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Sewing Machine Needle Not Catching Thread

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Sewing Machine Needle Not Catching Thread

It can be very frustrating if your machine is not sewing properly. This guide is about sewing machine needle not catching thread.



Here are questions related to Sewing Machine Needle Not Catching Thread.

Question: Sewing Machine Needle Not Catching Bobbin Thread

Does anyone know anything about sewing machines? The bobbin thread isn't being picked up by the needle. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but it was working fine. It is possible, not sure, but the needle doesn't seem to be going down as far as it should. I am mighty confused. Please help.

By shivvers from Ireland


Best Answers

By Jacque [4]10/26/2010

You may also check to make sure your needle is turned properly. I had this problem not too long ago. I had replaced the needle and tightened it in not realizing I had not set it in the slot properly. I redid it and it has worked well ever since.

Best Answers

By Linda L. [33]10/26/2010

Try changing the needle for a new one. I don't know why but this usually works for me.

Best Answers


If redhatterb's suggestion doesn't work, you might have the bobbin turned the wrong direction. Also, try removing the top thread and rethreading the sewing machine.

Best Answers

By Joan [13]10/22/2010

When I have that problem, I have found it works to hold the thread in the needle to the left while you put the needle down to pick up the bobbin thread. Sometimes it is still hard to see if the bobbin thread has come up and when that happens I take a darning needle and run it under the pressure foot and the bobbin thread is there, just needed a little help for me to see it and straighten it out.

Question: Troubleshooting Sewing Machine Problems

My machine suddenly stopped sewing. It is not picking up bobbin thread. There are no loops under the material. I have re-threaded it 3 times and have cleaned the bobbin area and rechecked the bobbin. I have also changed needle and thread. No luck.

By Coral from Nudgee, QLD.


Best Answer

By Danna11/17/2010

Try this. Turn your bobbincase on it's side. There should be a small screw. This will adjust the tension. When you put your bobbin in the bobbin case hang onto the thread and your bobbincase should slowly go downward (like a yo-yo). If it does not move you tightened the screw too much. Hope this helps.

Question: Sewing Machine Won't Pick Up Bobbin Thread

I have Brother sewing machine Model VX-1120. It won't pick up the bobbin thread!

By Opal D.

Best Answer

By Frugal Sunnie [11]02/24/2014

First of all, here's a link to a free download for your machine: ... Users%20Manual/UM_VX_1120_EN_203.PDF

Now check page 12 to be sure you're seating the front load bobbin case into the machine correctly, and that you've snapped the bobbin winder back to the sewing mode (follow the illustration on page 11 and 12).

Next go to page 14 and be sure you're following all of those directions for pulling up the thread.

If none of the above solves your problem, check page 47 (Performance checklist) and if nothing there solves your problem (are your feed dogs set to 'no-feed? That will keep your bobbin thread from pulling up on some models), it's time to find a factory trained Brother repair tech!

Question: Bobbin Isn't Picking Up Top Thread

My sewing machine needle keeps hitting something and my bobbin will not loop at the bottom.

By blazing from OKC, OK

Most Recent Answer

By Anna-Marie Docherty07/11/2010

I'd certainly change the needle, you may not be able to tell whilst in position but even very slight bend on it will stop it picking up and probably hit either the plate or bobbin case. Another thing to check is that the bobbin thread is not tangled or too tightly wound.

Question: Sewing Machine Not Pulling Up Bobbin Thread

My machine is new, but when I go to sew, the bobbin thread doesn't come up and the needle thread is hooking all over the bobbin. Why?

By Atinus from Kusunti, Nepal

Most Recent Answer

By Frugal Sunnie [11]03/23/2015

Marty is spot-on - check your user guide and if that doesn't solve the problem take the machine back to the seller.

Try the following if you can't return the machine for some reason:

Be sure you're loading the bobbin case correctly with the thread coming out anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise), and that you have the upper thread path correctly threaded. New machines have the tension discs inside so you can't see if you're getting that upper thread through the discs correctly but careful following of the diagrammed path (usually on the machine and always in the user guide) usually ensures correct threading.

Be sure the feed dogs are in the correct position, and ALWAYS be sure to wind-load-thread upper path with the presser foot in the UP position. You'd be surprised at how many 'problems' are solved this way:) And you'd be glad to know how many of us 'experienced' sewers forget sometimes to lift the presser foot - I teach sewing and sometimes forget!

Good luck, I hope your issue is resolved soon and you enjoy many happy sewing hours!

Question: Sewing Machine Bobbin Not Catching

I've borrowed a sewing machine for a small project and although I've tried and retried, the bobbin thread is just not catching in the needle. The bobbin doesn't even move! I've no idea what to try next. Any ideas?

By Laura B

Most Recent Answer

By Carol Weddle B.03/17/2014

Bobbins come in different sizes. Make sure you have the right one for the machine. It is easy to get them mixed up. Visually they look very similar but one is flat on both sides and one is slightly rounded on one side.

Question: Sewing Machine Needle Not Picking Up Bobbin Thread

I have just bought a used Home Elite Pro. I threaded it like the manual said, but the needle is not pulling up the bobbin thread. I've used a sewing machine once in my life so I'm not experienced. How do I make it work?


Most Recent Answer

By Frugal Sunnie [11]11/25/2013

Um, no, the needle is not too short - sewing machine needles are a general, standardised LENGTH. Widths, points, these are different, but lengths are the same.

I'm thinking you've either got the bobbin case loaded incorrectly (not likely) or the bobbin gear has worn out - might be the reason this machine was up for sale.

This isn't a repair you can do at home (I'm a sewing teacher and a self-taught repair tech, btw:), and the part for your machine may be difficult to source for the average home sewer. The professional repair tech has sources for these parts and can have you back behind the needle fairly quickly.

Have him/her show you the part, what caused the failure, and how to prevent it happening in the future.

Question: Thread Not Catching

I have read all the possible solutions for my top thread not catching the bobbin thread. I have checked the bobbin timing and it is fine. I have checked my tension (and tried it at several different settings). I have the same thread in both the bobbin and top thread, I've changed the needles (flat side to back) and the thread is good quality. It's just not catching. It was working fine, now nothing I do helps. I'm in the middle of a time sensitive project and can't afford a new machine. Please help!

By Cindy T

Most Recent Answer

By susan [5]09/18/2013

I've found that my machine won't sew properly if I use cheap thread. Once I switch to a good thread, it works just fine. I've been sewing for almost 50 years and have just started having this problem, but I remember people talking about it 30 years ago. You may want to check.

Question: Thread Not Catching When Sewing Lightweight Fabric

I have a singer, not sure of model but I threaded my machine as always. I tested it on a piece of brown cotton to make sure all is well. It works perfect, So now I try to sew a dress (made of viscose, polyester, elasticine) and it's not sewing. The thread is not catching. So I re-tried it on the brown cotton. Works fine. Please explain what I am doing wrong and how can I fix it?

By Jinai

Most Recent Answer

By Frugal Sunnie [11]07/23/2013

Could be your needle and threads both upper and bobbin.

You write that you are using viscose (called rayon in the US), polyester, and elasticine...these are most often a somewhat stretchy fabric, and require special needles ('ballpoint', or 'jersey' in the UK) for sewing successfully - if the needle you are using is working for the cotton but not the more stretchy fabrics, odds are very high that you are not using the correct sewing machine needle.

Refer to your sewing machine user guide. If you don't have one, post a picture of your machine and I can probably identify it for you and find you a link to the free download.

The Singer company website is fantastic about making user guides available for free download but you do need to know your machine model. Depending on the age of your machine, the information could be anywhere on the machine, but is usually on the machine front (for example, my Talent 3321, a modern electric, has the words 'Singer Talent' along the upper frame), or on the bottom right near the electrics connection.

If you are sewing on a truly vintage machine, the identification is usually on a small metal plate somewhere on the machine (varies with age and country of manufacture - a lot of our UK late 60s and 70s made machines were imported in from the Italian Singer factory).

May I make a suggestion? Singer puts out an outstanding reference book called Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing. Wonderful book, you can find a nice, used copy on or buy it new for around £22 in the UK, or if in the US, for under $30USD. Good investment, I highly recommend it to the new-to-sewing students I teach up here in NE Scotland.

Good luck, please feel free to message me for more info.

Question: Returning Defective Sewing Machines

I bought 2 Brother sewing machines. One is with my mother-in-law and the other is here in my home. Both sewing machines are having the same problem. You can not thread them from the bobbin. I would say this is a manufacturing problem. So my question is, How do I get 2 new ones without having to pay out the nose again?

By Debbra M

Most Recent Answer

By weinerdog41 [33]06/19/2013

You didn't have how long you've had them. If you can't return them to the place you bought them I'd go up the ladder (President, CEO, Etc) withing the company and I'd complain big time until I got a replacement.

Question: Top Thread is Not Picking Up Bobbin Thread

The bobbin thread isn't coming up to the top, when I turn the wheel manually. I used a new spool of thread and rewound a new bobbin and it still isn't working. What should I do?

By Grace

Most Recent Answer

By Frugal Sunnie [11]05/27/2013

Make sure your bobbin case is loaded correctly and the bobbin thread is following the correct path to permit top thread pick-up.

Is your machine a front/side load bobbin system, or the top drop-in type? It can make a difference in top thread pick-up especially if you are new to sewing or don't sew often. The front/side load bobbins are really hard to load correctly and can cause no end of difficul