Pfaff Sewing Machine Problems

Updated April 17, 2017

Pfaff sewing machines are manufactured in Germany to meet a wide variety of sewing needs. Pfaff machines are known for their IDT (Integrated Dual Feed) capabilities which ensures fabric is fed through the feed dogs evenly to prevent puckering. With proper maintenance, you can enjoy years of trouble-free sewing with your Pfaff. However, on occasion, all sewing machines experience minor issues which can be remedied with just a little know-how.

Uneven Seam Stitching

If you find skipped stitches, the tension might need adjusting. Check the tension on both the bobbin and the needle thread and make sure you have the thread pulled correctly into the bobbin thread tension. If in doubt, check your instruction manual to make sure you have the thread wound through the tension on the bobbin correctly.


Use high-quality thread. Inexpensive thread has flaws and knots in it, which will catch in the eye of the needle and cause a substandard stitch and can possibly cause needle breakage. Good thread for Pfaff sewing machines are a quality polyester blend thread found at most fabric stores.


If you use your Pfaff to sew shirring stitches, only use the elastic thread on the bobbin. For shirring elastic, you will need to wind the bobbin by hand, and make sure you wind the elastic thread neither too tight, nor too loose. You might need to loosen the needle thread tension slightly when using shirring elastic, depending on the model of your Pfaff, if in doubt, check your instruction manual.


To help keep your Pfaff running smoothly, clean and oil your machine approximately every 10 to 15 hours of use. Generally, use a clear, white oil specifically made for your Pfaff model. Always use a soft, clean cloth to clean your Pfaff, never use harsh abrasives or anything that contains ammonia. To clean the feed dogs and remove excess lint from around the bobbin area, use a small paintbrush and make sure you avoid pushing the lint further into the machine.

Needle Breakage

If you experience breaking needles, check to make sure the needle is set properly. Other causes of needles breaking can be a bent needle which is striking the needle plate, the bobbin case might not be properly inserted or the needle might be too thick or too thin.

Sitich Selection

If your Pfaff will not sew a selected stitch, try switching the machine to the off position, wait 10 to 15 seconds and then try switching the machine back on again then try selecting the stitch.

Irregular Feed

If you experience your Pfaff not feeding fabric correctly, or not feeding fabric at all, make sure the feed dogs are not lowered. Another cause of feed issues can be that lint has collected between the feed dog teeth rows, which can be remedied by removing the needle plate and using a small paintbrush to clean the feed dogs.

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About the Author

Katelyn Lynn has been writing health and wellness articles since 2007. Her work appears on various websites. Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from TUI University and has extensive experience in botany and horticulture.