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Bobbin will not pick up the thread - Brother Sewing Machines

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  • Master
  • 415 Answers

There are two common things to check when the bobbin thread is not picking up. First double check your top thread and make sure it is threaded properly. Best thing to do is to totally pull it out and rethread it from the beginning making sure it goes through each part and has tension on the thread when it's past the tension adjustment part. Also make sure the needle is inserted properly and is the right needle, and not in backwards.

Next thing to do is pull the bobbin out and double check that it is threaded through properly too. Check the tension on the bobbin thread by holding it up by the thread and seeing that it releases just a bit when held by the thread only, doesn't just drop to the floor but does release a bit when a small amount of tug is applied. Of course then you want to make sure you reinsert it in place. You should hear or feel a slight click when it is and it should stay put.

These are the most common problems. Remember that it can look ok but one thing can be not quite right which will cause the problem. That is why you save yourself a lot of hair (ie pulling out your hair) by unthreading and starting again.

Double check that the needle is the right kind for that machine. There are slight differences in needles (brands) besides size of needle. By the way when you run into a problem like this and can't seem to track down the problem do your testing on plain cotton material. If it sews ok on that but won't on other material then you know it is tension, or needle size ( or type, ie ball pt vs sharp).

Posted on Apr 04, 2011

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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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

  • 4 Answers

SOURCE: singer quantum sewing machine won't pick up bobbin thread

Try changing your needle

Posted on Dec 13, 2008

Mongo32
  • 111 Answers

SOURCE: Sewing machine will not pick up bobbin thread.

needle's in backwards

Posted on Jun 11, 2009

  • 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

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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.

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Try a brand new needle. Verify it is installed correctly.

Remove the bobbin. Check that the bobbin is turning the correct direction and the thread is threaded correctly in the bobbin case. Reinstall the bobbin case and make sure that it latches.

Retest your machine. Manually turn the handwheel and watch the needle descend and see if the thread picks up the bobbin thread. If not, then the machine may have a timing issue. Take it for service.

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Aug 19, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

The top thread won't catch the bobbin thread to pull it through. It almost seems like it doesn't go around to pick it up. Or is the bobbin thread supposed to pop up more for pick up? This is my Mom's...


check the needle to see if it's damaged
have a thread tail for the top thread & bobbin thread of 3-4 inches
try this & see if it helps you
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