Owning a sewing machine is a one-of-a-kind investment you should never regret. You will have a machine that can make sewing more accessible and faster. However, whether you invest in sewing machines for domestic or industrial purposes, learn how the model you pick works.
Many people out there learned how to sew using a needle and cotton thread. Running stitch was the key stitching mechanism used back then. However, the arrival of machines has brought about unimaginable changes to this art.
Sewing machines might seem frightening and complicated to use. You may also wonder what is inside your device. But then again, they are built to make your sewing life simpler and have made it easier to make creative and arty apparel. You may have come across different types of sewing machines. These machines are an exceptional bit of magic, but you may not know how they work. Fret not. Read on and find out how a sewing machine works and many other essential details.
What Is A Sewing Machine And Its Key Parts?
A sewing machine is an incredible machine used to sew up materials and fabric together using a thread. Sewing machines have, for many years, improved the productivity and efficiency of the textile industry globally. The available sewing machines vary in size, cost, appearance, and efficiency.
The primary working principle of sewing machines is not that complex. However, you need to know the different parts of a sewing machine. With this in mind, you will find it easier and efficient to sew different types of fabric. These parts include:
- Power Switch
Locating the power switch may seem an easy task, but it’s the first step towards learning how a sewing machine works. The power switch location may vary depending on the type of sewing machine you own or want to use. But you will typically find it on the right side of the machine.
- Spool Pin
A spool pin is a small metal or plastic pin that holds your spool of sewing thread and sticks out on the top of your machine.
- Thread Guide
The thread guide is a geometric metal piece that directs sewing thread from the spool to the bobbin winder. Also, it helps control the tension of the thread when the machine is in use.
- Bobbin Winder
You will also find the bobbin winder on the top of your sewing machine. It’s a metal or plastic pin that works together with a bobbin winder stopper and the spool of thread to wind thread evenly onto the bobbin before you start sewing.
- Stitch Adjustment Buttons
The stitch adjustment buttons help pick the type of stitch you create, its length, and the direction it will move, forward or in reverse. Each button on the machine plays a specific role.
- Take-up Lever
When you are ready to thread your machine, the top thread will pass through the take-up lever. The metal lever will move up and down in tandem with the needle. You will find the lever on the front left side of your sewing machine.
- Tension Dial/ Regulator
The tension dial helps regulate the tension on the top thread as you sew. With suitable tension, the bobbin thread and top thread will work together in even stitches.
Keep in mind that if the tension is too tight, the stitch will pull together and break. And if it’s too loose, the stitches will not hold and will loop on the garment you are sewing.
- Needle Clamp Screw
The needle clamp screw holds the needle in place when you are sewing. You will find this screw under the arm of your machine.
- Presser Foot
The presser foot helps hold the fabric in place and steers it through the sewing machine.
- Needle Plate
This metal plate is located below the presser foot and the needle. The small opening in the plate allows bobbin thread to come out and the needle to pass through to make stitches.
- Feed Dogs
The feed dogs are the rubber or metal teeth that pull the fabric between the needle plate and presser foot. They also help regulate the stitch length by controlling the amount of material being used or passes through as you sew.
Setting up Sewing Machine Stress-Free
Sewing machines vary a little bit from one model to another. You need to know how to set up the available model and ascertain more about how it works. If you have your manual handy, you may want to check it out and grasp specific instructions tailored to your model.
With your sewing machine, it’s easy and fast to make your clothes as per your preferences. Repairing torn or worn clothes should no longer be a hassle. If you are familiar with a sewing machine’s different parts or have used one before, it shouldn’t be daunting to assemble it and get started.
Every step matters as you set up your machine, so be cautious in your undertaking. Here are few things to keep in mind.
- Threading the Needle and Bobbin
While sewing, you need to form stitches. The bobbin and your needle will help in your endeavors. Get your machine going by inserting the thread through the hole in your Spool pin and then wind it around the bobbin. Make sure it is locked into place.
Go on and place the thread on the spool and apply some tension on the pedal. Watch how the bobbin will wind the yarn.
- Loading the Bobbin
Once you have loaded your bobbin, the next step shouldn’t be taxing. Figuring how to load the bobbin is an easy stretch towards learning how a sewing machine works. Follow the specified instructions on your manual on the direction the thread should be going.
- Thread Specified Parts of the Sewing Machine
Your sewing thread needs to reach the top parts of the machine. Guide it, making sure it is away from the spool, and you can easily insert it through the eyes of the needle. Make sure the thread is correctly stretched and not too tight or too loose. Your machine will be ready for use, and you can go ahead and learn how it sews different types of fabrics.
How a Sewing Machine Works- Key Mechanisms Involved
How a sewing machine works involves learning how every part of the equipment operates and how each stitch forms. It’s a step-by-step process undertaken repeatedly to get that perfect seam you are seeking. Here are the fundamental mechanisms that define how a sewing machine works. Have a look:
1. The Needle Mechanism
Understanding the anatomy of a sewing machine starts by looking at how the needle works. Needles determine how your machine makes stitches. The different parts that make a sewing machine needle help determine how it works.
The shaft helps drive a motor while the crankshaft pushes the needle to rise and fall as you sew. The crank will keep the engine in motion while the needle reciprocates by moving up-and-down. The efficiency of your sewing machine needle is determined by the length and shape of its essential parts.
The essential parts of a sewing machine needle include:
- Shank- It’s the upper part of a needle that is inserted into the sewing machine.
- Shaft- The area that contains the point of the needle, eye, scarf, and groove.
- Groove: The area that stretches to the needle’s eye and the place where the thread rests.
- Scarf – It makes it easy for the bobbin case hook to intersect with the thread and make stitches.
- Eye- The eye carries the thread you use for sewing fabric. It’s advisable always to pick a needle with the perfect size. A too large or small needle eye will cause the thread to break as you stitch.
- Point- It helps determine how a needle pierces or passes through a material. Common needle points vary depending on the type of fabric you are using. Sharp needle points are great for woven fabric, ballpoint needles exceptional for knit fabric, while universal needle points are excellent for knit and woven fabrics.
2. The Shuttle and Bobbin Mechanism
The bobbin and shuttle of a sewing machine help make stitches. However, they have to rotate faster than the needle to ensure the whole sewing process is effective. The shaft has to move the shuttle more quickly, and a loop stitch is then created while the take-up lever will ensure it is tight enough to last a lifetime.
The machine will make a stitch by holding the bottom thread coming from the bobbin. The needle will then pull the next part of the thread back up through the fabric. Depending on the rhythm of your sewing machine, two threads will intertwine to make a lock stitch.
3. The Feed-dog Mechanism
When stitching, you have to ensure the stitches are of equal length, and this is where the feed-dog application comes in handy. Feed dogs are thin teeth that move back and forth as you sew and determine how effective your machine will be for day-to-day use.
The feed mechanism determines how your sewing machine will work. Feed dogs will move a fabric forward to the stitching zone of your appliance. These teeth-like points move as you stitch and will gently grip your material as it passes through the sewing machine.
If your feed dogs are working flawlessly, you will not have any worries sewing as you will produce high-quality stitches. The sewing machines you find in the market come in varying feed dog mechanisms that determine their performance. The known types of sewing machines feed mechanisms include:
- Needle feed mechanism- Sewing machines that use double needles embrace the needle feed mechanism. The machine will rely on its needle as the key feeding component that pushes the fabric for stitching.
- The drop or regular feed mechanism involves the movement of feed dogs horizontally as they drag a fabric to the stitching machine.
- Puller feed mechanism – Machines that use the puller feed mechanism have rollers that catch and pull material to be stitched. The puller feed mechanism is used in stitching heavy and oversized materials like tents, leather upholstery, or automotive covers.
- Differential feed mechanism – Sewing machines that utilize the differential feed mechanism come with two independent feed dogs. These teeth-like folds are easily manipulated so that the fabric to be stitched is compressed as one wishes.
Vital Techniques That Make Sewing Machines Effective
When every sewing mechanism is well-coordinated, it is not that hard to come up with flawless stitches. The mechanical sewing process involves knowing several things.
1. Double-Threaded Stitching
The needle is a crucial element when you are making a handmade stitch. You have to press the needle through the material and pull a single thread as you stitch the fabric. With a sewing machine, you don’t have to rely on the needle all the time.
Its fundamental purpose is to pierce the material to push through one thread. You will make a knot with the second thread before it’s pulled back up. Here is how double-threaded stitching works:
- Tie the needle to the spool thread. It will pass through the fabric and the needle plate.
- The needle will rise slightly so that the thread folds into a loop as it is pushed against the needle plate.
- The loop will be caught by the bobbin case, which widens it. It will make a circle, and the bobbin will ensure a second thread is available.
- You will make a knot after the hook’s rotation is complete.
- Lastly, the needle will pull the upper thread back up to tighten the already made knot. You will have your stitch, and the cycle can go on as you wish.
2. Stitching and Fabric Synchronization
The sewing mechanism will only be effective if every part of the machine is working perfectly. The motor has to rotate and work effectively. It’s only possible if the mechanism of the cranks, belts, and drive shafts is effective.
There will be a synchronized movement of the needle and the threads you use. The presser foot and the feed dogs have to be in perfect shape to ensure the stitching mechanism is successful. They have to help pull the fabric between stitches.
Using Sewing Machine for the First Time- Everything to Know
Once you grasp key steps towards setting up and how a sewing machine works, don’t just stop there. There is a lot to learn, especially if you are a beginner and want to know more about sewing machines. Here are a few steps to hold at your fingertips.
- Place your sewing machine on a sturdy table and ensure you are comfortable working from the desired position.
- Locate the power switch. You can easily find it on the right side of your sewing machine.
- Insert your roll of thread on the spool pin, then pass it through the thread guide.
- The next thing is to wind and insert the bobbin in the right place. Ensure the threads are flawlessly attached for easier rewinding.
- Go on and check the stitch settings. Many people miss this step when using a sewing machine for the first time. Check the knob or the display on the device to select the most suitable stitch setting.
- Pass your thread through the take-up lever and ensure you can effortlessly feed it to the machine.
- Take your time and adjust the thread tension regulator or dial. You will need the proper tension to rest assured of high-quality stitches and ensure the machine works commendably.
- Cautiously place the material you have under the needle, but make sure it holds seamlessly in place.
- Connect your sewing machine to your power source and turn it on if you are ready to start sewing.
- Make sure you are comfortable and able to reach the pedal. Apply gentle pressure on the pedal with your foot. The sewing needle will move.
- Ensure the stitches are not messy and make possible adjustments if necessary.
Not every sewing machine you come across is easy to use. There are varied models with lots of parts that you need to get well-acquainted with before sewing. It’s also wise to learn how each component of the model you choose works.
The key to your success in sewing fabrics is to make sure you read the provided manual first. The whole process requires careful timing and dedication. Study the movement of the sewing machine and watch the kind of stitches you create.
When you miss a few steps or timing goes wrong, you will not create quality stitches, and many other issues may arise. At all times, ensure the sewing machine is in good condition and well-maintained.
To Sum Up
Knowing how the sewing machine you invest in works is a wise decision. You will use the information you gather to improve your sewing techniques, sew faster and enjoy the many benefits of using this machine. Significantly, you will know when to repair your machine and the necessary replacements to make.