Sewing machine parts and functions: There are two primary pieces to a sewing machine. The higher section is the upper section, while the lower section is the lower section. The top section is made up of the head, arms, and bed. The Band Wheel, Band Wheel Crank, Pitman Rod, Belt Guide, Belt Shifter, Dress Guard, Treadle, and Legs make up the lowest section. Each part has its purpose in creating a finished product.
The head houses the needle that goes through the fabric and hooks onto the backside of the button. It can be fixed or retractable. A fixed-head machine cannot be converted to a semi- or fully-automatic mode. A retractable-head machine can be converted by adding a new one-way needle mechanism. This converts the machine from a fixed-tooth to a variable-tooth function.
The arm carries the bobbin that holds the thread for backstitching and other tasks. It can be fixed or flexible. A fixed-arm machine cannot be converted to a semi- or fully-automatic mode. A flexible-arm machine can be converted by attaching a new lever system that controls the movement of the hook instead of using a hand crank.
The bed is where you place the material to be sewn. It can be flat (for sewing on plain fabrics) or have a raised edge (for sewing on cottons).
A sewing machine's upper section consists of a bed, an arm, and a head. Legs, a treadle, a dress guard, a belt guide, a band wheel, a belt shifter, a pitman rod, and a band wheel crank comprise the lowest portion of a sewing machine.
The head houses the needle that goes through the fabric and draws it together. It also has a lower jaw that holds the thread off the surface of the material being sewn. The arm curves around behind the head and has a handwheel attached to it. This allows the user to turn the needle by hand for moving the fabric back and forth across the bed or to operate other mechanisms on the machine.
The bed is where the piece of fabric to be sewn lies. It usually has two levels: one level for coarse fabrics like denim and another level for fine fabrics like silk. Between these two surfaces is where the arm pushes the needle and thread through the fabric. The head then pulls the fabric together at the end of the needle's hole. Additional components inside the bed can also be used to feed the fabric through the machine, such as rollers and take-up wheels. These components are shown in detail below.
The arm is moved up and down by a cord called a "thread" that runs from the head to the arm.
The legs hold the fabric while you stitch it. There are two types of legs: metal and plastic. Metal legs are stronger but heavier than their plastic counterparts. They tend to be used with heavier fabrics like denim or leather. Plastic legs are less expensive than their metal counterparts and are generally sufficient for use with lighter materials such as silk or cotton. They too are available in both detachable and non-detachable varieties.
The treadle is a platform foot used for walking when operating a manual sewing machine. The operator places one foot on the treadle and walks around the room while working the needle up and down with the other hand. Treadles were originally invented by Isaac Singer and are found on most electric household sewing machines. They are easy to use and very efficient because they use muscle memory instead of electricity to do the work. Most people know how to use a treadle sewing machine but some newer models include light sensors that will automatically stop moving the needle down when you remove your foot from the platform. This saves energy and keeps the motor from wearing out so quickly if you aren't paying attention!
Dress guards protect your clothing from getting stitched into the machine.