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How to Clean and Oil Your Sewing Machine

A little TLC keeps equipment running smoothly for years

Threads Issue #212, Dec. 2020/Jan. 2021
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I’ve learned over my years as a sewing machine repair technician that many sewers have a personal relationship with their machine. Like the one they have with family or friends, this one also requires care from time to time. In addition to routine professional maintenance, there are some easy ways to care for your machine at home. With a small amount of effort, you’ll reap rewards, with better results, less friction (literally), and more happy years together.

Sewing machines, like people, have personalities. One model may form a stitch in a slightly different way from another. This means you may be dealing with quirks that are unique to your machine. I am going to point out some of these individualities.

Machines can be categorized into two bobbin system types: horizontal/drop-in or vertical, which is usually front-loading. Both can then be subdivided into rotary and oscillating. In the photos…

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