Sewing Machine: Meaning, Types And Parts Of Sewing Machine And Their Functions

Meaning Of Sewing Machine
The sewing machine is the machine used in sewing garment or making of clothes. There are several kinds of sewing machines in the market today, each with its own unique features, functions and advantages.
Types Of Sewing Machines
Sewing machines can be classified based on the modes of operation. They may be operated by hand, treadle or electric motor. Hence, they are classified as follows:

Sewing Machine
a. Hand-Operated Sewing Machine: This is the simplest form of sewing machine which operated by hand. It is suitable for domestic purpose. It has a very low speed.

Sewing Machine
b. Treadle Machine: The machine has the same features like the hand sewing machine but it is operated using an additional stand which is driven or operated by feet. It works faster than the hand sewing machine. It is suitable where there is no source of power supply.

Sewing Machine
c. Electric Sewing Machine: This is the fastest sewing machine. It is operated with the aid of electricity. It is suitable and good for an experienced seamstress or tailor.
Parts Of Sewing Machine And Their Functions
The basic structure/features of sewing machine is the same whether it is hand operated, treated or electric sewing machine. The basic parts are listed below.
1. Spool Pin: It is fitted on top of the arm to hold the reel.
2. Thread Guide: It holds the thread in position guiding it from the spool to the needle.
3. Tension Disc: It consists of two concave discs put together with the convex sides facing each other. The thread passes between the two.
4. Take Up Lever: It is used in threading the sewing machine and to keep the thread tension at the proper level.
5. Needle Bar: It is a steel rod that holds the needle in position. Its main function is to give motion to the needle.
6. Bobbin Case: It is the case the bobbin sits in. It moves into position to catch the top thread and form the stitch as the needle is lowered into the bobbin chamber.
7. Presser Foot: It holds the cloth firmly in position when lowered.
8. Presser Foot Lifter: It is used to hold the fabric down to the needle plate. So that the fabric/cloth can be sewn smoothly.
9. Stitch Regulator: It is used in setting the stitch length.
10. Bobbin Winder: It is used to wind thread onto the empty bobbin.
11. Fly Wheel: It is used when the machine is made to revolve; it works the mechanism of the motion.
12. Clutch Or Thumb Screw: It is the centre of the flywheel and it engages and disengages the stitching machanism.
13. Side Plate: It is rectangle plate, which facilitates the insertion or removal of the bobbin case without lifting the machine.
14. Needle Plate Or Throat Plate: A semi-circular disc with a hole to allow the needle to pass through it.
15. Feed Dog: It consists of a set of teeth fitted below the needed plate. It helps to move the cloth forward while sewing.
16. Face Plate: It is a cover which on removal gives access to the oiling points of the needle bar, presser bar and take-up lever.
17. Spool Pin For Bobbin Winding: Spool thread is placed on this at the time of bobbin winding.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Sewing Machines
There are lot of sewing machines available in the market today ranging from fancy, expensive computerized machines among others with different functions. In choosing a sewing machine the following factors should be considered:
i. Consider what the sewing machine will be used for.
ii. Consider the type of sewing machine based on the purpose it will serve.
iii. Consider the quality of the sewing machine.
iv. Consider the cost.
v. Consider the serviceability/durability of the sewing machine.
vi. Consider the availability of the machine parts for repair.
Care Of Sewing Machine
The problem of most sewing machines can be traced to poor maintenance, neglect or non-routine maintenance. With proper maintenance on daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on the use of the machine, the machine can be kept running smoothly. Therefore, the following rules should be observed.
i. Keep the machine covered: when not in use, the machine should be covered to help to keep dust out of it.
ii. Switch off the machine or unplug the power supply cord when not in use.
iii. Clean the machine regularly to ensure satisfactory sewing and long life.
iv. Oil and lubricate the machine periodically, if the machine is used every day, oil it once a week.
v. Use kerosene or petrol to remove old gummed oil from the machine by dropping petrol or kerosene in the holes and joints of the sewing machine, then paddle for several minutes, wipe out the old gummed oil and re-oil.