Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fix Sticky Serger Stitches

What Do You Do With Skipped And Sticky Serger Stitches?

When you push on the foot control, you expect your serger to zip along serging a perfect stitch in an endless seam. When the stitch fails to form or skips hear and there, it causes horrific frustration. The sheer number of threads make serging a challenge. It sews so fast, up to 1500 stitches per minute, that serging can be a bit unnerving.

Consistent stitching, proper thread placement, and fine balanced tensions form quality stitches. Puckers, irregularities, and loops are noticeably absent.

Failure to form a stitch and skipped stitches are two of the more frustrating challenges serger users experience. These problems require a concerted effort to identify the causes and find solutions.

The most common causes of skipped stitches and unformed stitches include needle problems, threading problems , thread issues, faulty tensions, fabric issues, snagging, and misalignment of either looper timing or needle bar height or both. Check each possible cause and eliminate one of the at a time.

Start by replacing the needle or needles involved. Needle burrs, flaws, and bends are common causes of skipped stitches. Make sure the needles are fully seated in their holders.

Serger needle positioning is critical. Some sergers use ordinary sewing needles that have flat back tops, but many use special needles with rounded tops. On the front of the needle is a groove for the thread to ride in while the needle goes down. On the back and just above the eye is a cut out space known as the scarf. The scarf must be at ninety degrees to the lower looper. Make sure the needle is straight forward and properly seated in its holder. Use the right needle for the application you are doing.

The needle bar height must be properly aligned in order for stitches to form. It can be dislodged by the needle striking hard surfaces, needle breakage, or by sewing through very heavy materials.

Threading is also a very common source of difficulties. To fix this problem, rethread properly. Be alert to anything that might snag the thread.

Not all threads are equal. Some thread work better, some worse. Rethread with separate color threads or easier tracking. Make sure tensions are right.

Generally, sergers work on all fabrics, however, certain challenges can emerge with super thin, slippery, or thicker fabrics require accommodations.

Failure to form stitches usually results from the same causes as skipped stitches, but the issues are more pronounced. It is a matter of degree. If a serger issue causes skipped stitches, it is only a matter of time before stitches fail to form at all.

Apply the same approaches to seek solutions. One additional tip, however, is to clear the stitch finger and draw the theads under and behind the presser foot prior to starting to serger.

Generally, when the stitch quality is less than acceptable there are some basic things to check every time. These include needles, thread and threading, tensions, loopers, snag causes, settings, and balance. Replacing needles properly, rethreading properly, and adjusting tension balance are the three basic approaches to solve stitch problems. Get help from our professional sewing machine technician if you continue seeing problems.
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Learn information about how to repair a sewing machine from Dr. David Trumbles excellent courses and sewing machine repair book. Download a copy of his free beginner's course.