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Updated by Rosalie Galvez on Jan 17, 2021
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Types Of Sewing Machines Explained

In a broad sense of home improvement tools, sewing machines can be considered a must at home. The fact that sewing can be easily learned and then employed to do a lot of small to big tasks yourself such as fixing loose or tight clothes and much more. You could become a DIY king or queen because of the mastery in this line.

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Mechanical/ Domestic Sewing Machines

First off, it is a mechanical or domestic machine. It is also known as a tailoring machine/treadle sewing machine/domestic sewing machine. If you have seen one in someone’s house or in your own, there are healthy chances that it was that one.

The basic premise of this machine is that settings are set by users manually. So, they are most suitable for beginners who want to take things slowly and want to graduate from basics to advance. They are primitive “Silai Machines” that are very easy to repair, operate, and get due to being inexpensive.

When compared to modern models of sewing machines, they look like dinosaurs of the past. They have limited features that make them affordable and easy to learn.

Right out of the box, they have presser feet, adjustable stitch length, bottom loading Bobbin, adjustable Tension, single (straight and reverse) stitch, but there are many newer models that offer more than one stitch pattern for versatility.

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Electronic Sewing Machines

These are the direct successors to mechanical or domestic sewing machines, so they have naturally more features than their ancestors. In essence, they are a combination of both mechanical and computerized sewing machines. In the recent surge of DIY crafting trend all around the world, these can come in handy for sewing and decorative crafting because of the number of features loaded in them.

Features
Designed for expert sewing and stitching, they are loaded with a variety of features. They are efficient to get the work done in a seamless manner. They are light in weight, with compact sizes, and some of the models of LED screens to choose sewing and stitching patterns easily.

They are unrivaled when it comes to quality stitching, with their 7 types of in-built stitch capability. Some of the key features of these machines, depending on functionality, are as follows:

• Embroidering

• Hemming

• Blind Stitch

• Buttonhole Stitch

• Hemming Zip Fixing

• Smocking, Reverse - Stitch Lever

• Stretch Stitching

• Quilting

• Built-In Needle Threader

• Adjustable Stitch Length & Width

With attachment option for other features

Due to their sophisticated parts, they require qualified technicians for repairing and maintenance, unlike mechanical sewing machines. Some models of electronic sewing machines use batteries while others use direct current for operations. Mostly, heavy-duty machines cannot operate on batteries.

These machines are designed for pros who use their machines regularly. If you only use sewing machines every now and then for a menial task, they are not for them. You should go for mechanical sewing machines as they are inexpensive to maintain and repair as compared to electronic machines. No doubt, they are perfect for tailors and experts in sewing and stitching.

Due to smart parts and operations, they can be carried easily. The prices of electronic machines range from $100 to $300, based on features and region of purchasing. Again, if you are a beginner just starting out, these machines are not for you.

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Automated/ Computerized Sewing Machines

These are the ultimate incarnation of what a sewing machine can be. As the name indicates, these are computer-programmed machines that can be connected to the internet, a computer, or design-programmed cards. With a range of stitching capacity from 50 to 200, these are designed for industrial purposes.

They come in big sizes as compared to mechanical and electronic machines with multiple needles and spool spinners for multiple colors of thread spools for embroidering, sewing, quilting, smocking, and a lot of modes for crafting. They are efficient and fast machines, designed for industrial work with heavy-duty parts and features.

You can design and stitch large volumes of fabric in a little time using these machines. As an added feature, they have an autopilot stitching mode. In this, the machine will control itself the speed (stitches per minute), stitch strength, and thread tension among other factors.

Following is a summarized rundown of these machines that will give you a bird’s eye view of the automatic machine:

• For small textile industries, computerized sewing machines are the way to go. They are ideal for garments and are built for skilled workers who have expertise in the field, sew on regular basis, and have their own variety of sewing patterns and techniques to work around.

• They are the most versatile machines – they can handle any type and kind of fabric. That’s why, they are widely used in the industry for stitching, hemming, and embroidery purposes.

• There are multiple options for adding input to the machine. You can connect the machine with the internet and download designs. The machine, in turn, will get it out on the fabric. On the other hand, you can plug in programmed chips or cards that will give commands to the machine for a specific design. You can also connect with a computer to input the command.

• These machines are on the expensive side of the spectrum. The price range is broad according to features and models.

• Before operating these machines, you need to get proper instructions and tutoring for using them. In most cases, there are enclosed DVDs, pen drives, or other educational materials on how to use features and apparatus.

• It is hard to maintain these machines, unlike mechanical or domestic machines. Other smart features such as connectivity, loading of data, and errors cannot be easily refined.

The prices for these machines range from $350 to $1500, based on the number of features and availability.

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Overlocker Sewing Machine Or Serger

Depending on the region and language, these machines are called overlocker machines, sergers, or overlocker sewing machines. They are used to seam or overlock the free ends of fthe abric. It means joining or sewing the edges of the fabric together. Mostly used by professional tailors or handlers, they are used to give a finishing look to the garment. Garment industries use this machine for edging the fabrics like napkins, elastic hemming, and seaming as in lingerie designing, curtains, and many more. In a wide sense, they are used in decorative crafting.

In these machines, you will find an in-built cutter or a blade to cut the uneven edges of the fabric while overlocking the seams. In a nutshell, an overlocker makes loops of thread on the edges of the fabric. The loop or stitch pattern on the fabrics depends on the number of threads you use. The number of threads used in a serger can range from 2 to 5 threads. In this machine, the more the number of threads used for looping, the stronger the loop is. The single thread loop is very weak. You can choose the length and width of the stitch according to your own choice.

Around the world, most tailors and professionals use 2 or 3 threaded overlockers for inner seams and edges of garments.

Overlocking machines or sergers are mostly used in garments factories. They are fast and reliable, which makes them one of the most time-saving apparatus in the sewing business.

You can find one of these machines for around $400 to $700.

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Embroidery Sewing Machines

The last one on this list is the embroidery machine. It is a bit of both a computerized machine and an electronic machine. It is perfect for those users who have the technical know-how of the field.

They are built to create different patterns and designs on the fabric. Most of the electronic sewing machines can be furnished with embroidering presser foot, so you can easily customize these machines for decorative crafting purposes.

For beginners, a zigzag machine is ideal for basic embroidering. On the other hand, professionals can handle electronic machines loaded with embroidery features to create striking patterns and designs on the fabric. For industrial purposes, you will find many specialized machines built for that.

These machines are expensive when compared to mechanical or domestic sewing machines. They have several sensitive parts and components that are not easy to repair or replace once they are broken.

Again, these machines are for professional tailors of operatives that sew regularly and create a number of patterns on the fabric. For beginners or occasional users, mechanical or domestic machines are ideal.

You will find a wide range of prices for these machines, starting from around $700 to $1000, with variations in certain features with respect to the region.

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Conclusion

After going through each type of sewing machine, we have come to the conclusion that there are many differences between sewing machines. It is best to study and research sewing machines before buying one. There are many factors to keep in mind, as the usage, expertise, price, cost of maintenance, and repair, among other things. Also, you will find a number of brands and manufacturers of these machines, depending on the region you live in and the availability of the stock.

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