More people are starting to invest in sewing machines for their own personal use, however quite often they find that they break down due to lack of maintenance. Whether you're a first time sewing machine user or a highly experienced sewer, you could benefit from some tips about how to care for your machine. Maintenance is the key to getting the most out of your sewing machine, especially as it gets older, since they are complicated and delicate pieces of equipment that need to be treated properly in order to prolong their lifespan without having to have repeated repairs. Here are a few hints that will point you in the right direction.
Use Quality Thread And A Good Needle
Poor quality thread is bad for your machine, and glazed or waxed threads are only suited to hand-sewing. If in doubt about which kind of thread to use for your machine, you should buy it from a reputable sewing shop, since they will be aware of which are the best brands to use. A bent or dull needle will also cause problems with stitching, so you should take care to change the needle frequently – at least once for every ten hours of stitching, or after using around four bobbins of thread.
If you are beginning a new quilting project, you should always use a fresh needle. The mircotex sharp is a good choice thanks to its aggressive tip which can penetrate fabric quickly, leaving less skipped stitches even on thick projects such as webbing or appliqué.
Clean Your Machine Regularly
Cleaning your sewing machine regularly is key to keeping it in good working order. Removing any loose bits of thread, lint and dust bunnies will help to prevent its working becoming clogged up. However, never use canned air as this will add moisture, which in turn will create a gunky lint known to jam up machines. Instead, use a nylon brush to brush out any debris. Each time you change your bobbin, you should also use the brush to clean the bobbin case. It will only take a few seconds and will be worth the time in the long run.
Oiling Your Machine
A sewing machine has lots of moving parts and oiling it regularly ensures it continues to run smoothly and for a longer period of time. Always use good quality oil for your sewing machine as it will be fine and clear, and therefore won't ruin any of your projects. Never use more than a couple of drops of oil – refer to your manual to find out where exactly to apply it. Always make sure your machine is clean before applying any oil.
A Guide To Cleaning Your Machine
To make sure you clean your sewing machine properly without causing any damage, here are some pointers to follow:
- Check your machine's instruction manual for specific maintenance instructions.
- Get together everything you need for cleaning your sewing machine. This will include a lint brush or camel hair artist's brush, new needles and a soft muslin cloth. You may also want to use a small vacuum attachment for getting dirt out of small spaces.
- Unplug the machine and remove the needle, the presser foot, the bobbin, bobbin case and needle plate.
- Use the lint brush or vacuum to remove all of the gunk and lint from all of the pieces and then from the feed dogs and race area.
- Open the side cover and clean the thread path.
- Wipe down the outside of your machine using a cloth.
- Plug the machine in and switch it on. Run it without the bobbin case, bobbin, presser foot, needle plate and needle for a few seconds to check it works smoothly.
- Turn the machine off and replace the bobbin case, needle plate, bobbin and presser foot.
- Insert the new needle.
Other Maintenance Tips For Smooth Running Of Your Machine
There are a few other tips you can try to ensure that your machine continues to run smoothly.
- Always cover your machine between uses or keep it in a case or cabinet.
- Store your machine in an area that is free from dust.
- Clean dust and lint from the area around your machine each time you use it.
- Change your needle frequently.
- Wash your hands before using the machine.
- Have a basic maintenance service carried out every 2 years on your machine. This should include cleaning, oiling, tension adjustment and a test of all the working parts.
Choosing Someone To Maintain Your Machine
If you don't feel confident to maintain your sewing machine yourself, or if you need to find someone to carry out some routine maintenance on your machine, you need to find someone that you can trust and who is an expert in their field.
Most manufacturers offer training in their own specific brand, and therefore most repair technicians specialize in repairing one specific brand. You need to choose a maintenance technician who is skilled in servicing your particular sewing machine brand. If you're struggling to find someone to service your machine, you may be able to get advice from a local sewing store or community as to where you can find someone who can help you out.
Choosing The Right Sewing Machine
It is very important to choose the right sewing machine to suit your needs. For example, if you are going to be using your machine on a daily basis for complex projects, you will need to choose a heavy duty machine that can handle a lot of use. Choosing the wrong machine will end up leading to breakdowns and frustration.
To find out more about how to choose the right machine to suit your needs, and to get some expert recommendations about which are the best models on the market today, you can learn more by reading reviews about the best sewing machines available for purchase today.