Troubleshooting Common Vintage Sewing Machine Problems With Simple Solutions

25 May 2016
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


Whether you have a vintage sewing machine that has been handed down through the generations or you specifically bought an older model just because you like them, these antiquated machines boast extraordinary longevity. The only problem with older sewing machines is, in spite of their durability, they can also show signs of problems when you set down to sew. Thankfully, most of the problems that you come across with a vintage sewing machine are easy to fix. Here are a few of the most common problems you may come across while using your vintage sewing machine and simple solutions you need to know.

Problem: The machine is excessively loud when in use.

Cause and Solution: Vintage sewing machines are notorious for being much louder than modern styles. However, if your machine just seems to be noisier than usual or continues to get louder with use, you definitely have a problem. In most cases, you can eliminate this issue simply by taking the machine's cover off and giving the motor a good cleaning, because dust and buildup could be inhibiting the smooth motion of moving parts.

Problem: The sewing thread continuously gets tangled or bunched while sewing.

Cause and Solution: The first thing you should do if you are having issues with thread getting tangled and bunched is make sure the machine and bobbin are threaded properly. If you have threaded the machine and bobbin correctly and are still having problems, make sure the bobbin is moving as it should while the machine is in use. With a vintage machine, if the bobbin does not move as freely as it should, it will cause the thread to bunch and tangle. Adding a small amount of oil or lubricant to the bobbin's turning mechanism will probably help.

Problem: You have problems forming a continuous stitch.

Cause and Solution: A skipped stitch here and there may not sound like a lot, but if it keeps occurring while you are trying to get a continuous run of stitches, it ca be incredibly frustrating. Skipped stitches often mean problems with your needle. If the vintage sewing machine's needle has not been changed for a while, take a good look at it. If the needle is slightly bent, it will cause missed stitches. You may also be seeing issues with the automatic feeder, so check it by allowing it to pull through a piece of fabric without sewing to ensure it is not getting hung. If the feeder is freezing up, use a small thin screwdriver to clean around the feeder to remove debris.