Last Updated on August 6, 2021

Sewing machines are a sewing enthusiast’s best friend. Whether you’re sewing clothes, toys, or other sewing projects, there’s a sewing machine to help you get the job done.

But with any new hobby or profession comes the need to take safety precautions and remember all of the rules that go along with it.

Today we’re going to be discussing 11 sewing machine safety tips when using a sewing machine so that you can avoid injury while working on your projects!



Are sewing machines dangerous?


If you’ve never handled or used a sewing machine before, you might think that sewing machine can cause nasty injuries, especially when you see that big needle starts to work on a fabric.

If you feel concerned, that’s pretty normal. However, modern sewing machines have safety features to protect the operator from any kind of sewing machine accidents. Sewing machine these days are extremely safe for sewing enthusiasts of all ages  and skill levels.

But remember that there are always a few rules that you should follow when using your sewing machine. So don’t throw any precautions out the window! 

It’s important especially if you’re inexperienced when it comes to sewing machines or if you’re a beginner as well.

After reading the safety tips below, we hope that you’ll feel more safe and confident when using the sewing machine.


Featured image of sewing machine safety


1. Turn off and unplug the sewing machine 


After using your sewing machine, always remember to unplug the machine. 

This will help protect anyone, especially children, who might play with or be  tempted to touch the sewing machine and mess around with it. This can also protect you from false starts. 

Also, do not leave the sewing machine on unattended.


The lower parts of the sewing machine


2. Keep safe distance


This may sound pretty obvious but it must be said. Do not put your fingers too close to the needle when you’re feeding the fabric through the needle. 

In modern sewing machines, the only thing you really have to worry about is the needle. So, as you sew, learn to keep safe distance from the needle. With that said…


Somebody sewing a white fabric


3. Use a needle guard


This is probably the most important sewing machine safety rule. The needle guard will keep your fingers and hands safe from injury. It is its sole purpose. It’s a small, yet essential sewing tool that should be used every time you are sewing with a sewing machine.


4. Keep needles, pins, and pincushions in a sewing kit


Aside from the benefit of keeping your things organized this way, it’s also a safety measure for young children so they won’t get accidentally injured from these sharp objects. So remember that it’s important to store sewing supplies in an orderly manner.


5. Declutter the table


Keep your sewing machine on a table or dresser that is free from clutter. This will help keep it out of harms way with no chance of accidentally bumping into anything else (like children).


6. Don’t use bent or broken needles 


Make sure that the sewing machine needle you’re using isn’t bent or broken in any way. A broken needle can damage your machine when it breaks. It can also pose a danger when it breaks while you’re working as it can turn into a harmful projectile.


7. Keep sharp objects away 


Keep sharp objects like scissors, cutters, pins, needles and knives out of the way when you’re sewing with a sewing machine. Keep them away from children as well.


A bunch of sewing machine needles laying on a black fabric


8. Don’t sew over pins and needles 


Remove them as you go. Doing this can break the pins and needles and can cause them to fly directly to you which can cause painful injuries. 

Needless to say, it can also potentially damage your machine which may lead to costly repairs down the line.


9. Mind your hair! 


Always remember that hair should never be anywhere near the sewing area! You can easily avoid any harm just by pulling your hair back or using hair clips.


10. Focus on what you’re sewing


Never reach over to grab anything while sewing as well because this might also lead to an injury. Concentrate on what you’re sewing. 

This is just good general safety advice.


Someone who's fixing a sewing maching thread that keeps breaking


11. Machine maintenance 


A broken machine can cause unexpected mishaps and injuries. With that said, make sure that you’re doing proper maintenance for your machine. 

Clean it and oil your sewing machine at least once every six months or as needed (based on how often you use your sewing machine). 

Bring it to a professional for proper maintenance if needs be.


12. Thread the needle properly 


Make sure that the needle is threaded before turning on your sewing machine. This will help keep threads from getting stuck in the shuttle and breaking easily while sewing. 

It’ll also prevent more damage from occurring after getting caught up in a broken thread loop which can lead to injury if not dealt with quickly enough.


13. Be careful with electricity


If you’re using a sewing machine that operates on electricity, or when using an extension cord with a sewing machine, make sure it is heavy duty and rated for the appliance use; otherwise there could be wiring issues leading to short circuits which in some cases can cause very serious damage and injuries. 

So work carefully around electricity cords — keep little ones away from this area because these cords could be hazardous if they come into contact with them.


14. Keep control of fabric while sewing 


One bad move could ruin an entire project or injure someone nearby. 

Always be mindful of where your hands and cloth is at all times because if one part catches on the needle, it might cause injuries to both person holding onto the cloth and anyone else around them. 

Never let go until you’re done sewing with this piece of material – even if other elements in your sewing project start catching up with you and require attention too – so that no mishaps occur during this process.



Some Final Words


These sewing machine safety rules will help you avoid injury when using a sewing machine. Take your time, learn and follow the steps thoroughly and enjoy making your craft with your sewing machine.

If you break any of these safety rules, then there might be an injury or damage that could happen.

It’s important to take care and follow as many sewing machine safety tips as possible while using your sewing machines so there are no accidents or injuries from happening.

Be safe and happy sewing!


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