Sewing Machine Is Not Picking Up Bobbin Thread

If your sewing machine isn’t picking up the bobbin thread, it can be incredibly frustrating. But don’t worry: there are plenty of simple solutions that’ll help you get back on track in no time.

Here’s How To Fix Sewing Machine Is Not Picking Up Bobbin Thread

Let’s begin!

Bobbin’s Case is in The Wrong Direction.

The first thing you want to make sure of is that the bobbin case is in the wrong direction. The thread should be coming out of the top of the bobbin case, not from underneath it. If you have turned your machine around and threaded it correctly (which means with your needle facing away from you), but nothing is happening when you try to sew, then this could be why!

Bobbin’s Tension is Off.

It’s important to keep your bobbin tension set properly. If it’s too loose, then the thread won’t grab onto the fabric and you’ll have a mess on your hands. If it’s too tight, then an uneven seam will result in an unsightly stitch line that can’t be fixed by any amount of ironing or pressing.

To make sure your bobbin tension is correct, follow these steps:

  • Open up your sewing machine manual and look for instructions on how to adjust it (or watch this video). Each machine is different so consult your user manual if you’re unsure about what to do next!
  • Test out each setting until you find one that works best for you. Once you’ve found one that works well enough, mark down what number was used so that next time around it will be easier to find again!

The Thread isn’t Threaded Correctly.

If your sewing machine is not picking up the bobbin thread, it may be because you did not properly thread the bobbin before attempting to sew. To ensure that this won’t happen again, follow these steps:

  • Thread the needle before you thread the bobbin. The thread should be threaded in the same direction as it would go if you were sewing with one hand and holding the second piece of fabric with your other hand (the left).
  • To do this, make sure that when you pull out a length of thread from your spool, it exits from underneath rather than over top (see image).
  • This ensures that when it enters the needle’s eyelet hole (from the bottom), there is no chance of tangling or knotting up with another length coming from above. If this happens anyway because your technique needs work—don’t worry! Just keep practicing until things are smooth and flowing correctly for both hands simultaneously.

The Feed Dogs are Off.

Sometimes the feed dogs are not aligned correctly and the fabric is not moving under the needle properly. This can be fixed by lifting up one side of your sewing machine to move the fabric plate so that it aligns with the needle plate. The feed dogs will then be in alignment and you’ll be able to sew!

The Machine isn’t Threaded Properly.

If you’ve checked for the above, and your needle threader is still not working, then it’s likely that something else is wrong.

The most common cause of this problem is a damaged needle or bent needle. The first thing to do if you have a broken or bent needle is to replace it with another from your sewing box and see if that helps.

If the new one works properly but then breaks after several uses, then there may be an issue with the machine itself—you’ll want to check for any damage on your bobbin area (see below).

The Bobbin Case is Full of Lint (The Most Common Cause of This Problem).

You can fix this issue by cleaning the bobbin case and the bobbin. These machines don’t come with an automatic thread cutter that cuts off the excess thread after each stitch, so you need to manually cut it with scissors or something sharp.

  • Remove the needle plate from your machine so you can see the inside of it more easily. You’ll probably need a screwdriver for this step (unless your machine has something else similar), but if you’re not sure how to do this, check out our article on how to remove the needle plate on a sewing machine for help!
  • Inspect your bobbin holder frame for lint build-up and use a vacuum cleaner attachment if necessary—buzzing around at high speed will suck out any dust bunnies lurking in there!

You should visit the official forums, USA Brother, and Support Brother.

Why Won’t My Sewing Needle Catch The Bobbin Thread?

You’ll want to check that your needle is:

  • Sharp enough. A dull or damaged needle will not catch the bobbin thread, so make sure you’ve got a good-quality one in there. It’s also possible that you’ve bent it out of shape (it happens!) so try straightening it with your fingers before trying again.
  • In the right position for picking up the bobbin thread. If it’s too far away from your fabric, then this can make it difficult for the needle to catch onto any threads – so check that yours is close enough by gently tugging on its shank until you feel some resistance and then letting go again if necessary. This should be all that’s needed!
  • Threaded properly with both ends coming towards each other instead of one facing away from another side of the machine as they do when sewing normally.

Check These Tips to Fix Some Common Machine Problems

You can fix many common machine problems by following these tips:

  • The most common cause of thread not picking up is the bobbin being in the wrong direction. You may have accidentally turned it around or put it upside down, so make sure you’re loading it correctly (with 3-4 threads).
  • If your machine is still not picking up the bobbin thread after you’ve made sure it’s loaded correctly, check that the tension is set properly (it should be between 4 and 6). Also, check to see if there are any threads hanging out from under the back cover; these could be preventing proper tension setting.
  • If you’re still having trouble getting your machine to pick up bobbin thread, look at how you’ve threaded your needle. Make sure that your thread goes through both holes on each side where it attaches to the needle bar (you should also clean off any burrs from this area). If all else fails, try putting a drop of oil on top of where your needle attaches to help lubricate things so they run smoothly again!


I hope this article helped you understand the problem with your sewing machine, and how to fix it. If you still have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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