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Sewing Machine Power.

Understanding Sewing Machine Power Drive Systems AC And DC.


Sewing machines are incredible devices of creative ingenuity.

Elias Howe invented the sewing machine in 1846. It was an amazing mechanical device driven by human power. The evolution of the sewing machine included foot power, hand power, and eventually electrical power.

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As long as foot or hand power were used, they were the power drive of the sewing machine.  The system consisted solely of directing the kinetic energy through wheels, belts, gears, and levers.

With the introduction of electrical power for sewing machines, a challenge emerged. How can a sewing machine convert electrical power to kinetic or mechanical energy to run the sewing machine?


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What is Sewing Machine Power and how does it work?

Introduction of the electrified sewing machine brought a revolution to sewing. During the early years, an electric motor was added to existing sewing machines. This became the sewing machine power system of choice. A hand crank or treadle sewing machine was converted by placing a drive wheel on the end of the motor shaft. The motor was lined up with the hand wheel as the sewing machine drive mechanism. 

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 Today, occasionally, a customer will come in and ask how they might re-covert an antique converted treadle sewing machine. The treadle status has nostalgic value, but is not comparable as a sewing production machine. The electrified sewing machine has made sewing quicker. It is more reliable. It is more convenient. Electric AC motors became the sewing machine power system for many years.

What is Sewing Machine Power and how does it work?

Today commercial sewing machines continue to use external sewing machine motors Most home sewing machines have built in motors. These motors convert electricity from the home power outlet. They transfer usable kinetic energy to drive wheels, belts, gears, and levers.

An electrical motor uses electricity to create magnetic flux between coil windings and a central core. The magnetic charges cause the center shaft of the motor generating kinetic or mechanical energy. The turning shaft is connected to a gear or belt drive wheel. A belt wraps around this connection.  This  transfers the mechanical energy to the upper shaft of the sewing machine. From this point the wheels, belts, gears, and levers transfer the energy through the sewing machine. This  causes its parts to sew. This becomes the sewing machine power system.

What is Sewing Machine Power and how does it work?

Electricity must run in a complete circuit. The flow of energy moves from positive source to negative end. Only when a continuous loop is established is it called a circuit. When this circuit is broken by opening a switch, no electricity flows.

There are two fundamental sewing machine power systems.

There are two basic types of electricity – AC and DC. AC or Alternating Current is electricity that runs in one direction for a moment and then back the other direction alternating repeatedly.

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DC or Direct Current electricity flows in only one direction and continues to run in that direction endlessly until the circuit is interrupted. 

 Early electric sewing machine motors were based on AC or Alternating Current electricity. These were essentially mechanical sewing machines using the levers and gears to move and form the stitches. Today many commercial sewing machines and low end sewing machines are mechanical machines driven by electric AC motors. Here is one of the hallmark features of a mechanical sewing machine.  It makes a buzz or whine in the motor before it builds up sufficient force to move the sewing machine parts.

What is Sewing Machine Power and how does it work?

More modern sewing machines including the most advanced computerized sewing machines have introduced the use of DC motors. Electronic circuits and integrated circuits are used to convert AC electricity into DC electricity. It then uses DC motors to directly control stitch functions and machine operations. This advance has enabled the modern sewing machine to achieve convenience.  Stitch capabilities are achieved that have never been dreamed of before.

Sewing Machine Power.
Understanding Sewing Machine Power Drive Systems AC and DC.