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Technical Help sewing vinyl?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mike51Merc, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,834

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    OK, so this would normally be OT for this forum and maybe on-topic for a Good Housekeeping forum, but it has to do with car upholstery on a pre-1964 car.

    Decided to DIY a small armrest upholstery job that should have been a no-brainer. Wife has a small Sears sewing machine. I bought some vinyl. We're using button thread with a denim needle.

    The vinyl walks through nicely and the needle pierces easily. The problem is that it won't stitch. It seems that the thread isn't being pulled through. My wife demonstrated that the setup will easily sew denim and even a piece of thick paper card stock. It makes a nice row of holes in the vinyl, but no stitches. We tried it rightside-up and upside-down.

    Any ideas why this is failing?
     
  2. A conventional sewing machine just wont do the job,you need a industrial machine. HRP
     
  3. RICK R 44
    Joined: Dec 13, 2009
    Posts: 455

    RICK R 44
    Member

    Most domestic machines will sew a couple of layers of vinyl Sounds like the needle is not picking up the bobbin thread Try another needle and let the machine feed the material through, do not pull the material through. next step would be to play with the tension adjustment both on the needle thread and on the bobbin. Good luck.
     
  4. mcmopar
    Joined: Nov 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,557

    mcmopar
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Strum, wi

    Not sure what is going on but, asked my quilting wife, and she had no idea. If you were doing it for a living, a better machine, but for what your after I don't see why that machine wouldn't be a problem.
     
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  5. You have something out of adjustment...maybe the needle a bit too short
     
  6. Thread in needle not picking up bottom thread?Ask a sew shop.
     
  7. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,834

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    HRP, I'd agree with you if there was any difficulty feeding or piercing the material, but this flows through easily. I'm not sewing cowhide here.
     
  8. Johnboy34
    Joined: Jul 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,247

    Johnboy34
    Member
    from Seattle,Wa

    Try adjusting the machine?
     
  9. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,834

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    A-ha!
    Looks like a timing problem. I can relate to that. Just have to move the distributor a bit.
     
    seb fontana and 41 C28 like this.
  10. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,534

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    Should not be an issue, used my mom's pedal Singer many years ago and the wife's modern one not too long ago..I seem to remember something about needle deflection and a fine stitch, also a feel for helping the material "feed" will be helpful as the feet may slip on the Vinyl..Follow Rick R 44..How are your layers arranged ?
     
  11. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,834

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    We never even made it to the two-layer stage, problem arose on test run, single thickness, smooth auto-feed. I think the timing noted above is the problem.
     
  12. You are correct that the machine can physically sew the 2 layers. The question is whether you have enough adjustment of the thread tension.
    If it sews the denim, you are not out of time (timing okay).
    Loosen the thread tensioner wheel (knurled nut with spring and 2 plates that the thread passed through) several turns. Try sewing and see if the bobbin will pick up the thread.
    If you can get it the pick up the top thread, adjust from there.
    Try a different thread just to see if it will pick up.
    The thread has more friction going through vinyl and when it gets to the bottom stroke of the needle (BDC) it creates a "loop" that the bobbin shuttle passes through. If the thread is too tight, the loop will not be created and the bobbin will not catch it.
     

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