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Pets vs Sewing Machines

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by Sara Snuggerud in Sewing Machines, Sewing Tips

Many of us have furry friends that keep us company while we sew. They investigate with their tiny paws, they curl up in the middle of projects, and some cause a little bit of havoc. But what happens when our sewing machines become victims of these mischievous fur balls?

Pets vs Sewing Machines – Being a responsible pet owner means keeping both pets and sewing machines safe from each other. No one plans on cords being chewed, pins and needles in delicate paws or even worse a sewing machine getting peed on! But sewing machine service centers around the world can tell horror stories.

The most common problem is teeth marks in power cords or even worse foot controls that no longer connect at all to the master sewing machine! Thankfully, most of the time the sewing machine is not on during the chew-session and does not electrocute the little fellow. But sewers beware, some brands of sewing machines have very expensive power cords and foot controls. Replacing them can feel like you practically just bought a new sewing machine.

Pets are also notorious of knocking items off tables. If you have a pet who likes to roam, note where your trash can is located. Items left on table edges such as scissors, seam rippers, bobbins and extra presser feet can mysteriously disappear with a swipe of a paw or a swish of a tail.

Pet dander is something else that can settle on a sewing machine’s outside housing or in any open areas such as threading paths and tension dials. When pets are allowed near our machines it is a good idea to cover them when they are not in use. Whether you make a fancy sewing machine cover or take a clean towel from the linen closet, covering a sewing machine between uses will help keep pet hair and dander from getting in to unwanted places.

Speaking of things that get inside sewing machines, sewing machine technicians have shared with me a variety of small animals they themselves have found inside of sewing machines. Though most of these small creatures are long since passed on, their crusty outsides still surprise even the most seasoned service people. Common smaller animals such as cockroaches, crickets, and spiders to even an occasional lizard (both alive and dead) have been found hiding in sewing machines. Yes, most of those sewing machines have been sitting for a long time in basements, attics or garages, still, no one likes that kind of surprise when opening up a sewing machine.

One sewing machine technician even found a small snake curled up and around the sewing machine’s light bulb. The warmth of the light was the perfect spot to call home. If that doesn’t give you a reason right there to upgrade to a new sewing machine with LED lights, I don’t know what will!

Common Pets vs Sewing Machines Solutions

Companies have come up with cord covers to help deter chewing. Some flexible protective covers are even infused with a citrus-scent to keep cats away from the cord. Two home made versions are wrapping cords with either foil or double-sided tape. With the foil tape, cats dislike the alkaline taste in their mouth and will refrain from chewing anything coated in the tape. With double-sided tape, animals usually shy away from anything sticky. Of course, the sticky method can be a little troublesome in a sewing room environment. But if it will save your cords from needing replacement, it is worth while.

Cats will be especially curious of running embroidery machines. Do not leave embroidery machines unattended with pets in the area. If the embroidery hoops happen to get bummed during the run time, the embroidery design will be off at the end. Embroidery machines and pets are never a good mix.

This would be a good time to close the door or install a baby gate. Yes, we have seen baby gates on sewing rooms with no actual baby around. It was installed to keep the pets at the safe distance yet still be able to see and be near their owners.

The moral of this story is that if you have pets, it is your responsibility to keep both your sewing machines and your furry friends safe from harm at all times.

Have a funny Pet vs Sewing Machines story of your own? Leave a comment below.

1 Comment
  1. Although this is my cat, Milo, in the photo above, I stopped sewing when he was climbing on my machine. It is important to be careful around your pets, and I had not even thought of an embroidery machine running and the person not watching to make sure their pet stays away.
    Great article, lots of information to think about. I am glad you liked my photo.
    Gerri
    Cool Cat Creations

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