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Q&A: Dual Feed Versus Walking Foot

Threads magazine - 175 - Oct./Nov. 2014
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READERS’ QUESTIONS – EXPERT ANSWERS

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, or even-feed, 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 would help as you topstitch velveteen; if you have a walking foot as well, you might want to test both options to see which works better for your project. A walking foot can be used on sewing machines that don’t include the dual-feed feature. You may want to read “Velvet Indulgence” by Linda Lee, in Threads #140, Dec. 2008/Jan. 2009. The article gives other great suggestions for sewing velvet.

This article was originally featured in the Q&A department of Threads #175 (Oct./Nov. 2014).


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