Janome Overlocker Troubleshooting

The Janome Overlocker is responsible for creating an overlocking stitch which has more similarities to the craft of knitting than sewing. Suffice to say that a Janome Overlocker can be very difficult for some users to use at the beginning because it is not a sewing machine. Meaning it isn’t as straight forward and beginner friendly as some sewing machines are. Without further adue, here are some troubleshooting methods for some issues you may encounter whilst using your Janome Overlocker.

Table of Contents

When The Needles Unthread

The Janome Overlocker is equipped with two needles; a left and right needle. This is the most common issue you can come across when using an overlocker and it happens when you’ve threaded the needle and suddenly the needle become unthreaded because there’s nothing holding the thread back or in place such that it doesn’t come unthreaded.

To Troubleshoot This

  • Be sure to thread the needle and leave some extra inches of threading. The needle will start moving up and down rapidly, so you need to have some thread to pull when the needle is doing so such that the needle does not become unthreaded.
  • You can use some sort of long accessory like clippers to pull the thread to the back or side of the overlocker machine.

When The Fabric Isn’t Staying In Place

This is also a common issue that occurs on the Janome Overlocker whereby the fabric keeps jumping or shifting out of place when stitching with the overlocker. The pressure setting of the overlocker’s presser foot would not be as tight as it should be.

To Troubleshoot This

  • The main function of the presser foot is to keep the fabric’s seams or layers together whilst you are sewing so be sure to lower the presser foot and make sure it is tightly secured to the needle holder.
  • Also be sure to use fabric recommended in the Janome Overlocker because some fabrics have characteristics that don’t correlate with the overlocker’s functionality.

When The Looper Constantly Unthreads

Another frustrating issue is that either one of or both the top and bottom looper can become unthreaded. But this issue is not as common as the other two issues previously mentioned above. Fortunately this can also be easily troubleshooted with a simple and effective method.

To Troubleshoot This

  • When threading your Janome Overlocker machine, be sure to thread it in exact accordance to the overlocker’s user manual. The thread should pass through the overlocker’s tension discs.
  • When passing thread through the overlocker machine, you can use some tweezers to ensure that it passes through the right channels correctly. Make sure to use the Janome Overlocker’s balancing wheel as well to get the other end of the looper showing as a result.

When Fabric Isn’t Being Fed Smoothly

This issue can also cause quite a lot of frustration since you need the fabric you’ll be stitching on to move smoothly. The feed dog of the overlocker may be at fault if it just so happens that it is packed with some lint or bubbles. Making the feed dog behave in an unusual way. Like another problem on this list, it can also be that the presser foot of your Janome Overlocker is raised or the pressure adjustment is set to a weak setting or tension.

To Troubleshoot This

  • Open the looper cover and side cover of your Janome Overlocker, then remove the needle and presser foot. You can then after brush out the lint that has built up and is hindering correct movement. You can use either a vacuum cleaner or a fine brush.
  • Be sure to also oil your Janome Overlocker on the most important parts, which you can double check on the overlocker’s user manual.
  • Make sure that the presser foot is lowered to the correct height, so as to keep the fabric straight and in place.
  • Adjust the presser foot’s pressure accordingly such that it doesn’t press so tightly against the fabric, which saves the fabric from tearing.
  • You should only adjust the Janome Overlocker’s presser foot pressure when dealing with uncommon fabric (whether thick or tight.)

When The Fabric Is Not Neatly Cut

One of the best things overlockers can do that sewing machines can not is to cut the fabric you will be stitching on. This can be due to the position of the upper knife not being adjusted properly, such that when fabric is moving through the blades of the knife they have no effect. Another more obvious reason being that the blade of the knife may be completely blunt or dulled out.

To Troubleshoot This

  • When sitting correctly, the knife of the Janome Overlocker should be at its lowest position possible whilst still attached to the frame of the overlocker machine. Make sure that the hexagonal bolt that keeps the knife in place is securely tightened.
  • You should replace the upper knife if you start to notice any signs of dullness on the blade or if the overlocker stops cutting fabrics.


More Troubleshooting

  • When connecting the Janome Overlocker to a power supply be sure to use an outlet with the correct amount of voltage and frequency to avoid any problems of the overlocker not turning on or blowing up.
  • Do not touch any of the moving parts of the overlocker when it is active to avoid any injuries to you or any damage to the overlocker machine.
  • When using the overlocker’s handwheel, always turn it towards you. Or in an anticlockwise direction.


Also known as sergers; overlocker machines are quite specialized. The knives on these wonderful machines cut seam allowances as it creates stitches on them. However for some reason a Janome Overlocker will never replace a Janome sewing machine, it is designed for doing just one or two simple things that most sewing machines would not be able to. In a more general sense, you use a serger like the Janome Overlocker to construct rather than finish (which is what sewing machines are best used for.)