A presser foot is a forked, metal device on a sewing machine used for holding the fabric in place while stitching. It is typically spring-hinged to provide some flexibility as the fabric moves beneath it.
Most sewing machines come with several different feet, including a standard foot that is used for straight sewing, zig-zag or decorative stitching. Specialized feet are available to aid in more advanced stitching, such as sewing zippers, buttons or blind hems. Using the right presser foot can make common techniques much easier to perform, according to Sew4Home. Specialty presser feet can be purchased through any sewing machine dealer.