General Maintenance and proper technique are critical for optimum performance of your sewing machine and project outcome.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind and Causing Trouble

We had a machine arrive to the shop that was not sewing well. The owner reported that the tension was off and her computerized machine was giving a thread break error but the machine was threaded. Once the machine was disassembled the issue was immediately clear. For those of you with Janome, Elna or a variety of other manufacturers, there is a pre-tensioning spring that lies under a plastic guard right near your spool of thread. It is the very first part that you pull the thread over or around prior to bringing your thread down through the tension bars.

Anything that may be stuck to, affixed or any way adhered to your thread will ride over this spring as the thread passes through. Build up enough "stuff" and it can cause issues. Issues like poor stitch quality, bad tension, and fooling thread sensors.

For most machines, you can remove this cover by pulling it off as part of your routine cleaning. The cover snaps off and on. On other machines there is a screw that holds the cover on that is easy to remove but there are a few models that require the entire top cover be removed in order to access the cover screw. In that case, this part will be inspected when your machine is in for service.

The image below was taken of a machine with the plastic guard removed. Can you spot the issue(s) ?