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Presser Foot - Parts of a Sewing Machine

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An assortmentof snap on presser feet with many guides built in.

Sewing Machine Snap-On Presser Feet

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

What the Presser Foot Does:


  • The presser foot exerts downward pressure on the fabric as it is fed under the needle.

  • Lowering the presser foot engages the tension disks.

The All Purpose or General Purpose Presser Foot:


  • The all purpose presser foot comes on the sewing machine. It is the foot that you will use for all regular straight sewing. If your machine has zigzag capability, this foot has an opening wide enough for the needle in any position.

  • Improvements in sewing machines have lead to feet with many guides built into them. These guides are a tremendous help when doing many regular techniques. The improved feet allow your creativity to soar.

  • Newer sewing machines have snap-on style feet which allow you to pop a different foot on the machine for the task at hand, without having to unscrew anything.

Basic Sewing Machine Feet:


  • All sewing machines come with a few feet. Consult your sewing machine manual for instructions on each foot.

  • If you have a machine with only one foot, consult a sewing machine dealer for a zipper foot and learn about other feet that may be available for your machine.

  • Always have your machine make and model available when shopping for anything for your sewing machine.

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