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Why Did My Sewing Machine Lock Up? Find Out Here!

Sewing machines are prone to jamming as a result of threading problems and needle breakage. To clear a jam, turn off the machine and remove any excess pieces of fabric.

Be sure to check the needle to see if it’s bent, and if so, replace it with a new needle. Sewing machines often lock up because the needle thread has become tangled.

If you have a sewing machine that has started to get hard to use and is often locking up, it is possible that the needle has become bent.

If your sewing machine started making weird noises and acting erratically, it’s possible that the gears in the machine have locked up. You can try sewing something simple, like a long, straight line or a few back-and-forth zigzags.

If the machine sews the same line or zigzag several times without locking up, the problem is with the material. If the machine locks up again while sewing something simple, the problem is the machine.

What to do when your sewing machine locks up

Your sewing machine could be locking up if it’s not moving when you try to sew. This could be caused by a number of issues. The first thing to try is to follow the steps in your manual to free the machine’s needles.

If you don’t have the manual, some machines have a position you can switch to while the needles are raised that will make it easier to move the arm, and you can use a bar of soap to lubricate the machine so it moves more smoothly.

Below are other ways to troubleshoot’s the problems.

Check if the thread is tangled

A regular check of the bobbin case will help to keep your machine running well and your stitches even. You can check the bobbin case for tangling by removing the bobbin case and holding it up to the light.

Check your thread for tangling by pushing the handwheel toward the right. If you see any loops or tangles, the area is too tight. Tighten the bobbin case.

Check if the bobbin is full

A bobbin that is full of thread cannot thread correctly or evenly. To check the bobbin for thread, remove the bobbin and look inside. If it is full, you will need to remove the excess.

Take the bobbin out and look inside. If the holes are not visible, then it is full. If the holes are visible, then it is not full.

Turn the machine off and on again

You’ve probably never heard of this phrase, but it’s a very common instruction that technicians routinely use when a machine stops working properly.

To fix the sewing machine lock up you should try turning the machine off and on again to get it going again.

Ways to prevent sewing machine lock up

There exists several ways to prevent sewing machine lock up. Typically sewing machine lock-up occurs if you are using the wrong needle.

Also if you are using a thin thread on a thick fabric the thread may get caught in the tension discs and the machine will lock up. Below are a few things to try to prevent your sewing machine from locking up.

1. Make sure the needles are not clogged

The needles should be cleaned or replace if you experience skipped stitches or hard to push down the fabric or if you see broken needles. The needles should also be cleaned when you see residue on them or if they are bent or rust.

2. Make sure the machine isn’t overloaded

To make sure the machine isn’t overloaded to prevent sewing machine lock up, you need to set the machine to a lower stitch length. However, if the machine will be running for long periods of time, you need to make sure the machine has enough lubricant.

3. Make sure the presser foot isn’t stuck

If the presser foot is stuck to the fabric, make sure to lift it off before starting the sewing machine. Make sure the needle plate is in place and the presser foot is not stuck in the throat.  Reverse sewing creates a lockup.

4. Make sure you know how to use the machine

You should always remember to lower the needle arm before disengaging the power of the machine. In order to prevent the machine from locking up, you should make sure that your machine’s bobbin and needle are set up correctly.

You also should make sure that the needle is not bent, and all the machine’s accessories and attachments are secured properly.

5. Cleaning your sewing machine

The best way to clean your sewing machine is to use a lubricant on a regular basis. The best type of lubricant is sewing machine oil.

6. Using the correct needle type

A wrong needle type can cause your machine to lock up when you are sewing. You should use the needle type specifically made for your machine.

7. Tighten the bobbin tension.

The tension of the bobbin can be adjusted so that the thread does not wrap around the bobbin case. This can be accomplished by grasping the bobbin tension adjuster, moving the bobbin tension to the desired level, and releasing the tension adjuster.

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.View Author posts

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