Sewing Machine Presser Foot Pressure Adjustment
I have been sewing since my teenaged years and have NEVER heard of ‘Presser foot Pressure adjustment‘ settings until just recently! (My first awesome machine was an ELNA CLUB 500 and this machine did NOT have a presser foot pressure dial.) My current sewing machine is a Baby Lock Tempo and has a presser foot pressure adjustment dial.
I didn’t really understand much about presser foot pressure until I found out that this machine setting is a GREAT BONUS to aid in achieving a great sewing stitch!
IF your machine has a presser foot pressure dial you will be able to adjust the amount of pressure on your fabric. Make sure you check your sewing machine manual for the pressure dial information, keep reading this post and watch the video!
No presser foot pressure dial on your machine? Don’t worry, you still can help your fabric move thru the machine with by choosing a special sewing foot. The foot you’ll use is dependent on the type of fabric you are using. Keep reading….
What is Presser Foot Pressure?
This following information comes from SIMPLY THE BEST SEWING BOOK by SIMPLICITY… “Pressure refers to the force the presser foot exerts on the fabric as it moves between the presser foot and the feed dog. The amount of pressure needed can be affected by the fabric’s weight, bulk, texture or finishes. If the pressure is correctly set for the fabric, both layers will move through the machine at the same rate.” (Check out the ‘Simply The Best Sewing Book’ Product review.)
I use a Baby Lock Tempo sewing machine, my manual says… The lower the number, the looser the pressure. The higher the number, the stronger the pressure. It is recommended that my machine pressure dial operates at a NUMBER 3 and then I’d adjust from there, if needed, depending on the type of fabric I’m using.
If your machine has a foot pressure dial, start with the recommended setting and adjust the pressure IF needed.
In this video I used 2 layers of Cotton Muslin. At each setting, with the presser foot down and fabric between presser foot and feed dogs (needle up), I pulled at the fabric checking to see if I could move the fabric. The pressure was strong on Setting #4. The pressure on setting #3 was a bit lighter and this is the setting that I use for most sewing projects using cotton/cotton blend fabric. The pressure was definitely lighter on setting #2 because I was able to move the fabric a bit. The lightest pressure setting #1, the fabric had NO trouble moving when I pulled on the fabric.
Check out this article which explains Presser Foot Pressure Adjustment quite nicely!
Types of Sewing Feet to use WITH or WITHOUT a Pressure Foot Setting
There are different sewing machine feet that help make sewing easier with the below named fabrics. Your machine MIGHT come with the following presser foot types. If not, you can purchase a presser foot kit. I purchased my own Madam Sew Presser Foot Kit and each of the three following feet are included in the kit.
Roller Foot from Madam Sew
Non-Stick Foot from Madam Sew
Knit Foot from Madam Sew
Fabric Suggestions for the above THREE Presser Foot Choices
Roller Foot– Has three separate roller feet to give greater control when working with fabrics like leather, suede or knits.
Non-Stick Foot/Teflon Foot- Use this foot for sewing with vinyls or other fabrics that may stick to a regular straight stitch foot. If fabrics have a hard time gliding under the presser foot, you may see skipped stitching or uneven stitching.
Knit Foot– Use this foot for lightweight or jersey knits, lightweight slippery fabrics or stretchy fabrics. (This helpful article explains more about the Knit Presser Foot)
Take time to Sew and TEST settings on the Project Fabric
When purchasing fabric for your project, make sure you’ll have a bit extra to be able to sew and test the machine settings and find the best STITCHING combination for your fabric**. Take notes, for future reference, on which presser foot pressure setting works best for the fabric you’ll be sewing with. Each sewing machine is different and visual testing on your machine is what is best.
**The best STITCHING combination for sewing with any fabric consists of: Presser Foot Pressure Adjusting (If your machine has it), Presser Foot, Thread Tension Settings and a Proper Needle for the fabric.
Thanks for reading and Happy Simple Sewing to You!
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