Looking after your sewing machine is the one things us quilters are apt to forget. We want to sit and stitch, but to do so effectively, your machine needs a little love. That means cleaning regularly.
How often is that? Recommendations vary from after finishing sewing for the day, to after you complete a project, to once a month and so on. It all depends on how often you use your machine and how long for each time you do use it.
Sewing machines work better if they are used almost every day.
Modern sewing machines
A modern machine often has the advantage of you not having to oil it. It will have been oiled at the factory with sufficient lubricant. If you have an older machine, refer to your manual for how and when to oil. For most of us, that is the oiling taken care of.
However, every sewing machine needs cleaning. The exterior is easy to keep clean. Just wipe with a damp cloth. It is also advisable to keep your machine covered, out of direct sunlight and not in extremes of temperature.
Even the best sewing cotton thread makes tiny particles of ‘dust’ called lint. Lint gathers in and around the bobbin case out of sight. Again refer to your manual for cleaning. Basically you will be removing the plate (keep the screws safe) and usually the bobbin casing. Use the small brush that came with your machine to clean any lint. Never blow the lint, this will disperse it and it may go into the machine, where it should not be. Also clean the back of the sewing needle and where the spool of cotton sits.
N.B. If you are using fleece it will cause more lint that quilting cottons.
This will enable your machine to run smoothly and there should be no problems at your yearly service.
Sometimes your machine will become noisy or may even skip stitches. If you have not cleaned it for a long time, check to see if a good clean makes a difference before ringing a service engineer.
Copyright Karen Platt 2018