How to Troubleshoot a Bobbin Singer Machine

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Things You'll Need

  • Thread

  • Scissors

Most bobbin problems are relatively quick and easy to fix.

Singer started making sewing machines in 1851 and is widely known as a maker of affordable quality sewing machines. While Singer machines are easy to use, you will, sometime in your sewing career, encounter a tangled bobbin. A tangled bobbin can cause even the easiest project to come to a complete halt. There are many reasons a bobbin can turn into the dreaded "bird's nest," but almost all bobbin troubles, while frustrating, are fairly quick and simple to fix.

Step 1

Turn off your sewing machine. Remove the needle plate, which is directly below the needle. Remove the bobbin and check that it is wound properly. A wound bobbin should have the thread smoothly wound around the inner tube of the bobbin with no lumps, knots or tangles. If your bobbin has any of these issues, remove the thread from the bobbin and rewind, according to manufacturer's instructions.

Step 2

Check the position of your bobbin in the bobbin case. The bobbin should lay flat inside the bobbin case, with the thread wound counter-clockwise. The tail of the bobbin thread should be pulled from the left, around the hook on the bottom right of the bobbin case. Very often, the thread is wound in a clockwise direction, which doesn't provide the level of resistance needed to ensure good bobbin tension.

Step 3

Re-thread the top thread spool. Thread can get caught in the slit on the top of the actual spool of thread, stopping the thread in its tracks and causing a jam in the bobbin case. To re-thread the top spool, gently remove the thread from the spool pin, pulling it off and to the right. Unwind the thread once around the spool, then put it back on the spool pin, making sure that the slit in the top of the thread spool is on the bottom of the spool pin. Make sure the machine is completely threaded according to manufacturer's instructions.

Step 4

Rewind your bobbin with a higher quality thread. Some threads aren't strong to withstand being used on sewing machines, or the thread may be old and easily broken. Weak thread breaks easily, causing a messy "bird's nest" in the bobbin. Rewinding your bobbin with a mercerized cotton thread or a polyester/cotton blend improves the chances of problem-free sewing. Make sure you use the same thread on the bobbin as you use on your spool pin.

Step 5

Change your needle. A needle that is bent even slightly or that isn't sharp enough won't catch the bobbin thread with the precision needed in order to make a stitch and can cause a serious bobbin jam. Make sure you are using a needle that is the appropriate size for the fabric and thread you are using.


Always turn off your sewing machine when removing or inserting the bobbin.