How to Thread an Industrial Overlock Machine

Written by elena rakitskaya
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How to Thread an Industrial Overlock Machine
Industrial overlock machines require special threads that are thinner than standard threads. (thread image by Andrius Grigaliunas from Fotolia.com)

Industrial overlock machines, also called sergers, are reliable and provide a fine way of finishing raw seam edges. That is why many people often buy them for home sewing. Special attention should be paid to threading these machines. Incorrect threading causes skipped stitches and broken threads. Many sewers dislike threading because machine parts are tiny, it takes time and strains your eyes. But when you have no threads in your overlock machine, you have to do it.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Tweezers
  • Small scissors
  • Fabric swatches

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open the looper cover. Refer to the chart placed on the looper cover inside. Every thread is colour coded, and the chart shows the directions of threading. Start with the upper looper. Place the thread spool on the spool holder corresponding to the upper looper. To find the correct spool holder, look at the tension dials. The lower looper dial is usually located the second from the right. Draw the thread through the pretension thread guide (a small hole located in the horizontal bar connected to the spool holders). Draw the thread through the tension dial, and four thread guides leading to the upper looper. Turn the balance wheel toward you until the upper looper is outside the needle plate. With tweezers, pass the thread through the upper looper eye.

  2. 2

    Place the thread spool on the spool holder corresponding to the lower looper, which is located on the right side of the upper looper. Draw the thread through the pretension guide, tension guide and four thread guides. Turn the balance wheel toward you until the lower looper is in the leftmost position. Pass the thread through the slot on the left side of the lower looper. Turn the balance wheel toward you until the lower looper is in the right-most position. Draw the thread along the groove of the lower looper. Pass the thread through the lower looper eye.

  3. 3

    Check if the machine has an automatic lower looper threader. If so, after passing the thread through all guides, turn the balance wheel toward you until the lower looper is extended 1/4 inch from the needle plate edge. Move the needle plate lever into a "R" position or according to the manual. Pass the thread through the lower looper hole. Draw the thread with your left hand tightly. Push the automatic threader up, and the thread goes through the looper.

  4. 4

    Place the spool on the spool holder corresponding to the right needle. If you look at the tension dials, this thread is second from the left. Draw the thread through the corresponding pretension thread guide, tension dial and thread guide. Turn the balance wheel toward you to bring the needle bar at its highest position. Pass the thread through the needle bar. Pass the thread through the needle eye.

  5. 5

    Place the spool on the spool holder corresponding to the left needle. Draw the thread through the pretension thread guide, tension dial and thread guide. Turn the balance wheel toward you to bring the needle bar at its highest position. Pass the thread through the needle bar. Pass the thread through the needle eye.

  6. 6

    Stitch 2 to 3 inches of thread chain. Insert a fabric swatch and stitch 6 to 7 inches. Check the stitching quality.

Tips and warnings

  • Turn the machine off when threading it.

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