Today we are going to talk about something that doesn’t always get thought about until it’s too late- maintenance. If you are anything like me, quite often you won’t think about doing those important little tasks that keep a machine or implement running smoothly until it’s not running quite so smoothly.. or at all! But for the sake of the longevity of your purchase and the quality of your designs it is important to get into the habit of maintaining your embroidery machine. Embroidery machines can be serviced just like your car, but this can be expensive and there will be a lot you can do by yourself between services to keep your stitches safe. The following blog will have general tips for keeping your embroidery machine maintained but every machine is different and should come with a user manual to guide you in the specific hows and whens of maintenance.
Lint and Dust
Lint and dust building up in the moving parts of your machine can cause an array of problems during your projects and to the realistic lifetime of your machine. Before each project it is important to visibly inspect your machine for dirtiness. You may need to clean the needle bay area. You can use the brush that should come with your machine for this. (or as you can see we just used a piece of tissue that we carefully wiped softly over any dusty parts). You will also need to check under the needle plate from time to time to ensure there is no debris build up here as well. As previously stated you may need to check your user manual to make sure you are taking the components apart correctly and not damaging anything while cleaning. Using compressed air if you have access to it can be a quick and easy way to clean any part that you have removed completely from the machine itself. We would recommend that you do not use this method for cleaning the rest of the machine however, as it can drive dust, grit and lint further into the mechanism. Remember that frequent cleaning of your machine can save money in servicing costs or even the life of your machine, as nothing kills a motor faster than choking on dust and overheating.
Knicks, Burrs or Imperfections
A lot of the time any knicks or burrs in the metal and plastic components of your machine will not affect the lifetime of your machine, they may however affect your sanity. An unchecked burr in your bobbin case or needle plate can be the cause of countless thread breaks or damaged needles. Ensure you are checking these and the other parts of your machine regularly, especially if you are having trouble with any thread shredding or breakage. Most burrs or knicks can be sanded back, failing this you may have to replace the part.
Grime and residue build up will not be a problem for all embroidery machine users, but if you are frequently using spray on adhesive or waxed thread you will eventually encounter it. Waxed thread can leave residue throughout your machine that will need to be cleaned with a slightly damp cue tip or even a makeup removal wipe. Do not use chemicals that may damaged the machine and make sure that it is not plugged in while cleaning it. Ensure you pay particular attention to the bobbin sensor when cleaning.
Your machine will most likely need to be oiled quite regularly so you will need to be aware of this. What you need to oil and how often will differ based on the machine so ensure to read the maintenance section of your user manual.
The final tip of course is, if you want to get the most out of your embroidery machine you need to get it serviced. At the end of the day there is no better way of maintaining a machine than getting the experts to take a look at it for you and doing all the jobs you don’t know how to. This is particularly important in the commercial embroidery sector but even hobbyists can get benefit from the practice of expert machine maintenance. Even if you aren’t using your machine too often it’s recommended servicing your embroidery machine between 12-18 months.
So keep those machine in perfect conditions so we can keep seeing the beautiful designs you can create using Sweet Pea Designs.
Agnes Borges Irizarry created a beautiful wall hanging using the Beauty Block and Quilt design
Jackie Uher created a fantastic quilt using the Vintage Quilt design
Jamie Brewer created a bright and colourful quilt using the Japanese Folded Sashiko quilt