common janome sewing machine bobbin problems and solutions

Common Janome Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems and Solutions

Are you struggling with pesky bobbin issues on your Janome sewing machine that are leading to uneven stitches, looping, or thread breakage? Many sewing enthusiasts run into problems with tension, threading, skipping stitches, and lint buildup causing frustrating jams and sewing hiccups. Read on for troubleshooting tips to get your Janome back to smoothly gliding through sewing projects.

Bobbin Tension Problems

One of the most common causes of stitches that appear uneven or loopy is incorrect bobbin tension. The tension needs to be balanced between the top thread and the bobbin thread for the locking stitch mechanism to work properly. Here are some signs you may have a bobbin tension problem:

  • The stitches look good on top, but there are loops of thread on the underside
  • There is excessive looping of thread on top of the fabric
  • The fabrics puckers or gathers unevenly

Using the wrong bobbin case for your particular Janome model can throw off the tension balance. As time goes by, the accumulation of lint and other debris can occur inside the bobbin case, which can lead to tension problems and other issues. Damage like cracks or burrs in the metal bobbin case components can also prevent proper tensioning.

To remedy bobbin tension problems, start by removing the bobbin case and using a lint brush and compressed air to thoroughly clean the bobbin area. Closely inspect your bobbin case for damage. To ensure that you are using the appropriate bobbin for your particular sewing machine model, please consult your manual. The case may say “J” or have a blue dot on it. Adjusting the small tension screw on the side can help fine-tune the tension, but best practice is to have the tension set at the factory default setting.

Improper Threading

improper threading
Photo Credit: Pexels

Another common culprit behind sewing frustration is improper threading. It can be tempting to skip glancing at the threading diagram when you thread up, especially if you’ve used the machine many times before. However, the threading path is very precise on modern computerized sewing machines, so even veteran sewers can miss a guide or have the thread too loose or too tight.

Issues caused by improper threading include:

  • Frequent thread breakage
  • Tension that is too tight or too loose
  • Thread jamming into the needle area

Be sure to check the following when threading your Janome sewing machine:

  • Follow the threading diagram step-by-step, ensuring the thread goes through each numbered guide
  • Pull the thread taut between each guide to minimize drifting as the thread feeds
  • Don’t miss the thread guide right above where the needle gets inserted
  • Check for any stray loose threads that have slipped out of the guides

Taking the time to slowly thread the Janome correctly can save lots of headaches!

Skipped Stitches

Hearing the rat-a-tat-tat sound of your needle missing stitches can make your heart sink! Skipped stitches typically occur when the needle isn’t forming a loop for the bobbin thread to interlock with each time it punches through the fabric. Here are some common culprits behind skipped Janome stitches:

  • The needle is bent, dull, or installed incorrectly
  • The needle size isn’t suited for the fabric thickness
  • The needle tip doesn’t align centered with the needle hole in the needle plate

An easy fix is to change out the needle. Use a fresh, sharp needle and make sure it is fully inserted into the needle clamp with the flat side facing toward the back. Choose needles sized with your project’s fabric weight and type in mind. Match large, thick needles for denim and small, fine needles for silk, for example. You may need a specialty needle like a stretch, micro text, or ballpoint needle to prevent skips in temperamental fabric.

Damage from Debris and Lint

damage from debris and lint
Photo credit: Pixabay

Friction and jams from built-up lint and threads are another nuisance bobbin issue with Janomes. Sewing machine parts like the hook race and take-up lever are precisely engineered and moving rapidly, so debris can easily cause malfunctions. Lint and bits of thread stuck in mechanisms will lead to uneven fabric feeding, dull needles from friction heat, and threads breaking frequently from snagging on debris.

Here’s how to tackle typical debris issues:

  • Use a lint brush or compressed air to clean around the feed dogs and bobbin case area frequently.
  • Sew a few stitches through folded low-tack masking tape to pull out lint through the needle plate.
  • If threads keep breaking, watch the needle area closely while sewing to see if built-up lint is visible interfering with threads.

Staying vigilant in cleaning out your Janome bobbin area and upper threading paths will prevent many headaches!

FAQ

Why does my Janome sewing machine make a loud clanking noise when the bobbin area is threaded correctly?

This loud noise usually indicates damage or wear to the hook race or bobbin case that is causing the assembly to move irregularly. The hook race may have nicks or grooves causing the noise when the bobbin case rotates at high speeds. Try replacing the bobbin case or having a repair technician examine and replace any damaged parts in the bobbin system.

I am suddenly getting knots and thread jams on the bottom of my project, even though the top stitches look fine. What should I check?

Knots and thread build-up happening only on the underside are usually a sign your bobbin tension needs adjustment or your bobbin case needs to be cleaned. Remove the bobbin case and check for any lint obstruction near the tension spring. Clean thoroughly with a brush and reinsert.

You can try gently turning the small screw on the bobbin case to increase or decrease the tension.

Why am I suddenly getting looping on the top threads with my Janome even though I’m threading correctly?

Looping and poor stitch formation on the top threads are typically caused by the top thread tension being too loose. First, rule out any debris or damage issues around the take-up lever, tension discs, and upper thread guides by inspecting and cleaning around moving components.

Then check your machine’s thread tension settings. Consulting your manual on optimal tension settings can provide guidance on adjusting tension dials or buttons.

Why am I suddenly getting looping on the top threads with my Janome even though I’m threading correctly?

Looping and poor stitch formation on the top threads are typically caused by the top thread tension being too loose. First, rule out any debris or damage issues around the take-up lever, tension discs, and upper thread guides by inspecting and cleaning around moving components.
Then check your machine’s thread tension settings. Consulting your manual on optimal tension settings can provide guidance on adjusting tension dials or buttons.

What common issues cause skipped stitches with a Janome sewing machine?

The main culprits behind skipped stitch issues on Janomes are using an improper needle type or size, a damaged or improperly inserted needle, buildup of lint in bobbin and needle plate areas, poor needle alignment due to hitting a pin or obstruction, and low bobbin thread. Always start by changing the needle and cleaning all threading paths and moving components.

How can I prevent repeated thread breakage with my Janome bobbin system?

Frequent thread breakage is highly indicative of friction and snagging somewhere in the bobbin assembly or upper threading path. Scrutinize each thread guide while slowly pulling the thread through by hand, feeling for snags.
Examine the area around the take-up lever, tension assembly, and automatic thread cutter for any debris or damage. Replace any defective parts and apply lubricant before sewing if friction is the issue.

Conclusion

Do bobbin issues like uneven tension, thread jams, and skipped stitches have you feeling frustrated with your Janome sewing machine? Now that you know what typically causes problems in key areas like bobbin tension balance, threading paths, needle quality, and lint debris, be empowered to troubleshoot and fix your own machine hiccups quickly. Keep this guide handy so you can keep your Janome purring through yards and yards of your creative sewing projects!

What bobbin problems have you encountered with your Janome that drive you batty? Share your machine’s pesky habits so other sewers can learn how to tame tension troubles and other misbehaving bobbin issues!

***

Main image: Pexels

Craftsing
Craftsing
Articles: 21

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *