What is a feed dog on a sewing machine?

Feed dog is one of the essential parts of a sewing machine. However, even though it is one of the most used parts of the machine, most people do not know it by its name or anything about its functionality in sewing. It is a movable plate that discretely pulls the fabric through the sewing machine.

In this article, you will learn what is feed dog in the sewing machine, what the feed dog do on a sewing machine, different types of feed dog in the sewing machine, how to lower the feed dog on a sewing machine, and the overall working of the feed dog system. Keep reading for details.

What is a feed dog on a sewing machine

What does the feed dog do on a sewing machine

The feed dog system is the teeth-like metal ridges you see on the stitch plate under the presser foot of your sewing machine.

The movable plate gently grips the bottom fabric and moves it through the sewing machine without you having to pull the fabric to sew other parts. The more they feed dogs a sewing machine, the better the grip it will have on fabrics.

What is a feed dog on a Janome sewing machine?

Let’s just say the feed dog on a Janome sewing machine is no different from the feed dogs of other sewing machine brands, as they do the same thing. Just like every other feed dog, Janome feed dogs have a drop feed lever that helps propel the feed dog in the upward or downward directions.

This lever is located at the rear end of the sewing machine, just right below the free-arm bed. After you have pushed the lever towards the right side, the lever will raise. You can drop the feed dog by pushing the lever to the left side.

Feed dog on sewing machine not working

If the feed dog of your sewing machine is not working, you may have activated settings that lower the feed dog. It means that when the feed dog is in the drop position, your fabric will not be able to move freely beneath the needle of the sewing machine. Check for the likely settings that may have caused this to happen and reset it.

If it is in the standard settings, remove the machine’s throat plate, clean all dust, lint, or thread that may have stuck in it, and lubricate the machine with a sewing machine oil according to the instruction in the manual.

If, after doing this, the feed dog is still not working, troubleshoot the machine according to the instruction manual. Then take the machine to a sewing machine technician if all effort proves abortive.

Adjusting feed dogs on sewing machines

  1. Lean the head of the sewing machine backward.
  2. Use your hand to turn the pulley. Once you notice it is that the feed dog has been raised to the maximum height, stop turning the pulley.
  3. Look for the feed bar screw and loosen it.
  4. Move the feed bar vertically to set it to the standard height.
  5. Once it is in this position, tighten the feed bar screw.
  6. Note that the factory-adjusted feed dog height is 1.2mm.

Different types of feed dogs in the sewing machine

Different Types of Feed Dogs

Unfortunately, feed dogs do not have categories or types. We only have one feed dog. However, we have various models and designs of feed dogs, a few of which will be listed below.

  1. E needle plate with feed dog universal lockstitch.
  2. 1 set needle plate 91329 with feed dog 91713
  3. Willcox and Gibbs feed dog assembly.
  4. Screw industrial and singer feed dog.
  5. Needle plate and feed dogs set fits singer.
  6. Metal feed dog fits singer 755, 756, 770, 775, 935U.

What does the feed dog do on a sewing machine?

The feed dog on a sewing machine has only one purpose. To provide fabrics with a firm grip, allowing them to move freely under the machine. In other words, feeding dogs make sewing easier.

How do feed dogs work on a sewing machine?

The feed dog moves fabric in the direction of needles for stitching. This is possible with the use of friction. To do this onerous task, the zigzag teeth of the feed dog lower and raise through the openings on the sewing machine needle plate.

Do feed dogs on sewing machines wear out?

Yes, feeding dogs on sewing machines wear out. As your sewing machine gets older, its component will start to rust if they are not properly maintained. As you use your sewing machine, thread, dust, and dirt get stuck inside the feed dog. If these impurities are not regularly cleaned, they will erode the metal.

Can I lower the feed dog of my sewing machine?

Yes, you can lower the feed dog of your sewing machine. Sewing machine feed dogs are designed knowing fully well that different fabrics will require different feed dogs settings, so they are adjustable.

Furthermore, the type of fabric you are working with can help you determine whether you need to raise or lower the feed dog of your sewing machine.

How to lower my sewing machine feed dog

Sadly, different sewing machine brands have different settings for lowering their feed dogs. You will find details about the different methods below.

  1. Some sewing machine brands come with a switch that can be used to lower or raise the feed dog. Check if yours has one and follow the instruction on your machine manual.
  2. Some brands, especially older ones, come to have a plate that covers the feed dog of the machine. Check your machine manual for a guide on how to lower the feed dog.

Note: This is only general information on how sewing machine feed dogs can be lowered. For more precise directions on how your sewing machine feed dog can be lowered, you can search online. To do this, just input your machine brand name and model number into the search engine.

How to raise the feed dog of a machine

  1. You need to switch off the power of the machine and remove the compartment of the feed dog if it has one.
  2. Open the hook cover shielding th4 bobbin area without removing the bobbin case.
  3. Press the drop feed lever and move it to the next position.
  4. Close the hook cover and reinstall the feed dog compartment and turn the power on.


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