How to extend the life of your sewing machine

Prices of sewing machines seem to rise every year, especially those that are computerized or for a special use, like embroidery. So, it only makes sense to make sure they last as long as possible. Below we cover ten tips that will not only help extend the life of your sewing machine but also ensure it performs as it should.

Cleaning your Sewing Machine Regularly

Our first tip is one that might go without saying: keep it clean. Sewing machines rely on precision to function at their best. Dust, lint, and thread that accumulate in the machine can causing reduce performance and even cause damage. Getting into the habit of regularly spending a few minutes cleaning your sewing machine can help keep it running smoothly and sewing like new.

Always Use the Right Needle

There’s a lot of options when it comes to sewing needles. The concern with using the wrong needle is that it may not only provide unwanted results, but that it could also damage the sewing machine.

Consult the manual that came with your sewing machine and specifically look for the type and length of needle the manufacturer recommends for a given type of fabric.

If your sewing machine’s manual doesn’t have the information you need, try the manufacturer’s website.

Stick Within your Machine’s Abilities

Every sewing machine has capabilities and things it just cannot do, or at least do well. Stick to things your machine is designed to do, not to things that it wasn’t.

If you have a standard sewing machine, sewing heavy canvas isn’t a good idea, for example. Heavy duty sewing machines are made to deal with the additional stress of heavy fabrics whereas a standard sewing machine is not.

Follow the Machine’s Lubrication Schedule

The second word in ‘sewing machine’ is a big hint here. While sewing machines have become quite refined, they are still machines with many moving parts – cogs, gears, levers, shafts, and of course, at least one motor.

Some of these parts are need to be oiled, or lubricated, to reduce friction and keep everything working smoothly. Like with the selecting the right needle, look to your sewing machine’s manual to identify oil points and how often each should be oiled.

Sewing Machine and Sewist

Stick with Original Parts and Accessories

Whether buying an accessory or replacing a lost part, go with official components and items from your sewing machine’s manufacturer. Buying cheaper knock-offs from third party brands might save a bit of money in the short term. But, they could not only damage the machine, but also void its warranty just for using them.

It is as important, or more important, when it comes to electronic components. An off-brand power supply or pedal might save a few dollars, but could also damage the machine.

Avoid Cheap Thread and Bobbins

Like cheap parts, cheap thread and bobbins should be avoided. Cheap thread can be rough on the machine, causing wear and tear over time. The same holds true for cheap bobbins.

Where bobbins are concerned, always use the specific bobbins recommended for your sewing machine. If your sewing machine brand sells bobbins, they are the best There are obviously your best bet.

Protect and Store your Sewing Machine

When not in use, it’s a good idea to both cover your sewing machine and store it in a safe environment. Using a soft or hard sewing machine cover will protect it from dust and other debris. This helps keep it clean which can extend its lifespan.

Sewing machines should be stored in a dry, cool place. Avoid areas with direct sunlight, and places that are very hot or very cold. Even more importantly, never store a sewing machine in a damp or humid area. The majority of a sewing machine’s precisely engineered inner workings are made of metal. Prolonged exposure to humidity makes the possibility of rust developing on those parts greater.

Leave Repair to the Professionals

When you’re in the middle of a sewing project and your machine breaks you may be inclined to try and fix it yourself. But, unless you have experience working on sewing machines, it is best to have a professional do the job. Attempting to repair it yourself can cause more damage and potentially void the warranty.

Wrapping up

Whether you paid two hundred or two thousand dollars for your sewing machine, consider it an investment. And, the best way to get the most out of that investment is to use it and treat it like the precision machine it is.

When properly used and cared or, a sewing machine can provide a lifetime of use.