Posted by Russell Moore on Jun 6th 2016

Thread Jams

I am constantly struggling with thread locks and thread jammed in my needle plate. Is my machine broken or am I doing something wrong?

Customer’s call regularly complaining about thread and fabric being stuck and/or jammed into the needle plate hole. Before throwing out the baby with the bath water, let’s resolve the jam by removing the fabric. First, depending on the type of bobbin case your machine uses: in the case of a 15 Class hook system (one with the bobbin case you install into the hook through a little compartment door in front of the machine), you’ll want to remove the bobbin case, hook cover and hook. These pieces go back together like pieces of a puzzle and you’ll need to perform this operation when oiling your machine too. Removing the needle plate may be necessary if you want to remove the fabric without damaging it.

With a top loading bobbin, first trim your threads, raise and remove the presser foot, remove the needle plate, and this should give you access for removing the fabric and removing any thread lock.

Most common thread lock can be eliminated by turning the hand wheel backward. Try this first. Top loading plastic bobbin cases can be damaged by a thread lock. Resulting burrs and needle punctures will result in thread handling problems and infinite frustration. See your local dealer for a solution.