singer sewing machine bobbin winding problems

Singer Sewing Machine Bobbin Winding Problems: A Troubleshooting Guide

Have you ever struggled to wind a bobbin on your Singer sewing machine? Dealing with tangled threads, uneven winding, or a winder that won’t turn can be incredibly frustrating. But don’t despair! Many common bobbin winding issues on Singer sewing machines can be fixed with some simple troubleshooting.

Read on to learn about the most frequent problems people encounter when winding bobbins on Singer machines. We’ll discuss possible causes and solutions so you can get your bobbin winding back on track. Proper bobbin winding is essential for smooth sewing and preventing pesky thread jams. Let’s get winding!

Common Bobbin Winding Issues on Singer Sewing Machines

Singer machines are known for reliability, but any mechanical device can experience issues from time to time. Here are some of the most common bobbin winding problems on Singer sewing machines, along with tips to get winding properly again:

Bobbin Winder Not Working

If the bobbin winder mechanism isn’t turning at all when you engage it, there could be a few culprits to check:

  • Bobbin winder spindle or shaft may be stuck or stiff. Try applying a small drop of sewing machine oil to loosen.
  • Buildup of lint or debris in bobbin winder area. Carefully clean with small brush.
  • Bobbin winder tire worn out. Replacements are inexpensive and easy to install.
  • Broken bobbin winder spring. This specialty spring helps turn the mechanism. May need replacement by technician.
  • Hand wheel or balance wheel not moving freely. Try loosening with oil if sticky.

Bobbin Not Winding Correctly

Are your bobbins winding unevenly, overly loose, or way too tight? There are a few adjustments to try:

  • Improper threading. Refer to manual as each Singer model threads slightly differently.
  • Incorrect bobbin tension. The tension spring in the bobbin case may need adjusted.
  • Poor technique when winding. Wind moderately fast and slide wound bobbin off evenly.
  • Tension discs need cleaning. Use small brush to remove lint buildup on discs.

Thread Jams in Bobbin Area

Thread Jams in Bobbin Area
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It’s super annoying when thread jams under the bobbin winder or gets caught in other areas. To prevent this:

  • Make sure you engage the bobbin winding mode correctly per manual.
  • Clip thread tail to 2-3 inches after securing through guides.
  • Wind at a moderate, consistent speed. Stop to re-thread if needed.
  • Keep area clean of dust and lint which can snag thread.

Incorrect Bobbin Tension

Uneven stitching, looping, or loose thread are signs your bobbin tension may be off. To adjust:

  • Test by holding bobbin case upright with thread coming out. Bobbin shouldn’t unwind if tension set right.
  • Locate small screw on bobbin case. Turn screw SLOWLY clockwise to tighten, counter-clockwise to loosen. Test after each small adjustment.

Tips for Smooth Bobbin Winding

Follow these tips whenever winding bobbins to help avoid issues:

  • Refer to your machine’s manual for how to thread properly for winding. Different models vary.
  • Always make sure the hand wheel is to the far right before engaging winding mechanism. This ensures proper winding.
  • Choose the right needle, thread weight, and fabric combo to prevent jams or breakage.
  • Wind bobbins at a moderate, consistent speed. Stop to re-thread if needed.
  • Keep bobbin winder parts oiled regularly per manual. A drop on the spindle prevents sticking.
  • Slide wound bobbins off winder slowly and evenly to maintain uniform tension.
  • Replace bobbin winder tire if worn. Inexpensive and improves winding.

When to Take Your Machine for Repair

Try basic troubleshooting yourself first since many issues can be easily fixed at home. But if problems persist, it may be time for professional service.

Signs it’s time for repair:

  • Bobbin winder components damaged or badly worn. Replacement parts may be needed.
  • Tension issues not resolved with bobbin case adjustment.
  • Thorough cleaning didn’t fix chronic lint buildup.
  • No obvious cause of malfunction can be found. Internal part may be broken.

Consult your owner’s manual for Singer’s warranty policy. Many offer free repair within the first year. Singer sewing centers can service most models. Independent shops are another trusted option.


Why does my Singer bobbin winder stop turning suddenly?

If your bobbin winder stops in the middle of winding, it might be because of the accumulation of lint in the mechanism, a belt that has slipped, or the need for replacement of the winder tire. First, try cleaning lint from the bobbin area. If it still won’t turn, it likely needs a repair service.

Why is my Singer sewing machine bobbin winding uneven?

Uneven bobbin winding is typically caused by poor winding technique, improper threading, or bobbin tension being too loose/tight. Make sure you’re threading the machine correctly and winding the bobbin at a moderate, consistent speed. It is possible to improve the situation by modifying the tension screw on the bobbin case.

Why does my thread keep jamming under the Singer bobbin winder?

Thread jams under the winder are often due to letting too much thread tail hang loose, winding at an erratic speed, or lint/dust buildup. Clip tails to 2-3 inches, wind smoothly at a medium speed, and keep the bobbin area clean. Engaging the winder properly per manual can prevent jams too.

How do I adjust the bobbin tension on my Singer sewing machine?

Locate the small screw on the side of the bobbin case. Turn this screw SLOWLY a little clockwise to tighten tension or counter-clockwise to loosen it. Test after each small adjustment by holding the bobbin case upright – the bobbin shouldn’t unwind if set correctly.

Should I oil my Singer sewing machine’s bobbin winder?

Yes, applying a tiny drop of sewing machine oil on the bobbin winder spindle can help prevent sticking and allow it to turn smoothly. Refer to your machine’s manual for oiling recommendations. Avoid over-oiling as this can attract more lint.


Winding a bobbin is something every Singer sewing machine owner will need to do regularly. While it may seem straightforward, issues can pop up from time to time. We covered the most common bobbin winding problems on Singer machines and tips to troubleshoot and resolve them.

With a better understanding of what can go wrong and how to fix it, you can get your Singer back to smoothly winding perfect bobbins. Taking preventive steps like regular cleaning and oiling will also minimize winding headaches. Don’t let bobbin problems stop your sewing – you’ve got this!

Have these tips helped you troubleshoot bobbin winding on your Singer? Let us know in the comments if you have any other issues or solutions to share!


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Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
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