6 Common Brother Sewing Machine Bobbin Problems

Brother sewing machines are loved for their practicality, no other sewing machine manufacturer puts power into the hands of the user quite like the Brother sewing machine company. The Brother brand is known across various industries in relation to electronics, not only does the company make sewing machines but industry leading printers and many more other electronic devices and machinery. Brother sewing machines are practical because they are easy to use (essential attribute for beginners). Not only that, if you were to encounter a problem with a Brother sewing machine it would be fairly less complex to solve than with any other sewing machine from other manufacturers. But with practicality a tendency to compromise on quality tends to arise, which leads to different kinds of problems and subsets of problems. Today we’ll be looking at one of those problems, namely bobbin problems of Brother sewing machines.

Table of Contents

1. Bobbin Locks Out of Place

This bobbin problem happens with Brother sewing machines when the bobbin case is not inserted completely into the bobbin driver (This is what rotates the bobbin) such that movement is impossible. The bobbin case has a key that compliments a lock located on the bobbin driver, when being inserted the bobbin case should make a clicking sound, but when incorrectly inserted the bobbin locks out of place such that when sewing it will not move.


Remove the bobbin case from the driver and then reinsert it such that it clicks into place in the bobbin driver.

2. Bobbin Punctures or Breaks

When such a bobbin problem occurs it may prove harmful to the Brother sewing machine as a whole. It may then go on to damage the bobbin driver. Most (if not all) Brother sewing machines are designed to use a specific type of Brother Bobbin (11.5mm for newer sewing machines and 9.2mm for older models). Bobbins from other manufacturers may not be designed for your Brother sewing machine.


When using or purchasing a Brother sewing machine, it is good to make sure to purchase original Brother Bobbins along with it. If the problem persists then the bobbin case might be damaged as well and needs to be replaced.

3. Bobbin Thread Tangles

This bobbin problem is common on most sewing machines, not just Brother sewing machines. When the thread is unevenly wound around the bobbin or it’s too long, it can start untangling when it is turning in its casing. But this can also be caused when the bobbin is wrongly placed in its casing and then bobbin driver.


Re-threading the bobbin is important and should always be the first solution when this kind of problem occurs. Always remove the bobbin first and make sure it is wound evenly with quality thread for sewing machines. The bobbin thread should go around the bobbin in an anticlockwise direction (That’s to say, it should be coming from the left when the bobbin is in your right hand).

4. Bobbin Driver’s Off Timing

In order to achieve a perfect stitch the needle should always work in sync with the bobbin driver. This problem sees the bobbin driver’s hook (what holds the bobbin thread) missing stitches due to a change in timing. Thus creating loopy and loose stitches. For a sewing machine to ‘stitch’ the needle thread needs to catch the bobbin thread in perfect timing. It is often caused by worn out or loosened gears which can happen over time or when the Brother sewing machine is exposed to heavy duty fabrics constantly.


This problem often requires immediate professional help. It is to best to take the machine to a professional Brother sewing machine technician. The sewing machine can only reach a certain level of practicality before seeking a professional’s help.

5. Bobbin Pops Out of Place

This problem is usually caused by a bobbin that is either too small or too big for the bobbin case and ultimately bobbin driver. It is always good to refer to your Brother sewing machine’s user manual for these types of specifications. If you haven’t yet purchased a sewing machine, you can always log on to the Brother website and search for the instruction manual of the machine you would like to purchase, and then download it.


Always make sure to buy bobbins from Brother. Which is made easier by the fact that, for most of their sewing machines Brother has a one size fits all bobbin.

6. Top Thread Gets Stuck in Bobbin

This bobbin problem is caused by a tight thread tension (top tension) or the bobbin may not be in the bobbin driver (which is also responsible for the bobbin thread’s tension) securely, this causes the top thread to get stuck in the bobbin.


This Brother sewing machine bobbin problem can be resolved by removing the bobbin (once again) and then removing the thread (which should always be at least four inches long). Then re-thread the bobbin, making sure it is not too tight or too loose. The thread shouldn’t have tiny knots as well, which can cause it to bunch up.


Important: Lint (fluff from fabrics) in the bobbin casing or bobbin driver may cause some of these problems, like when the bobbin pops out of place, it could be that lint has accumulated (built-up) in the bobbin casing, making it impossible for the bobbin to click into place. In which case the bobbin casing should always be cleaned using a fine brush, usually after every sewing project.

Brother has one of the best customer service portals as compaired to other sewing machine manufacturers. Their machines are made with the user in mind and so it’s only right that their service is as good as their sewing machines. No other sewing machine manufacturer has as much information about helping users with their sewing machine problems as Brother does and that makes people love the brand even more. You can literally find a plethora of DIY videos that help you become more familiar with your machine and its inner workings.