32 Parts of Sewing Machine and their Functions

Md Mahedi Hasan

Last Updated:


-By Tushar Soliwal

Department of Textiles (Fashion Technology) DKTE’S Textile and Engineering Institute, Ichalkaranji, India
Email: tusharsoliwal01@gmail.com


As we are all aware, sewing machines are the heart of the production department in the garment industry. So, understanding the sewing machine and how every part of it works is very crucial. In garment industries maintenance department is responsible to solve machine-related problems and issues.

Sewing Machine
Figure 1: Industrial Sewing Machine

In this article, we go through the working of sewing machines and the major parts of sewing machines with their functions and respective images. To handle the sewing machine effectively with its optimum efficacy it is important to understand all parts of the sewing machine, for troubleshooting. The given figure 1 is showing the parts of sewing machine and we will go through their functions with appropriate images.

A Sewing machine is a mechanical type of device, used to sew one or more pieces of fabric together with the help of a needle and sewing thread. Various sewing machines and embroidery sewing machines are available in the market, mainly used to reduce the human efforts of sewing.

These sewing machines were invented in the first Industrial Revolution and after that so much Research and developments are carried out up till today to change the designs and applications, but the basic function of all sewing machines has remained the same. Nowadays, sewing machines are widely used for sewing garments in bulk quantities, repairing accessories, clothes, and home goods, and also, creating and designing personalized goods [1].

Sewing Machine after first industrial revolution
Sewing machine uses after first industrial revolution

Before going into the main topic lets, understand the importance of sewing machines in the apparel industry first.

The importance of sewing machine in apparel industry are as:

  • To improve the efficiency of production
  • To archive consistent quality of sewn goods
  • To maintain the versatility
  • To be a cost-effective solution in the apparel market
  • For precision
  • Innovation & sustainability

Sewing machine parts

As shown in figure 1 let’s list the parts of the sewing machine first for better understanding figure 2 shows the collage of some major sewing parts [2].

Figure 2: Some machine parts
  1. Feed Dog
  2. Foot Pedal
  3. Hand Wheel
  4. Power Plug
  5. Needle Position Dial
  6. Slide Plate
  7. Spool Holder
  8. Presser Foot Lever
  9. Bobbin Case
  10. Bobbin
  11. Presser Foot
  12. Take-Up Lever
  13. Needle Plate
  14. Stitch Length Adjustment Dial
  15. Stitch Width Adjustment
  16. Pressure Adjustment Dial
  17. Bobbin Winder
  18. Reverse Lever
  19. Tension Control Dial
  20. Balance Wheel
  21. Spool pin
  22. Thread guide
  23. Tension disc
  24. Needle bar
  25. Faceplate
  26. Slack thread regulator
  27. Rubber ring
  28. Needle clamp
  29. Shuttle
  30. Treadle drive
  31. Treadle
  32. Pressure regulating screw

Basic sewing machine parts and their functions

Let’s start with the main part of our topic which means various parts of the sewing machine and their function [3].

Feed Dog

Feed dog plays an important role while sewing operations. It guides the fabric on the forward side. Feed dogs have different types. It’s situated under the presser foot. The main function of the feed dog is to guide the fabric as the stitch length is adjusted on the sewing machine.

Feed Dog
Figure 3: Feed Dog

As per the stitch adjusted on the machine it controls the fabric, and inserts the specific amount of fabric inside the pressure foot. Feed dog controls the fabric movement and provides even quality stitching. The following figure 3 shows a picture of a feed dog used in the sewing machine.

Foot Pedal

To control the speed of the sewing machine and avoid damage to the fabric while sewing the foot pedal play an important role. It guides the operator that how much pressure should be applied on the machine so that even and effective stitching is carried out.

Foot Pedal
Figure 4: Foot Pedal

If the operator presses the foot pedal with higher pressure, then the machine runs at a higher speed and if the operator presses the foot pedal with less pressure, then the machine runs at a lower speed. The following figure 4 shows a picture of the foot pedal used in the sewing machine. It is situated below the sewing machine mostly on the right side of the operator’s leg.

Hand Wheel

The main purpose is to slow down the sewing machine and turn the needle by hand. The following figure 5 shows the picture of the handwheel. It’s situated right side of the sewing machine.

Hand wheel
Figure 5: Hand wheel

Power Plug

As we are all aware the power plug operation feeds the electrical power supply to the sewing machine. Through operator can switch on and off the sewing machine with just one click. The following figure 6 shows a picture of the power plug in the sewing machine.  

Power Plug
Figure 6: Power Plug

Needle Position Dial

The main purpose of the needle position dial is to allow the needle position. It guides the operator to position the needle at the left, center, or right. The following figure 7 shows the picture of the needle position dial bar.

Needle Position Dial
Figure 7: Needle Position Dial

Slide Plate

The main function of the slide plate is to provide access to the bobbin case area. A slide plate can help the operator to see the bobbin and downside of the pressure foot. The following figure 8 shows the picture of the slide plate. It is situated below the pressure foot.

Slide Plate
Figure 8: Slide Plate

Spool Holder

The main function of the spool holder is to hold the thread material placed and direct the thread from the topside of the machine. It supplies the even package of thread to the machine.  It is usually located on the top side of the sewing machine. The following figure 9 shows the picture of spun holder.

Spool Holder
Figure 9: Spool Holder

Presser Foot Lever

The main function of the pressure foot lever is to raise and lower the position of the pressure foot. There are two positions of the pressure foot lever, the upward direction position indicated the pressure foot is raised upside which means, zero pressure on the fabric.

Presser Foot Lever
Figure 10: Presser Foot Lever

The downward direction position indicated pressure foot is lowered that means, optimum pressure is applied on the fabric. The following figure 10 shows the picture of the pressure foot lever.

Bobbin Case

The main function of the bobbin case is to hold the bobbin. It has a specific threading pattern. The bobbin case is responsible to provide thread with some optimum tension, which avoids puckering defects. It is easily removable. The below figure 11 shows the picture of the bobbin case

Bobbin Case
Figure 11: Bobbin Case


The bobbin is an important part of lock stitch-type sewing machines. It is located exactly below the needle. Below figure 12 shows a picture of a bobbin. Bobbin provides a bobbin thread to the needle which penetrates through the fabric. The main function of a bobbin in a sewing machine is to provide the bobbin thread.  We can wind extra bobbins to save time.

Figure 12: Bobbin

Presser Foot

The main function of the pressure foot is to insert optimum pressure on the fabric from the top side when the needle penetrated through the fabric. The following figure 13 shows the picture of the pressure foot.

Presser Foot
Figure 13: Presser Foot

Take-Up Lever

As we are all aware of the take of the function of the lowers and the lever same way the take-up lever is responsible to guide the top thread which means through the thread package. The following figure 14 shows the picture of the take-up lever.

Take-Up Lever
Figure 14: Take-Up Lever

Needle Plate

It is also known as a throat plate. It is a removal kind of plat. Which plays an important role in safety while sewing operations. It is mainly situated above the feed dog. It protects the operator’s eye at the time of needle breakage. It is shown in Figure 15.

Needle Plate
Figure 15: Needle plate

Stitch Length Adjustment Dial

The main function of stitch length adjustment is to adjust the length of the stitches while stitching the material. As we see in the function of feed dog the fee dog distance adjustment is done through the stitch length adjustment dial.

So the stitch length is adjusted by the stitch length adjustment dial and feed dog, and not by the adjustment of the needle. The following figure 16 shows the picture of the stitch length adjustment dial.

Stitch Length Adjustment Dial
Figure 16: Stitch Length Adjustment Dial

Stitch Width Adjustment

It allows the operator to vary the width of the stitches while sewing. The following figure 17 shows the picture of the stitch width adjustment.

Stitch Width Adjustment
Figure 17: Stitch Width Adjustment

Pressure Adjustment Dial

The main function of the pressure adjustment dial is to set the amount of pressure that the presser foot exerts on the fabric. The dial is usually located on the top left side of the sewing machine, but some machines do not have this dial. The following figure 18 shows a picture of the pressure-adjusting dial.

Pressure Adjustment Dial
Figure 18: Pressure adjustment dial

Bobbin Winder

Bobbin winder has a special kind of function it takes thread from the spool which is located at the top side of the machine and when we attach the bobbin, after the pressing of the pressure foot it winds the thread over the bobbin. It required a special kind of threading. This kind of system of filing the empty bobbin seems in almost all types of industrial sewing machines.

Bobbin Winder
Figure 19: Bobbin Winder

The bobbin winding system is majorly seen on the top side of the machine, which is exactly situated on the right-hand side of the sewing operator on the sewing machine table. The following figure 19  shows the picture of the bobbin winder

Reverse Lever

In the advanced type of sewing machines, this lever is present, it directs the fabric into and flow motion. It changes the direction of the fabric while swinging.

Reverse Lever
Figure 20: Reverse Lever

After pressing the reverse lever, the fabric moving in the forward direction is reversed and sewn in a backward motion. Its main function is to lock the fabric edges. Which secures the stitches of the fabric. The following figure 20 shows the picture of the reverse lever.

Tension Control Dial

It controls the amount of pressure applied to the thread. The main function of the control dial is to feed the even thread and provide adequate tension to the thread which is responsible for even stitching guided through for an even feed to the machine needle. The following figure 21 shows a picture of the tension control dial [3].

Tension Control Dial
Figure 21: Tension Control Dial

Balance Wheel

The balance wheel is also called as fly wheel. It is round and is located on the upper side of the sewing machine. The main function of this part is to revolve the machine. We can give the motion to balance the wheel manually or electrically. The following figure 22 shows the picture of the balance wheel [4].

Balance Wheel
Figure 22: Balance Wheel

Spool pin

A spool pin is a metal rod that is situated at the top side of the machine, the main function of this machine part is to correct the position of the package that is reel. The following figure 23 shows the picture of the spool pin.

Spool pin
Figure 23: Spool pin

Thread guide

It acts as a bridge between the spool pin and the needle. The passage of the thread is guided through the thread guide. The main function of the thread guide is to position the thread from the spool toward the needle. The following figure 24 shows the picture of the thread guide.

Thread guide
Figure 24: Thread guide

Tension disc

A tension disk plays an important role in the seeing operation, it is a combination of two disks that are placed together having a concave shape. The passage of the thread is as,

Tension disc
Figure 25: Tension disc

Spool Pin- Thread Guide-Tension Disk- Needle

So, tension disks are responsible for maintaining the delivery of needle thread between the spool pin and needle. The thread tension is adjusted with the help of a spring and nut. They are responsible to increase or decrease the pressure. The following figure 25 shows a picture of the tension disk.

Needle bar

The following figure 26 shows the picture of the needle bar. It has a simple function, it provides the motion to the needle from one end, so it plays an important role in the penetration of the needle into the fabric layers.

Needle bar
Figure 26: Needle bar


Faceplates have a simple and easy function. It provides access to the operator for the oiling points. The following figure shows the picture face plate attached to the sewing machine. Figure 27 shows tr picture of the faceplate.

Figure 27: Faceplate

Slack thread regulator

The following figure 28 shows the picture slack thread regulator which is attached to the sewing machine. It is a metal hook that is situated near the tension discs.

Slack thread regulator
Figure 28: Slack thread regulator

Rubber ring

It is a type of ring which have rubber material. It has a contact between the nut and the balance wheel. Care should be taken to it not allowed to become oily. Because it makes the ring slippery and avoids contact between the balance wheel and the nut. The following figure 29 shows a picture rubber ring.

Rubber ring
Figure 29: Rubber ring

Needle clamp

A needle clamp is a type of screw. Which plays an important role to hold the position of the needle. The following figure 30 shows the picture needle clamp.

Needle clamp
Figure 30: Needle clamp


It holds the bobbin case and it has the function to form a loop. It is situated below the feed dog on the left-hand side of the operator.  The following figure 31 shows the picture shuttle.

Figure 31: Shuttle

Treadle drive

The following figure 32 shows the picture treadle drive which is situated below the board of the machine.  It has contact through a leather belt and balance wheel. The drive is transferred from the balance wheel to the leather belt.

Treadle drive
Figure 32: Treadle drive


It is situated at the base side of the machine. The following figure 33 shows the picture of the treadle. When the operator put pressure on the treadle to operate the treadle machine.

Figure 33: Treadle

Pressure regulating screw

The following figure 34 shows a picture of the pressure-regulating screw. It is situated on the above side of the pressure bar. Which have the main function to increase or decrease the pressure on the fabric. It is mainly done for creating a variety of stitches on the fabric at different sewing processes such as hemming and gathering.

Pressure regulating screw
Figure 34: Pressure regulating screw


So, here I conclude our topic of sewing parts and their functions, we have gone through all the major parts of the sewing machine and the different functions of each. Together all these parts and components contribute to the sewing operation and allow the operator to manufacture and stitch effective, attractive, and beautiful garments goods, and projects.


  1. MAIN PARTS OF SEWING MACHINE WITH THEIR FUNCTIONS.” Engineeringtextile.com, engineeringtextile.com/garment/sewing/158-sewing-machine-parts, https://engineeringtextile.com/garment/sewing/158-sewing-machine-parts, Accessed 16 June 2023.
  2. 27 PARTS OF A SEWING MACHINE WITH DETAILS.” ORDNUR, https://ordnur.com/sewing/sewing-machine-parts/  Accessed on 16 June 2023.
  3. “PARTS OF A SEWING MACHINE”, https://casn.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/resource_files/PartsofaSewingMachine.pdf, Page 2, Accessed on 16 June 2023,
  4. “INTRODUCTION OF SEWING MACHINE”, https://ncert.nic.in/vocational/pdf/ivsm101.pdf, Page 32-39, Accessed on 16 June 2023.

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