Inside every well-equipped sewing box, quite a number of unique and interesting sewing machine supplies can be found. One such supply that is useful to anyone when sewing, either by hand or when using sewing machines like the Juki MO1000, is the tracing wheel. Also known as a transfer wheel, this sewing essential transfers pattern lines from the pattern to the fabric without damaging the fabric or the pattern by using transfer paper. Tracing wheels help sewers lay out their patterns right on the fabric before anything is cut, providing the chance to take a second look and make sure everything looks the way it should. There are a number of different tracing wheels available, each one working in a slightly different way.
The Serrated Tracing Wheel
Tracing wheels that are serrated are the most popular type of tracing wheel, the one most frequently found in sewing machine supplies kits everywhere. The wheel is serrated and comprised of many small points, creating a dotted line on the fabric as it is run over the pattern and a sheet of transfer paper. To prevent damage to the fabric or pattern, the points on the wheel are rounded. When using a little pressure on the handle, they press in just enough to leave a mark from the transfer paper without cutting the pattern or pushing through to the fabric and snagging it.
The Double Tracing Wheel
A double tracing wheel is basically a standard, serrated tracing wheel that has two wheels on it, rather than only one. The two dull, serrated wheels are usually adjustable and can be used to mark a variety of widths, depending on the project. They are especially useful for marking seam lines and seam allowances onto fabric. By using the double tracing wheel, fabric can be marked with the cut line and seam line in one effort, saving both time and energy. They are also helpful when marking fabrics that must be cut with a slightly larger allowance due to a tendency to shrink or because of other fabric qualities.
The Flat Edge Tracing Wheel
Flat edge tracing wheels look like dull pizza cutters. The main difference between a tracing wheel with a flat edge and a serrated tracing wheel is the lack of points, although they still work the same. With even pressure applied to the handle, flat edge tracing wheels press a straight, solid mark from the transfer paper onto the fabric beneath it. Flat edge tracing wheels also provide the added benefit in that they can work the same as a hera marker does. When using this method, the flat edge wheel is just run on the fabric to create a creased line, no transfer paper necessary. This is preferable with lighter fabrics, or when marking the top side of the fabric is necessary, as it leaves behind no transfer wax that must then be removed.
Anyone who works with sewing patterns should have some type of tracing wheel in their box of sewing machine supplies. Whether using a simple serrated or flat edge tracing wheel, or marking seam allowances with a double tracing wheel, these tools make marking and cutting fabric easier and reduce costly cutting mistakes. With less time spent marking fabric and correcting mistakes, sewers will be able to get behind their Juki MO1000 sewing machines sooner to create beautiful, handmade projects!