Sewing Machine Safety Tips

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Like Any Power Tool, Your Sewing Machine Can be Dangerous!

We recently came across an article by Lori Kennedy that graphically reminded us that sewing machines are power tools and can easily cause injuries. While we’ve been fortunate to avoid being injured ourselves, many quilters and sewists have been.

In Lori’s case the needle went into her finger’s bone and shattered, requiring surgery to repair. The astounding x-rays show the thread still attached to the needle … inside her finger! See the x-rays and read Lori’s story here.

Sewing Machine Safety Tips

Sloppy habits caused by familiarity with the machine are often what leads to injury. After healing up and carefully watching her actions, Lori discovered that she often puts her fingers under the needle while reaching for short threads, and that her highly sensitive foot pedal drops the needle with barely a tap.

Consequently, she now uses tweezers to reach under the needle. And, she has trained herself to remove her foot from the pedal every time she stops sewing.

Learn more about Lori’s analysis and recommendations here.

Those two practices can prevent many injuries but there are other things to consider, too. For example, a broken needle can fly into an eye.

Sewing Machine Safety Tips

Hitting a pin is a common reason for a needle to break while sewing, but there are others.

So Sew Easy has put together a good article that outlines how to prevent broken needles.

Click here for “Broken Needle: best practices to prevent it happening to you”.

There are other ways that sewing machines can cause injury, as well. For example, make sure the cord is in good condition. Also, avoid loose clothing, jewelry and hair that can get caught up in the machine’s mechanism.

The following articles provide a nice overview of safety precautions for working with sewing machines.

“Sewing Machine Safety” from Sew My Place.

“Safety Tips for Sewing Machines” from So Sew Easy.

No matter how long you’ve been sewing, it’s important to remain alert and conscious of your movements while using your machine. Sometimes the best way to prevent an injury is to take a break.

Please leave a comment below if you think of other precautions we should be mindful of.


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