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Throat Plate and Feed Dog - Parts of a Sewing Machine

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Throat plate details

Throat Plate on an Elna Heirloom Edition 6005

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

The Throat Plate:


  • The throat plate is a removable part, which protects the bobbin and underside of the sewing machine.

  • The throat plate has seam guides. Always verify that the machine seam guide is accurate with the needle position you are using.

  • Many newer machines have built in visibility of the bobbin area so you remember to fill the bobbin before starting a large project.

The Feed Dog:


  • The feed dog feeds the fabric under the presser foot while you guide the fabric.

  • The feed dog regulates the stitch length by how much fabric passes under the presser foot as the machine stitches.

  • It is important for you to not push and pull the fabric under the presser foot. Allow the feed dog to move the fabric, so that you do not bend and break sewing machine needles.

  • Most feed dogs are metal but there was a period of time that they were made in rubber. Be aware that the rubber feed dogs did wear out and have them replaced if they have rounded edges or show signs of wear.

Care of the Feed Dog & Throat Plate:


  • The ability to remove the throat plate makes cleaning the feed dog and bobbin area possible. Removing lint with a soft brush extends the life of the machine.
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