Sewing Machine Repair School
by Dr. David Trumble
Maybe you are like Bob. Handy with your hands? Enjoy seeing how things work and fixing things. Maybe, what if?
What if you could make money or a living doing what you love? What are the possibilities? Just think of it... over
thirty five million people in the US love to sew, and need you to maintain their equipment.
The beginning of a dream often starts with just a tiny spark. A hint of an idea becomes, maybe it I. A journey
begins with one step. Becoming a technician begins by learning a new skill.
The search begins. To learn a new skill means finding someone to teach that skill. People often look to
colleges, trade schools, or even universities; but this specific course of study is rarely found in colleges today.
So where can you find help? Training is available today from three sources: manufacturers, apprenticeships, and
home study programs. Which best fits your needs?
If your goal is to open a full service sewing store to sell, service, and repair; a dealership makes senses. In
our stores we actually offer seven different lines of machines. When you purchase a dealership, you usually are
required to attend 1 to 5 days of technical trainings. These cover the only newest models of the brand. Initial
purchase of a dealership may run $50,000 and more. Then the trainings costs can be thousands more.
The age old practice of watch and learn while you do the grunt work remains an option. Many dealerships will
offer such programs to get inexpensive laborers. Basically, you hope to learn by watching an expert. Problem, it
takes lots of time.
Find a school. The term school may not be completely accurate. Since the demise of college courses, we may
consider a school to be any program that provides instruction. In other words, a school may involve internet
training, training in a hotel room, home study programs, or training at conventions. The training may last a day, a
week, or as with home study as long as you need. Here are the three most common types of schooling available today:
1 to 2 day hotel hands on school, video training, comprehensive home study program.
When people think of a school, they often think classroom, blackboards, tables and chairs. For this kind of
training you will need to look to manufacturer conferences or industry association conferences. These one to two
day training events are provided for technicians already in the business. Members (business owners) of VTA-ISMA can
attend their annual conference at exotic locations like Los Vegas or San Antonio in high priced hotels. Similar
training may also be provided to dealers for various brands at their conferences.
The classic classroom is nostalgic and may even stir memories from childhood; but when it comes to learning
critical repair skills, it may not be the best option. Not only can it be very expensive with travel, hotel, meals,
class fees, but you may be required to purchase a machine for thousands. Time wise, it is full of waste. Two thirds
of the classroom time is spend disassembling and reassembling. Only a small portion of the class is spent on
learning essential adjustments, repairs, and servicing techniques.
I love watching the Science channel and Discover TV. It is amazing how things work. Today there are some
training videos available that can be quite helpful. One training program offers a set of 5 dvds that begin with
the invention and how it works; and proceeds to videos on professional servicing, tensions, and timings. Another
offers individual videos on several older models showing disassembly, adjustments, and reassembly. You may even
find scattered YouTube videos.
Then comes home study or correspondence courses. These programs should include at least one textbook with a
workbook plus a variety of reference materials. One program offers courses on antique sewing machines, sergers,
embroidery machines, the tune up, and business development as well. The same company also offers companion video
Home Study pros include affordability, self paced study, expert assistance when needed. On the downside, you do
not have the social advantages of the classroom and may not be as easy as an entertaining video; but it gives the
fledgling technician all the resources and support needed for success.
To build a profitable repair business you must have confidence and skills to do the repairs, but you also need
the business plan and skills to build the business. Generic business books and articles, may be helpful, but it is
even more important to have an expert business development plan prepared by someone who has already been there and
Do you have what it takes to be successful in your own repair business? Is the training available? Yes. Is there
a need for your services? Yes. Is it possible to a good living doing repairs? Yes. What is hold you back? For a
tiny investment in yourself, you can build something amazing. Go for it.