Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Slowing Down?

The slowing down of your sewing machine is clearly not good for your sewing work. Whether you’re a professional sewer or a sewing enthusiast, a sluggish machine clearly makes the job difficult.

So, how do you fix the problem? Why does your sewing machine keep getting slowed down? Is something wrong with the machine or with your sewing method?

There are multiple reasons why your sewing machine keeps slowing down. If you want to find out probable reasons for the problem, this guide will surely help you in this.

Here we’ve listed some common issues that might be at the root of your slow sewing machine. So keep reading to find your answer. Towards the latter part of this guide, we have tried to provide some solutions as well to fix the problem. So to not miss out on anything, keep scrolling down!

Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Slowing Down

There are multiple causes for a slow sewing machine. Below are some of the most common causes.

  • The needle may be too low or too high.
  • You may have an obstructed bobbin case.
  • The upper tension may be too loose or too tight.
  • Too much lint in the machine or on the bobbin.
  • The needle threader may be dirty or bent.
  • The needle may be broken or dull.
  • The needle hole in the needle plate may be too big or too small, which causes the needle to either hit the plate or not go through it properly.
  • You may have missed a stitch while sewing and created a knot in the thread, which also slows down your sewing machine’s speed. 
  • The needle may be caught on a thread loop on the underside of the machine tablecloth, fabric, or something else that is being sewn, which can slow down your sewing machine as well.
  • The bobbin thread may have been pulled from the tensioner arm and is sitting on top of the

I. Issues with the needle

Though the needle is only a small and insignificant piece of your sewing machine, it can be the root cause of all your sewing problems. Needles break easily and don’t last long. Hence, they need to be changed regularly.

If your needle is too blunt to sew, the thread will get tangled, and the machine will slow down. If it’s too sharp, it can sew too quickly, and this will also bog down your machine.

If the needle is causing the problem, then replacing it could be the solution. You can try swapping out the needle with a brand new one to see if it fixes the issue. You can also try changing your needle size to a smaller one or a larger one to see if that does the trick.

II. The Bobbin Case is Clogged With Lint

One of the most common causes why a sewing machine slows down is a clogged bobbin case. The lint from the fabric may wrap around the bobbin and rub against the needle, which will cause the needle to slow down.

An easy way to solve this problem is to remove the thread from the machine and use a lint brush to remove the lint from the bobbin case. In addition, you can use a vacuum cleaner to clean out the lint from inside the bobbin case. This should quickly solve your problem.

In addition to this, you may also want to check the sewing machine’s throat plate. The throat plate is a small metal plate that covers the needle hole and regulates the speed of the material as it moves through the sewing machine. 

If your throat plate is covered in lint, then it might also be causing your sewing machine to slow down. Simply remove the lint from your throat plate, and your machine should return to normal speed.

III. The bobbin winder is engaged

The bobbin winder is engaged when you’re sewing. If you’re not sewing, but your machine is making the winding sound, it means the bobbin winder is engaged.

When the bobbin winder is engaged, it means that you need to disengage the winder in order to start sewing. If you keep sewing with the winder engaged, it will cause your machine to slow down.

Solution: If you want to stop sewing and use your machine for other purposes like quilting or embroidery, you can disengage the winder by keeping it in the “down” position.

IV. Geras lack oil

If the sewing machine is not oiled, the sewing machine parts will naturally start to wear out. It will then need to exert more power to sew, which might lead to the machine slowing down.

To avoid this, ensure you oil your machine at least once a month. If you don’t know how to oil the machine, you can follow the instructions in the manual.

Alternatively, you can use sewing machine oil spray cans. Make sure that you oil your machine before and after use. If you don’t, then the machine’s internal parts will start to wear out faster.

You can also use sewing machine oil pads which are specially designed for sewing machines. Just place it on the sewing machine’s needle plate and start sewing for a few minutes. The pad will spread oil onto all parts of the sewing machine.

V. Machine’s speed control is set at low settings

If you’re using a sewing machine that has speed control, it is most likely set on low settings. This is the common reason why the machine slows down.

Most sewing machines have speed control. It helps you to control the sewing speed of your machine. Usually, on a slower setting, the machine will sew slower and vice versa.

If you’re on a slower setting on your sewing machine, there is a chance that your machine is stitching more slowly as well. This is because the feed dogs are moving slower in a slower setting.

The solution for this? If you’re using the machine at a low setting, then turn up the speed on the control dial. This will help you to fix the issue as well as increase your efficiency as a sewer.

VI. Loose Cord

One of the frequent reasons for a slowing machine is a loose power cord. If the cord is not fixed in place with the tension provided by the cord cover, it will be dangling in the sewing space. This will lead to your machine slowing down considerably.

The solution to this problem is to remove the cord cover and then reposition the cord with the tension provided so it doesn’t dangle in the sewing space.

How To Fix the Issue of Slowed-down Sewing Machines

Sewing machines slow down because of many reasons. Some of these reasons include:

Needle and presser foot: If the needle and the presser foot are not in good shape, they can cause your sewing machine to slow down. You’ll be able to solve this issue by cleaning the needle and the presser foot.

Threading: If the threading is not done properly, it can cause your sewing machine to slow down. Make sure you thread it correctly, and if you need any help, consult a technician.

Needle position: The needle position can cause your sewing machine to slow down if it is not set correctly. You can find out what is the right needle setting by consulting the manual and then following the steps to set it.

Cable: The cable can cause your sewing machine to slow down if it is faulty. When in doubt, you should replace the cable.

Machine speed: The machine speed can cause your sewing machine to slow down if it is set too low or too high. You can fix this by adjusting the machine speed accordingly.

In addition to this, the machine might be stuck between pieces of fabric or not moving as it should be. In this case, make sure that your fabric pieces are pressed, and the needle is not stuck down.

If your sewing machine is old and outdated, it will also lead to a slow speed of the machine.

Thus, if you want to fix this issue, you need to buy a new sewing machine that can seamlessly handle a high volume of tasks.

Lastly, you might have a damaged motor that’s causing the problem. In this case, contact a professional for help.


The above-mentioned are some of the crucial causes of the sewing machine being slowed down. Make sure you learn about the probable causes of the slow sewing machine issue and take action accordingly. 

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