An embroidery machine is a significant investment that is typically designed to last you through many years. Most machines today come with advanced technology and combine both sewing and embroidery into one unit. While this may be excellent because of enhanced performance, users should also be aware of the maintenance burden that such machines place upon them. Anyone who wants to keep his machine in excellent condition must maintain it through a regular round of steps to avoid its deterioration into an irreparable state.
Therefore, knowing how to maintain an embroidery machine is an essential lesson that, fortunately, most machine manufacturers acknowledge and put within their manuals. A well-maintained machine will not only serve you for longer but also give an exceptional output, just as the manufacturer had visualized and promised.
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Why You Should Regularly Inspect and Maintain Your Embroidery Machine
There are several reasons why as a user of an embroidery machine, you need to be watchful and ensure it is maintained as per the required standards. Mainly, the directions on care and maintenance will be indicated by the manufacturer. Below are some of the benefits of regular maintenance of your embroidery machine.
Sustenance of Peak Production – When an embroidery machine is in tip-top condition, its production capacity measured by the number of stitches, the speed, and the output it can give within a particular time is also enhanced. That you a direct benefit in terms of quick project completion and quality embroidery.
Sustenance of Maximum Stitch Quality – When using embroidery machines, you have the option of choosing different stitch patterns by the simple press of a button or choosing from an LCD screen for those embroidery machines that are advanced. There are three qualities of stitches the embroider focuses on length, width, and reinforcement. When a machine is well maintained, it satisfies all these qualities giving an overall impressive stitch quality. No stitch done with a well-cared-for machine will come out quickly. That is why it is essential to learn how to maintain an embroidery machine.
Maintaining the Viability and Salability of Your Embroidery Machine – After some time using your machine, you may want to resell it so that you can either upgrade or look for a different brand. If you have been maintaining your machine, the chances of it fetching a reasonable price are high.
To Reduce Repair Costs and Downtime – An embroidery machine that is well taken care of by a user who knows how to maintain an embroidery machine will have fewer cases of breakdowns and costly repairs. That will save you money both in the short term and long term, which you can channel to other investments.
Troubleshooting an Embroidery Machine
As part of the maintenance initiative, you must know your machine and the telltale signs that all is not well. When you know how to troubleshoot, many of the minor problems typical of embroidery machines will not bother you. That will also reduce the trips to technicians to have your machine sorted.
Presence of More than Two Threads at the Presser Foot – This is a common problem associated with sewing and embroidery machines. Usually, the threads at the presser foot are meant to be two and not very tight. In most cases, the third thread is a combination of bobbin and needle threads looping, thereby forming a stitch that interrupts the entire embroidery process. To fix this, you need to confirm whether the take-up lever is at the highest position before lifting the presser foot. When you raise the take-up lever by turning your handwheel and then finishing the stitch, your threads and fabric will automatically pull out of the machine with a lot of ease.
Loose Stitches Accompanied by a Loud Sound – When you learn how to maintain an embroidery machine, some of these signs will not get you scared. Usually, this problem occurs when you start sewing or embroidering while the presser foot is still in its upright position. So that makes the feed dogs unable to pull the fabric through the embroidery machine, thereby jamming the thread around the fabric creating such a big mess. The solution to this is for the presser foot to be firmly on the top of the fabric, thereby enabling the feed dogs to pull it through. In case of thread jam, unclog it and remove any other excess threads inside the machine and on the fabric and start all over again.
Machine Comes Unthreaded during Sewing – This is a problem commonly associated with new embroiders and sewers. This is why it’s crucial for them to carefully study the manual so that they can learn how to maintain an embroidery machine and troubleshoot. One likely cause for this problem is short threads. Alternatively, in instances where the threads were not carefully placed under the presser foot before beginning the sewing process, this could also cause the problem. To solve this, you should ensure the threads from the eye of the needle and the bobbin are about three to four inches long and carefully positioned under the presser foot.
Machine Skips Stitches – This is a problem caused mainly by a dull sewing or embroidery needle. The stitches may look uneven and loose. To arrest this problem, you should change the needle and, in its place, put a sharp needle of the correct type and size based on the fabric you are working on.
General Tips on How to Maintain an Embroidery Machine
As discussed above, how well you maintain your embroidery machine will determine the length of time, it will serve you. There are general tips that you should include in your maintenance regimen to enhance the efficiency of your machine.
Covering Your Machine When Not in Use – To prevent dust from entering into the sensitive areas of the machine, thereby causing it to operate below par, you should cover it when you are not embroidering. The best way to handle this is to invest in a sewing machine cabinet or table.
Oiling the Moving Parts – If you have gone through the “how to maintain an embroidery machine manual” that comes with almost every machine purchase, you will know that there are moving parts within your embroidery machine that require oiling to extend their lifespan. Oiling and lubrication also prevent the development of rust which can easily create excess wear. The general guideline of oiling embroidery machines is once every 30 days. Be careful to use the recommended oil as per the manufacturer’s instructions in the manual.
Cleaning of Crevices – Any hidden curves, corners, and crevices within the machine must be cleaned thoroughly to prevent dirt buildup. The best way to clean these crevices is by using compressed air, which helps prevent the buildup of lint and thread in the moving parts of your embroidery machine. The best practice is to use the canned or compressed air after sewing or embroidery projects involving heavy fabrics that shed a lot, such as corduroy.
Replacing the Sewing or Embroidery Needle When Necessary – Because of the magnitude of projects undertaken by your embroidery machine, your needles also become blunt and unsuitable for continued use in the process. One of the best ways on how to maintain an embroidery machine is by regularly inspecting and replacing the needles where necessary. If you are using the machine continuously for more than 12 hours daily, you may have to change your needle every 4 to 8 hours. Ensure you get rid of all old needles to avoid reusing them accidentally.
Wiping the Embroidery Machine Parts Regularly – Using a brush or a clean piece of cloth, you should wipe the various parts of your machine, particularly those exposed to the elements. Some machine parts that need regular brushing to remove dust and other particles include the presser foot, the bobbin, and the needle holes. When dusty, these parts affect the machine’s overall performance, leading to delayed projects and lower-than-expected quality of the embroidery. A blower can be used to clean out dust from all the parts, including the hidden ones.
Tightening or Replacing Loose Screws – When you use your embroidery machine on a day-to-day basis, the vibration during sewing and embroidery is enough to loosen some screws and nuts. The best approach to maintaining an embroidery machine concerning screws and nuts is to check and tighten or replace them regularly. Loose screws hinder the adequate performance of the machine by making the needle wobble and the stitches less durable. You may have to open the machine’s cover to check for any loose screws and tighten them.
There are many other tips on maintaining an embroidery machine, but this article has tackled the main ones that directly affect the performance of your machine. It is your investment and indeed your responsibility to take care of it so that it can serve you longer.
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