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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Presser Foot pressure ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Presser Foot pressure
When to change the setting
Tizmehr
Tizmehr
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Date: 8/31/13 8:44 AM

Okay, I'm not a beginner sewer so it's a bit embarrassing to admit that I have always stumbled along wondering how to use the different settings for the presser foot pressure. When do I use a lighter or heavier pressure setting on my machine?

lelliebunny
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lelliebunny  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/31/13 11:10 AM

For me, it is watch the fabric. I was sewing yesterday with a super stretchy jersey knit. It would barely move, so I lowered the presser foot pressure a tad, and voila! Problem solved. :)

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SewLibra
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Date: 9/1/13 0:44 AM

Don't be embarrassed. I'm not a beginner either, but none of my machines over the years has had a presser foot adjustment, and frankly I have not needed it. For heavy fabrics, layers, velvet or corduroy, I use a walking foot if needed and it turns out fine. I recently bought my second serger, and it does have the presser foot feature, but so far I have not needed to use it. Very fine fabrics need a little tension adjustment, and I'm good to go. If I got a machine with this feature, I would be in the same boat as you are!

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SewLibra
Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D, Janome Harmony 9102D

Sew4Fun
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In reply to Tizmehr <<
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Date: 9/1/13 3:54 AM

It really depends on the individual fabric, but one general guideline is for woven fabrics (no lycra) leave the pressure set in it's default position, for wovens with lycra decrease the pressure slightly, and for knits decrease the pressure even further.

Each machine has different numbers but here is an example.
5.0 (default) = woven fabrics, no lycra
3.5 to 4.0 = stretch woven fabrics
2.0 = knits
0.0 = no pressure at all

HTH. The main thing is to experiment on fabric scraps to get a "feel" for the pressure on your particular machine.

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Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
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SandiMacD
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Date: 9/1/13 6:16 AM

I am good about loosening it for knots but then forget to tighten it! I put a woven in my serger and was fiddling with needles and rethreading and all and getting frustrated.
Then rembered my last item was a knit so I tightened the pressure and the woven came out with perfecy formed stitches!

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

beauturbo
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In reply to Tizmehr <<


Date: 9/1/13 2:41 PM

I really don't change it, back and forth on most of my machines all that often or that much. Also have some that on them, is really is more automatic and you don't even change. But when I do, it's when things not working good with it set in the middle. So maybe on yours, you have yours set in the middle and just never had to for anything? That actually could even be possible.

If sewing on something one layer or two and really thin, and I feel it was not feeding though the machine all that well, as the top foot was loosely slipping around on top of fabric, and not clamping it down well to the feed dogs, then I would and do, crank it up so more pressure on there. If attempting to be sewing through something really thick, and I felt a whole bunch of unneeded and extra force and pressure on that foot, was making it hard or harder to carry my thick fabric through there, then I would lessen it. Too little though even there, probably would also make it harder for the thick fabric to feed though also.
-- Edited on 9/1/13 2:42 PM --

Also just might depend on what machine it was. I actually have one that is Pfaff 1475, it really is more self adjusting there, and nothing as in a dial to really turn at all. That still works just fine for me, on all fabrics, and actually I once tried an experiment on that one, and lowered and dropped completely my lower feed dogs (as if in to free motion sew) and even only used the top walking foot with no lower feed dogs moving at all, and I actually could/can sew just fine on most fabrics, even just like that. That did kind of surprise me there when I realized that!
-- Edited on 9/1/13 2:47 PM --

Speech girl
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Date: 9/1/13 3:54 PM

On my machine I use a 4 for women's and a 2 for knits-- and I don't have to use the walking foot with knits!

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Kim
formerly mikkim
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Tizmehr
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Date: 9/6/13 3:18 PM

Sorry to have been so long to say thanks for the info. I posted my question and then ended up being away from my computer for several days. I must admit to still being a bit stumped by it. I'll try out some different fabrics and thicknesses and see if I can tell the difference in settings.

Marie367
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In reply to Tizmehr <<
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Date: 9/6/13 3:53 PM

I change the foot pressure with nearly every fabric. It sometimes take some experimenting. The lighter weight the fabric and knits take a lower pressure; you want it set to have some pressure or your fabric won't move. Heavier fabrics need a heavier foot pressure. I have a Janome 6600 and seldom have the foot pressure set on the highest setting; the feeddogs are awesome but too heavy for most things. If you get some waviness in your seam, you might need a lighter pressure. Just experiment a little and see what works for you. Write down settings so when you use that fabric again you will know what you used the last time. HTH

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to Tizmehr <<
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Date: 9/6/13 4:03 PM

There should be some reference to this in the manual for your machine.

I think the walking foot has eliminated some of the need for pressure adjustment.



-- Edited on 9/6/13 4:17 PM --

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I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

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