How To Cover Feed Dogs On Sewing Machine

How to Cover Feed Dogs on Sewing Machine

Using a sewing machine is a skill that many people find extremely useful. Feed dogs are an essential part of a sewing machine and need to be covered in order for the material to be safely handled. This article will cover exactly how to cover feed dogs on a sewing machine, as well as its importance and the benefits of doing so.

Feed dogs are metal teeth on the base of the sewing machine that grip the fabric as it is being stitched, helping move the fabric along while creating the perfect seam. Without feed dogs, the fabric will not be moved in a proper pattern, leading to irregular stitches and fraying which may ruin the fabric. Thus, it is essential that they are properly covered before the machine is used to ensure proper stitching.

The most common material used to cover feed dogs is a thin quilt batting. Quilt batting is easily available in many fabric stores and is a perfect choice as it is extremely lightweight and can be folded onto itself allowing for better coverage of the feed dogs. Depending on the fabric being used, iron-on interfacing may also be used to provide even better grip on the material.

To cover the feed dogs, start by folding the batting or interfacing in half, then use an iron to press the interfacing onto the feed dogs. Make sure to move the iron in a circular motion until the interfacing is completely applied. Once the material is in place, carefully trim the edges of the interfacing to make sure there is no excess material left behind.

After the interfacing is applied, the machine can be used as normal. To ensure the best possible results, it is recommended to use a stitch length that is slightly smaller than usual and a slightly slower speed. This will ensure that the stitches are even and the fabric will not be damaged during sewing.

Covering feed dogs is an important part of using a sewing machine. It helps to ensure that the fabric is handled properly and minimizes the chances of damage while creating the perfect seam. Taking the extra time to properly cover the feed dogs before every sewing project can help to ensure that the finished product is of the highest quality.

Advantages of Covering Feed Dogs

Covering the feed dogs is an important part of a sewing machine’s maintenance, as it helps the fabric move smoothly and prevents any damage. One of the biggest advantages of covering the feed dogs is that it allows for more even stitching, making sure that each seam is as straight and sturdy as possible.

Another benefit of covering the feed dogs is that it reduces the chances of the fabric being caught or pinched. This is especially important if the fabric being used is delicate and has a tendency to fray easily. Covering the feed dogs can help to minimize the chances of this happening and ensure the best possible results.

Finally, covering the feed dogs can also help to extend the life of the sewing machine. The metal on the feed dogs can become worn over time if not properly covered, leading to uneven stitching and potentially even damaging the fabric. Covering the feed dogs helps to protect them from wear and tear, making sure that the machine lasts as long as possible.

Tips for Covering Feed Dogs

Covering the feed dogs is a relatively simple process, but there are still some things that can be done to ensure the best possible results. Here are some tips to remember when covering the feed dogs.

Firstly, make sure to use the right material. Interfacing is generally the best choice as it has a adhesive backing that can help keep it firmly in place while the machine is in use.

Secondly, press the material firmly onto the feed dogs with the iron to make sure that it is securely attached. Be sure to move the iron in a circular motion as this will help spread out the heat and provide even coverage. If using interfacing, it may also be necessary to use a few pins to help hold it in place.

Thirdly, always use a stitch length that is slightly shorter than normal. This will help ensure that each stitch is even and the fabric will not be damaged by the machine.

Finally, make sure to clean the feed dogs after each use. This will help prevent dirt and other debris from building up, which can lead to irregular stitching and potentially even damage the machine.

Alternative Coverings for Feed Dogs

In some cases it may be necessary or desirable to use an alternate method for covering the feed dogs. One such method is to use tape or fabric glue to not only hold the material in place, but also to prevent the fabric from slipping while it is being stitched.

Another option is to use a cloth strip, such as muslin, to cover the feed dogs. This method is great for delicate fabrics as it will help keep them from slipping or being pinched by the machine. To use this method, simply press the cloth strip onto the feed dogs with an iron and trim the edges as necessary.

Finally, some sewing machines come with built-in quilter’s feet. These feet attach to the machine in place of the regular feet and have a layer of batting on them. This will help keep the fabric from slipping or being pulled too tight while in use, which can help ensure that the stitches stay even.


Covering feed dogs is an essential part of using a sewing machine and can be done with a variety of materials. Taking the extra time to do so can help ensure that the fabric is handled properly, the stitches remain even, and the sewing machine lasts a long time. Following the tips outlined above can help make the process of covering feed dogs as easy and painless as possible.

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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