Sewing machines are useful to everyone and especially to those who like to play with fabrics. With the help of sewing machines, you can create different types of things made with fabrics. Since there are different types of sewing machines available out there it is necessary to know about their parts and functions. Buying a sewing machine is not a difficult task when you know the purpose of it. Here in this post, today we are going to tell you about all of the different parts of a sewing machine and their functions. If you are not familiar with the sewing machines then you will find this post useful. We have already posted about the best sewing machines for different uses and now its time to learn about the sewing machine parts and functions so you can buy a machine according to your needs.
What Is A Sewing Machine
A sewing machine is a machine that is used to sew fabrics and cloth materials together. Not only this but you can also use a sewing machine to add buttons and for making quilts. Sewing machines were invented to reduce manual sewing work and with time the sewing machines started getting quick upgrades and features.
These days you can do almost all types of sewing work using sewing machines as different types of needles and sewing machines with different features available out there. When you go out to buy a sewing machine, don’t forget to read the parts and features that particular machine offers as you can use them for quick fabric works.
- Also Read About: Best Sewing Machines For Quilting
Parts of A Sewing Machine and What They Do
Foot Pedal is also known as Treadle and this part of the sewing machine makes every operation easy. Instead of using your hand, you use this pedal to run your machine. Even though this is not an important part to look for, but it definitely comes handy many times. When you are working on a long fabric or have a long fabric to handle, then you can keep your hands busy with the fabric while running your machine using this part.
Mechanical and big sewing machines come with this part out of the box but when you are buying a portal and small sewing machine then you might not get this part with your machine. The best thing about foot pedal is that it is detachable so you can remove it and use the machine with your hands and then you can attach it with the sewing machine when you want to work with both of your hands.
It is very important to know about the different types of Sewing Needle available out there. Since there are sewing machines of different types for different work available out there, a variety of needles is available for them. Selecting the right needle to do a particular work is as important as selecting the design, threads, and fabric for your work.
Sewing Needle sizes depend on the country you are buying it in but the type remains the same all around the world. Here are some of the most common Sewing Needles that you can find out there:
- Universal Needle – These needles are used for basic sewing, stitching, and on all types of thin to medium-heavy woven fabrics.
- Ball Point Needle – These needles are used to sew on knits it can pass through the threads by separating them.
- Regular Point Needle – These needles are mostly used with high-speed sewing and embroidery machines.
- Demin or Jeans Needle – As the name says, these needles are for sewing denim, jeans, and canvas.
- Twin Needle – Mostly used for decorative stitching as it makes two stitches closely.
- Wing-Needle – Used with linen & cotton and it makes a small hole in the fabric while sewing.
- Leather Needle – These needles are used with leather and vinyl.
Needle Clamp and Screw
Since you already know about the sewing machine needles, it is very important to know about the Needle Clamp as well. This particular part is responsible for holding the needle in its place. Doesn’t matter what type of sewing machine you are using, you will always find a Needle Clamp part in it as it comes in different shapes and sizes.
Based on your fabric, you can use the Needle Clamp Screw to loosen and tighten your needle. Remember that a screwdriver must be used to do that else you may end up damaging this specific part. While changing the needle make sure it is fitting perfectly in the Needle Clamp and tighten the Clamp Screw to stop the needle from moving.
Presser Foot With Lever
Presser Foot Lever holds the fabric against Feed Dog so that the fabric can stay in its place. By using this lever you will be able to adjust the pressure to be put on fabric by Presser Dial. There are multiple parts attached to this lever and one among them is Presser Foot Screw which needs to remove when you want to detach the Presser Foot Lever.
Some sewing machines come with a Presser Foot Lever on either side but some of them might not have a dedicated handle for it. If you are using an old sewing machine then you will have to lift and adjust the Presser Foot Lever manually from its place. First, you will need to lift the lever up or down and then apply pressure on it to fix its position.
Above, we have mentioned about the Presser Foot and don’t get confused between Presser Foot and Presser Dial. Though both of them are connected to each other and serve one purpose, still these both parts are different. While the Presser Foot ensures that fabric stays in its placing when Feed Dogs are moving it, Presser Dial applies pressure to it.
You can manually adjust the pressure to be put on a piece of fabric while you are working on it. Just for the information let us tell you that light-weight fabrics require high pressure from Presser Dial so that Feed Dogs can have better control over it. The same goes for heavy fabrics and you must loosen the pressure using this dial so the fabric can be moved easily.
Hand Wheel/Stitch Selector
Hand Wheel is directly connected with your needle, so in most cases, this wheel will move with the movement of your needle and vice-versa. It doesn’t matter what type of sewing machine you are buying, you will always get this part on it. In almost all cases, this Hand Wheel can be found on the right side of the sewing machine.
If you are a beginner, then you should start your stitching or sewing work with Hand Wheel. Also, many experts use this wheel to control to movement of the needle. When you want to have better control over the needle then you must use this wheel. In computerized sewing machines, this wheel is set to move automatically with the needle but can be used manually too.
Thread Reverse Lever
The Reverse Stitch Lever helps you in making stitches in reverse. This is a dedicated part available on almost all advanced sewing machines and it comes really handy when you want to make some strong stitches on fabric. Most of the people out there use this part as a precaution and to tighten the stitches they are making.
Some machines might have a button for that but in most cases, you will get a level that needs to be pulled down. Just after pulling it down, your machine will start making the stitches in reverse. Remember that you have to run your machine just like how you use it because this part automatically changes the direction of the needle and the thread.
Thread Take-Up Lever
This part pulls out the thread back again once the needle made a stitch on the fabric. This lever moves up and down with the lever and it helps in keeping your thread from being unnecessary sewed. You will see that the thread is passing through this part and remember that the thread can be tension free while passing through this part.
In some sewing machines, you might not be able to see this part but in most of the machines, this part is easily visible. Though it can’t be used to configure or modify any settings but it is very important as it pulls the thread back to its position. With this part, your machine will have some thread left out on the fabric and that can ruin your stitches and other work.
Bobbin Winder can be found on all of the sewing machines that are available out there. From basic to advanced, each sewing machine will have this part because this part is responsible for attaching the thread into the bobbin. You can find this part on the top of your sewing machine and it will be near the bobbin.
Just because it helps a thread to get into its place, this part is also known as Thread Guide. Also, this specific part will help you to attach a thread into the bobbin without any tangles and twists, so it is really a helpful part of sewing machines. There are different types of Bobbin Winder available out there so look for it carefully before working on your machine.
Even though not all sewing machine comes with this part but we have mentioned it just for educational purpose. Most of the sewing machines these days have this Pattern Selecter part which is really helpful to those who do different work such as stitching, sewing, and embroidery on their sewing machines.
With this part, you will be able to select the pattern of stitch to be made on the fabric. Based on the machine you are using, you will be able to choose among embroidery, zigzag stitches, straight stitches, and many more. This part is very easy to use as it comes as a dial and you just have to turn to dial to the desired pattern to get the work done.
Stitch Length Adjustment
This part helps you in setting the length of the stitches your machine is about to make. Every sewing machine has a different length limit so you might have to refer to your sewing machine’s manual or product page to find out what is the stitch range of your machine. Generally, the range of every machine is 0 to 4.
There will be a dedicated option or dial available in your sewing machine for this part. Remember that the design of your stitch has nothing to do with the stitch length as it is just for length adjustment. When you will use this part then the adjustment will take place at the feed dog so you will be able to see the changes in real-time.
The name of this part says everything about it. A Thread Cutter is an essential part of a sewing machine because it helps you in cutting the thread when your work is done. Also, if you are working with multiple colors of threads then you can use this part to cut your threads multiple times without using a scissor.
Luckily, there are many sewing machines available out there which come with an automatic thread cutter and it comes handy for both the beginners and advanced sewers. If not automatic, then you will definitely find a manual working Thread Cutter in every sewing machine that you buy these days. Also, you must look for an automatic one instead of a manual.
Thread Tension Disks
Thread Tension Disks are another important part of a sewing machine as they help in setting the tension of the thread. Almost every sewing machine for home comes with an option to adjust the thread tension that helps you in modifying the stitches you are making. These disks help you in tightening and loosing of the stitches you are making.
There are two Tension Disks available in a sewing machine and the thread is placed in the middle of them. If your machine has a Tension Dial, then you can use it to increase or decrease the tension of the sewing machine thread. It totally depends on the fabric you are working with how much tension you want to set for the thread.
Because of its teeth-like structure, this part is known as Feed Dog. This part pulls your fabric from the front of the sewing machine to backward. Almost all types of work need this part and it is basically one of the most important parts of a sewing machine. If you were not aware of this then you must read more about it.
Feed Dog can be found under the Needle Plate and there are about 2 of the Feed Dog available in every sewing machine. When you are using the foot presser, then these parts help you in moving the fabric. Even when you are using your hands to do embroidery this part helps you in moving your fabric without any difficulties.
If your machine has some movable parts and LED light, then you might find them under Face Plate. The topmost part of a sewing machine is covered with a cover and that cover is known as Face Plate. The name itself says safe so there is no need to mention that all of the working elements of a sewing machine can be found under this plate.
There will be rare or nil chances when you will have to open this part. Though if your machine is not working properly, the LED light of your machine is faulty or you are facing issues with the motor, then you will have to repair them by removing this part from your machine. The only purpose of this part is to protect all important sewing machine components.
Slide Plate is also known as Bobbin Place Cover and this part covers the bobbin and acts as a bobbin case. There are some sewing machines out there in which you can open this part to access the space under it. Well, if you are thinking of changing or fixing the issues related to the bobbin, then you will need to open this part.
Remember that in some sewing machines, this part might be at some other place where the bobbin is fitted. Also, if there is no need for the bobbin cover in any machine then you won’t find this part in that machine. You can refer to your sewing machine’s manual to know about the procedure of opening and closing this specific part.
Throat Plate/Needle Plate
There are many names of this part like Needle Plate, Throat Plate, etc. This part is basically the covering of the bobbin and can be found on the upper surface of the flatbed. Different sewing machines have different types of Throat Plates but they all serve only one purpose, which is allowing a needle to go through the fabrics easily.
Some of the Throat Plates come with guiding lines that come really handy to the beginners. Also, this part is attached to the sewing machines with screws but you can open it as it is a removable part. Hardly there will be chances that you need to open this part as this is only for the protection of the fabric and for easy movement of the needles.
Functions of Sewing Machine Worksheet
Sewing Machine Diagram Labeled Parts
Again, this function might not be available in every sewing machine but a lot of machines are coming with this feature nowadays. The Ruler or Measuring Guide comes handy to people who are buying the sewing machine for professional and embroidery work. The main aim of this function is to allow a person to do the measurement of the fabrics and stitches so everything goes right.
In case you have a machine that doesn’t have this function, then you can consider buying a measuring tape and place it in the accessories box. A rule or measuring guide is a necessary function for all.
Spool Pin and Holder
Well, Spool Pin is one of the most important things of a sewing machine. Without this function, a sewing machine won’t work at all. The main purpose of this part is to hold to thread spool in its place. All of the sewing machines have this function and the layout and placement can be different in all of the sewing machines out there.
In most cases, the top area of the sewing machine will have Spool Holder but in some fancy sewing machines, you might find it placed horizontally. In some machines, there is a cap given with it that helps you in securing this pin from getting damaged. Usually, this Spool holder is very thin and you may get some extra Spool Pins with your sewing machine.
Needle and Needle Clamp
Of course one of the most important functions in a sewing machine is the needle. Without a needle, your thread, LED lights, Presser Foot, and other important parts are useless. There are different types of needles available out there as we told above and to help needle while stitching and other works Clamp is attached to it.
Presser Dial keeps the fabric in its place, Spool Holder keeps the spool in its place, similarly, the Needle Clamp keeps a needle in its place. This part is attached to the Needle Bar which is further connected to the bobbin. Well, usually this part doesn’t require any setup but if you want then you can adjust the position of the needle with this Needle Clamp.
So this is all about sewing machine parts and functions and we hope now you know about parts of a sewing machine and what they do. Remember that not every sewing machine will have all of the parts mentioned above in this post. While buying a machine you must look for all of the basic features and parts and not go with the fancy ones.
We will keep this post updated with more parts and functions of the sewing machine so keep visiting Quilted Sewing blog to know about them. We might have missed some sewing machine parts and functions, if you think we have missed something then you can let us know about them via the comments below so we can include them to this list.