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Old 05-02-2011, 05:59 AM
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Newbie sewing questions!

hi all, im new here and new to upholstery work all together! i've gone out and bought a consew 226 walking foot machine and lots of vinyl and threads to practice with etc, just looking for some advice on thread sizes and stitch lengths. I plan to use a #138 thread with a large stitch length for top stitching etc, but what size thread and stitch length would be best for seams i.e joining pieces together? im using vinyl to practice on at the moment but plan to work with leather as my skill improve. Thanks in advance guys

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Old 05-02-2011, 08:35 AM
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I do most of my sewing on a Consew 226R. You should use at least size 69 thread (nylon or polyester) for normal seam sewing. They are both about equal in strength. I use size 92 polyester for almost everything, but that's just a personal preference. Polyester handles UV rays better than nylon, and is more colorfast, so anything that will be outside should be sewn with polyester thread. To sew fabric together, 7 to 9 stitches an inch. To sew vinyl, leather, and Ultraleather (100% polyurethane) together, use 5 or 6 stitches an inch.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:55 AM
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dan, many thanks. Your knowledge is invaluable and much appreciated. Your posts have encouraged me to try my hand at upholstery, and i'm really beginning to get hooked! How thick a thread can the consew 226r handle? cheers
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:03 AM
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I have successfully sewed with size 207 thread, but you have to go real slow and the bobbin runs out really fast. I would stick with 138 being the biggest you use regularly, the machine will easily handle it. You will need to use one of the larger size needles to sew with 138, like size 21, 22, 23, and 24.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanhughes
hi all, im new here and new to upholstery work all together! i've gone out and bought a consew 226 walking foot machine and lots of vinyl and threads to practice with etc, just looking for some advice on thread sizes and stitch lengths. I plan to use a #138 thread with a large stitch length for top stitching etc, but what size thread and stitch length would be best for seams i.e joining pieces together? im using vinyl to practice on at the moment but plan to work with leather as my skill improve. Thanks in advance guys
If your just starting out, the first thing I would do is change the pulley on your motor to a 2 inch. This will slow the machine down. Don't know if you have a servo or clutch motor. As far as thread is concerned, # 69 and 92 are the ones most use. I myself am a 92 guy. I use 4 stitches per inch on vinyl. If the stitches are too small, the vinyl will cut.

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Old 05-02-2011, 11:46 AM
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thanks guys, appreciate the info. just ordered some #92 bonded poly thread, already been using #69 just seems a little thin! i have a small pulley on there with a 1425 rpm clutch motor but still seems quite fast for me. might have to look at getting a servo motor soon.

Another question on vinyls, i picked some up at a local material supplier it has a very thin backing and has quite alot of strech. when ive joined two pieces together (5 stitches per inch) and then pull at the seam the vinyl streches alot and the seam looks ugly. do i need a thicker vinyl?

thanks in advance
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:52 AM
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Maybe not thicker vinyl, but better vinyl. Nobody can make cheap vinyl look good. Your machine only goes down to 5 stitches per inch, but I normally sew vinyl, leather, and Ultraleather at 6 stitches per inch. 1/4" stitches are too big, and too big of a stitch is not good either. 4 stitches an inch is what you would top stitch a tent or a boat cover with, not sew seams in vinyl.

If your machine motor is running at 1425 rpm's, that's less than half of what the machine was designed to run at. You're already going plenty slow, my advise would be to leave the speed alone.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanhughes
Another question on vinyls, i picked some up at a local material supplier it has a very thin backing and has quite alot of strech. when ive joined two pieces together (5 stitches per inch) and then pull at the seam the vinyl streches alot and the seam looks ugly. do i need a thicker vinyl?

thanks in advance
Memories, like the corners of my mind! Anyhow - do a search about some of the things I wrote about my adventures with Vinyl. I used some stuff that was 4 bucks a yard and found out the value of good vinyl.
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:06 PM
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again thanks to you both, i'll do more research into the vinyl, and yes it was VERY cheap vinyl! still should be usefull for practicing my sewing skills, im gonna need it!
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:44 PM
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another thread related question guys, do you wind your own bobbins or use the prewound ones? i think my machine uses size g, but cant find anyone who can supply prewound. Do most manufacturers make them? anyone have any leads as to where i could source some?

thanks again
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanhughes
another thread related question guys, do you wind your own bobbins or use the prewound ones? i think my machine uses size g, but cant find anyone who can supply prewound. Do most manufacturers make them? anyone have any leads as to where i could source some?

thanks again
I wing my own
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanhughes
another thread related question guys, do you wind your own bobbins or use the prewound ones? i think my machine uses size g, but cant find anyone who can supply prewound. Do most manufacturers make them? anyone have any leads as to where i could source some?

thanks again
Yes, your machine uses "G" bobbins. I use pre-wound bobbins whenever I can. I keep black, white, and beige around all the time because 90% of sewing is with those three colors. I only wind bobbins for the odd colors like red, orange, etc. All my suppliers have them available, but they only sell to upholstery shops. Here's a place that sells them online: The Thread Exchange
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