What Is a Sewing Machine Walking Foot?

By Courtney Oppel
Some feet are made for walking, but not this one.

When you have the proper attachments for a sewing machine and know how to use them, your productivity and creativity can soar. A walking foot can help speed up your projects and keep them running smoothly.

Definition

A walking foot--or feed foot--is a sewing machine attachment that has a set of teeth on the underside that helps guide fabric while the machine is in operation.

Features

A walking foot includes a fork-shaped extension arm that fits over the needle clamp. Some models also come with removable pin guides and interchangeable soles.

Installation

The walking foot attaches behind the needle, on the presser foot cone. Fit the extension arm over the needle clamp and secure the foot clamp.

How It Works

The grip on the underside of the walking foot provides greater control while you feed fabric through the machine. The sewing machine propels the walking foot back and forth at the same pace as the feed dog underneath the fabric.

Uses

Use a walking foot for sewing with multiple layers of fabric, quilting, sewing with plaid or striped fabric, or feeding slippery or thick fabric through the machine. The walking foot keeps layers from shifting and helps keep striped and plaid fabric straight.

About the Author

Since receiving her Bachelor of Arts in English from The University of Montana in 1992, Courtney Oppel has edited articles for publication in medical journals, written proposals and marketing materials, and edited online testing materials for Pearson Education. Oppel currently edits local and regional history books for Globe Pequot Press.