Our Guide To Fixing A Sewing Machine Needle Hitting A Footplate
If you’ve recently started a sewing project, only to notice that your needle keeps hitting the plate of your machine, you might be stuck on how to fix this problem without having to replace the needle or get the machine professionally seen.
If your sewing machine needle keeps hitting the footplate or needle plate of the sewing machine this could be down to a few common problems which will need troubleshooting such as an incorrect set-up or a bent needle for example.
We’ve composed a short informational guide for you below which will take you through what the needle plates are on a sewing machine (so you can make sure that’s what it is hitting) and some troubleshooting steps to fix the problem.
What Are The Needle Plates On A Sewing Machine?
Before we get into some troubleshooting ideas and solutions for your sewing machine, let’s start with what the needle plates are, so you can ensure this is the part that is causing friction with your needle.
The needle plate of a sewing machine is located under the needle and presser foot on your machine, this is also known as a throat plate on the machine and it can be taken off.
There are a few different types of needle plates such as; a regular needle plate, straight stitch plate and HP needle plate.
How To Fix Your Needle Hitting The Plate On Your Sewing Machine
If your sewing needle on the machine keeps hitting the needle plate cover, then there are lots of troubleshooting you can do to try and fix the problem.
We’ve listed some ideas to help you out below.
The Needle Might Be Bent
If your needle is bent or broken then this is why it might be hitting the needle plate cover on the machine, you will be able to see if the needle is bent if the broken needle is hitting only one side of the plate.
The Needle Screws Might Be Loose
If the screw of your needle is very loose then this might be why the needle is hitting the plate, give it a tighten with a screwdriver and see if this resolves the issue.
There Is Too Much Pressure
Too much pressure on the fabric in your sewing machine might be pulling the needle strike and causing the type of needle plate to get knocked, reduce the pressure and see if this helps.
The Wrong Fabric, Needle Or Thread
Using a combination of the wrong type of fabric, wrong thread or a badly threaded needle can cause problems such as the needle hitting the needle plate, check your needle is the right thickness for your fabric.
Needle Might Not Be Installed Correctly
Make sure the flat spot of the needle is facing the right way on the machine, this way you can ensure the needle is installed properly, installing the needle the wrong way could cause the proper needle plate to have friction with the needle or drop down.
Presser Foot & Stitch Are Not Compatible
You have to make sure you match the presser foot (see how to choose the right foot here) to the stitch, to do this you might need to adjust the stitch width or turn the handwheel counterclockwise to see if it is fixed.
Tension Is Too Tight
If the upper tension of the thread is too tight then this can cause the needle to hit the plate, try changing the tension on the machine to see if this helps the needle to sew properly.
How Long Does A Sewing Machine Needle Last?
One of the biggest reasons why a sewing machine needle is not working properly or damaging a sewing machine could be due to a dull or blunt needle.
In order to keep your needle new and sharp and avoid running into problems when operating your machine we recommend following the rules below.
- Replace your needle after every sewing project, especially if you have been working with heavier fabrics since this takes more toll on the needle.
- When quilting, replace your needle after eight hours of use.
- After using two pre-wound bobbins we suggest replacing your needle.
- After finishing full three bobbins replace the needle.
How To Replace A Sewing Machine Needle
If you have tried all the following troubleshooting ideas above and they haven’t fixed the issue of your needle hitting the needle plate then your needle might just be broken and you will need to replace it.
We’ve listed some steps to replacing your sewing needle below, for this, you will need a needle insertion tool to make your life easier.
- Start by inserting the tip of the needle into your tool then pull it over the top of the needle and loosen the screw with your screwdriver.
- Loosen the screw with your hand until the screw comes out then you can remove the needle.
- Now the needle is removed, insert your needle into your tool, push it as high as it can go, tighten using your fingers than the rest with your screwdriver.
- Make sure you dispose of your needle properly in a pill container since needles can be very sharp and hurt people, do a test fabric and make sure the screws are tight before using your machine on a project.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sewing Machine Needle Hitting The Footplate
How do you take off the needle plate on a sewing machine?
To remove the needle plate from a sewing machine you will use your fingers to slide the needle plate towards you until it comes off.
What size needle do you need for quilting fabrics?
Using the right kind of needle according to the fabric you are sewing is essential if you want your needle to stitch properly and not break, for quilting we suggest using a needle size of 90/14.
How do I match the presser foot and stitch?
Always make sure your presser foot is matched to the kind of stitch you are using, for example, a zig-zag stitch should be matched with a zig-zag foot and so on for quilting.
To conclude, if your sewing machine needle is hitting the footplate of your machine then this is likely due to a bad presser foot and stitch combination, we recommend trying to match both and ensure your using the right kind of needle for your fabric to prevent this from happening.
If your needle is broken or the throat plate is damaged you will then need to remove both and replace them in order to get your machine working properly again, always replace the needle once it gets bent or dull.