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Riccar 8500-S not picking up bobbin thread

I have a riccar 8500-S and the needle is not picking up the bobbin thread

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SOURCE: Needle won't pick up bobbin thread - HELP!!!

I recently fixed my wife maching with the same problem. I found that the screw had come loose that holds the linkage together that rotates the bobbin holder. I was fortunate enough to notice the screw while looking at the machine. To replace it requires taking both the front and back covers off of the frame since the bobbin holder linkage is in the rear behind the needle area. Be careful to insure that the plastic toothed "rail" that runs the bobbin holder is positioned properly or it may break off a tooth. Once I replaced the screw and put the machine back together, it picked up the thread with no problem. Hope this helps.

Posted on Apr 15, 2007

  • 5 Answers

SOURCE: needle will not pick up the bobbin thread try there web site

Posted on May 29, 2007

  • 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 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.

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

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

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 !

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.

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 .....actually .....need adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned.

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 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 !

....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
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 is,
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite 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 !?!?!)

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 ? 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 !)

If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, 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

Posted on Feb 24, 2008

SOURCE: needle not picking up bobbin thread

Check the timing.

Posted on Mar 06, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: riccar sewing machine 8500

I don't know if this will help or not, but here is a website where you can download a manual for any of the Riccar products:

Posted on Sep 13, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: My Brother PE 150 will

My pe-150 embrodery machine is not grabing the tread right since I changed the needle out it keeps promping me to check my threading

Posted on Nov 16, 2008

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My riccar 1900 won't thread; needle to bobbin

First make sure the bobbin-winding spindle (located on top of your machine) has been pushed back to the left for sewing.
If it is not in the correct position, the needle will not go down and pick-up your bobbin thread.
Next make sure your needle is inserted correctly, with the flat side facing back.
Also, make sure your bobbin is in correctly
the upper tension disks of your machine are threaded correctly.
Make sure the presser foot is up when seating the thread through the upper tension.
Turn the handwheel towards you only and hold the needle thread lightly.
If this doesn't help solve your problem, the machine may have a timing problem.

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I have a Riccar Model 706 The thread keeps breaking.

try changing the needle
check to make sure the top thread tension is not to tight
check to make sure the thread is not caught somewhere
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Will not pick up bobbin thread

you might check your needle to see if it's damaged
make sure you have a least a 3-4 inch thread tail for top & bobbin
try holding the top thread tail & manually move the handwheel on the right side of the sewing machine to lower the needle to the bobbin area & see if that works.
make sure there is no lint or loose threads in bobbin area

Sep 24, 2010 | Riccar Sewing Machines

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Thread is balling up and not allowing the fabric to move it isn't stitching right

This can be caused by several different things. Check the threading. Un-thread the machine and follow the guidance on the manual and re-thread the machine. The bobbin, if the bobbin thread that coming out of the bobbin case in a wrong direction, could cause this. Re-set the direction. When you pull thread from the bobbin case, bobbin should roll counter clockwise. The needle, if it is not the right size needle for the fabric or the needle is slightly bent, maybe replace the needle and try with different size of needle. Once its balling up, sometimes it's left some thread in the machine under the needle plate around the feed dog, clean them up. Thread tension, different fabric may need to be adjust the thread tension, try to check this one under the manuals/instruction. When ready, check and use a scrap of fabric/remnants!

Aug 02, 2010 | Riccar Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have an older machine - Riccar 3600 -- and the spool thread keeps breaking while sewing. What can I do?

Here are some things to try.

If it's Your upper thread breaking:

* Rethread your machine
An incorrectly threaded machine can cause thread to break.

* Decrease the tension on your machine
The tension may be too tight for your thread.

* Reposition the spool of thread on the spindle
You know that little nick in the edge of a spool that’s used to hold the loose end of the thread? Your thread may be catching on this nick as you sew. Place your spool so that this nick rests against the bottom of the spindle.

* Reinsert your needle
Make sure it goes all the way into the holder and that it’s positioned correctly, usually with the flat side away from the bobbin, but consult your machine’s manual to be sure.

* Change your needle
Your needle may be bent or dull. The eye of your needle may have a nick in it that’s cutting the thread as you sew. Or your needle may be too small for the thread you’re using, in which case, change to a larger needle. And make sure your needle is appropriate for the weight and type of your fabric.

* Change your thread
Your thread may be weak. Or your thread may be fuzzy and irregular, causing it to catch in the eye of your needle as you sew. Cheap thread tends to be weak and fuzzy, so make sure to
use a quality, brand name thread. And if you’ve been sewing with an older cotton thread, which can dry out and become brittle with age, try a newer thread.

* Check your presser foot for damage to the needle hole
A burr in your presser foot’s needle hole may be cutting your thread. Gently smooth any rough spot you find with an emery cloth.

* There may be a burr in one of your thread guides, in which case, you may need to have your
machine professionally serviced to have the part replaced.

If it's Your lower thread breaking:

* Reinsert your bobbin
Your bobbin may not be seated properly in its case.

* Rethread your bobbin
Your bobbin may be threaded incorrectly or the thread may be tangled.

* Remove some of the thread from your bobbin
If your bobbin is very full (if it’s hard to insert into the case, it’s too full), this may be keeping your bobbin from turning smoothly.

* Rewind your bobbin thread
If your bobbin thread is wound unevenly, this may be keeping your bobbin from turning

* Try a new bobbin
There could be a nick along the edge of your bobbin spool that’s catching your thread as you sew.

* Clean the lint from your bobbin case
Lint in your bobbin case could be keeping your bobbin from working properly.

* Check the needle hole in your throat plate for rough spots
A burr in the needle hole of your throat plate, usually caused by the needle hitting the throat plate, could be cutting your thread. Gently smooth any rough spot you find with an emery cloth.

I hope one of these solutions work for you.

Sep 13, 2009 | Riccar Sewing Machines

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I have fixed it now the bobbin case didn't seem to stay seated during sewing or tangling i should say!. I decided to change the needle and from then on everything worked fine.

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Riccar sewing machine 8500

I don't know if this will help or not, but here is a website where you can download a manual for any of the Riccar products:

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