Information on Sewing Machine Maintenance
Sewing machines are mechanical devices and must be maintained just like other machinery. Sewing machine maintenance includes lubrication of moving parts, an inspection of the internal workings for broken or worn parts and re-adjustment if necessary.
Some sewing machine manufacturers recommend oiling a sewing machine every 20 hours of use, so this should be taken into consideration when purchasing a sewing machine. The type of sewing machine oil may be outlined in your manual. Machines that have not been cleaned properly or maintained regularly tend to produce poor quality work with difficulty in handling the fabric becoming an issue especially with heavier weight fabrics such as denim.
Sewing machines should also have their foot pedal mechanism checked occasionally to ensure it is free from obstruction and operates smoothly (if required they can be easily dismantled by following the sewing machine manual).
Sewing machines are usually outfitted with a one-year warranty and with proper maintenance you should extend the life of your sewing machine.
Cleaning of Sewing Machine Sewer Hopper
Area Sewing machines come in many different varieties but have some common areas of cleaning. Sewing machine sewer hoppers, also known as bobbin cases or bobbins, need to be cleaned periodically so that the thread can travel smoothly into and out of the machine and onto the needle plate or presser foot (which hold it firmly in place), without any issues.
Sewers who use oil based lubricants for oiling their machines especially will find threads sticking in this area due to being slightly oily/greasy and not easily cleared away by normal washing and rinsing. Sewing machine sewer hoppers can be easily cleaned, simply by taking out the bobbin case, using a plastic or wooden tool to push any threads that may stick in the area back into the bobbin case and then reinsert it and put on the cover. This process should be repeated until no more threads are stuck in this area of the sewing machine.
It’s better not to use hot water when cleaning your Sewer Hopper as this could cause damage to other parts of your Sewing Machine such as plastic or rubber parts which tend to soften with high temperatures.
Other areas of the sewing machine such as the feed dog area are also susceptible to getting clogged with thread and lint that can cause problems while sewing, so it is important to clean these areas too .
Sewing machines with removable feed dogs are easier to clean that those which do not have removable feed dogs as these parts can be taken out and cleaned separately.
Sewing machine needles also need to be checked for wear of breakage regularly, especially if sewing thick fabrics or multiple layers as they will get worn down faster than normal.
The Most Common Issues with a Sewing Machine Video
Sewing Machine Maintenance Technician’s Checklist
It’s been over a year since your last sewing machine service. Your machine is starting to sound a bit louder than
when it was new, the stitches are not as even and lint keeps popping out of places that you thought you had cleaned.
It’s time to have your machine professionally serviced. Our store is lucky enough to staff one full time authorized
service technician and two for your Vacuum cleaner to, that can keep up on all the incoming repairs within 1-5 days.
And their talents are something to behold. They are capable to cleaning ALL brands of sewing machines, embroidery
machines and sergers including SINGER!
So what exactly do they do when you drop off your machine? Below is a check list of every part of the machine that
First, they place the machine on an anti-static mat and attach themselves to the mat with an anti- static wrist strap.
This prevents any electrostatic discharge by safely grounding themselves while working on any electronic sewing
Pull off all covers to get to all major components.
Remove all lint, dust, and old oil.
Remove any thread wrapped around the hand wheel and take up lever.
Check top tension disks and remove lint build up from low quality threads.
Check timing belt/motor belt for belt tightness. Look for any excess wear spots.
For older machines: check motor brushes and make sure the motor is turning freely.
Check all shafts for any play or wobble.
Check wear in all barrings.
Check the mechanism that drives the feed dogs for any play.
Check all gears that drive the machine.
Check the mechanism that drives the hook in the bobbin case area.
Check for any excess play between the hook and the hook driver.
Tighten any gears that are getting loose or wobbly.
Check bobbin winder.
Check feed dog height. A slight change in height can effect the way fabric is pulled through the machine.
Check feed dog alignment checking to make sure the feed dogs are straight and not rubbing on the stitch plate.
Oil every moving part of the machine.
Check that the needle is centering in the needle plate both from side to side and from front to back. The slightest bit
off in any of the four directions can cause extra needle breakage when sewing extra wide stitches or heavy fabrics.
Check needle and hook timing.
Check that the presser foot sits straight on the feed dogs and is at the proper height.
Time the feed dog movement to the machine needle.
Calibrate bobbin case tension.
Check and clean bobbin case of any excess build up of lint.
Check foot control’s electronic contacts, cord, cord end and look for any cuts in the cord.
Test Sew Out
Once all areas of the machine has been completely checked, oiled and adjusted. It’s time to see how it sews.
The technicians are looking for a smooth running sound, balanced tension, even needle swing, centered needle position, proper feed
dog movement/balance of stitches that stitch forward and reverse. They also test sew at full sewing speed. If even
the smallest area is off, it will be magnified when sewing at full speed. They use a high quality polyester thread and
also insert a new Universal size 80/12 sewing needle.
Sergers: Sergers receive extra care as the technicians check looper timing both for the upper and lower loopers, feed dogs, cutting knife and needles. Sergers must have precision
clearance or else it will not work!
Embroidery Machines: Embroidery units require special checking of all sensors, belt tension and arm movement. They are cleaned of any lint and oiled. When sewing out an embroidery test pattern, they
look for precise alignment of outlines and proper tension.
Walking feet can be cleaned and oiled for smooth quiet motion. Bring the walking foot along to have it checked
What to bring with a machine for service?
Machine, foot control, power cord, standard zig-zag presser foot (not a 1/4 inch foot), a standard zig-zag throat plate
(not a straight stitch throat plate), bobbin case and correct bobbin. If bringing an embroidery sewing machine, also include an
embroidery hoop and the embroidery foot. it is a good idea to bring the machine’s manual to speed up servicing and may save you money.
A yearly service will prevent any heavily worn areas to be caught before they cause worse problems down the road.
For example, if a shaft or barring is not properly aligned, the excess wear will eventually cause other areas of the
machine to be prematurely worn out. Most older machines do not need major replacement of parts when preventative
maintenance is scheduled. Most newer machines certainly will not need parts replaced but weekly use might need thorough cleaning. Just like our bodies, teeth and car receive yearly check-ups, make sure your sewing
machine receives equal treatment.