Why does my Sewing Machine Sew Backwards?

Why does my Sewing Machine Sew BackwardsSewing machines are great tools to ease the sewing process.

But they can sometimes malfunction due to various reasons.

Reverse sewing is one of those problems. You must be worried about the cause and solution to this issue.

Don’t worry, as I have got you covered.

In this write-up, I will explain to you the main reasons for reverse sewing and, of course, the solutions for them.

Why is My Sewing Machine Sewing in Reverse?

There can be multiple causes/ reasons behind the backward sewing of your sewing machine. They can be the polarity of switch, feed-dogs issue, software problem, and reverse lever fault, etc.

Let me tell you about the important and most common ones along with their solutions.

1. Reverse Lever

It is a button (usually a push-button) that is installed to allow you to feed in reverse the fabric. Due to fatigue or repeated use, this button can malfunction.

It can either stuck or get broken. In that case, your sewing machine can be stuck in reverse feed running.


Inspecting this lever and if found faulty, replacing it can help. You can also take the machine to some expert technician to get it replaced.

2. Feed Dogs

This is a very important and critical part of your sewing machine. These are toothed metal bars located under the needle.

These are very helpful in smoothing your feed process as they move forward and backward to feed the fabric evenly with a nicer grip.

Sometimes they get stuck in a single direction like; reverse.

So, in that case, whatever happens, they will run the machine backward. This issue should be addressed before the spread of the problem.

You can also diagnose this issue by lifting the presser foot and running the machine clockwise. At the same time, by doing that, watch your feed dogs.

They should go lower (below the needle plate) and, after that, shift forward and come back above and then slide backward. If they don’t behave like this, then they are malfunctioning.


This is a critical issue, and for this, you should see the manual or contact an expert/technician to get it resolved.

3. Software issue

If you are using an automatic machine and face this issue, then this is a possibility that your software is malfunctioning or not working properly. There can be bugs in the software which can cause the machine to run backward.

There is usually an onboard computer system installed containing all the commands.

If you are used to operating an automatic sewing machine, I expect you know about the settings and procedures. Let’s see the solution to it.


All the tech devices working using the software have a ‘reset’ option. If you are familiar with your machine, you can solve this issue on your own.

But, if you do not know much about it, then you should approach the manufacturers and get the software checked.

4. Polarity issue

Sometimes there is a polarity issue involved in the back-feeding problem. This may be due to the source supply or internal circuitry.


Try reversing the polarity of the switch; it might help. But remember that it is a random issue and is the least possible.


In all cases, my advice is that you should concern an expert technician and show him your machine. By looking into the machine live, he can diagnose properly and provide a suitable solution.

If the reverse lever is faulty, then it can be changed by DIY. You can easily replace the worn-out spring of the button, or if it is dislodged, you can put it back in the right position.

In some machines, it is permanently fixed (usually in manual machines).

If you use tech products, it is important to keep in mind that their life depends on the maintenance you do on them regularly. Care is better than cure!


Sewing machines due to regular use can malfunction due to various reasons, but the important thing is that you should know what to do when a problem is faced.

For reverse feeding/sewing, the reasons that I explained above can be there.

Keep in mind these aspects and follow the solution rightly. Don’t forget to follow the advice as problems get minimized when we follow the advice.

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