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How to Troubleshoot a Riccar Sewing Machine

Updated April 17, 2017

Many minor sewing issues can be resolved by doing a check over your Riccar machine, making sure it is properly threaded and properly maintained. Riccar is an American company that now predominately deals in vacuum cleaners; however, manuals for its sewing machines can be found on its website. The site also has a list of retailers who can service Riccar sewing machines. Before taking it to someone for work, perform a check yourself to identify and resolve any problems you are having with your machine.

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  1. Remove the bobbin case from the machine, and the bobbin from its case. Clean any dust on movable parts and also inside the shuttle race with a cotton swab. Make sure the bobbin is threaded properly and that the thread can be pulled easily. Reinsert the bobbin securely in the bobbin case, and place it back into the machine.

  2. Pull out the needle and put it back in, making sure it is screwed in tightly. A loose needle can cause breakage.

  3. Remove the thread from the upper part of the machine, and rethread it according to directions. Incorrect threading can cause thread to tangle and break --- the source of most sewing problems. After threading, be sure the thread can be pulled easily. If not, slightly loosen the tension.

  4. Using the hand wheel, turn it toward you and make sure that the needle goes up and down smoothly. Applying power, test your machine's performance by sewing a few stitches on a scrap piece of fabric going both forward and reverse. Check the stitching on both sides to see that it is even, and adjust the tension if necessary. Thicker fabrics generally require a looser tension.

  5. Tip

    If you have checked your machine and find you are still experiencing problems, download the manual for your Riccar sewing machine from the Riccar website. It may provide a solution to your issues.


    If your sewing machine problems are serious and involve the power supply, it should be taken to a certified Riccar dealer and repair person.

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About the Author

Catherine Gilbert has been a writer/researcher since 2000 and is based on Vancouver Island, B.C. She writes on many topics and has been published in “Island Word," “Be Wild In B.C.” and the "B.C. Historical Federation Journal." She has studied journalism and has an honors bachelor's degree in history and French from York University in Toronto.

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