What could be more important than taking care of your most valued possession?? Today we are going to tell you about machine maintenance!! After a short interview with our in-shop Sewing Machine Technician, Keith Atkinson, I am going to pass on to you what he has told me. Cleaning and maintaining your machine is just as important as keeping your car in tip top condition. After every project you should clean and dust your machine and remove any lint as well. To remove the lint, you will have to remove your needle plate (please refer to your owners manual for instruction if you have not done this before) as well as the bobbin case (if your machine has a drop in bobbin from the top) and then you are able to start the cleaning process. Micro tip brushes (MBA-100 $7.49) are are great tool for cleaning out under your needle plate. Another great tool to use to clean out all those “dust bunnies” is the Vacuum Attachment (#440 $15.99) or the Mini Vacuum cleaner, battery operated (MVC-100 $13.00). You can also use canned air, but try to blow dust out of the area and not into your machine. When you use either vacuum cleaner, you will never run out of cleaning power, but when canned air is gone you need to get another can!! Another wonderful tool is the lint brush that came with your machine or we sell a Heirloom Lint Brush (HLB-100 $2.79) or a Machine Lint Brush (BN-91349 $6.49). Using a lint brush on a Serger is very important and cleaning out all that lint should be done after every use. Most Sergers need a couple drops of oil on the Upper looper shaft after cleaning as well.
What to do if you have a problem with your machine??
Keith wants everyone to know about T.N.T. If your machine is not stitching properly and the tension seems off then follow these easy rules:
“T” stands for threading. Don’t just assume you have threaded it correctly. Take the thread out and start again. Make certain the thread is in the take up lever and has gone through all thread guides. Make sure there is no thread jammed, or tied itself around the spool pin or the thread mast etc.
“N” stands for needle. Is the needle inserted and all the way up the needlebar? Is the needle dull?? Does your machine need a new needle? Is the needle the correct type for the job? (ie. denim, Microtex for knits, Topstitch, embroidery) Is the needle bent? Is the needle the correct size for the thread you are using??
“T” stands for tension. Is the bobbin thread correctly threaded into the machine and has it gone through the tension dial? Was the bobbin wound correctly? Is the upper thread in the upper tension discs? Is the thread in the take up lever?
Treat your machine with kindness and keep it clean and dust free and it will be with you for many, many years.
One final recommendation, have your machine serviced once a year by a certified technician or as we like to say, send it to the spa for a day of pampering!!
Thanks go out to Keith Atkinson for all his words, tips and tricks for Machine maintenance.
Until next time,