Bobbin Getting Tangled

My sewing machine was working fine until I took the plate off to clean out the dust and stuff underneath it. When I put everything back on and turned my machine back on and started to sew the bobbin started pulling and jamming. Then I have to pull out the fabric and it has a lot of thread on the bottom like it is pulling lots of thread. The machine keeps stopping. What did I do? Can anyone help.

By Donna from FL

October 31, 20100 found this helpful

If this happens on my Elna it means that the Bobbin is either in, upside down, OR I have NOT threaded the feed from the spool of thread properly. Often it will do this on its own.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
July 2, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks for all the comments. I cleaned out as recommended and it still wasn't working. Turns out I was using the wrong settings. Thanks again for all the advice. Super helpful.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
August 31, 20160 found this helpful

What do you mean, wrong settings? I am having the same problem. Please help.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 31, 20100 found this helpful

Please see answer above. Note; you can tell if Bobbin is upside down (in wrong) if the thread is NOT turning counterclockwise. Must turn counterclockwise. Also, make sure that you have not inadvertently bumped the tension adjuster. Helps if we know the make of the machine, as adjustments differ on each brand. Cheers!

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 31, 20100 found this helpful

I have had this happen occasionally, but not enough to be bothered about it. After about 60 years of sewing almost everything, it took me until about 10 years ago to discover that you definitely shouldn't start a seam at the very edge of the fabric. Whenever I would do that I would end up with the thread and edge of seam "gnarly". Then one day I read that to prevent that from happening you should start sewing about 1/4" in from the edge of the fabric. It's amazing what that does.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

October 30, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I was given a sewing machine, and there's a problem. When I am sewing the bobbin gets all tangled up, I will get one or two good stitches then nothing. When I turn the material over there is a ton of thread from the bobbin. Has anyone else had this problem? How did you correct it? I checked the tension and tried different bobbin casings from my other sewing machine, but it continues to happen. Just wanted to know if there is something I can do and save the repair fee. Thanks!


Mary from Panama City Beach, FL


Bobbin Getting Tangled

Possibly your bobbin is in the machine backwards or upside down. The thread needs to come off the bobbin in a certain way (or direction) specific to each machine. If it will fit, try flipping the bobbin over or around. Another thing might be the thread tension. Good luck! My sewing machine finally wore out after 30+ years. I think I could have used it even if I were asleep. I love my new machine, but I have to constantly stop and check my owners manual because everything about it is so different! (04/25/2006)

By Grandma Margie

Bobbin Getting Tangled

If the bobbin is in correctly and through the slit in the side of the bobbin casing, make sure the top is threaded correctly. The part the goes up and down, I don't know the name, but it is right above the needle and if the thread is not through this part you will get a mess on the underside. (04/25/2006)

By Lois

Bobbin Getting Tangled

If that doesn't work, try replacing your needle with a name brand, like Singer. I don't know why it makes a difference, but it really does! (04/25/2006)

Bobbin Getting Tangled

Either the bobbin is not threaded correctly or your tension needs adjusting. (04/25/2006)

By Loretta

Bobbin Getting Tangled

I agree with the previous post about the tension and inserting the bobbin to flow in the right direction. Your machine may also be in real need of a tune up. Most major fabric stores have a company that comes in periodically, takes your machine and services it for a reasonable fee. This should be done every now and then as it will extend the life of your machine. They will oil it, make any necessary adjustments, etc. Be sure to tell them about the problem you are having. Good luck. (04/25/2006)

By Memere

Bobbin Getting Tangled

My machine did the same thing. I was ready to just trash it and get another one, but the saleslady told me to try this before getting rid of it. She said to oil the machine; and I might need to also change the belt. I told her that it hadn't been oiled in years because I hardly ever use it. She said in that case I need to oil it really well. It seems that the less you use a sewing machine the more you need to oil it; like every time you use it. I decided to try it. I didn't need to change the belt; and a couple of dollars for a can of oil and it works like a charm. And I didn't have to spend a couple hundred dollars for a new one. Good luck.


By Margaret

Bobbin Getting Tangled

When you have a rat's nest of thread in your bobbin, it is almost always the upper tension that should be adjusted. Go to this site: The name of the site is: How to tension your sewing machine correctly by Alex Askaroff. I found this by searching on dogpile for sewing adjust bobbin tension. I have been sewing for over 50 years and thanks to these instructions I can adjust any stitch by myself, unless a part is actually broken.

Editor's Note: Here is the link to the site: (04/25/2006)

By Gale

Bobbin Getting Tangled

There could also be thread or lint caught in the place on the bobbin where the thread hooks, take the bobbin to a reputable dealer and they will take it apart and put it back together usually without charging you for it. DO NOT ATTEMPT this yourself! those little screws are very dear! (voice of experience!) let us know if any of these suggestions help. (04/25/2006)

By cailifouhnofthemist

Bobbin Getting Tangled

  1. Take apart your tension unit if you can, clean thoroughly with alcohol, dry and replace.
  2. Tighten, with fingers pull thread in a rocking motion, release tension, back and forth.
  3. Disassemble your bobbin case which is really quite easy, clean thoroughly with a brush and air, paying particular attention to any rust that may have formed, and any thread that may have weaseled it's way into small, but very incremental areas of your case.
  4. Make sure that your thread arm that rises and falls, constantly having tension running through it and that it is in fact staying in place.
  5. If these basic home techniques don't work, then you may have a "needle - bobbin" synchronization problem.

I hope this helps you, as I have 4 sewing machines and 3 sergers of all ages that I have never taken to a shop. Yo may also contact me for further assistance by taking my posted name, and adding to it family clothing at hot mail period com, you know how to put it all together. (04/25/2006)

By Pinkerton

Bobbin Getting Tangled

I have found that sometimes the thread itself is the problem. At times, if I use the same thread on the top and in the bobbin, I have problems so I have learned to use thread from different spools. Also, try different needles that may make a difference. (04/26/2006)

Bobbin Getting Tangled

Are you absolutely sure the machine is threaded properly on top? Also, I had a problem once bad enough to bring it in for repair and they told me the problem was that I was using the wrong size bobbin. I had used these bobbins many times, but they turned out to be just slightly shorter than the ones I was supposed to be using and that time it caused a problem. (04/27/2006)

By Beth

Bobbin Getting Tangled

I had the same problem with my machine. It uses a plastic bobbin. I found that there was a small chip out of the plastic and every time the bobbin went around, it caught the thread and made a mess. I got a new bobbin and now it works perfectly. (04/30/2006)

Bobbin Getting Tangled

I recently took a week course in sewing machine repair. All advice above is valid, except oiling: old oil will turn to varnish, and must be removed with alcohol before adding new oil. Otherwise, machine parts stick and will not run smoothly. (Also, for this reason, too little oil is better than too much.) This is what most repair people will do when you bring your machine in for service.

If threading is correct and your tension is properly adjusted (refer to your manual) and you have a new needle (change every 4 hours, you will be amazed at the difference!), then check the hook for scratches. If you have ever hit the hook with a needle, it will be scarred and will catch the thread every time the upper thread passes around the bobbin case. The hook is the sharp point on the shuttle that holds the bobbin case. If it is scratched, polish it smooth with VERY fine sand paper, or a green stick (flexible abrasive available at most auto supply shops.) The stitch cover plate may be scratched too; same remedy works here, although to get into the tiny feed dog slots, you need abrasive dental floss.

Good luck fixing it yourself! If you find that you need to take it to an expert, don't worry! It's not wasted money. You will be able to sew more things and save! Have them show you what they did, so you can fix it yourself next time.


By Haley

Bobbin Getting Tangled

Make sure your needle is not in backwards.
The rounded side should be on the outside. (06/01/2006)

By Alice

Bobbin Getting Tangled

Make sure both top and bottom threads are pulled toward back of machine and under foot before sewing. If the bobbin thread isn't visible to side of material, and if it gets underneath as you start to sew it will tangle it will make a birds nest. Helps if you hold both threads very lightly to side as you make first few stitches, then let go. Good luck. (06/21/2006)

By Sheila

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
In This Article
Bobbin with Green Thread
Bobbin Getting Tangled
Next >︎
Home and Garden Repair Machines Sewing MachinesOctober 30, 2010
Sewing Machine
Bobbin Case Keeps Falling Out of a Sewing Machine
Reuse Slinky As Note Holder on your desk.
How to Reuse a Slinky
A gold chain.
Removing Tangled Hair from Jewelry
Bobbin Thread Keeps Breaking
Bobbin Thread Keeps Breaking
New Years Ideas!
Christmas Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
You are viewing the desktop version of this page: View Mobile Site
© 1997-2016 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Published by . Page generated on December 8, 2016 at 6:18:03 PM on in 3 seconds. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of ThriftyFun's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. If you have any problems or suggestions feel free to Contact Us.
Loading Something Awesome!