sewing machine not picking up bobbin thread

Your Sewing Machine Not Picking Up Bobbin Thread, Here’s What You Can Do

While sewing in a good mood and comfortable way, suddenly your sewing machine not picking up bobbin thread? This may be because your machine doesn’t catch the bobbin thread; it may be due to the poor working of some parts, like maybe they are not working properly together.

You might encounter issues like hook timing problems, dull needles, incorrect thread tension, or using too thick fabric for your needle. Check the needle, timing, and thread tension.

Also, consider if your fabric and needle match up well. Sometimes, a simple clean and some oil can do wonders too.

But don’t worry; there are various reasons why the Singer sewing machine not picking up the bobbin thread. In this guide, you will go through troubleshooting it step by step.

Why is Your Sewing Machine Not Picking Up Bobbin Thread? Top 4 Causes and Its Solutions

1- Troubleshooting Upper Thread

When you’re threading your machine, you have to watch out because sometimes your sewing machine not picking up thread from your Singer machine.

You can’t pass the thread through the tension disks if the presser foot isn’t up. That can mess things up. Wrapping up the thread around the take-up lever accidentally can cause troubleshooting of the upper thread in the bobbin.

If you do, it tightens the thread and stops the needle from moving. Don’t let the thread get knotted around the needle. If it does, the needle won’t work smoothly.

If the bobbin isn’t threaded correctly, that causes trouble too. It can make the thread bunch up or not feed smoothly.


  • Before threading your machine, always raise the presser foot. This allows the thread to properly pass through the tension disks without causing issues.
  • Be mindful not to accidentally wrap the thread around the take-up lever. This can cause tension problems, hindering the needle’s movement.
  • Thread the needle from the front to the back, ensuring the thread doesn’t get knotted around the needle. This prevents interruptions in smooth needle movement and stitching.

2- Bobbin Case Installation Issue

Make sure you’ve inserted the needle correctly; sometimes it needs to go in a particular direction, depending on your sewing machine. Refer to your manual if you’re not sure.

On the bobbin thread, it must be properly wound and pulled under pressure. The bobbin you are using should be of the appropriate size for your sewing machine.

Remember, not all bobbins are universal. Even small scratches or dents in these areas can cause the thread to get stuck. If your needle hits the plate and leaves a mark, it might catch on the thread.

Using the wrong type of bobbin can cause fitting issues or malfunction. Additionally, if the bobbin case isn’t installed correctly, it can lead to tangled threads or improper feeding.


  • Refer to your manual to ensure proper bobbin insertion. Each sewing machine may have specific guidelines.
  • Wind the thread evenly on the bobbin and ensure it’s pulled under the pressure.
  • Ensure you’re using the right size and type of bobbin recommended for your machine.
  • Using an incorrect type or size can lead to fitting problems and machine malfunctions.

3- Poorly Installed And Damage Needle Issue

Sometimes, your Singer sewing machine does not pick up bobbin thread because, when you insert the needle, ensure you push it as high as it can go into the needle housing.

Check that the flat side of the needle is facing the back and that it isn’t twisted. You also need to check if your needle is bent. Look at it from the side and see if there’s any bend.

If there is, replace the needle. If the needle isn’t inserted properly, it can lead to the thread breaking or not feeding correctly.

To draw up the bobbin thread, turn the hand wheel toward you while lightly holding the needle thread. Use something to pull this loop up and guide both threads (top and bobbin) under the foot and toward the back of your machine.

Therefore, if you’ve tried everything and the machine still doesn’t work, seeking professional help for timing issues might be necessary.


  • Ensure the needle is pushed as high as possible into the needle housing.
  • Correct insertion prevents thread breakage and feeding problems.
  • Periodically inspect the needle for any bends.

4- Fabric Troubleshooting

When you sew through really thick stuff like fat quilts or folded seams on jeans, the needle has a tough time, which may be the reason why your sewing machine is not picking up the bobbin thread.

It can’t move through those dense fabrics fast enough to catch the bobbin in time. Sometimes, the fabric is so thick that it completely stops the needle from going through, making it skip stitches or miss the bobbin thread because of all the extra rubbing.

This happens mainly because these fabrics are super dense and hard for the needle to push through smoothly. The needle struggles to get to the bobbin thread while dealing with the extra thickness and resistance of these materials.


  • Use the appropriate needle for thick fabrics on the back to aid in catching the bobbin thread.
  • When dealing with thick fabric, try sewing slowly by hand to navigate through the dense areas before using the pedal again.
  • Consider using a walking foot, especially for heavy projects, to help the fabric move evenly under the needle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is bobbin thread not being picked up by my sewing machine?

A small amount of bend in the needle might cause the top thread to miss the bobbin thread when the machine is turned on, but not enough to shatter it. It is possible that the thread is not being picked up because the bobbin is positioned incorrectly or because there is dirt inside the bobbin casing.

Why is bobbin thread not being picked by the singer machine?

A needle that’s not sharp can’t pick up the bobbin thread in your Singer sewing machine. So, the first thing to do is check if the needle is sharp. If it’s not, change it for a new one or get a new set. Then, follow the instructions from the maker to thread the machine.

How can I tell if my bobbin tension is right?

If it’s too loose, there might be loops on the top, and the thread from the spool might show underneath. If it’s too tight, the fabric might gather, and you might see the bobbin thread on the top side.


If your sewing machine not picking up bobbin thread, it could be due to numerous concerns, but there’s a repair for each problem.

First, check if the upper thread is correctly passing over the tension disks by confirming the presser foot is up and avoiding accidental wrapping around the take-up lever.

Secondly, focus on the bobbin case installation, ensuring correct insertion, even winding, and using the right size and type of bobbin.

Thirdly, inspect and install the needle correctly to avoid feeding issues or breakage. Lastly, consider the fabric you’re sewing; thick materials can challenge the needle’s movement.

To solve this, use appropriate needles, sew slowly through thick areas, and consider a walking foot for even fabric movement.

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