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Why Do My Needles Keep Unthreading When Sewing?

It often happens that when the thread tension is not adequate, i. e., the thread’s resistance, it comes out of the needle. But this tension must not only be adequate in the upper thread, but it must also be in the lower thread since these two threads will intertwine right in the middle of the two fabrics. That is why the tension must be the same in both situations.

You may notice that the thread tension is unbalanced when after sewing. When opening the two fabrics, the seam will give you the impression of gaps. It is a clear sign that the stitches are loose.

This is why the correct thread tension must be maintained since it is also usually the cause of the thread coming out of the needle.

On the other hand, sewing machines come with their own spools for a reason, and it helps with the correct leveling of the thread.

This is why you must use a spool of the correct size, which also influences this problem. Then check that the spool is positioned properly and that it turns naturally when you sew.

Check If You Thread the Needle Correctly

Now is the time to check if you have threaded the needle of your sewing machine correctly. All machines are used in different ways, but they are very similar in threading, more than people think. Still, always read the instruction manual.

Follow the steps below to see if you thread the needle correctly:

  1. Make sure the machine is turned off. Just turn off the main switch.
  2. Raise the presser foot lever.
  3. Raise the thread take-up lever to the highest position. For this, you must turn the graduation wheel with your hands.
  4. Place the spool of threads on the spool pin.
  5. Pass the thread through the upper thread guide, then the lower thread guide, and under the right channel in front of the machine.
  6. Feed the thread through the thread tension discs (this step may vary by machine).
  7. Hold the thread on both sides of the disc, proceed to pull to make sure it is in the right place.
  8. Guide the thread through the channel to thread the take-up lever.
  9. Thread the needle from the front and back and pull enough thread.

When Does the Needle Unthread?

How annoying! Spend time making the thread go through the eye of the needle, and when you start to sew, it unthreads itself. Fortunately, there is an easy solution.

Before threading your machine, please make sure the needle is at its highest point. This will help keep the thread from coming off the needle.

You can do this by turning the wheel hand toward you while looking at the needle. Some machines also have an “up / down” function that allows the needle to be raised or lowered automatically to its highest or lowest point.

Now, make sure that you have left enough thread on the other side after having passed the thread through the eye of the needle. We are talking about 10 or 15 cm long.

In case you are in doubt, start by sewing slowly and with one hand, hold the excess thread to ensure that it does not come off at first.

Check If the Needle Installed Correctly

A bent or worn needle can cause problems, ranging from breaking the thread to affecting the stitch tension and from causing the thread to come off the needle to damage the fabric.

It is important to know in what condition the tip of the needle is and its correct installation. In case the needle is bent, you will notice it because it will create knots in the fabric at the time of sewing, as well as, it is usually normal for the thread to come out of the needle.

The needle tends to bend when it is of poor quality, too thin for the fabric, you are using a needle that is not compatible with your machine, or it has been a long time since you last changed it.

It is always recommended to use needles compatible with your machine. To do this, check the instruction manual where the number (size) of the needle you need is also described, including its correct installation.

Check the Thread for Irregularities or Bumps

Many times, when good quality threads are not used, the thread tends to come off the needle, tangle, and even break. It is important to use a thread that is the correct size for the type of needle you are using, and that is new.

If you experience the thread coming off the needle, check its quality. It is advisable to use a polyester thread for synthetic fabrics, a cotton thread for natural fabrics, and a polyester thread for mixed fabrics (polyester + cotton).

Regarding its thickness, keep in mind that you can use a fine thread for delicate fabrics, a standard thread for most fabrics, or a thick thread for details that need resistance.

On the other hand, avoid thread mounted on a foam spool, use plastic or metal to avoid unthreading.

As we mentioned in the step by step for threading the needle, to do it, it should always be done from the front to the back.

This is the correct movement for optimal operation of the machine and to prevent the thread from coming out of the needle. Keep in mind that not all needles have the same hole size so that you can change the needle depending on your need.

On the other hand, there are sewing machines that incorporate an automatic threader. It is a device located next to the needle that makes the thread go through the needle’s eye in one second.

This type of sewing machine is ideal for people with vision problems or hand tremble.

Check If the Footer Is Scratched

Many times, the metal around the eye of the needle is ignored. It often happens that it is damaged, causing the needle to come out.

If this footer is scratched, the thread will likely move when it hits the needle, coming off the needle, especially when you are embroidering since the movements of the needle will change.

Check the footer and try to smooth its surface using a file, and if you can’t, you can directly change it. Remember to use one that is compatible with your machine.

When you do this, use one that is universal as it will fit most sewing jobs. Check that the needle passes smoothly through the footer.

Check If the Bobbin Case Is Clean Enough

You should also check that the bobbin is correctly in place since if inside there are traces of thread, dirt, or even broken needles, this will be in contact with your current needle, causing the thread to come out.

The bobbin case must be as clean as possible since this negatively affects the machine’s operation and will prevent it from doing things correctly.

On the other hand, do not forget that you must use original bobbins since each machine works with its own bobbin, and using the wrong one, also influences the unthreading of the needle.

Always buy the ones that your machine needs and do not use imitations.

What to Do If Nothing Mentioned Above Works?

If you have not solved your problem after applying all the techniques mentioned in this post, it is recommended that a specialist technician review it in more depth and detail.

Many times, it is usually a factory problem. The specialist will know what to do according to the model and brand of the machine.  Ask for a budget before leaving your machine for repair to avoid misunderstandings.


1.Why Does My Thread Keep Coming out of the Take-Up Lever?

It often happens that the type of thread is not suitable, or it is simply very slippery. It also happens that because the thread take-up lever goes up and down, the thread comes out because it is incorrectly positioned in the upper thread path’s spool.

Another cause may be that the sewing machine model is old since they usually have a larger open slot than modern models.

2.Where Is the Thread Take-up Lever?

Following a vertical line, the take-up lever is the one that is located above the sewing machine’s needle. The take-up lever has a downward and upward movement, and its function is to control the needle thread’s output.

3. How Do You Do Lower Threading?

To take the thread from the bobbin case upwards, you have to turn the handwheel towards you with your right hand, and with your left hand, pull the upper thread 20 cm from the needle.

When you see that the needle has entered the machine, it will hook the lower thread and lift it. Once the two threads are up, you must pass them through the presser foot and bring them back.

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