Sewing machine manuals are used to locate the different parts of the machine, set it up properly, learn the basics of how to sew with the machine and troubleshoot problems. Depending on the type of machine, the manual could be used to program the different stitches or figure out complicated threading.
Most machine manuals have diagrams with the parts labeled. The manual is usually simple enough for beginner sewers to follow. It outlines the basic functionality of the machine regarding the power switch, spool pin, thread guide, bobbin winder and all the adjustment switches.
One exception is the serger sewing machine that holds and sews with up to four spools of thread at the same time and automatically finishes the edges. Serger manuals do have diagrams, but the threading is more complicated, so the manual alone does not provide enough instruction for a beginner.
A typical sewing machine manual instructs the user how to attach the power cord, install a needle, load the main spool pin and the bobbin, thread the top thread using the correct pattern and guide the bobbin thread to the surface.
The manual then guides the user through selecting stitches, monitoring the tension and finding the right sewing speed. Many machines have computer chips and dozens of available stitches. Manuals explain each one and advise the user on the correct setting.
The manual offers troubleshooting tips. Common problems covered include improper power set up, tangled thread and stitches that are too tight or too loose.