For anyone who sews, a dual feed, or what used to be called a walking foot, is a very valuable tool to have. For many years, the only sewing machines that came standard with a dual feed were the machines in the Pfaff line. In recent years, more and more machines have begun to come with an attached dual feed system, but many still use an optional foot for the job. For the most part, no matter what you sew, a dual feed can be used pretty much all the time for straight piecing, as long as your fabric moves under the foot well (for example, silky materials can sometimes snag more on a dual feed foot). The foot or system’s job is to keep multiple layers of fabric from shifting against one another as they move through the feed teeth under the presser foot (the feed teeth are the metal teeth that grab the fabric from the underside as you’re sewing). Without a dual feed foot or system, the bottom fabric layer tends to get pulled along by the feed teeth underneath the fabric faster than the top layer of material gets fed against the presser foot. This results in an overhang of fabric at the end of the seam. This is especially bad if you happen to be sewing a fabric that has a stripe, plaid or pattern that needs to match precisely or if you are sewing two pieces of fabric that have seams that must match up exactly. Dual feed capability is important whether you are sewing garments, quilts or home décor.
If you are using a dual feed presser foot, remember to lower the presser foot pressure before you start to sew. Usually the directions that come with the foot give you a specific level of presser foot pressure to use for your specific machine. Changing this pressure is an important step that helps the foot perform its function with your fabric. If you have an attached dual feed system that never detaches from your machine, you will generally not have to adjust your presser foot pressure. The stitches automatically set themselves with the presser foot pressure needed to sew successfully with the dual feed system working.
Included below are some Youtube videos that may help you learn about the foot or get reacquainted with the foot you bought years ago. If you have any questions about the correct dual feed foot for your older machine, contact Bonny and Frank and they will be happy to help you. Happy sewing!
Pfaff’s IDT System operation
Husqvarna Viking Walking foot
Husqvarna Viking Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot