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Q&A: Dual Feed Versus Walking Foot


Q: I have made a velveteen jacket, and would like to topstitch it. I have a machine with a dual-feed option. Would this work? Or would the walking foot work better?

-Nan Stover, via email

A: April Mohr, Threads administrative assistant, answers:

Both a dual-feed function and a walking foot will provide the control you need for topstitching velveteen. Each, in its own way, ensures that as the fabric moves under the presser foot, all layers move at the same speed. Otherwise, the top and bottom fabric layers travel at different speeds because the fabric layer closest to the feed dogs moves through the needle area faster than the layer directly under the presser foot. Most of the time, the difference is insignificant, but when you add more layers or sew a bulky or pile fabric such as velvet or velveteen, the problem compounds and becomes more noticeable. There's no harm in using your machine's dual-feed function or a walking foot for all sewing that doesn't require a different specialty foot, such as when installing a zipper.

To answer your question: Yes, your machine's dual-feed function or a walking foot would help immensely as you topstitch velveteen. You may want to read "Velvet Indulgence" by Linda Lee, in the January 2009 Threads #140. The article gives other great suggestions for sewing velvet.

This post was originally featured in the Q&A department of Threads #175 (October/November 2014).


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