How Does A Self Threading Sewing Machine Work

A self-threading sewing machine is a one-stop shop for those who take their sewing projects seriously. This type of machine allows sewers to quickly and easily thread the machine themselves, eliminating the need for a seamstress to do it for them. Here, we look into the basics of how a self-threading machine operates and what makes it so convenient.

Let’s start with the basics. To use a self-threading sewing machine, you would first need to access the machine’s threading plate. Generally, this is usually just above the needle. This plate should be easy to identify as it usually has arrows and diagrams printed around it. Once you have identified it, you need to loop your thread so that it is easy to grab onto the thread take-up lever. On the left side of the sewing machine, there should be an area that looks something like a small, round platform. This is the thread take-up lever, and it is what the thread needs to be looped around.

Next, after looping your thread around the thread take-up lever, you should thread the needle itself. This can be done in several ways. Some machines have a ‘U’ shape located near the needle that allows you to loop the thread around it, pick it up, and thread it onto the needle. This is a feature called an automatic needle threader and it eliminates the need for manual threading when using the machine. Other machines may not have this feature, in which case, you will just have to manually thread the needle yourself. Once, the needle is threaded, you can start operation.

Another reason why self-threading machines are so popular for those who sew is that these machines generally require much less manual labor to operate. This type of machine combines both the thread take-up lever and the bobbin threader, saving sewers the time usually spent threading the bobbin separately. To use a self-threading sewing machine, all you need to do is attach the bobbin, loop your thread around the thread take-up lever, thread the needle, and you are good to go.

One of the biggest advantages of self-threading machines is that they are much more accessible. Unlike manual sewing machines, self-threading machines do not require an operator to have prior experience in threading the machine. This makes these machines much easier to learn and allows experienced sewers to quickly get started on their projects. Additionally, self-threading machines come with much more advanced features than manual sewing machines, allowing for a much broader range of stitches. This is why these machines are so popular with those who take their sewing seriously.

In conclusion, self-threading sewing machines are becoming increasingly popular with sewers of all skill levels. They make the process of threading a machine significantly easier and are much more accessible to those who are new to sewing. Additionally, self-threading machines come with many advanced features that are not available on manual machines, allowing for a much broader range of stitches. With all that in mind, it is easy to see why these machines are so popular with those who take their sewing projects seriously.

Special Features

Self-threading machines come with a range of special features that make them stand out from traditional manual machines. One such feature is the adjustable tension setting. This allows a sewer to adjust the tightness of the stitch, making it much easier to achieve the desired result. Additionally, many self-threading machines come with drop-in bobbin loading, making it easier to reload the bobbin without having to remove the top of the machine. This is much quicker and more convenient than reloading with a manual machine.

Some more advanced features available with self-threading machines are the needle up/down feature and stitch memory options. The needle up/down feature allows the user to adjust the position of the needle based on the type of stitch being used. This can be used to help avoid fabric bunching up and is especially useful when sewing in circles. The stitch memory option is a great feature for those who do a lot of complex stitching as it allows you to save your stitches and recall them at a later date.

Another great feature of some self-threading machines is the ability to link it up to a computer. This allows the user to access even more advanced features such as graphic stitching, embroidery and special quilting functions. Combined with the adjustable tension setting and stitch memory option, this allows the user to create intricate designs quickly and easily.

Maintenance Tips

Regardless of the type of sewing machine you use, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance to ensure it runs optimally. With a self-threading machine, this is especially true and there are a few extra steps to consider. First of all, make sure to keep the threading plate clean. This should be done before every project and can be done with a dry, lint-free cloth. This will help prevent the thread from knotting or snagging.

It is also important to keep the automatic needle threader in good condition. Generally, it is a good idea to inspect the needle threader periodically and make sure all the parts are in working order. Additionally, if the machine starts to act differently in any way, immediately unplug it and inspect for the source of the issue. This will help prevent any further problems from occurring.

Finally, it is important to keep the bobbin clean and in a dust-free environment. This will help to ensure the smooth operation of any self-threading machine. A good way to do this is to keep the bobbin in the machine, but covered with a dust cover when not in use. This way, it will remain clean and protected from foreign particles.


Self-threading sewing machines can range in price depending on the model and features. Generally, these machines can range from about $100 to $500, with more advanced models costing significantly more. While these machines may be more expensive than manual machines, they are well worth the extra money considering the added convenience and features.

When shopping for a self-threading machine, it is important to consider the intended use. More advanced machines will generally come with a wide range of features, but may not be necessary for basic operations. If you plan on using the machine for more intricate projects, then it would be worth investing in a more expensive model that comes with all the advanced features. But if you are simply looking for something to handle basic sewing tasks, then a cheaper model should suffice.

Pros and Cons

Overall, self-threading sewing machines are an excellent option for those looking to take their sewing projects to the next level. They are significantly more convenient than manual machines and allow for a much wider range of stitches. However, it is important to be aware of some of the potential drawbacks of these machines. One such is that they may be more expensive than manual machines. Additionally, they may not be as strong or durable as some manual machines.

Another potential issue is that these machines may require more upkeep than manual machines. If not properly maintained, these machines can start to act erratically and may even break down. Additionally, some of the more advanced features found on these machines may be too complicated for those who are new to sewing and may require additional help or guidance.

Finally, these machines can be quite large and may take up more space than manual machines. This can be a nuisance, especially in smaller spaces. Despite these drawbacks, a self-threading sewing machine is still a great tool for those who take their sewing seriously. With the right maintenance and usage, one of these machines can last you years, while also making the process of threading the machine significantly easier.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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