Thursday, September 24, 2009

Machine Embroidery-Free Machine Embroidery

Free Machine Embroidery

Free machine embroidery is achieved by dropping the feed dogs and fitting an appropriate foot (darning/free machine embroidery) to the machine (see your sewing machine manual). By dropping the feed dogs the machine loses the ability to move the fabric under the foot, and the stitch length setting is of no consequence.

Free machine embroidery involves producing a stitch by simultaneously running the machine and moving the work around. Imagine the work surface to be a piece of paper and the machine needle to be a pencil. Instead of moving the pencil to draw, move the ‘paper’ allowing the needle to draw on the fabric surface. The foot leaves a gap between the plate and the foot through which the work can move easily.

The length of the stitch is determined by how quickly, or slowly, the work is moved, combined with how fast the machine is run. Running the machine quickly and moving the work slowly results in small stitches. Running the machine slowly and moving the work quickly results in longer stitches. The direction in which the stitches run can also give texture to a piece of work.

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  close up of embroidery showing free machine embroidery technique

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