Identifying the Needle Issue
Many sewers will have experienced their needle becoming stuck in the throat of their machine. Unfortunately this can make the machine inoperable and cause the sewer frustration and distress. While it might be tempting to simply try to pull out the needle, this can cause further issues with the machine, resulting in costly repairs and lost time. It is therefore essential to be careful and know how to safely remove the needle from the sewing machine.
Seeking Professional Help
The most important tip for anybody who has a stuck needle is to call an engineer or a repairer as soon as possible. If a needle has been left in the machine for an extended period of time, it may become corroded, resulting in the possible destruction of the sewing machine’s needle plate or even the motor. Many experts will be able to come to the home of the sewer and help them to remove the needle safely and quickly.
Taking a Closer Look
If the sewer is feeling confident enough, they can remove the needle themselves. Firstly, they must locate the needle plate cover and unscrew the retaining screws. Depending on the type of machine, the cover may either be at the front or the rear of the machine. Once the cover is removed, the sewer should be able to clearly see where the needle has become stuck. Next, one must reduce the tension of the sewing machine to help ease the pressure on the needle.
Loosening the Adjustment Screw
Once the tension has been relieved, the sewer must then carefully turn the adjustment screw located inside the needle plate. This should help to further alleviate pressure from the needle. Sewers must be sure not to pull the needle downwards though, as this can cause further damage to the machine.
Manoeuvring the Needle
Once the altered levels of pressure have had the desired results, the sewer can then carefully but firmly attempt to rock the needle side-to-side and back-and-forth. This should help to loosen the needle’s grip on the plate and will eventually free the needle. The sewer should also use a pair of needle-nose tweezers to assist in the maneuvering and ultimately, the removal, of the needle.
Checking the Plate
Once the needle has been removed from the machine, the sewer should examine the needle plate for any possible damage the needle may have caused. If any damage is spotted, for example scarring, then the sewing machine should be taken to a professional for a full examination.
Re-Threading the Machine
When the needle has been safely removed, the next step is to rethread the machine. This is an essential part of the process, helping to ensure the needle is correctly placed inside the sewing machine. The more careful and thorough the rethreading process is, the more likely it is that the needle will remain in place while in use, avoiding any further interruptions to the sewing.
An important lesson to take away, whether a needle needs to be removed or not, is to always double check the threading after a new needle has been put in. It is essential to ensure the thread tension is correctly set, which is a simple procedure but one which many sewers can overlook. This can help to catch any problems with the needle before it has a chance to become stuck, thus avoiding any additional worry, damage or expense.
Cleaning the Machine
A stuck needle isn’t the only issue a sewing machine can face. The thorough cleaning of a sewing machine on a regular basis will help it to last longer and remain operational for years to come. This involves removing the bobbin and the needle plate cover, then carefully cleaning the machine with a clean, damp cloth. Advanced sewers may be able to perform minor repairs on their machine, such as oiling the various parts. However, a professional engineer should be consulted when anything breaks or needs replacing.
Using the Correct Needle
Using the wrong type of needle in a sewing machine can lead to a whole host of problems and can even cause the machine to become completely unusable. It is essential to read the manual of the sewing machine before purchasing a needle, as many different types of needles are available and their size is dependent upon the individual machine.
Disposal of the Needle
When disposing of the needle, it is imperative that sewers use anti-puncture gloves and a needle removal caddy in order to stay safe. Those needles can cause serious injury if handled in the wrong manner and due care should be taken when handling them. After the needle is removed, it should be placed inside the caddy and disposed of in a secure and safe manner as indicated in the manual.
Changing the Needle Size
When the size of the needle needs to be changed, sewers should ensure they are taking all the necessary precautions. Firstly, they must always ensure the machine power is switched off and unplugged to make sure it can’t accidentally be turned on during the process. Then, the needle clamp screw should be loosened carefully to remove the needle. Depending on the needle being used, the flat side of the screw carrier should be aligned correctly in order to make sure the needle is facing in the right direction.
Installing a New Needle
The first stage of installing a new needle involves ensuring the flat side of the needle is facing the back of the machine. Then, the sewer’s finger should be placed at the throat area of the needle, which helps support the needle before finally inserting it into the needle clamp. As the needle is being inserted, the needle clamp screw should be held in a slightly raised position to ensure it doesn’t drop as the needle is put in place.
Securing the Needle
Once the new needle is in the correct position, the needle clamp screw should be tightened in order to secure it in the machine. The clamp screw needs to be carefully tightened in a clockwise manner in order to make sure the needle is firmly in its mounting. To finish the process, the needle plate cover should be replaced and the instructions in the manual should be followed in regards to the tension adjuster.
Testing the New Needle
The last part of the process involves testing the new needle. The sewer should firstly check the straight-stitch setting, as it is best for testing and replacing the thread for the needle. This should be followed by checking the tension adjustment and needle bar height before finally testing a sample of fabric to ensure the needle has been successfully installed. This simple procedure can help save sewers from potential delays and highlight any pressing issues with the needle.