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Walking Foot vs. Regular Foot – What's the Difference?

If you have a problem with your fabric puckering as you feed it through your sewing machine, you will probably be ecstatic when you try a walking foot. What is a walking foot, you ask?

It’s All in the Feed Dogs

The feed dogs are the little teeth under the presser foot that pull your fabric along as it goes through the sewing machine. They’re the reason stitches look even and uniform. Without feed dogs, stitches and seams would look haphazard. The problem is that some materials don’t work well when the feed dogs are only working from the bottom.

Slippery fabrics (like silk), multiple layers of fabric (like in quilts), and heavy fabrics can have a problem where the top layer(s) move more than the bottom layer. When your layers shift around, you’ll get uneven feeding, and the stitches will be in different places on the top layer vs. the bottom layer.

More Dogs!

With a walking foot, feed dogs are now on the top layer, as well. These extra teeth may be metal or plastic, but either way, they help pull the layers through at the same rate. For this reason, they are popular with quilters because of the many layers of fabric that must be sewn at the same time. You may have also heard of the term “even feed foot,” which is interchangeable with “walking foot.”

When a Walking Foot Is Beneficial

Anytime you need both the top and bottom layers to move in unison, a walking foot on your sewing machine is like magic. Aside from the practical concerns with slippery, heavy, or multi-layered fabrics, walking foot attachments are helpful when you need to match seams exactly. Let’s say you need to take two pieces of fabric with a specific pattern and match them together. A walking foot will ensure that the two pieces can be mated without fear that one will be skewed.

You may also be trying to knit together two pieces of stretchy knit fabric, like the kind used in leggings. The seams can easily come out wavy with a regular foot. Walking foot attachments will prevent the fabric from stretching as it moves through the sewing machine. If you’re sewing together different fabrics, like leather and other tough materials, the walking foot will ensure they move through at the same rate.

Make Projects Perfect with Help from Goldstar Tool

If you want to try a walking foot for yourself, there’s no better place to get what you need than Goldstar Tool!