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Thread: Presser foot up or down?

  1. #1
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Presser foot up or down?

    When you store your machine or finish with it for the day do you leave the presser foot up or do you put it down with a piece of fabric between it and the feed dogs? I always left mine up but I have been told not to because it puts too much stress on the tension springs. Which is it? None of my manuals, from vintage Singer to modern Pfaff and Brother, say anything about the presser foot position during storage or down time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cdmmiracles's Avatar
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    I leave mine down with fabric between. Not sure that's correct; I think I was taught that many years ago in Home Ec Class, lol.

  3. #3
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    I leave mine up as the machine is never touched when I leave that room. When I transport the machine, say to a quilt retreat or the shop for maintenance, I put it down with fabric under it.
    Laurie in NYC

  4. #4
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    I have a Bernina, it gets serviced by a Bernina Dealer, and they told me to keep it down, because of the stress on the tension springs.

  5. #5
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    i was taught in 4-H many years ago to put fabric down and put the pressure food down
    on the fabric. so mine all go down

  6. #6
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    Since I always start and end sewing with a "leader" I end with the foot down. Nice to know that is better for the tension springs too!

  7. #7
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I put my pressure foot down and also the needle in the down position. I have never left a piece of fabric in it; can someone tell me the purpose of the fabric??
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  8. #8
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    I leave mine down with a pice of fabric under it. When I have my machine serviced it always comes back to me that way so I'm assuming it's the thing to do.

  9. #9
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    My home ec teacher, Miss Lydia Snow, taught me back in 7th grade to always put the foot down, the needle down, and a piece of fabric in between. My assumption regarding the piece of fabric is so that metal doesn't rub against metal.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  10. #10
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    I don't do any of that! I learned to sew from my mom, who learned to sew from an aunt. I don't ever remember my mom doing any of this. What is the purpose of the fabric under the foot?

  11. #11
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    The only time I leave the presser foot down is when I transport my machine.
    Think the idea of leaving fabric could be to absorb any access machine oil (if it comes from the repair shop that way).

  12. #12
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    I have always put needle down thru fabric with the foot down. Nor sure where I learned it, just always remember doing it. :-)

  13. #13
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom View Post
    When you store your machine or finish with it for the day do you leave the presser foot up or do you put it down with a piece of fabric between it and the feed dogs? I always left mine up but I have been told not to because it puts too much stress on the tension springs. Which is it? None of my manuals, from vintage Singer to modern Pfaff and Brother, say anything about the presser foot position during storage or down time.
    My Janome dealer told me the same thing when I bought my machine. So that's what I do.

  14. #14
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    If I am transporting the machine then the foot and needle are down with fabric inbetween. Usually tho, not only do I leave the foot up, but I take the foot off too. The reason I do this is because when the machine is turned on the needle defaults to the left side. Usually I have my 1/4 inch piecing foot on the machine which needs the needle to be in the center position. I take the foot off so that I don't accidently break the needle when I start sewing.
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  15. #15
    Super Member deanneellen's Avatar
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    I was also taught through 4-H and Home-ec that the foot was down with a piece of fabric in between. Maybe old fashioned but habits die hard!
    Deanne Ellen

    Quilts,Books,and Wine,Oh My!

  16. #16
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom View Post
    When you store your machine or finish with it for the day do you leave the presser foot up or do you put it down with a piece of fabric between it and the feed dogs? I always left mine up but I have been told not to because it puts too much stress on the tension springs. Which is it? None of my manuals, from vintage Singer to modern Pfaff and Brother, say anything about the presser foot position during storage or down time.
    Excellent question! I had never thought about it. From now on I will be putting my foot down with the fabric. If it helps to protect the spring and prolongs the life. Thanks for sharing and for everyone else that responded.
    Brenda

  17. #17
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillCountryGal View Post
    the idea of leaving fabric could be to absorb any access machine oil
    This is the reason why I put fabric under the presser foot on my Wow (stretched Singer). It does leak oil once in a while. However I only put the presser foot down, not the needle.

  18. #18
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    This is a first for me. I've been sewing since I was a young child & no one has ever mentioned it. But, it does make sense to me. I will try to get this old dog to learn something new. Oh, can I remember it though? THAT, is the real question. HEE HEE.
    Vonda-Texas MiMi of 4 Beautiful Grandbabies

  19. #19
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    Have never done it. Has never seemed to have a bad effect on my machines.

    Never going to do it. Don't need to remember another "rule"!

  20. #20
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    On my embroidery machine - if I've been using the embroidery unit and turn the machine off, the machine leaves the foot up. You can't use the lever to put the foot down. Embroidery mode overrides it. If I want to put the foot down, I have to turn the machine back on. If I'm just sewing, the foot goes down.

  21. #21
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    I learned to sew in home-ec class (eons ago! haha) and don't remember ever being taught this. I'll try to remember in the future. Thanks for the tip!
    Nancy

  22. #22
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    I always leave the foot down with a piece of material under the foot. Repair man said it releases the tension on the spring. Not sure why the material.

  23. #23
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    I have never heard this advice before. I looked through several books and haven't found this tip either. Thanks for sharing.
    Carol

  24. #24
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    I have been sewing most of my life and have never heard of this issue. I always leave my presser foot up on my almost 40 year old Bernina... and now on my Janome that I use for free motion quilting. Very interesting. Never too old to learn more.
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  25. #25
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    Fabric under the foot provides a cushion between the foot and the feed dogs, similar to the cushions in the bottom of your feet. Can you imagine the wear your bones would take on gravel without them?

    The dealer I bought my first Pfaff from years ago told me to leave the machine with the foot down as it's better for the tension disks.

    I left the needle down until the time I forgot to bring it up before turning the machine on. It really knocked the machine out of time and broke the needle and a machine part. Now I always leave the needle up, even though my new machine raises the needle when the power comes on.
    Shirley in Arizona

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