Quilting Tip #18: Lint Happens

Lint happens.  You need to find the best way for you to clean lint from your bobbin area–this is crucial to maintaining good tension.  Lint that is not directly on the thread path but is ‘hanging around’ your bobbin area could become dislodged and cause tension issues, so be proactive and get rid of it before it becomes a problem.

One way is with a brush.  This can drive lint further into the works of your machine.  Some prefer blowing onto the bobbin mechanism.  This might cause water vapor to condense on your bobbin case, which can cause rusting if your machine is not used and oiled frequently.  Air cans and even air compressors are other alternatives.

It is worthwhile to note here that polyester and silk threads can almost eliminate lint problems (cotton fabric and batting also produce lint, but not as much as cotton thread).  An extra-long staple cotton thread like Superior’s King Tut brand will produce less lint than long staple cottons, too.

How do you get the lint out?  Leave a comment, I would like to know!

6 thoughts on “Quilting Tip #18: Lint Happens

  1. I use small pieces of left over batting. I cut them into pieces smaller than 1″. Then I grab one with a pair of forceps and use that to swab lint out of the bobbin case area in my longarm and regular sewing machine. The batting really grabs the lint and I just throw out the dirty pieces.

    1. I have wondered about doing that, Cathy. I was afraid that some batting scraps might get caught in the mechanism. Do you regularly use any particular type of batting?

  2. Try a Q-tip/cotton swab…either not the real fuzzy ones or be careful the fuzzy cotton tip does not come off in your bobbin case or above it. You will be surprised how much lint sticks to the Q-tip/cotton swab. I use these in my domestic machine too. You may need a container of them on hand.

    1. You are right about that. I also use Q-tips to clean the wheels & tracks on my machine. They are very handy to have around.

  3. So how about a vacuum cleaner? Certainly somebody must be selling A little tiny vacuum cleaner that should do the job. Half of the tools in my Carpenters workshop, have vacuum cleaners attached or an outlet to which I can attach a shop vacuum. Certainly the sewing community should have something similar to that. I don’t know anything about sewing or quilting, but I do read these blogs because I find them educational, even though I’m not into sewing. I wish I had had a blog like this when I was learning carpentry as a youth. It would really have been helpful.

    1. You are right about that. I wonder if there is a small vacuum that people use to clean computer keyboards. Something like that would work. I usually just turn my keyboard over and shake…that doesn’t work with the longarm!

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