The Foot Pressure Adjustment Dial
Ever had silk or chiffon fabrics slip away from you, oblivious of the feed dog traction, or do you find your quilts and denims struggle to move? It’s time to look at the pressure dial for the presser foot – not to be confused with the tension dial for your needle thread.
The foot pressure adjustment dial sets the amount of pressure that the presser foot places on the fabric. The amount of pressure would need to vary if you were switching between lightweight sheer fabric and multiple layers of thick fabric for the machine to feed the fabric evenly.
Where is the Foot Pressure Adjustment?
Depending on your sewing machine model, you may find the pressure adjustment, on the left top, inside the opening top cover of your machine or your machine may have an on-screen adjustment menu.
When to Make an Adjustment to the Amount of Pressure
If you find that the fabric slithers and slips when the presser foot is down, you need to increase the pressure on the presser foot. If the fabric is held so tightly that the feed dog is unable to move the fabric, decrease the amount of pressure on the pressure foot.
Depending on your sewing machine model, you may have up to 6 foot pressure settings. We recommend setting the pressure to minimum for light weight fabric such as organza and voile, medium for fabrics such as cotton and polyester, and maximum for heavy weight fabric such as drill and denim.
Automatic Foot Pressure Adjustment
Some of our higher end computerised sewing machine models have built in sensors which will automatically detect the thickness of the fabric and make adjustment to the foot pressure. Models include HMC15000QM, MC15000, MC14000, MC12000, S9, MC9450QCP, MC9400QCP and S7.
Alternatives to Pressure Adjustment
Another solution to make your struggles with challenging fabric go much easier is to use an Even Feed Foot, also commonly known as a Walking Foot.
The foot is designed with a set of feed dogs to assist with smooth feeding. With this foot, fabric can be sewn without puckering, as the fabric is gripped and fed by both the upper and lower feed dogs.
At times, fabrics such as vinyl and faux leather may stick to a metal foot and not feed properly. An Ultra Glide Foot which is moulded from a special resin can help solve the problem.
Sewing Tip: When sewing through many layers or thick fabric, it is always recommended to also increase your stitch length. Increasing the stitch length, will increase the movement of the feed dogs, this increases the fabric being fed through the machine while sewing.