3 Reasons Why You Need a Walking Foot Other Than for Quilting

Why You Need a Walking Foot

Quilters are familiar with the walking foot, and generally, they have one in their possession. However, many other generalist sewists aren't aware of the many reasons you need a walking foot and everything it can do for you.

This specialty foot is larger compared to the regular foot and more expensive but worth it. For the quilters, this foot is indispensable for stitching the quilt as one with no shifting of any layers. 

There are 3 reasons why you should have the walking foot without any connection with quilting. 

Let's start with the way your machine feeds a fabric beneath the needle. Usually, the two-layers of fabric is situated beneath the needle over the top of the feed teeth. Its presser foot rests over the fabric, and once the machine began its feed dog movement, it brings the teeth towards the back that takes the fabric. The teeth move continuously going back in the front, then repeats the cycle, running the fabric up until you stop the machine.

All-Purpose Foot versus the Walking Foot

What takes place is that a portation of fabric that comes in contact with its feed teeth is grasped by its presser foot as its second portion goes along with it. The fabric on the top layer does not move simultaneously, and when the seam finishes, the layers of the two fabric are a little mismatched. 

How much relies on the kind of fabric sewn. Sometimes it isn't a problem, but there are some occasional issues with the finished project in other instances. Utilizing a walking foot eliminates this kind of trouble because it functions as a second batch of feed teeth on the fabrics' upper layers of fabric, this walking foot advances them at equal speed.

It's apparent why this one is important in quilting. Apart from having two-layer fabric, there's batting on the layers, which causes it to become heavier and more prone to sliding and shifting. It might lead to distorted stitches as well as puckering while you sew. However, if you aren't a quilter, this walking foot is still useful. 

Let's take a look at the other three reasons why you need a walking foot:

Easily Sew Plastics and Leathers

Sticky materials are difficult to sew due to the inability of a presser foot to glide onto the surface. This walking foot feeds the material easily beneath the needle. Vinyl, plastics, leather, oilcloth, and other alike materials are easier to handle when using the walking foot.

Have a look at this article about Tips for Sewing Vinyl. In it, we show how using a walking foot is one of the better ways to sew this sometimes tricky material.

The Answer to Your Thick Seam and Heavy Fabrics

Due to their thickness, these bulky fabrics like upholstery fabric, heavy wool, and multiple terrycloth layers cannot feed well. This walking foot provides aid, and it makes the sewing of whatever weight fabric easily.

For more information, please have a look at this article regarding Tips for Sewing Denim.  Denim is one of the thicker and heavier fabrics that home sewists commonly sew and a walking foot would make the job much, much easier.

Tips For Sewing Denim: Easier Than You Think!

Matching Stripes and Plaids the Right Way

Matching the plaids and stripes can be challenging. Despite the fabric slightly shifted, it is evident that asymmetric plaids give your project a homemade appearance. This walking foot solves the problem.

If You'd Like To Support Our Site

If you want to help us continue to bring you a wide selection of free sewing patterns and projects, please consider buying us a coffee.  We'd really, really appreciate it.

Bookmark the permalink.
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Judy Nurkkala
Judy Nurkkala

The walking foot on my Bernina is a real pain to attach. I avoid it except for actual quilting. Is there a machine brand that anyone knows about that makes the process to change it easier?


They are such a pain to attatch to your machine though.Make sure if you are going to quilt they have the guide with them, mine dosent, and really does not work as i would like it to.

Marie Andersson
Marie Andersson

Finally I got answer what I have this “foot”. I´ve got on sewing-courses many yeart but no one told me about this…. Thank´s a lot for charing this, think my quillts and other projects going to be superb!!!

Valérie Breyton

Greetings Sewers and Sew So Easy,

For the U.S. Marine Ball, I made a dark green Velvet/taffeta gown with matching purse and gloves. Once I started to sew, I can see the nightmare at the end of the side seem. So, I went to my Bernina (1630 Inspiration Plus) dealership and she said this is the Magical Walking foot. So I bought it. That has been 36 yrs ago and still use it for multi purposes (new Bernina 750. I still use my old faithful 1630). Top 3 most used foot in my arsenal.


Yes, the best advise I got from a sewingmachine shop was not to buy another sewing machine but only a walking foot for my old machine.


Thank you so much for this suggestion. I am working with plaids and this solves an obvious matching problem!

Penelope Kraemer
Penelope Kraemer

The built in walking foot on my Pfaff sewiing machine was the main reason I bought it back in 1990, after at least 500 miles I up graded to a new machine still with the built in walking foot. Makes such a difference.! Penny

Dolores K
Dolores K

Even with a high-end machine (I have a Viking Ruby Royal), a walking foot is a necessity. I like to use mine when working with stretch fabrics. I find it essential to help keep fabric from puckering. I love my walking foot!

Karen Boyd
Karen Boyd

You are so right! Unless you have a very high end machine, walking feet are not that expensive. Especially considering the amount of frustration you can have without one. They are much less than therapy, ruined fabric from lots of un-sewing etc.