To oil or not to oil, that is the question.
NO - Yes- Maybe. Oil will not solve stitching problems.
In most cases it is far worse for your equipment to over
oil than under oil. Indications a machine needs lubrication
are squeaks and squeals, grinding, thumping, sluggishness
and so forth. If you believe your machine requires lubrication
one or two drops is all that is necessary in any one place.
The most common place to oil any machine is the hook or
shuttle, this area should have one drop of oil every 8-10
hours of machine run time. For a lifetime of service have
your machine serviced professionally every one or two years,
depending on usage.
Perhaps the two most overlooked parts and without question
the two most important parts of any sewing machine are the
needle and thread.
Thread: Always use a good quality thread. Those
5 for a dollar spools are no bargain. For the best results
on regular sewing machines use cotton covered polyester
thread. These combine strength and a nice appearance for
For surging or overlocking use a 100 polyester thread in
most cases. It's strong and works well for this type of
Avoid old thread. Yes thread gets weak with age. I can't
tell you how many calls I have for a machine breaking thread
and when I get there the thread is on a wooden spool. Thread
on these spools is at least 40 years old.
Whenever you experience thread breakage try a couple different
spools of thread and see if the problem goes away. Many
times it will. Even the best threads have bad runs so always
suspect the thread first.
Needles: Dull, bent, wrong size or old needles can
create all kinds of problems. Click
here to see why you should change your needle often.
If your machine all of a sudden starts skipping, or breaking
thread or experiencing any kind of stitching problem, change
the needle. Be sure to use the correct needle for your machine
and use the correct size for the thread and materials being
sewn. A needle too large or too small can cause skipped
stitches and or broken thread.
Make sure the new needle inserted all the way and is facing
the correct way. In most cases, the flat side of the needle
faces away from where you insert your bobbin. If the bobbin
goes in from the front, then flat side of the needle goes
to the rear (away from the operator). There are exceptions
to this rule - most notably the Singer models 15-91, 201,
221, and 301. These machines do just the opposite. The flat
side of the needle faces the bobbin. If you are in doubt,
consult your users manual.