As seen in our latest column, I've compiled a quick list of 5 Ways You Should Be Looking After Your Machine.
I have been servicing and repairing sewing machines for many years now and have come across many different problems. Many of them could have been reduced or even avoided all together just by regularly doing the following 5 things...
1. Avoid wrapping the power cable around the foot controller.
We have all done this at some point but it causes the cable to twist and eventually breaks down the insulation. You should form loops with the wire in your hand instead, just as it was when it was new. This will help prevent damage and help to ensure your cable lasts as long as possible.
2. Blowing air to remove fluff tends to send it further into the machine.
Use a brush to regularly clean areas instead. A buildup of lint affects the movement of thread as well as the bobbin position, resulting in tension issues and poor stitch formation. Regular cleaning of these areas is vital and using a brush will help to scoop the lint out rather than blow it deeper into hard to reach areas.
3. Change the needle regularly.
Manufacturers recommend using a needle for 6 - 8 hours of actual sewing. A blunt needle makes for noisy sewing as the blunt tip punches it’s way through the fabric. A hooked tip (as illustrated above) can be hard to spot but it will tend to lift the fabric and get stuck as the fabric moves. This will deflect the needle and cause it to hit the needle plate or bobbin case and this type of damage can cause continuing problems, eventually requiring replacement parts. It is important to regularly check and change needles.
4. Turn the machine off when you’re not using it for long periods.
It is easy to forget to turn your machine off when you walk away from it to iron something to do some unpicking but it is important to try and switch it off. As well as continuing to use power when you leave it on, some electronic components within the machine may actually suffer temperature degradation. This is when parts overheat and it will reduce their life. They may then need replacing a lot sooner than you would have liked!
5. Use a quality machine oil where and when recommended in the owner's handbook.
Don’t forget to use a quality machine oil where and when it is recommended. This will maintain the life of parts, reduce noise, maintain a consistent tension and ensure regular thread formation. If you aren't sure about using oil then the best place to look is in the machine's owner's handbook. If you have misplaced it then either find your machine on our website or find the manufacturers website.
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