There is a huge list of things you need to do to keep your sewing machine in working order but these are the basics that you need to look out for on a daily basis. Not only will this list keep your machine working it is also important for your safety. Sewing machines are not toys. They can maim or even kill if not serviced correctly. For safety reasons we advise unplugging your machine from the mains before attempting to do any maintenance.
Lint is a build up of fluff from using thread. Although it looks harmless enough it builds up in hard to reach areas and clogs up the mechanism of your sewing machine.
Open up any casings you can on your machine and clean the lint out with a small brush. You will generally find a build up near the bobbin case. Don't use a vacuum cleaner. It has too harsh a suck and can remove small parts and oil.
Try to clean the lint from your sewing machine every time you have finished a project. That way your machine will always be ready for use.
Sewing Machine Oil
Use proper oil! Don't use the stuff you put in your car engine because it won't penetrate the moving parts properly. Proper sewing machine oil is clear and you may have had some included with the purchase of your machine. If not you can buy it quite easily as most sewing shops. Refer to your owners manual for the areas that need regular oiling. Some machines have these areas marked but check your manual anyway.
After oiling run a few stitches over some scrap fabric. This allows any excess oil to escape onto the scrap piece and not on your new sewing project.
Oiling your machine properly stops wear and tear and keeps everything working smoothly. It also prevents rust which can form on surface areas. Rust doesn't only stain your fabrics it gets into the mechanism of your sewing machine and grinds away at the moving parts.
As you oil your machine check for any screws that may have become loose and tighten them as necessary. Some may require a hex key to tighten so it maybe worth getting hold of a set if you can.
If you find a missing screw don't use the machine until it has been replaced. A missing screw can cause huge damage to your machine particularly if it's part of the timing mechanism.
Look out for wires that have split or where the outer PVC covering is becoming worn. This won't usually be a problem on the inside workings of the sewing machine as those wires are generally fixed and don't move.
The most common fault is with the cable on the pedal. Make sure it's not being stretched when in use. Make sure the outer PVC of the cable is not split and showing the copper inner cores.
Check the plug where it fits into your machine. With a lot of use these can wear and become sloppy causing your machine to short out at the most inconvenient of moments.
If you find any electrical faults I would advise taking your machine to a competent electrician or servicing agent as you cannot be too careful when it comes to electricity.
As I said in the beginning these are only the basics of sewing machine maintenance. Later I will go into more detailed servicing but if you follow the simple steps often you will spend less time having your sewing machine repaired and keep your machine in good working order.
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Sewing Machine Repairs
Sewing Machine Repairs
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