Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Tangled threads on your fabric is a messy sight to behold. And it’s always annoying to deal with because it can ruin your sewing project just like that.

We tackled a similar problem before in one of our previous blogs about the possible causes and solutions on how to fix sewing machine thread bunching up.

There we included a list of things to check when the top stitch starts to form a bird’s nest of tangled threads.

Do check it out if you’ve encountered such a sewing machine problem as well.

This time, we will be talking about the causes of why the thread bunches up in the underside of your fabric and the solutions to fix this problem. 

It’s not always easy to notice when it happens, but you will know if your sewing experience has been ruined by what we call bobbin thread bunching.

Bobbin thread bunching is when the sewing machine bobbin thread bunches up on the underside of your fabric. This is one of the most common sewing machine problems which fortunately has an easy fix.


A bobbin with a thread


For a sewing machine to work well, it needs an evenly-wound sewing bobbin to place and hold threads in order so that they can be sewn through with top stitch needles.



1. Rethread your sewing machine


One solution that you can do is to rethread your sewing machine.

Start with the top part of your sewing machine and make sure that the thread goes through each  of the sewing machine thread guides. Don’t forget the take-up lever!

Try to notice if your bobbin thread is loose, uneven, and not smooth. If so, rethread your bobbin.

Remove the bobbin from the sewing machine. You will want to inspect and replace any thread that is broken or worn out with fresh new sewing thread.

Cut any tangles or knots from the thread and then put the sewing bobbin back on to your sewing machine.


2. Check the bobbin


When bobbin thread bunching happens, it’s usually because of other reasons than the bobbin itself. But it’s best to inspect the bobbin for any problems as well.

Make sure that you inserted the bobbin in the bobbin case properly.

Make sure that the bobbin is wound correctly.

And lastly, make sure that there are no lints within the sewing bobbin case, sewing machine needle or sewing thread. If there is, simply clean it off with a brush.


Bobbin thread bunching


3. Inspect The Sewing Machine Needle


If thread bunching still persists, inspect the sewing machine needle and change if it’s necessary.

It’s necessary when you’re not using the right type and size of sewing machine  needle for the machine you’re using and the fabric you’re working on.

Also, check if your sewing machine needle is bent or broken. A broken needle is another common cause of many sewing machine problems. Try sewing again using a new needle.


4. Sewing Machine Maintenance


If after you’ve done all of the solutions mentioned above and you’re still seeing a bird’s nest on the underside of your fabric, it’s strongly recommended that you clean your machine at this point.

Remove the lints that might have been stuck in the thread guide, oil your sewing machine, replace the needle, and clean the sewing machine bobbin area.

Refer to your machine’s manual when you perform a cleanup maintenance to avoid any potential problems.


Can Sewing Machines Be Recycled?


If the problem continues to persist, then you might need professional help.




Both sewing machines and sewing enthusiasts have their own set of challenges – especially when it comes to sewing-related problems.

There are several solutions to consider, and we tried our best to present them in a way that’s easy for everybody to follow.

We hope this mini-guide helped you better understand the sewing machine bobbin thread bunching issue and that you’ve learned how to solve it by yourself.

Happy sewing!



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