly
3. you're using the wrong type bobbin
4. needle is bent or burred
5. check bobbin area for lint & loose threads
6. little oil--check operation manual for this
7.machine is out of time --done by service tech
8.check automatic thread cutter to see if it’s bent
but most of the time the issue is once again mis-threading or the thread coming off take up lever
sewing machine needles put in incorrectly
Check & make sure needle is in the needle holder correctly.
Check your manual for threading diagram
check bobbin area including case for lint & loose threads
Take the needle plate off & clean under neath it ( if your machine has screws that hold the needle plate on be careful NOT TO DAMAGE THE SCREWS) because a damaged screw that has a burr on it can pull fabric
Each time you start to sew
1.make sure there’s 2 to 3 inches of top thread when you put the needle down for the bobbin thread
2.make sure there is a 2 to 3 inch of bobbin thread so the top thread can pick it up
3.Pull the tail of the top and bobbin thread behind the presser foot
hope these help--please rate this with the thumbs in the upper right hand corner-thank you

Aug 06, 2010 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Needle will not pick up thread from bobbin


Was the old needle picking up the bobbin thread ok? If it was, then there's nothing wrong with the machine. Check that the needle is inserted correctly--there's a flat side on the shank of the needle and where that goes varies widely by machine. Then check that it's threaded properly.


(I once had my needle in backwards and threaded wrong--took the machine to the shop cause I was sure my baby was broken. Cost me $85.00 to find out that on that particular machine the flat side of the needle faces left!)

Let me know if this helps!

Robbie

Jan 24, 2010 | PfaFF Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Model 3205 FA not picking up bobbin thread, needle goes down but doesn't pick up bobbin thread, needle not bent, macine was working fine then all of a sudden bobbin thread stopped. Can't even pick it up to...


- check ifu are using same needle model.
- check hight of needle bar is ok
- check timming between needle bar and hook.
- check if your material is very stritch or no
- check blad point of hook is ok or no
best regards

Aug 15, 2009 | Necchi Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Threading bobbin for singer 8734


NEW MACHINE, THE NEEDLE WON'T PICK UP THE THREAD. WHAT WRONG?

Jan 11, 2007 | Singer Drop-In Bobbin 758B-28BH Mechanical...

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