Long-time single-needle machine embroiderers often tell me they are intimidated by multi-needle machines. I completely understand because I used to be petrified of any machine that didn’t look similar to my trusted mirror-imaged c-shaped machine.
You know, needle on the left, flat bed under the needle extending to the control panel on the right. It’s always been a source of comfort to sit at any single-needle machine and instinctively know where to place the fabric, how to select a stitch, raise the presser foot and turn the fly wheel.
Now, a multi-needle machine appears to be an entirely different animal. The needles – four, six, ten, twelve or sixteen – span across the width of the machine each with their own presser foot. The flywheel exists but is not visible from the front of the machine. And there is no bed, just a throat – and a skinny one at that!
This photo shows you just how similar a multi-needle machine is to a single-needle machine. And once you locate its basic functioning parts, it’s no longer a mystery. It has spool pins, tension discs (one for each needle), a bobbin and a pantograph (the part of the machine that holds and moves the hoop).
Your goal when using a multi-needle machine is the same as a single-needle machine. You want to hold the fabric securely in the hoop and stitch beautiful embroidery designs. Since I’m fairly new to multi-needle machines, I’m going to share my experience with you on a series of Multi-Needle Monday blog posts. I encourage you to ask questions and share your journey on exploring multi-needle machines with me. Learning together, we can tackle and tame those big machines!