Tips for how to use a sewing machine automatic needle threader and why it sometimes doesn't work

How to use the automatic needle threader on your sewing machine

Does your machine come with an automatic needle threader? Sounds like a great idea right, until you realise that it can actually be a little tricky to use it. The secret to threading first time, every time, is to fully understand how the automatic needle threader works so you work with it to catch the thread. I’ll do my best to show you in the video below.

I carried on trying to get a photo of that little hook, but wow, it’s very difficult. This is the best photo I could get. As I said, it’s teeny tiny and it’s got to be because it literally has to go through the eye of the needle in order to grab the thread from the front and pull it to the back.

If you look at the image closely you’ll see the eye of the needle, then the teeny tiny hook that goes through the eye, and look even closer and you’ll see right on the end of that hook is a tiny little channel where the thread needs to sit. It’s only if the thread is in this channel that it will pull through the eye of the needle when the hook pulls back.

So now you can see how exact you have to be to make the needle threader work! By sliding the thread along the bottom prong, then lifting it you will make contact with the underside of that tiny hook, the thread goes into the channel and your needle threader will work it’s magic. But if your thread is too high, and above the hook, it just won’t work.

It’s not a great photo but I hope that helps you to understand that the thread has to go under the hook bar, then be lifted so it’s behind the tiny hook itself, so when released the hook can pull the thread through the eye of the needle. Even a little bit out and it can miss, and the needle won’t be threaded. It can be frustrating, but now I know how to use it I can thread the machine successfully every time.

When the automatic needle threader can’t be used

If you are sewing with a twin needle, you’ll need to thread the needle manually as the threader won’t line up with the needle eyes.

It may not work well with decorative threads or other special needles such as a wing needle.

If you are sewing with an invisible monofilament thread, you’ll need to use a needle with a larger eye. Try needles in the range of 90/14-100/16. (See this article to learn everything you need to know about sewing machine needles including what those numbers mean.)

A bit about my sewing machine

Want to know a bit more about the sewing machine I use and why I chose it? I have an unboxing video for the machine here showing all the tools, accessories and features, and explaining why I think this machine is great for beginners – and great for me!

See more about my sewing machine here

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