The importance of oiling and servicing your sewing machine
Hey all you ladies (and gents) that sew out there! When is the last time you cleaned, oiled, and serviced your sewing machine? Your sewing machine is the biggest investment in your sewing room. Whether you got it for a steal or not, it's the most important piece of equipment in the room, and keeping it well oiled and maintained is even more important! A well serviced and always clean machine will yield the best sewing you can possibly do.
- Consult your manual! The manual specific to your machine will tell you exactly what parts to oil, with detailed diagrams. You will open up and take off all the panels you can to cheap all parts of the sewing machine. Some things may need to be professionally serviced, but generally you can do most of it yourself.
- Get the proper sewing machine oil. It's white oil, not oil from the garage you'd use on your car.
- When sewing, only use GOOD QUALITY thread. Cheap thread will clunk up your machine and make it run slower. (see link below) It can damage the discs in the tension control, and on most machines this is somehting you won't even know if happening. Cheap thread will also cause more buildup and therefore more work everyday to clean your machine. I only use Gutterman thread.
- Keep compressed air within reach. Every morning I blow off all the excess lint buildup in my bobbin area and top of my machine. It's good to get in the habit of blowing off your machine and bobbin area after each project
- Oil your machine according to use. I oil my machine once a week, you may only need to oil it once a month or year.
My sewing machine runs for about twenty hours a week, since I work for about 40 hours a week at home, designing new things and sewing. Not all the work time is time spent on the machine, but 20 hours is still a LOT Of wear and tear. The frequency at which you service your machine is dependent on how much use it sees. But you should still always have a can of compressed air nearby by blow off fuzz and debris from the previous project.
Like the sewing machine above? It's a Brother Festival 461 from the late 1960s. It had never been used when I bought it and serviced it. It is currently for sale in my Etsy shop for anyone looking for a GREAT vintage machine.