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A sew helpful workshop

Industry News, News | September 19, 2016 | By:

img_1002-copyUnderstanding and preventing sewing machine breakdowns was addressed at IFAI’s recent Sewing Maintenance Workshop in Orlando, Fla. “Some prefer Juki, others Consew, Mitsubishi, Durkopp or Pfaff,” according to speaker Frank Henderson, Henderson Sewing Machine. “It’s like a car, some want a Chevy, others a Ford or Chrysler. They’re all good brands; it’s just a matter of preference. What I am teaching you today applies to all machine manufacturers.”

Throughout the one-day event, attendees received tips on tension, oiling, when to change a needle and other maintenance practices from Frank Henderson. “After 48 years in the industry, I learned a different method for checking sewing machine tension,” said attendee Jerry Margrave, MFC, Specialty Trim & Awning Inc.

Hands-on learning opportunities included sitting beside Doug Glenn, Consew Consolidated Sewing Machine Corp. Glenn went over how to adjust the hook timing, needle bar height, bobbin case opener, safety clutch and other critical parts. Other tips covered how to adjust the check spring and tension release bracket, plus troubleshooting tips like turning the needle inward 5 percent, lowering the needle before adjusting the needle bar, cleaning the tension disc and adjusting the needle guard. A session on how to best use binders and folders, and the proper function and adjustment for the safety clutch and the stitch regulator were taught by Steven Kaplan, Kaplan Sewing Machine Co. Inc. In combined sessions, attendees learned about sewing machine parts and had the opportunity to ask questions about problems.

IFAI’s Equipment Division (EQP) presented the workshop which was hosted by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) and the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA). MFA and PAMA are also divisions of IFAI. Fifty sewing machine operators and eight suppliers attended the Sept. 9 event. Sunbrella® sponsored the sewing machine tool kits.

Upcoming sewing machine workshops include the Marine Fabricators Conference in Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 19–21, 2017; and the Western Canvas Products Association Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., Feb. 16–18, 2017. For information, email Christine Gerard, division supervisor, at

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