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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: lizzybugsmommy
Date: 01-02-2007, 08:51 PM (1 of 5)
How do you become certified to repair machines? Someone asked on another forum and I have always wanted to ask but they have not gotten any info.
Love you all.
Catherine lb_pml&cb=PW

Husbands gone fishing..... I've gone fabric shopping
User: lizzybugsmommy
Member since: 05-20-2006
Total posts: 207
From: paroper
Date: 01-02-2007, 09:51 PM (2 of 5)
I believe that the individual sewing machine makers have training "schools" for techs. I know that when Bernina has their annual conference they also have special sessions for their techs. Now, if you come in the back door and are already trained to work on machines, I would imagine that you could then go to the individual mfgs and ask for certification from them but you would still (I'm sure) need training. You might post down in the macihne area. I'm sure that Tom Land can tell you how it is done. He has been doing that type of thing for over 35 years (maybe he can tell you how it was in the "olden days" and now...haha). Just as in automobiles, the machine techs need so much more than they did 25 years ago because of all of the computer componets. When I've seen my machine "naked" I'm been amazed how much more it looks like a computer than a sewing machine (but then it is even Windows based).

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Tom Land
Date: 01-03-2007, 12:11 AM (3 of 5)
I don't know about the "olden days" since that was before my time but in '71 (thats 1971 Pam), Most repairmen got their start with on the job training from Singer either in the store or one of the regional service centers. Of course some people started in other private dealerships. All the major manufacturers offer training classes to their dealers at least once a year but these are only on the current machines. Today it is pretty much the same you get a job with a dealer and go from there.
"Certification" just means that that person has completed a training and recieved a certificate for it. Some are a little tougher than others (the last one I took was actually a test which was two days hands on and then a written test of about 80 questions of which you could only miss 2). Only 12 of us out of about 30 passed. But usually it is just a matter of taking the machine apart and getting it back together sewing properly. Some companies give the certificate just because you showed up.
"Authorized" means only that the tech is or works for an Authorized dealer. He may or may not know what he is doing. Although certified by nearly all of the companies at one time or another I am only "Authorized" on the brands I now carry.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: wghmch
Date: 01-03-2007, 12:28 AM (4 of 5)
I enjoyed reading your answer, Tom, because I would say "don't ask me about any SM made AFTER "about 1971." My knowledge of the old machines greatly exceeds what little I know of the modern ones.

When you ask about "certification," it reminds me of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. If you get "certified," it will usually only be on a specific series of machines from a specific mfgr, and as Tom mentioned, sometimes all it means is that you showed up for the class.

However, if you really want to learn how to work on most older sewing machines in a general way, I would give a great endorsement to Ray White and his SM seminars. Ray is absolutely a wonderful hands on teacher, and he has made a retirement business out of travelling around the country and conducting 3 day classes, where he teaches you how to repair the machines that you bring to the class. I have never heard of anyone who was unhappy with one of Ray's classes. You can learn more about them at:

Bill Holman
User: wghmch
Member since: 03-04-2003
Total posts: 249
From: paroper
Date: 01-03-2007, 03:15 AM (5 of 5)
Tom, there's a lot of water under that bridge since 1971 where machines are concerned. My grandmother sewed on a black treddle Singer most of my early life and my mother used a brown Wards machine. I can remember how excited my grandmother was when Mom bought one of those new gray Singer Touch and Sew Machines and gave her the Wards model (how sick I was when she got rid of the treddle). I can remember when machines didn't change models very often, or at least all that much but cars did. Now, machines change frequently and cars don't..go figure.

When I got my 200 and tried to sew on it without a demo or instruction, I quickly figured out that "this was not my grandmother's machine." I hadn't sewn on a new machine since my 1475 Pfaff or the 1530 Bernie bought in 1992...and I'd never sat at a machine I couldn't totally figure out without instruction...WOW, they've come a long way!!!! (I just dashed into a local shop at closing time, slapped down $7000 and told them to test it and wrap it up.)

The next big eye opener (after I started really using this machine) was when I walked into the shop and saw the tech sitting in front of my naked machine while he wore a grounding device. My dad used to take Mom's old machine apart in the kitchen to service it...and here is a tech with a grounding device on his wrist and my machine with boards and straps on the inside... Mentally I flashed back to the times we would take the tubes out of the old tv and take them over to the local furniture shop to test them and see which tube had they tell you not to even think about taking the back off the sets unless you know what you are doing because of shock. Of course, unless you know something about circuits, why bother????

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
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