The Common Sewing Machine Troubles, Causes And Remedies

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The Common Sewing Machine Troubles, Causes, and Remedies

A sewing machine is equipment which is very indispensable in any sewing activity, whether it be repairing, altering clothes or recycling household articles. Special care should be given and regular maintenance is needed because it costs a lot. Knowledge of its parts and functions will enable you to determine the cause of the trouble when it breaks down.

The different parts of the sewing machine and its functions are the following:

  1. Spool pin – holds the spool of thread

  2. Presser foot – holds fabric in place while sewing

  3. Thread guide – keeps the thread in the correct position

  4. Upper tension regulator – regulates the tightness and looseness of the thread

  5. Stitch regulator -regulates the length of stitches

  6. Thread take-up lever – moves the thread up and down

  7. Needle clamp – holds the needle

  8. Presser bar lifter – lowers and raises the presser foot

  9. Feed dog – moves the fabric as sewing goes on

  10. Balance wheel – the wheel on the right side of the head which controls the movement of the needle

  11. Bobbin winder – used to wind thread on the bobbin

  12. Belt – connects the balance wheel and the drive wheel

  13. Drive wheel – the big wheel below the machine that is connected to the treadle

  14. Treadle – the place for the feet

  15. Bed – the flat base of the head which rest in the cabinet

  16. Throat plate – the metal plate that covers the feed dog

  17. Dress guard – it is located where the drive wheel is, to protect the dress of the sewer when the machine is moving

Knowledge on the parts and functions of sewing machine will help you much in determining the causes of unsatisfactory sewing performance. Like other equipment, sewing machine may not function well, if not used or maintained properly. Proper care and maintenance should be one of the main concerns of one who sews to avoid trouble when sewing.

Knowledge on the common causes of sewing machine troubles and their remedies will save time and effort and prevent damage of the project you are working on.

Troubles, Causes and Remedy

1. Unusual clucking noise – the cause is dirty machine. Loose screws or accumulated dust in the shuttle race area. The remedy is to brush away the dirt. Tighten loose screws and clean the shuttle race with a brush before oiling.

2. Needle breaks – the causes are wrong needle attachment or Bent needle or fabric is pulled while sewing. You can attach the needle correctly and tighten the screw. Change the needle; match the needle with the thickness of fabric. Avoid pulling the needle out of the stitching line. Guide the fabric with ease. Don’t pull it. Check the bobbin case position and latch spring of the shuttle race assembly. Reset the shuttle race assembly if needed.

3. Uneven stitches – needle is bent and you can change the needle. Or needle attached on the wrong side. You can correct the position of the needle. Or size of the needle does not match the thickness of the fabric and you can match the size of needle with the fabric. Or insufficient foot pressure and you can increase pressure on the presser foot by tightening screw. Other cause is the needle attached too low. You can raise the needle higher through the needle clamp and tighten the thumb screw; material is pulled back while stitching. You can guide the material lightly as you sew. Let the machine control the stitches.

4. Heavy functioning of the machine – the causes are belt too tight; the machine needs oiling or dust has accumulated on the bearing and shuttle race area. You can lengthen the belt using a cord, oil the machine or clean and brush the race and bearings. Oil after cleaning.

5. Balance wheel does not turn – the belt is too loose or stop motion screw is loose. You can tighten the belt and rotate stop motion screw clockwise to tighten.

6. Looping stitches – the causes are needle is dull; Machine is incorrectly threaded; tension of the upper and lower thread is not balance; thread take up spring is crooked or broken. You can change the needle; check the threading of the machine, check the upper threading if loops appear under the tension regulator; Check lower threading. Inspect the tension groove of bobbin case for threads; wrong direction of the thread in bobbin case. Check the tension of the latch spring of the bobbin case; change the thread take up spring.

7. Breaking of upper thread – threading is not correct; or needle is not properly set. You can correct the threading and set the needle correctly.

8. Puckered stitches – needle is blunt caused by striking metal of machine pin; stitch length is too long for fabric; tension is too tight. You can replace the needle, adjust the stitch regulator to correct length.


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