How To Put A Belt On A Treadle Sewing Machine

Setting Tension

Tensile force is an integral aspect of threading treadle sewing machines properly. Without tension one can get a loose, unsecure seam. Begin by turning the tension knob found on the left side of the machine, counter-clockwise, to the lowest setting. As a general rule, the amount of tension should decrease as you move towards the thinner smaller threads.

Threading Machine

Familiarity with the parts of a treadle machine is also essential. The bobbin and the spool contain the thread being used, the needle and the presser foot are necessary for making the stitches, the shuttle holds the bobbin, the tension disc exerts tension on the thread, and the belt will power the machine. With the bobbin and spool threaded, the belt can be inserted.

Installing Belt

Start by unplugging the machine from the wall. The belt should already be supplied with the machine in a small box with two wooden pieces. Thread the belt around all of the connected gears inside the treadle sewing machine working from left to right. Align the holes of the belt with the pins, in the front and in the back, to effectively connect the belt and the Treadle.

Adjusting Belt

With the belt connected, you must now adjust it to the perfect tightness. The belt should not be too loose and it should not be too tight. Do not exceed the maximum machine tension as it can cause damage to the machine. To loosen the tension on the belt, just move the right hand part of the belt around the sewing machine until it is as loose as you need it.

Testing Tensions

Once the belt is on, plug in the machine and switch it on – double check your settings. Make sure the tension disc regulates the thread properly between the spool and the needle. This is the key for a neat, even stitch. You should also check to make sure that the belt is running smoothly and that the wiring is properly connected to the motor.

Check for Loose Threads

Make sure no threads are visible from the handwheel and the shuttle when the machine is running. Loose threads can create problem during sewing, so make sure the threads are secured. If it looks properly threaded, try gently pulling the thread while the machine is running. If it comes loose easily, it’s not threaded properly.


Check the machine’s power supply by trying the motor on a different power source. If the motor does not work, then the motor is probably the problem and it should be replaced. You should also check for any loose wiring, as this can interfere with the machine’s performance. It is also recommended to lubricate the parts of the machine regularly in order to keep the machine running properly.

Finishing Up

Finally, inspect the belt connection and make sure it is secure. If it is loose or worn out then it should be replaced. Securely attach the belt to the treadles, and you’re finished. A properly attached belt will provide power to the machine and keep it running smoothly and efficiently.

Checking Thread Tension

The thread tension should be checked regularly to make sure the machine is running properly. Begin by setting the tension knob on the left side of the machine to the correct setting. Next, set the correct presser foot tension by turning the knobs located on the bottom of the presser foot holder. After that, adjust the stitch length until it matches your desired stitch.

Tension Problems

If the tension on the thread is too high, it will cause the loops of thread to become overly tight. This can result in poor stitches and skipped stitches. On the other hand, if the tension is too loose the threads will be too loose and the stitches won’t hold together properly. This can cause uneven stitches and weak seams.

Materials Needed

In order to attach the belt to the Treadle, you will need: a belt, wooden blocks, and a screwdriver. It may also be helpful to have a flashlight, a pair of scissors, and needle-nose pliers to help make the attachment process more efficient.

Minimizing Maintenance

To keep your treadle sewing machine running in great condition, it is important to minimize maintenance. This includes regularly oiling, dusting, and cleaning the machine. Lubricating the gears and belt with motor oil is also important. It is best to do this when the machine isn’t running and make sure all the parts are dry before reconnecting the belt.

Installing Slides

Another important task when attaching the belt is to make sure the slides are secure. The slides are what hold the Treadle in place and allow the belt to move smoothly over the sewing machine. If the slides are loose, it can cause the machine to move uncontrollably when running. To install, simply place the slides into their corresponding slots and tighten each screw until the slides are secure.

Securely Connecting Belt

Ensuring the belt is secure is essential for the treadle to operate properly. To make sure the belt connection is secure, inspect the belt and make sure all the holes are aligned and that the belt is tight and secure. If any of the holes are not aligned, tighten them using a screwdriver to ensure the belt is secure.

Checking Speed of Motor

After the belt has been connected, you should also check to make sure the motor is running at the correct speed. A slow motor can result in uneven stitches, so it is important to make sure the motor is running at the correct speed. To test the motor, run the machine for a few seconds and see if the speed is consistent.


Putting a belt on a treadle sewing machine isn’t a complicated task, but it is important to make sure all of the steps are done properly in order to ensure the machine works efficiently. With the right tools and a little knowledge, you can have your machine up and running in no time.

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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