"If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence. "
- Lao Tzu
Embroidery Machine is indeed an investment even if you are a beginner or an expert. Whether you use it every day or every once in a while, it’s important to take good care of your machine. This consists mainly of oiling, cleaning, and right handling.
Embroidery Machines are quite expensive and thus it is important to maintain and take care of which also helps in prolonging the life of the embroidery machine.
Here are some tips using which you can properly take care of your machine-
Make sure to take it out and clean it at least once a year. If you are using the machine regularly you should aim for a clean every second time you change the bobbin thread. That’s a good rule of thumb. Things you might need to maintain and clean your embroidery machine are-
– New Sharp Needles
– Screwdrivers which came with your embroidery machine
– A clean brush
– Embroidery machine oil (the type of oil depends on the machine you own)
– Paper Towels/ Tissues
– A cloth
– Dental Floss
While cleaning Remove all the parts possible in order to clean the machine thoroughly. Keep the parts in order to make it easier to replace them. Then remove the bobbin case to remove all lint and stray threads. After that Pull a piece of cloth soaked in solvent back and forth between the discs to clean.
– Bobbin area – You have to clean the area carefully to remove lint using a soft brush. Tweezers may be helpful in removing stray threads.
– Faceplate area- You can remove lint from the faceplate area using a soft brush.
– Handwheel area- You can loosen the screw in the face of the locknut in order to remove the clutch and handwheel.
– Oiling- You can place two drops of oil in all holes designated by the instruction booklet.
Lastly clean Parts of a needle.
1) Keep The Embroidery Machine Covered
Before you start the cleaning process, make sure you keep the Embroidery Machine Covered when not in use. It is crucial to protect your machine from dust.
Also, make sure a soon as you finish your embroidery project to clean the lint build-up before covering it up. You can use compressed air to remove lint and thread from tension discs, bobbin area, and the feed dogs.
You can protect your Embroidery Machine using a dust cover or keeping in a hard box. Keeping your Embroidery Machine covered accumulates less dust and would be easier to clean.
2) Oil Your Machine Regularly
In order to extend the life of the embroidery machine’s parts and keep the machine operating correctly, oil the machine before the first time that it is used. If too little oil was applied to the race, an error message may appear on the display screen.
The more often you use your sewing machine, the more often it needs to be oiled. Every four months is a good rule of thumb. Just be sure not to over oil your machine because the extra oil can mix with dirt and dust and gunk up your gears.
White mineral oil is a light oil that could be used as a substitute for sewing machine oil. White mineral oil is a clear liquid and could be called liquid petroleum because it is a by-product of the petroleum distillation process. Mineral oil is a cheap substitute and available widely in most drug stores.
Steps to oil the embroidery machine.
- Turn off the embroidery machine.
- Open the hook cover to remove the bobbin case.
- Rotate the handwheel (about 50 degrees) to move the hook to a position where it can be oiled easily
- Put a drop or two of oil onto the hook.
- After oiling, insert the bobbin into the hook, then close the hook cover.
3) Change the needle of embroidery machines
The rule of thumb is to change your needle after 8 hours of sewing. Depending on the project, some sewists change needles once and sometimes twice insuring a quality stitch. You can also change your needle after every 3 full bobbins or every 2 pre-wound bobbins used. It is also recommended that you change the needle after each project or if using a fabric that naturally dulls the needle such as leathers or heavy fleece.
Change damaged needles immediately.
Steps on How to Change a Sewing Machine Needle
- Loosen the needle set screw.
- Pull the needle downwards and out of the needle bar.
- Insert a new needle. Push upwards until the butt of the needle hits the stop.
- If using an industrial sewing machine, turn the needle so the scarf is on the same side as the hook assembly on the machine
- Tighten the needle set screw.
4) Make Use of the Right Thread and size
Make Use of the Right Thread and size can help you maintain your machine.
Machine sewing thread is thinner and more tightly spun. The most uniform difference between machine sewing thread and machine embroidery thread is in PLY, MATERIAL, and FINISH. Most machine embroidery threads are 2-ply, rather than 3-ply, meaning that they are twisted from two strands of fibers.
Typical sewing thread measures in at 50 wt. And the standard embroidery threads are somewhat finer, most often 40 wt., although 30 wt. is not uncommon. Unless specified, mostly the digital machine embroidery designs are digitized for 40 wt. use fine thread. But the good news is using regular shouldn’t hurt your machine at all. The only problem you may find is that regular thread is a little thicker and it may pile upon you as you embroider. In other words, you may get more coverage with regular thread than you would with normal embroidery varieties.
It is perfectly acceptable to mix the number of threads used within the same project. You might want to alter the texture of the finished piece by working in one, two and even three strands.
A Bit on Choosing Colors for Embroidery-
That background color is the color that you want to match when you choose the fabric. Even if the backside of the fabric is white and all of your stitching will be inside the item, you want the thread to match the right side of the fabric, just in case the thread was to show on the outside of the garment.
In color combinations, three colors of yellow could be yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange. You can combine analogous colors, but it helps to add in a complementary color also. With one of the yellows, it would be nice to add a purple, the complementary color will work well!
You can use the color combination to make and us these Embroidery Running Stitch. Do not confuse yourself with the running man, the running stitch offers a quick way to outline a design.
- Backstitch. The backstitch is when you need a solid line, to create outlines or hand embroidered letters
- Split Stitch
- Stem Stitch
- Satin Stitch
- French Knots
- Chain Stitch
- Lazy Daisy
Embroidery skills can easily transmit over to hand sewing skills. Embroidery can be very creative and fun to do. It is a good skill to master and keeping your embroidery machines clean and maintained can help you develop this skill more professionally.