Whether you are new to embroidery or a veteran embroiderer there’s no getting away from the fact that embroidery equipment costs money and one of the biggest investments will be your embroidery machine without which there would be no embroidery.
Danielle Park and Natalie Greetham of Madeira UK explain more.
With care a machine can last a very long time so to avoid costly engineer call outs, optimise production and keep your machine running smoothly it is vital to carry out regular machine maintenance.
Storage, temperature and air moisture
Keeping a continuous environment in both temperature and humidity is helpful for your machine, and most importantly your threads. Hydration and dehydration of natural fibres can age them, causing them to become brittle.
If you feel the environment or storage has adversely affected your threads, discarding a few metres of thread from the outside of the cone may help ensure you only use thread that has been shielded from a harsh environment.
What kind of care does a machine need?
Just like a car, oil and cleaning are essential. Follow the manufacturer recommendations for servicing, cleaning, oiling and greasing your machine. Set up a regular schedule and stick to it.
It is surprising how many forget to oil a machine that may cost more than their vehicle.
An air compressor with a filter to remove moisture, a good lint brush or canned air and the recommended oil and grease for your machine are the necessary tools to ensure trouble free machine operation and a long life. Preventative maintenance is the key. Machines work on tight tolerances, without the proper lubrication and cleaning your machine can experience excessive wear and may even freeze up.
Change needles regularly
We would recommend a set schedule for changing needles e.g. weekly in rotation. A broken needle can cause serious machine damage. Blunt needles or damaged needles with burrs can cause holes in garments or cause stitching to loop, look uneven or worse still not sew at all.
Cleaning any residue from the bobbin case inside and out and checking for any signs of damage will help keep tension stable which in turn improves the quality of your stitching. Always use good quality bobbin and top thread as inexpensive thread will quickly cause lint build up.
Don’t forget to clean underneath the needle plate too
Remove the needle plates once a week as part of your maintenance schedule otherwise thread tails can build up and affect the knives. Removing dust from power supply areas is also critical, doing so will prevent premature electronic failure. A soft paintbrush or canned air can be used to blast away lint and dust.
With regular maintenance you can ensure peak production capacity, maximum stitch quality, reduce machine downtime, reduce long term maintenance costs and increase the potential resale value should you wish to sell your machine.