Posted by on Sep 24, 2014 in Lessons, Sewing, Theory | Comments Off on Getting Your Machine Serviced

Now that you have a sewing machine and have learned what all the parts are, you should start planning to have it cleaned and serviced. When I talked about buying a machine, I mentioned several times that you should ask previous owners about when their machine was last cleaned and serviced. There are a couple reasons why:

  • Sewing machines always have oil on their gears. As oil ages, it becomes sticky and attracts dust to it. A dusty gear catches on other gears and can scratch or bind together.
  • Sometimes, thread will break off inside the machine. These pieces of thread get tangled in the machine’s interior. These can do much the same thing as sticky, dusty gears.
  • A sewing machine is much like every other piece of expensive machinery you own. If you don’t get your car’s oil changed, it will stop working. If you don’t clean and service a sewing machine the same thing will happen.


I have lived in a variety of towns during the course of my life. From a small town in Oklahoma to Las Vegas and now in Victoria, British Columbia, every one of those has had at least one sewing machine service shop. Obviously, the larger the city, the more service shops will be available. Do an internet search for your area and give the shop a call. Get a quote for how much your machine model will cost to get serviced. I’ve found that it averages $25-$50 in the U.S. and $50-$100 in Canada. If you find several shops in your area, call them all and see if you can find one with a lower price.

Your sewing machine mechanic (often also a vacuum repairman) knows the proper way to take your machine apart and fully clean it. He is able to make sure all of the parts of your machine work properly. He is also able to replace any parts that aren’t working. This will raise the price accordingly. Further, he’s able to get your machine to the best settings for the most common fabrics. He will make sure every stitch on your machine works the way it’s supposed to, and he’ll probably answer any questions you may have about your machine.

If your machine has been cleaned and serviced recently, put a reminder in your phone to take it in within the next two years. I recommend having your machine serviced every other year at a minimum. That will ensure your machine has the longest possible mechanical life.

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