Why does my sewing machine keep jamming – 10 Reasons and their fixes 2023

Why does my sewing machine keep jamming

Why does my sewing machine keep jamming? Is this your problem? If yes, then you don’t need to worry anymore. Because I will explain the reasons with their solutions in this blog post. 

Sewing machines mainly jam because of wrong thread tension, lint accumulation, broken wires, damaged parts, etc. And these problems can lead to other issues as well. Therefore you must fix them as soon as possible. 

Therefore, I will explain the 7 common causes of sewing machine blocking along with their fixes. 

What are the causes of sewing machine jams and how to fix them – Know Everything

1. Wrong Threading

Wrong Threading

When you thread your sewing machine in the wrong way, there are more chances that your sewing machine will jam and stop working. Improper threading may lead to issues like skipped stitches, uneven tension, bunching of threads, etc. 

How To Resolve This Issue? 

It will be best to unthread your sewing machine and then rethread according to the User’s Manual. Nowadays, sewing machines have symbols for threading that you can follow to do it yourself easily. 

2. Uneven Thread Tension 

Uneven Thread Tension

A sewing machine will most likely jam when the upper and lower threads have the wrong tension. 

Because when your sewing machine thread tension is too tight, the needle may not go up and down. And when the pressure is too low, threads may bunch up and jam your sewing machine. 

How To Resolve This Issue? 

  • Unthread and Rethread your sewing machine. 
  • Follow the User’s manual guidelines and set the tension according to the type of fabric.
  • For most straight stitches, keep thread tension between 4 to 5 (The dial settings run from 0 to 9 in most sewing machines).

3. Faulty Motor and Broken Wires

Faulty Motor and Broken Wires

As sewing machines are run by motors which need wire to connect with the electricity. Therefore sometimes your sewing machine will jam because of loose or broken wires between the motor and the foot pedal, so make sure you inspect them. 

Also, check whether the foot pedal cord is connected to your sewing machine. 

How To Resolve This Issue?

  • Unplug the sewing machine, and look for broken or faulty wires near the motor or foot pedal. 
  • Use MULTIMETER to check the wire problems. 
  • Change all the broken wires and belts if they are broken. 
  • Check the motor belt tension; if it is too tight, consider losing it so it can rotate freely.
  • Clean the motor, belt area, and all exposed areas thoroughly and oil them gently. Do not apply oil to unprotected wires. 
  • Once the hand wheel has been rotated without producing any humming sounds, plug it back in again. 

4. Accumulation of Dirt, Lint, and Dust

Accumulation of Dirt, Lint, and Dust

When you don’t clean your sewing machine regularly, it may get too many lint’s, thread fibers, etc., into it. This way, moving parts like Shafts, Cranks, Feed Dogs, Presser Feet, Needle holders, Handwheels, etc., due to lint accumulation will block. 

How To Resolve This Issue? 

  • Unplug your sewing machine. 
  • Unthread it. 
  • Remove all the covers with screwdrivers.
  • Clean all the parts thoroughly and then apply sewing machine oil
  • Use a Vacuum pump to blow away all the debris from the innermost parts of the sewing machine.
  • Then attach all the details, and check. 

5. Low-quality threads

Low-quality threads

Using cheap types of sewing threads can harm the sewing machines. Because they may shred lints, they will get stuck in the feed dog mechanism or bobbin case, causing your sewing machine to block and be unable to sew. 

How To Resolve This Issue? 

  • Remove all the low-quality threads. 
  • Always use top-of-the-line threads that don’t shred lints.

6. Bent and Dirty Needle

Bent or damaged needle

Commonly, you should not use bent or damaged sewing machine needles because a bent needle may hit the needle plate frequently and will break, preventing the thread from passing through fabrics, and resulting in machine jamming. 

However, sometimes, the needle broken part may fall into the feed dog area; this will also block the feed dog mechanism. 

Furthermore, sewing machines may also get dirty, especially the needle holder, which will attract oil and dust. This way, the holder’s motion will be restricted, thus leading to jamming issues. 

How To Resolve This Issue? 

  • Change the bent or broken needle. 
  • Also, clean the needle holder and needle from dust to make them move freely. 

7. Problems with Feed Dogs

Problems with Feed Dogs

Feed Dogs are like a brush present under the needle that helps sewing machines feed fabrics. Sometimes, some external objects like dust, frozen oil, piece of broken needles, dirt, etc., may fall into the feed dog area and will jam it. This way, it will not feed fabrics leading to sewing machine jams. 

How To Resolve This Issue? 

  • Remove the presser foot and needle, then clean the feed dog completely. 
  • Now check the sewing machine and ensure an adequate distance between the presser foot and the feed dogs when you lift the presser foot down.

8. Jamming caused by Incomplete Stitches

Incomplete Stitches

Most of the new sewers need to pay more attention to the importance of using a specific type of needle for fabric, and as a result, they encounter skipped stitches issues. 

However, despite the correct needle and technique, most people still come across this issue. This time your sewing machine is not seated correctly, which is why it is not passing through fabrics, thus causing skipped stitches issues. 

How To Resolve This Issue?

  • The main reason for skipped stitches is sewing machine needles, so use a specific type of needle for each fabric for better results. 
  • Look at the needle. If it is bent, consider replacing it with a newer one. 
  • If the needle is Ok, as well as the needle type, then make sure the needle is seated thoroughly; if not, reinsert it perfectly. 

9. Presser Foot Not Installed Correctly

Presser is the main component that holds the fabrics flat and in place for sewing. However, when it is not installed the way it needs to be, then it will shift the materials, and as a result, the sewing machine will jam. 

How To Resolve This Issue?

  • Unthread your sewing machine. 
  • Check the presser foot and install it accurately according to the User’s Manual. 

10. Sewing Too Thick Fabrics

The sewing machine will jam when you place too thick or multiple layers of fabric under the presser foot. Because this way, the presser foot will be free and have more pressure on materials. As a result, it will be blocked; this way, the sewing machine will not sew. And make sure you use the right type of presser foot according to the fabrics. 

How To Resolve This Issue?

  • Don’t use multiple layers of fabrics if your sewing machine cannot sew them. 
  • Try to select an industrial sewing machine for extra thicker fabrics. 
  • If possible, adjust the presser foot height according to the materials’ thickness. 


So this brings us to the end of the article, why does my sewing machine keep jamming? I hope you have read the above 10 points and solutions for better understanding. 

You must know the exact problem, as I explained the solution to everyone separately. Take a few minutes to read all points in this article, and you will be able to get the most out of it. 


Frequently Asked Questions 

Why does my sewing machine keep bunching the thread?

It happens when you don’t thread the upper thread accurately, according to the Company’s User Manual. Because this way, the thread may lose or sometimes trap in the internal mechanism and make a bunch there.

How to fix a jammed sewing machine?

To fix your blocked sewing machine simply at home, you must clean it thoroughly from all dust, dirt, lint, etc. Check the feed dog, adjust the thread tension, always use top-of-the-line thread, change faulty needles, and ensure you use the right machine according to the fabrics.

What does it mean when a sewing machine gets jammed?

Sewing machine jamming means not working on it for many reasons, such as bent needles, uneven tension, wrong threading, lint accumulation in the bobbin and feed dog area, and much more.