Is it possible? Where is the best place to buy thread and what size needle do you use?
Results 1 to 10 of 23
18-04-12, 10:14 #1
Repairing Sails using domestic Sewing Machine."G" "T" or "UA"?
18-04-12, 10:34 #2Registered User
Location : Argyll
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
It depends on the machine, but I do not think there are many that can cope with it, my wifes Frister & Rossman can just about manage light canvas on minor repairs to sail covers, spinnakers etc. but dacron would be well beyond its capabilities. Another problem is manouvering big areas of stiff cloth under and past the foot of a domestic machine.
18-04-12, 10:43 #3
Our domestic machine can cope with two layers of sailcloth when we have made up bags from old sails. It cannot manage any reinforcement areas. As Quandary says, the biggest problem is that the throat of the machine is too small for the size of a sail. We recently repaired a winter cockpit cover and this was the biggest problem, although the maximum width of material was only around four feet.Answers to some technical queries at http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com
18-04-12, 11:12 #4
Our ancient hand-cranked Singer goes through several layers but you need the proper needles for canvas. They are called jeans needles.
This sort of thing
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hemline-Mach...N%3DB003DD9N2C"Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in good spirits." RLS
18-04-12, 11:24 #5Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2007
I have an old Jones machine that does well for covers.
Pointnorth.co.uk are good for thread.
Doing something that works on covers is not so hard, making it look nice is harder IMHO.
18-04-12, 11:29 #6Registered User
Location : Plymouth
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
Jeans needles work ok.
Solent Sewing Machines will supply V69 polybonded UV white 2500mts for about 15 quid. This is the lightest of sailmaking threads but I have found it tends to be less hassle on a domestic machine. If crossing an ocean you may want to use the heavier V92. You only need white for any boaty task.
As outlined by the others, getting a sail through the machine is one difficulty. You end up wrestling with the thing so a heavy machine, or screwing it down, is key. The other problem is the slippy material which the feed dogs, and you, will find difficult to grip. Use double sided tape to fix the panels.
Having said this, small tasks on big sails or big tasks on small sails, are very worth doing and easy. I find canvas easier and have made covers larger than vyv's example but you have to plan in advance and roll the fabric carefully for the long seams.
Last edited by doug748; 18-04-12 at 11:32. Reason: sp
18-04-12, 11:47 #7
I re-sew seams, re-sew UV strips regularly on an old, heavy, domestic machine. It will easily cope with 4 layers of cloth. Where there are re-inforcing patches etc it's a case of out with the needle and palm. It definitely makes the sails last longer and has saved me several hundred pounds in sail loft charges for minor repairs over the years. Well worth picking up an old, heavyweight, sewing machine for £40 - £50.
See http://www.ace-apparelcraftequipment.co.uk/ for example.
18-04-12, 12:53 #8
18-04-12, 12:55 #9
I found them to be very helpful and quite happy to deal with amateurs like me."Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in good spirits." RLS
18-04-12, 13:18 #10
I've repaired a few sails using a borrowed ancient and heavy domestic machine but the dacron was fairly light weight as the sails were small (for sub-30ft boats). I used double sided tape to hold the patches in place first but still found I had to hand sew across some thicker seams. My 1980's fancy-stitch-capable Bernina 1015 is quite capable of sewing dinghy weight cloth with the right needles and thread but won't manage anything much heavier very well (lots of missed stitches) plus I'd rather keep it in working order for curtains & dressmaking.
Am planning on replacing the Bernina with a Sailrite Ultrafeed to use on board when we cast off in a year or so, as it is capable of both heavier weight sail repairs and more domestic sewing.
One tip I can share - if sewing across large expanses of cloth (eg awnings, sails, patchwork quilts or curtains) roll it up from the right hand side parallel to the direction of the seam to be sewn. That way it'll be more manageable.