Why Upper Thread Gets Caught On Shuttle Hook?

During the project for both beginners and experts, the upper thread getting entangled with the shuttle in your sewing machine is a common problem that can leave even the most seasoned sewists in frustration. Coming across the issue you might be wondering, Why Upper Thread Gets Caught On Shuttle Hook? Well, there are various reasons and causes that make up the situation to know and understand better.

In this article, we’re going to explore and discuss those potential points that need to follow to clear out this issue for the crafting sewing projects you are working on. When the upper thread starts misbehaving, it can turn our creative joy into a tangled mess. If you take notes of the issues and the solutions you’d find forward, you’ll be able to handle the whole situation effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • There are the most obvious six reasons that help to know why exactly the upper thread gets blocked.
  • Examine and explore the other sewing machine problems.
  • Once you figure out the thread-catching issue to fix it you need to follow a few simple steps

6 Reasons Why Upper Thread Gets Caught On Shuttle Hook

There could be many reasons why your upper thread gets caught on the shuttle hook so let’s see the 6 major reasons that it might happen:

1. Broken Bobbin Case

Broken bobbin case

One possible reason for your sewing troubles could be a broken bobbin case latch. This latch secures the bobbin case in place, and if it’s damaged, the bobbin case may move around while you sew. This can lead to the top thread getting caught with the shuttle hook, causing all sorts of problems. If your bobbin case is worn out or broken, it won’t fit properly in the machine, and again, you’ll have issues with sewing. So, if you suspect your bobbin case is damaged, it’s best to get a replacement.


  • Determine the correct type of bobbin case for your machine.
  • Open the bobbin case compartment and remove the broken bobbin case.
  • Clean the area thoroughly to ensure there’s no dirt or debris.
  • Insert the new bobbin case and make sure it’s securely latched in place.
  • Adjust the bobbin case tension as needed, following your machine’s manual.
  • Test the machine to make sure the top thread is no longer catching on the shuttle hook.

2. Improper Threading

Improper threading

If the hook in your sewing machine is not properly holding the thread or the machine’s timing is off, the hook may not catch the thread at the right moment. This can cause the top thread to get tangled in the shuttle hook. In some machines, you can adjust the hook’s position to ensure it holds the upper thread correctly. Also, make sure to adjust the upper thread tension appropriately for the type of fabric you’re sewing.


  • Check the hook for any damage or bending and replace it if necessary.
  • If the machine’s timing is off, follow your manual to adjust it correctly.
  • Check if your machine allows you to adjust the hook’s position, and if so, do it according to the manual.
  • Adjust the upper thread tension to the right setting for your fabric.
  • Ensure you’re using the appropriate needle size and type for the fabric you’re sewing.
  • Regularly clean and lubricate your machine to prevent any issues with the hook catching the thread.

3. Bobbin Case in Improper Position

Bobbin case in improper position

A common issue that can lead to the top thread getting caught in the shuttle hook is when the bobbin case is not securely clipped into place. This might happen if the bobbin case latch is not engaged properly or if the wrong bobbin case is used for your machine.


  • Check the bobbin case latch to ensure it’s engaged correctly.
  • Use the correct bobbin case specified for your sewing machine.
  • Insert the bobbin case properly following your machine’s manual.
  • Clean the bobbin case to prevent any thread entanglements.

4. Back warded Bobbin

Back warded bobbin

Having the bobbin inserted backward can seriously impact your sewing machine’s tension and stitch quality. A backward bobbin may lead to machine jams and cause the top thread to catch on the shuttle hook. To ensure proper stitching, the bobbin needs to rotate in a specific direction, and inserting it backward prevents this from happening.


  • Turn off your sewing machine and lift the needle before attempting to remove the bobbin.
  • Carefully remove the bobbin from the machine, paying attention to the thread’s direction.
  • Depending on your machine, you might need to remove the bobbin case to replace the bobbin. Refer to the manual for guidance on removing the bobbin casing.
  • Reinstall the bobbin in the correct position according to your machine’s instructions. Ensure the thread is wound onto the bobbin evenly.
  • Place the bobbin case back in the machine, ensuring it’s securely in place.
  • Test the machine to see if the bobbin is now rotating in the right direction and the upper thread is no longer catching on the shuttle hook.

5. Knotted Bobbin Thread

Knotted bobbin thread

A knotted bobbin thread can cause the top thread to get caught in the shuttle hook. While the knot helps the shuttle hook pick up the thread properly, it can also create thickness and lead to sewing machine jams. Large or frequent knots can also affect tension and result in uneven or skipped stitches, impacting the overall stitch quality.


  • Turn off your sewing machine and remove the bobbin from the machine.
  • Use a small pair of scissors or a seam ripper to carefully cut the knot.
  • Re-thread the bobbin with a fresh length of thread, ensuring it’s wound evenly.
  • Check for any tangles or knots in the thread before re-inserting the bobbin into the machine.
  • Test the machine to ensure the bobbin is correctly inserted and the upper thread is feeding smoothly without getting caught.

6. Using The Wrong Bobbin

Using the wrong bobbin

Using the wrong bobbin for your sewing machine can lead to various issues, including the top thread getting tangled on the shuttle hook. An improper fit due to the wrong bobbin can cause it to move unevenly, leading to stitching problems.


  • Check your sewing machine manual to find the specific type of bobbin required.
  • Match your sewing machine’s model number to the appropriate bobbin, if you can’t find the manual.
  • Ensure you choose the correct size and weight of bobbin that matches your machine’s requirements.
  • Always opt for high-quality bobbins that are designed for your sewing machine.
  • Regularly clean and lubricate your machine to prevent any problems related to using the wrong bobbin.

10 Sewing Machine Shuttle Problems

10 Sewing-machine-shuttle-problems
10 Sewing machine shuttle problems

It is important to keep the shuttle still for the machine to work correctly. You should also check that the shuttle is in good working condition because sometimes it can become stuck. There are so many issues that you can face due to the shuttle.

  1. Alignment of shuttle
  2. Shuttle is not getting the thread from the bobbin.
  3. Shuttle is not placed properly
  4. Shuttle is not clean enough
  5. Shuttle timing out
  6. Shuttle is not long enough to reach the bottom of the bobbin
  7. Shuttle is causing a problem with the tension of the machine
  8. Shuttle stopped functioning properly
  9. Shuttle is not winding properly
  10. The upper thread can sprout out of the bobbin

1. Alignment of Shuttle

You know, sometimes the shuttle in your sewing machine can get a little misaligned. It’s like it’s not sitting in its groove properly, and that can mess up your stitches. When you notice this, don’t panic. Try gently adjusting the shuttle to make sure it’s in its correct position. A little nudge might do the trick!

2. Shuttle is not Getting the Thread from the Bobbin

Ugh, nothing’s more frustrating than when the shuttle refuses to pick up the thread from the bobbin. But before you lose your cool, take a breath and check if the bobbin is inserted correctly. If it’s not, that could be the root of the problem. Make sure the thread is winding in the right direction and that the bobbin is in its designated spot.

3. Shuttle is Not Placed Properly

Sometimes, the shuttle can be a bit stubborn and not sit properly in its place. It might move around or wobble, causing all sorts of sewing chaos. Give it a little push and make sure it’s secure in its housing. If it still acts up, you might need to check for any damage or wear on the shuttle itself.

4. Shuttle is Not Clean Enough

Believe it or not, a dirty shuttle can cause a world of trouble. Lint, dust, and thread bits can accumulate over time and clog up the shuttle, hindering its smooth movement. So, take a minute to clean it up! Use a small brush or even a handy lint roller to get rid of the gunk.

5. Shuttle Timing Out

Ah, timing issues! They can mess up the whole sewing experience. If your shuttle timing is off, it means the shuttle and the needle aren’t cooperating as they should. Unfortunately, this might require some professional help to fix, as it involves adjusting the machine’s delicate mechanisms.

6. Shuttle is Not Long Enough to Reach the Bottom of the Bobbin

If the shuttle doesn’t reach the bottom of the bobbin, it won’t catch the thread correctly. Double-check if the shuttle you’re using is the right size for your machine. Using the wrong shuttle can lead to this annoying problem.

7. Shuttle is Causing a Problem with the Tension of the Machine

When the shuttle isn’t playing nicely with the tension settings, it can lead to all sorts of stitch irregularities. It’s like the tension is going haywire! Check if the shuttle is inserted properly and if it’s clean. Sometimes, a simple adjustment can get that tension back on track.

8. Shuttle Stopped Functioning Properly

You were sewing happily, and then all of a sudden, the shuttle decides to take a break. How rude! If your shuttle suddenly stops functioning as it should, give your machine a break too. Turn it off, take out the bobbin, and inspect the shuttle for any issues. Maybe it’s just tired and needs a little rest!

9. Shuttle is Not Winding Properly

When you’re trying to wind a new bobbin, and the shuttle isn’t cooperating, it can be a real pain. Make sure the bobbin winding mechanism is engaged correctly and that the thread is winding evenly on the bobbin. Sometimes, a simple readjustment can save the day.

10. The Upper Thread Can Sprout Out of the Bobbin:

Oh no, the upper thread is misbehaving and coming out where it shouldn’t! This usually happens when the shuttle isn’t in the right position or the bobbin is inserted incorrectly. Double-check everything and tuck that thread back in where it belongs.

How to Fix Caught Thread: 8 Steps

How to fix caught thread 8 steps

So, whether it is the bobbing thread, sewing machine thread, or caught on the shuttle hook that gets caught or starts snagging there’s an easy way to solve it effectively by following these few steps:

Step 1: Prepare the Needle Threader

  • Begin by gathering your materials. You will need a needle threader, which is a handy tool with a large flexible eye that makes it perfect for working with delicate fabrics.
  • Ensure that your needle threader is clean and free from any debris that could snag the fabric further.

Step 2: Locate the Snag

  • Examine the fabric carefully to identify the snagged area. Look for any loose threads or pulls in the delicate fabric.

Step 3: Insert the Needle Threader

  • Take the needle threader and gently push the wire loop through the fabric from the wrong side (the backside) at the site of the snag. Be cautious not to create any new snags while doing this.

Step 4: Thread the Snag

  • Now that the needle threader’s wire loop is through the fabric, carefully guide the snag on the right side (the front side) through the loop of the needle threader.

Step 5: Gently Pull the Snag Through

  • Once the snag is threaded through the loop of the needle threader, slowly and delicately pull it through to the wrong side of the fabric (the backside).
  • Be gentle to avoid any additional damage to the delicate fabric.

Step 6: Repeat If Necessary

  • If there are multiple snags on the fabric, you can repeat steps 3 to 5 for each snag until they are all pulled through to the wrong side.

Step 7: Inspect the Fabric

  • After you have successfully pulled all the snags through to the wrong side, inspect the fabric to ensure that it is free from any visible snags or pulls.

Step 8: Final Check

  • Carefully run your hands over the fabric to check for any remaining snags or potential issues. Make sure the fabric looks smooth and snag-free.


Why is my thread getting stuck?

The tension could be too tight or too loose. Set the tension to the basic thread tension setting or adjust the tension manually.

Why is my thread pulling?

The needle thread needs to be tightened if the stitching thread shows loops on the underside. On the other hand, if the needle thread is too tight, it will pull up the bobbin thread and also show it on the topside.

Why is my top thread looping?

Looped stitches are usually caused by improper tension. If the loop is on the upper side, it may be corrected by loosening the top tension or by tightening the lower tension.

Final Thoughts

So, dealing with the upper thread getting caught on the shuttle is undoubtedly frustrating. Only the proper knowledge to identify the causes would help you to start and bring out solutions.        With expertise and skill, you can easily solve this issue if you follow each step mentioned and discussed in this article without skipping it. Along your sewing journey, don’t let the occasional snagging deprive you of creating beautiful garments and crafts. With practice and understanding, you’ll master the art of smooth stitching, leaving those tangled threads out of your creative projects.


Hey I’m Sherry Howes an expert in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. With a passion for fiber arts and a talent for crafting, I Have spent years improving my skills and sharing knowledge with others. Whether teaching a class or creating a new project, I’m always excited to share my love of crafting with the world. I like researching new techniques and trends in the crafting arts community.

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