Sew Safely With These 8 Tips for Secure Using Sewing Machines
If you have selected sewing as a hobby, you have chosen a much safer activity than skydiving, mountain climbing or even rollerblading. However, that doesn’t mean that the sewing machine doesn’t present any threat to your health. Quite the contrary, although the risk is minimal. But it still exist, and there are some steps you have make to sew safely.
Since today’s sewing machines are run by electricity and are equipped by sharp moving parts, they are bond to raise some safety concerns. Caution is always advised and if you follow these simple and helpful safety tips, you can enjoy your hobby more safely.
#1. Sew Safely By Keeping Your Fingers Away From Needles
Did you know that 60% of sewing-related injuries which required hospital treatment resulted from machine needles? There’s nothing fun about getting your fingers sewn, and this dreadful experience can be so traumatic that many beginners are throwing the towel and choosing a different hobby.
But keeping your fingers safe from the sharp needle is so simple. Bulletproof way to avoid these types of injuries is to use finger guards. You can use the one from the manufacturer of your machine or any kind of plastic, leather, silicon or metal finger guards found on Amazon such as Willbond’s protectors.
Designed especially for safe sewing, these types of guards can save you a costly trip to the ER. It is surprising that people choose not to or forget to wear them, which leads to these statistics. And move us to our next “saw safely” tip.
Image credit: @freepik
#2. Be Focused
While you don’t operate with heavy machinery, it is good to realize you are still sewing with a machine. It is easy to forget that fact and lose focus, and that is a risky road to take. If you’re feeling tired or distracted, it is better to take some rest and skip the sewing at that time. It will be easy to forget to protect your fingers and all the tips helping you to sew safely, which can lead to injuries.
It goes without saying that you should stay away from the sewing machine when under the influence of alcohol or medications. Quite logical warning, but the one we have to emphasize since many people had a different idea which lead to some bizarre injuries.
You are better off sewing when you’re relaxed, clear-headed, focused and inspired. That’s also when you can enjoy your hobby completely and have fun while creating something useful.
Image credit: @freepik/ yanalya
#3. Pay Attention To The Cords
Carelessly dropped cords on the floor where they can get in the way, can possible lead to an accident. Besides the risk of tripping, exposed cables are also a threat to house pets and toddles who can find chewing on them quite interesting.
Placing cords to a space behind a sewing machine is a best place for them. Still, if it’s absolutely necessary to place them on the floor, make sure to secure them down with tapes. Also, if you notice any form of damage to the cord change it entirely instead of using tape to cover the damaged parts.
#4. Proper Maintain Of Your Machine Is The Key Of Safe Sewing
Reputable manufacturers of the sewing machines like Singer provide guarantee on their products, but servicing your machine is often up to you.
A sewing machine should be serviced by professional service once every two years. It will ensure that your machine is in good form and that every hidden or potential risk is exposed and fixed.
Of course, there are some things you can do yourself like changing needles or light bulb. Still, even for these small tasks makes sure to unplug the cord. There is always the danger of shock, as with all electrical appliances.
Image credit: @freepic/prostooleh
#5. Sew Safely By Wearing Shoes
As odd as this may sound, this simple action can protect your feet when sewing on a machine. Wearing shoes can keep your toes and feet safe from possible electric shock or stepping on sharp objects like pins and scissors. If you aren’t careful enough, you can also accidentally drop scissors or other heavy objects on your feet which can cause some serious injuries.
#6. Be Careful When Removing Used Sewing Needles
If the used sewing needle falls on the fluffy carpet, there’s a slim chance you’ll ever find it. Which present the dangers for your feet, pets or children. To avoid this, put the used needles in a sealable container like soda since they won’t be able to pierce the metal, fall on a floor and present the accident waiting to happen.
Bonus sew safely tip
Proper removal of the needle from the sewing machine and placing the new one include following steps:
- Loosen the needle set screw
- Get the needle out of the needle bar by pulling it downwards
- Dispose used and removed needle safely
- Insert a new needle and push upwards until its end hits the top
- Firmly tighten the needle set screw
Check out this video regarding proper needle replacement:
#7. Don’t Force Your Machine To Sew Through Rough Materials
When it comes to sewing machines for home usage, the price is usually indicator of the quality and durability. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can strain their limits. Some home machines simply aren’t capable for a safe sew of thick and thought materials.
Even the great commercial sewing machines like Singer’s Heavy Duty can’t handle all fabrics ever made. Forcing your machine to sew trough rough materials that is beyond its capabilities can damage it beyond repair and at the same time inflict serious injuries to your wellbeing.
#8. Sewing Over Pins – A Big No-No
This is more a tip to make your machine safe than to sew safely, but its something you should know regardless. Sewing over pins can break the needle, bent the pins and most likely damage your hard work.
All of this is a unnecessary hassle that is easily avoidable. Just don’t sew over pins and spear your needles, as well as your nerves.
Ensuring the safety of yourself and your loved ones around your sewing machine shouldn’t be a problem when these tips are followed. Don’t forget to apply them even of you just need to make a few stitches. It only takes a second for an accident that is totally preventable. so don’t take your sewing machine lightly, be safe and have fun with your project without the worry of getting hurt.