Embroidery Machine Problems and Solutions

Embroidery-Machine-Problems.pngHere are some common problems you may have while using your embroidery machine. This handy guide provides suggestions that may be of some assistance.

  • Have your machine checked and serviced by a qualified mechanic at least once a year
  • Keep the machine clean, change the needle often and use good quality thread
  • Use a dust cover to protect the machine when not in use

Common Problems…

Machine making noises

Problem cause:

  • Machine needs cleaning or oiling
  • Blunt or damanged needle
  • Machine needs servicing

What to do:

  • Clean feed teeth and shuttle areas
  • Insert new needle
  • Check manual for oiling (some machines must be oiled by a qualified service person)
  • Have machine serviced

Problems with metallic threads, thread kinks and twists back on itself

Problem cause:

  • Tension too tight through needle
  • Needle too small
  • Thread feeding incorrectly
  • No spool cap

What to do:

  • Adjust the needle tension
  • Use Metalfil needle with large eye
  • Use a metal thread guide
  • Use a thread net over the spool
  • Turn spool over and/or place spool on a different spool pin

Stitching doesn’t go around the border of the design correctly

Problem cause:

  • Fabric too loose in hoop
  • Hoop too loose in frame
  • Damaged of bent needle

What to do:

  • Tighten fabric in hoop
  • Tighten hoop in frame
  • Insert a new needle

Needle breaks

Problem cause:

  • Needle loose, bent or too small for fabric type
  • Stitch position and presser foot not matched

What to do:

  • Insert new needle and use correct size for fabric
  • Use correct presser foot for stitch type and adjust the needle position accordingly

Upper thread splits and breaks constantly

Problem Cause:

  • Machine not threaded properly
  • Upper tension too tight or thread caught
  • Needle not inserted correctly, damanged or too small for fabric type
  • Burr on hook

What to do:

  • Thread the machine again and/or adjust the tension
  • Check the hook for damage
  • Insert a new needle

Top thread is looped-up at the back of fabric

Problem cause:

  • Tension not correct
  • Machine not threaded correctly
  • Thread not through tension disk
  • Bobbin not inserted correctly

What to do:

  • Adjust the tension
  • Thread the machine again
  • Take out a replace the bobbin

Thread slips out of the needle before beginning to sew

Problem cause:

  • Take-up lever pulls the thread out as it lifts
  • Trimming thread too close to the needle

What to do:

  • Pull thread down and hold as the Take-up lever lifts for the first stitch.

Machine skipping stitches

Problem cause:

  • Damaged, blunt or bent needle
  • Incorrect needle for fabric type
  • Needle not inserted properly

What to do:

  • Insert a new needle
  • Use the right needle for the fabric type

Bobbin thread breaks constantly

Problem cause:

  • Bobbin incorrectly wound or damaged
  • Bobbin case damaged or not threaded

What to do:

  • Rewind and insert a new bobbin
  • Replace bobbin case if damaged

If you have problems with your embroidery machine and none of these solutions help please give us a call on 1800 000 360.

6 thoughts on “Embroidery Machine Problems and Solutions

  1. Ann Hodgson says:

    Thank you that was very helpful ie machine embroidery problems.

    Do you have anything on the correct stabilisers to use with various embroidieries and the hooping of such. I find all the the different stabilisers confusing


    • Echidna Sewing says:

      Hi Che,

      Unfortunately we don’t service many Ricomas and without having a more detailed explanation our guess would be that your encoder is sending irregular signals to machine’s main board so its likely your encoder will need to be replaced. We would suggest contacting your nearest Ricoma service centre.

      We hope that helps!


  2. Jenny says:

    Good day! I just want to ask the possible solutions to the embroidery machine because all odd number needles will stop stopping when embroidery while even number needles are continuous embroidering…


    • Echidna Sewing says:

      Hi Jenny,

      It sounds like you may be using the Reserved Needle setting. This is usually used to assign specific thread colours to certain needle bars manually. If you email our support staff at support@echidnasewing.com.au with what type of multi-needle machine you have they will be able to help you to determine if this is the issue and how to fix it.



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