How To Make A Knitting Machine Needle Retainer Sponge Bar Part 3: Fuse Interfacing, Tape Ends, And Reinstall
You are so close to being done.
You will need a steam iron, woven fusible interfacing, ruler, pen, fabric scissors, and a small bit of packing tape. A rotary cutter and cutting mat are optional.
What To Buy
Fusible interfacing comes in a variety of fabric blends, thicknesses, and widths. I found woven worked the best. If you have some non woven at home, go ahead and try it out. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
If you need to buy, choose woven. For all the friction generated by the carriage moving the needles back and forth under the sponge bar, a woven variety should hold up better. I used both types of interfacing for this tutorial. Each adhered easily, and seemed to work identically. How it holds up long term is yet to be determined.
For woven, I bought 4 feet (122 cm) of Pellon Stacy Shape-Flex SF101. It is 20″ (50 cm) wide, 70% Polyester 30% cotton, and sold for $3.49 a yard. For non-woven, I got Pellon ShirTailor 950F. It is 22″ (56 cm) wide, 100% polyester, and cost $2.49 a yard.
Where To Buy
JoAnn’s on a 50% off sale. The woven set me back $2.32 for 4 feet (122 cm). The non-woven $1.65. Ridiculously cheap when you consider how many 3/8th inch (1 cm) strips you can get out of 20 inches (50 cm).
How To Finish
Measure a 3/8″ (1 cm) wide strip at least two inches longer than your foam.
To make my life easy, I buy 4 feet (122 cm) which is more than long enough for my lengthiest bulky machine. This gives me a little extra to hang over each end when I fuse it to the foam.
Using fabric scissors or a rotary cutter, cut the interfacing.
Lay the fabric on top of the foam with a bit sticking off each end.
Following the directions for your fusible interfacing, turn on your iron to the specified heat and spot tack the material to the foam.
For my woven interfacing, I used the medium steam setting and held the iron in place for two to three seconds. I tacked the fabric every 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm).
After tacking, lay a moistened pressing cloth on top and iron the interfacing to the foam. My Pellon directions required 10 to 15 seconds per each overlapping section.
You do not have to press down hard. As long as the iron makes solid, gentle contact, you are good. If you remove your pressing cloth and find the interfacing is not stuck, simply go over that section a second time.
If you don’t glue the marked side of the foam to the bottom of the metal tray, this is what happens.
The steam iron causes the ink to bleed through the interfacing.
Not the end of the world. Just a tad ugly.
After the interfacing is all fused, trim off the excess from each end.
Cut off two pieces of strong packing tape, such as Scotch, and secure both ends.
You will want about a 1/2″ (1.3 cm) of the tape on the foam and the other 1/2″ (1.3 cm) on the metal.
The tape should cling tightly all the way around the bar.
Your knitting machine needle retainer sponge bar is officially done.
To make sure everything is set and dry, I’ll wait 24 hours before installing the refurbished bar in my knitting machine.
When you are confident your glue has dried, it’s time to reinsert the bar into your knitting machine.
Pick either side. While holding down the needles, slide the bar down its channel.
Share Your Thoughts
After making over a dozen sponge bars, I’m thoroughly pleased with how well they work, how inexpensive the materials are, and how easy it is to do, especially after getting over any nervousness of needing to cut foam or interfacing perfectly. Several of my attempts had gouges in the foam from an unsteady cutting hand. It made absolutely no difference in their performance.
If you make a bar, please share your results in the comments below, regardless of how far into the future you find this post. How has your bar held up? Did you use a different product that worked better for your situation? How long did it last? What did you use to clean out the old gunky glue?
Our machines benefit from everyone’s input.
- How To Make A Knitting Machine Needle Retainer Sponge Bar Part 1: Remove The Old And Clean For New
- How To Make A Knitting Machine Needle Retainer Sponge Bar Part 2: Cut and Glue Foam
- What Is A Knitting Machine Sponge Bar And Where Is It Located?
- InKnitters And Machine Knitters Source Magazine Are Dead
- How To Take Apart A Brother Punch Card Knitting Machine
July 26, 2008