Sewing Machine is Not Moving or Feeding Fabric? Easy Solution

The sewing machine is not moving or feeding fabric, and you can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s clogged with lint, or the needle has a problem. If this happens after every stitch is sewn, then maybe the tension knob is set too tight, or perhaps some of your stitches are too long (especially in a vertical seam). But if this happens occasionally, another cause for concern may be broken parts on your machine!

The Fabric You Are Using May Be Too Thick

You may have a fabric that is too thick to feed through your sewing machine. The fabric can cause the needle to slow down or even jam up, making it difficult to move and provide the fabric. You can use a thinner material layer to fix this problem when doing your project.

Alternatively, if you are using an adjustable sewing machine (like embroidery or serger), try adjusting the tension on either side so that there is more space between each stitch.

Reset the Stitch Length to Between 2 and 3.

If you use a machine with an adjustable stitch length, try resetting it to 2 and 3. This will make each stitch longer, giving the needle more time to move around and feed the fabric.

If your machine has different settings for straight and zigzag stitches, try changing over to consecutive stitches instead of zigzag ones. Straight stitches are faster than zigzags because they don’t need as many steps to complete a stitch.

Lower the Presser Foot.

The first thing you should do is check the presser foot’s height. The presser foot should be lowered to the correct level so that it neither touches nor rests on the fabric.

If it does not touch, then raise it up until it does. If it rests on top of your fabric, instead of handling each side evenly (as shown in this image), adjust your machine by lowering or raising the feed dogs closer to their center position.

If your machine has a dial that allows you to adjust the presser foot height, then simply turn it until you see that both sides of the fabric are equally pressed down by the feet. If your machine does not have this feature, use a screwdriver or other tool to move the feed dogs closer to their center position.

The Feed Dogs Are Down.

If the feed dogs are down, you’ll need to raise them. This can be done by lifting up the left side of your machine and pulling it up until you see a little lever (called a “feed dog” in this context) sticking out from underneath it.

This lever will be the one that you pull up to raise the feed dogs. You want to ensure enough room between them and the needle, so they don’t get caught on each other when they’re moving at different speeds while stitching.

Sewing Machine Is Not Threaded Correctly.

If your sewing machine is not threaded correctly, it could cause issues with tension. To fix this problem, you must ensure that the thread goes through the suitable holes in your machine and that it’s looped around the needle correctly before tightening everything down.

The sewing Machine Is Not Properly Aligned. If your sewing machine is not aligned correctly, it could cause issues with tension. To fix this problem, you’ll need to use a thread spool to tighten the tension discs on each side of the machine until they are evenly spaced apart from each other.

Check To See If the Thread Is Tangled.

The first thing to check is that the thread isn’t caught on something. If you can see it, then remove it and try again. If there is no visible problem and your machine is still not moving or feeding fabric, then move on to the next step:

  • Check that your bobbin winder isn’t tangled up with other threads. This can happen when you are winding too many bobbins at once or if you have a lot of different types of threads in one bobbin winder (like floss). Make sure all the bobbins are evenly spaced throughout their length so they don’t get caught up with each other as they spin around inside their holder!
  • Check whether there’s something wrong with either hook on your machine’s feed dog assembly (the part between the needle plate and carriage). Look carefully at how smooth/rough these parts look; if there are minor scratches or dents, this could cause issues later down the line when trying to sew correctly.

Your Thread Tension Is Too Tight.

If you are having trouble with your machine, the most common problem is thread tension. Thread tension is the amount of pressure that the thread exerts on the fabric as it feeds through a sewing machine. If this tension is too tight or loose, your machine won’t sew properly and may even cause damage to itself (or other parts).

You can solve this problem by adjusting your machine’s tension settings. To do this, turn on the sewing machine and place it in a free-motion mode (if available).

Then lift up the needle until it stops moving; measure how many threads hold it up by counting how many times you can wrap around the needle before stopping. If there are more than two or three wraps around the needle, adjust your thread tension so that there are only one or two wraps around the needle.

Wrong Needles Are the Primary Cause.

Needles are the most common cause of sewing machine problems. If your needle is bent, it can cause the fabric to stick to itself and create a fraying effect. If your needle is dull, it will not penetrate the material as deeply as it would otherwise. If your needle has been damaged or needs replacing (e.g., broken tip), do so immediately!

The size of your needles should also be considered when replacing them: often times only one size will fit through an opening on different fabrics; if you have multiple types of fabric but none that match up directly with each other, then consider purchasing an extra set just in case something goes wrong with any specific project later down the road.

Throat Plate & Screws

Make Sure That the Throat Plate is Attached and the Screws Are Tightened Firmly! The throat plate is a piece of metal that covers the hole in your machine where you feed your fabric. It helps keep the needle from getting damaged by covering it when it’s not in use. If this plate is loose or missing, your needle will be exposed at all times and more likely to break or get stuck!

Suppose you have a machine that has a lot of accessories and features. In that case, you will likely need to purchase some additional attachments. Some of these are optional, and some are not. For example, suppose your sewing machine doesn’t come with an automatic buttonhole facility. In that case, you may wish to purchase one at some point in the future.


Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand the most common problem that causes your sewing machine not to move or feed fabric. If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment, then please do so below. You can also contact us if you need help with your sewing machine.

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