top of page

Success in Stitching: The Versatility of Presser Feet for Sewing

When it comes to sewing, the presser foot is an essential component of the sewing machine. It plays a crucial role in guiding the fabric and controlling the stitching process. A variety of presser feet, each designed to perform a specific task, can be attached to most sewing machines in addition to the standard foot used for sewing straight lines.With a wide range of presser feet available, each serving a specific purpose, understanding their functionalities can greatly enhance your sewing experience. In this blog post, we delve into the world of presser feet, exploring the different types and their unique applications, allowing you to expand your sewing capabilities and achieve professional-quality results.

How to identify the appropriate presser feet for your machine?

There are two varieties of presser feet based on how they are attached to the sewing machine: snap-on presser feet and screw-on presser feet. This depends on the manufacturer of the stitching machine. My 17-year-old Usha Janome Flair features snap-on presser feet, whereas my industrial machine (Jaki) utilizes screw-on presser feet. For an experienced seamstress, changing the snap-on presser feet is straightforward and requires no instruction. When placed in the machine's groove, it fits inexplicably.

Some presser feet have a low shank, while others have a high shank. Low/high shank refers to the shank's height. The majority of stitching machines (roughly 90%) have a low shank. However, only you will then know whether your machine has a low or high shank.

In sewing machines, the terms "low shank" and "high shank" refer to the position and height of the presser foot attachment on the machine. Understanding the difference between low shank and high shank machines is important when selecting presser feet and accessories that are compatible with your sewing machine.

1. Low Shank Machine:

A low shank machine refers to a sewing machine with a lower positioning of the presser foot attachment. In this type of machine, the distance between the needle plate and the bottom of the presser foot is relatively shorter. Low shank machines are commonly found in most home sewing machines and are suitable for a wide range of sewing projects. They offer versatility and compatibility with a variety of presser feet and accessories designed for low shank machines.

2. High Shank Machine:

A high shank machine, on the other hand, features a higher positioning of the presser foot attachment. The distance between the needle plate and the bottom of the presser foot is greater compared to a low shank machine. High shank machines are often found in industrial or heavy-duty sewing machines, as well as some specialized sewing machines designed for specific purposes. They are less common in standard home sewing machines.

It's important to note that the compatibility of presser feet and accessories depends on the shank type of your sewing machine. If you are unsure whether your machine is low shank or high shank, you can check the user manual or contact the manufacturer for clarification.

1. Standard Presser Foot:

The standard presser foot, also known as the all-purpose foot, is the most commonly used foot for general sewing tasks. It is designed to provide an even feed of fabric while maintaining proper straight line stitch formation. This versatile foot is suitable for a wide range of fabrics and basic sewing techniques.

Standard Presser Foot
Stitch from Standard Presser Foot

2. Zipper Foot/ Piping Foot:

The zipper foot is specially designed for inserting zippers, both centred and invisible ones. It allows you to sew close to the zipper teeth, ensuring a neat and precise result. This foot typically has two sides, one for the left side of the zipper and the other for the right side. This foot can also be used to sew piping very near to the cord encased within.

Zipper Foot
Stitching with Zipper Foot

3. Zig-Zag Presser Foot:

This universal foot is required for every other seam on a sewing machine. It can be used as a general, all-purpose sewing foot because it can create both straight lines and most decorative stitches as in the domestic sewing machine like Usha Janome etc. As the name suggest it is definitely used to make the zig-zag stitch which is the first decorative stitch in these machines and the basis of many other decorative stitches.

Zig Zag Foot
Zig Zag Stitch

4. 1/8” Round Hemming Foot/ Pico Foot:

The hemming foot, sometimes called a rolled hem foot, is used for creating narrow hems on lightweight fabrics. It folds and stitches the fabric edge in a single step, producing a narrow and neatly finished hem. This foot is suitable for various sewing projects, including garments, table linens, and curtains. Usually, you get 3mm, 6 mm hemmer feet. A 1/4 inch can create an attractive hem also called Pico in India. This foot guides the edge of the fabric to the curl and stitches it with a zigzag stitch.

Right Image: Round Hemming Foot; Left Image: Flat Hemming Foot
Picco with Round Hemming Foot and Zig-zag Stitch

5. Flat Hemming Foot

If you want to construct a flat hem, you will use a foot that is very similar to the hemmer foot in the front of the machine, but it performs a little different function and has a somewhat different appearance. If you examine the back of the foot, however, you will notice that it does not have the groove that is typical of a round hemmer foot.

Left: Flat hemming foot doesn't have a groove unlike the round hemming foot
Result with Flat Hemming Foot

6. Buttonhole Foot:

The buttonhole foot is essential for creating buttonholes of different sizes and styles. It has a sliding mechanism that measures the button's size and automatically creates a buttonhole with the appropriate length. This foot makes the buttonhole-making process faster and more consistent.

Button Hole Foot
StitchResult with Button Hole Foot

7. Button Sewing Foot:

This foot makes it easy to stitch buttons. This foot allows for a clear view of the buttons. You need to precisely adjusted the width of the zigzag stitch to sew the button under the foot.

Button Sewing Foot
Sewing Button is so Easy With This

8. Embroidery Foot

The wide opening in the front of this presser foot makes it simple to embroider or create wide decorative stitches, as the embroidery stitches are clearly visible.If you purchase a translucent plastic one, it will be even clearer. It is extremely helpful for machine applique, quilting, and topstitching.

Open Toe Embroidery Foot
Use this foot to get amazing results with all the embroidery options in your machine

9. Applique Foot

This short plastic presser foot makes it simple to sew around the curves of applique pieces. The transparent foot makes it easy and convenient to see what you are stitching. It is 3/4 the length of the straight presser foot.

Applique Foot
Results with Applique Foot

10. Quilting Foot

This foot is used in quilting to stitch 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch seam allowances accurately. Also known as a patchwork foot. It has markings that make accurate sutures from the edge possible. It has markings for accurate pivoting as well. The straight sewing guide ensures that straight threads are rendered straight.

Quilting Foot
Helps in stitching 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch seam allowances accurately

11. Darning Foot

The darning foot is utilised in quilting and thread painting for free-form embroidery. The darning foot with spring makes it simple to stitch on varying-height fabrics. If your foot is transparent, you will have greater visibility. With this foot and your standard sewing machine, you can perform free-motion quilting and free-motion embroidery.

Darning Foot
Exquisite Embroidery Using this Foot

12. Gathering or Shirring Foot

For quick and easy gathering, use this presser foot. This foot is typically employed on thin materials and is useful for sewing collected fabric to a flat surface. Lovely, even and perfect gathers and ruffles result from this.

Gathering or Shirring Foot
Result with Gathering or Shirring Foot

13. Knit Foot

This foot, which is used for stitching knits, is also sometimes referred to as a Tricot foot. A walking foot can likewise be replaced with this item in some situations. It is able to sew knits without straining the fabric in any way. Knits that are delicate, thin, very flexible, and soft work particularly well with this technique (for example, spandex knits).

Knit Foot
Sews knits without straining the fabric

14. Satin Stitch Foot

This particular model of the appliqué foot is an extended one. The foot features a groove on the rear that allows the elevated thread of the satin stitches that you are producing to slide through easily, which is an advantage over the regular zig zag satin stitch foot. This groove is found on the back of the foot.

Satin Stitch Foot
Results With Satin Stitch Foot

15. Edge Joining Foot

This stitch is also called as a stitch in the ditch foot because it enables easy and accurate stitching in the ditch. It is utilised for the purpose of stitching in the seam line.

This foot performs exceptionally effectively when used for top stitching. In addition to that, it is utilised for joining. In the process of heirloom sewing, this particular foot is required so that the trims may be attached to the edges. While the trims and the fabric edge are being stitched together, beautiful decorative stitches can be formed between the trims and along the edge of the fabric.

Edge Joining Foot
Excellent for Clean Finished Edges

16. Stitch Guide Foot

It is a presser foot that has a ruler attached to it, and using it makes it simple to sew straight stitches and parallel lines of stitching that are of equal distance apart. In some circles, it is also referred to as a gauge presser foot. This foot has a variety of markers on it, ranging from 1/8 inches to 13/16 inches, and the width of the foot itself is precisely 1 inches.

Stitch Guide Foot
Helps in stitching parallel lines as well

17. Blind Hem Foot

It is recommended that trousers be hemmed using this foot. The hemming stitch, in addition to the blind hem stitch, is made very simple and attractive by using this foot.The fact that it comes with an adjustment bar makes it incredibly practical.

Blind Hem Foot
Results with Blind Hem Foot

18. Overcast Stitch Foot

This foot is utilized in the process of sewing an overcast stitch along the edge of the fabric, which results in the creation of an interlocking hem along the raw edge. It is almost as if you have a serger (although it does not cut the fabric edge like a serger does), and for this to operate properly, your sewing machine should have an overcast stitch. In that case, you can use a stitch that looks like zigzags.

Overcast Stitch Foot
Overcast Stitch Foot in Action

19. Invisible/ Concealed/ Hidden Zipper Foot

When it comes to sewing invisible zippers, having a presser foot as excellent as this one is a must. When stitched on a seam, an invisible zipper looks entirely like the seam and not like a zipper. It's hidden within the seam, yet a little tug on the pull reveals an impressive opening.

Invisible/ Concealed/ Hidden Zipper Foot
Invisible Zipper Foot in Action

20. Adjustable Zipper Foot

This is a different take on the standard zipper foot — To effortlessly sew both sides of your zipper, adjust the needle so that it is facing either to the right or the left.

For this, there is a screw on the back that allows you to modify the position of the foot; this is helpful in situations in which you need to sew a zip but are unable to change the position of the needle.

Adjustable Zipper Foot
Adjustable Zipper Foot i9n Action

21. Braiding Foot

This is the ideal foot for stitching braids or sequin chains, ric racs, and ribbons onto the surface of a fabric (the embellishment in question should be narrow enough to fit through the hole in the foot). Ribbons and trims measuring approximately 3/8 inch in width are able to fit through the hole in the braiding foot.

Braiding Foot
Excellent for Stitching Narrow Embellishments

22. Teflon/ Zig zag Foot

In most cases, the standard metal presser feet are unable to travel freely across materials such as leather, vinyl (also known as polyethylene textiles), and pleather. On this particular type of fabric, we are required to use a Teflon foot.

Teflon/ Zig zag Foot
Ideal for materials such as leather, vinyl etc.

23. Bias Tape Binder Foot

When applying bias binding tape to the margins of fabric, a foot that is adjustable for bias tape binding is required. It can be adjusted anywhere between 3/8 and 3/4 of an inch.

This can be used to form button loops, thin straps, or ties. This foot's guide is responsible for wrapping the bias tape around the edge of the fabric.

Bias Tape Binder Foot
Clean Finish With Bias Tape Binder Foot

24. Double Welting Foot

You may use this for piping, which is cording that has fabric sewn over the top of it.

This particular foot has some grooves in the back of it. These grooves go through the cording; by shifting the location of the needle, you are able to stitch on either side of the cording, which is covered with fabric.

Double Welting Foot
Excellent for Making Cord piping

25. Cording Foot

This is utilised in the process of putting cords onto the surfaces of cloth. You may add up to three cords thanks to the perforations on this foot, which allow you to guide the strings or cords in the appropriate direction.

To complete this step, you will need to thread the cord through the perforations. To secure the cords in place, use stitches with a zigzag pattern.

Cording Foot
Used for Quality Embellishments

26. Multiple Hole Cording Foot

We get cording foot with both five and seven holes in it. This foot has a few small-sized holes in it. After threading the cords through the holes, they are secured in place with zigzag stitches.

Multiple Hole Cording Foot
Helps in Perfectly Aligned Cords

27. Ruffler Foot

Ruffles and pleats of varied depths and fullness can be created with astonishing ease using this foot.

The ruffler foot can help you in four different ways.

Ø The most fundamental capability is the ability to create ruffles and other types of little pleats.

Ø You have control over the amount of fullness in the ruffles.

Ø You have control over the amount of space that is there between the ruffles.

Ø It is possible to create ruffles and then immediately attach them to the fabric in a single step.

Ruffler Foot
Used for that Perfect Finish

28. Pintuck Foot

This foot, which creates very fine pintucks, works well with fabric that is on the lighter side.

Using this foot, you are able to create corded pintucks as well. It is used in conjunction with a double needle, and the width of the pintuck will vary according to the distance that exists between the two needles.

Pintuck Foot
Used With Two Needle Attachment

29. Elastic Stitching Foot

This foot is used to stretch elastic and sew it onto fabric at the same time. There are grooves through which the elastic is passed.

Elastic Stitching Foot
Elastic Stitching Foot in Action

30. Fringe Foot

Loops of stitches can be created on the top surface of the fabric with the help of this foot. You may create the fringes by cutting these loops in half.

Fringe Foot
Fringe Foot in Action - Excellent for Embellishments

31. Roller Foot

Fabrics like jersey knits, denim, and leather are typical candidates for this technique since they are difficult to feed, particularly when layered. The different layers of the fabric are brought closer together by using this foot. When vinyl is used with it, the cloth is able to move more quickly.

Roller Foot
Helps in stitching fabrics like jersey knits, denim, and leather specially when layered

The Teflon foot can also be replaced with this foot as an option. It is a quite delicate foot that works better on thinner fabrics than it does on those that are thicker.

32. Round Bead Foot

This particular foot is utilised solely for the purpose of attaching bead strings or chains to the various surfaces of fabric. In most cases, beads measuring 4 millimetres will fit inside this foot. The back of the foot features a notch or groove that can accommodate the beads while they are being stitched on. With this foot, a zigzag stitch that is sufficiently wide is utilised to bind the bead strings to one another.

Round Bead Foot
Round Bead Foot in Action


Having a collection of different presser feet for your sewing machine expands your creative possibilities and improves the quality of your sewing projects. Whether you're inserting zippers, creating buttonholes, or finishing edges, the right presser foot can make a significant difference. Explore the various types of presser feet available for your machine and invest in the ones that align with your sewing needs. With the right tools at hand, you'll be able to unleash your creativity and achieve impressive results in your sewing endeavors.

When purchasing additional presser feet or accessories for your sewing machine, make sure to select those that are specifically designed for your machine's shank type. Using incompatible presser feet can lead to improper stitching, difficulty in attaching the foot, or even damage to your machine.

My personal favorite is the darning foot (Low shank) which I am still practicing to master. Which one would you like to master? Put it in the comment box below.

To learn more about fashion designing and to understand how to set up your boutique in NINETY days, attend my FREE webinar. Click on the button below to register for it.

315 views1 comment

1 Comment

Mounika gangula
Mounika gangula
Jun 17, 2023

Nice mam & thank you

bottom of page