Stop for a moment and look at your machines. Do you have your machine set up in the right location? Do you know how important the location of your machine can be?
Very important! The correct location can affect how your machine runs, prevent thread issues and the overall long term running of your machine. Take a moment and go through this list and make sure your machine is in the right location.
NO DIRECT SUNLIGHT: Direct sunlight is damaging to your machine. Yes, it is lovely to be using your machine and looking through your nice window, but your machine doesn’t like to be in direct sunlight. Neither does your thread for that matter! Storing your thread in direct sunlight can “dry” out the thread and make it brittle and easier to break or shred. Keep your machine out of direct sunlight, even when it is running. Yes, you can keep your machine near to a window, as long as the sunlight is not directly on your machine.
DUST: You need to make sure that your machine is not in an extremely dusty area. The dust can and will build up and cause operating issues with your machine. If you haven’t used your machine in a couple of days, and come back and look at the thread on the spools and there is dust, you may want to change a few things around. Easiest remedy to dust is to try changing the furnace filter to help filter out some of the dust. In our machine room, we have a good air cleaner to help clean the dust out of the air, which in turn helps keep the machines running smooth. it is a good idea to keep your machine as clean as possible.
LIQUIDS: Ok, this one is common sense, but make sure that all liquids are FAR away from your machine. Don’t let anyone have drinks, even water, near your machine or your machine table, just in case. You do not want to have your machine ruined because someone spilled water or a drink! Check to make sure that there are no external water drips or leaks – meaning the ceiling, window leaks or anywhere else.
KEEP MACHINE DESK/STAND CLEAR: I don’t have anything on my machine table – the area is clear on both sides, and I check before I turn on my machine. If someone is in my office and they absent-mindedly put a book down by my machine and I stitch something, I run the risk that my hoop can’t move properly, and if your hoop can’t move, your machine might seize up, cause issues and have to go in for repair. I really do take 1 minute each day to make sure that the arms are clear, the desk is clear, and there are no threads hanging anywhere, especially around the flywheel at the back. (for the record, I have seen a picture somewhere on Pinterest that someone had cut one of the threads but did not rethread or change the color, and the thread was hanging down from the spool – and it got caught in the wheel at the back…and kept going and going and going until the whole machine jammed up and stopped working. They had to take the machine in for repair, and there was a ton of thread wrapped tightly around in the flywheel. It is worth double checking that the threads are all on the right path, nothing hanging down anywhere)
SPACE, YOUR MACHINE NEEDS SPACE: in addition to above, make sure that you have enough room around your machine – you have to be very very careful putting your machine in a corner – if you don’t have it in the right place, your machine arms may not have enough room to move. When I move a machine, into a different location, I always put on the biggest hoop and do a trace or move the hoop arms from one side to another – to the fullest extent of the hoop. Make sure there is plenty of room for the hoop to move freely.
TEMPERATURE CONTROL: yes, the temperature of the room that you have your machine makes a difference. You should not have extreme temperatures – either hot or cold – to keep your machine running properly. Brother recommends that the room temperature be between 5C (40F) and 40C (104F) to keep the machine running properly. Although, I really can’t imagine running any embroidery machine when the temperature is 40C or 104F! That is too hot for me! We have a couple of machines that are really particular about the temperature. We keep an indoor thermometer in our work areas to keep those machines happy. We find that if the temperature is 78F, the machines do not want to work. We always end up turning on the air conditioning or heat earlier than most to keep the machines happy.
FANS OR OPEN WINDOWS: I have had issues with this before! Opening a window on a breezy day makes my machines not happy, and when they are not happy they don’t run well and I am not happy. Sometimes ceiling fans create issues, too and it took me a while to figure out why my machine was not running properly. My machines do not like any breezy areas, even a little bit. I don’t even put a machine near a vent in the workroom – it can get breezy with the furnace on – and then it can get too hot and too cold when the furnace comes on. I find it best to keep all machines away from vents, fans or open windows. I prefer to keep a constant climate for my machines when they are running.
BLOCKED VENTILATION SLOTS: not all machines have them, but if yours does, make sure they are not blocked. The machine, as with any electronic equipment, has to be able to vent or breathe. If you have something blocking the vents, then your machine may overheat or have some other issues. Take a quick check and make sure that no vents are blocked.
Once you find the right location for your machine, make sure that all of your supplies are safely stored away – including thread. The thread will fade over time in the sunlight or get brittle and dried out in the heat, too. I keep all of my thread in color-coded drawers – away from heat, dust, and sunlight – and I have had some thread for 10 years, and it is till working fine. I have all of my stabilizers stored away in my embroidery table too – so nothing will happen to them either. Wouldn’t it be terrible if you had your expensive roll of water soluble stabilizer out on the table, and someone spilled a glass of water? Agghhh, I can’t even imagine that!
Keep your machine healthy, and your supplies safe. Make sure your machine is in the best location!
Until next time,