As an aspiring thread worker, deciding on the perfect sewing machine to buy can be trying, particularly when you want to be able to do a dozen things with one sewing machine. Read through to know different types of sewing machines and their functions, to find the one that suits your needs.

Types of Sewing Machines

According to functions, sewing machines are basically in four different types:

1. Manual/Mechanical Sewing Machine

Manual Sewing Machine
Manual sewing machine

Manual or mechanical sewing machines are common and have been around for a long time, mostly because they are durable. You must have heard of the popular Singer or Butterfly sewing machines. They are most suitable for beginners as they are cost-effective, low-maintenance, and do not wear easily.

The manual sewing machines come with a foot pedal and side wheel made of iron, that requires a lot of leg work to function, coupled with continuous oiling to prevent rusting and stiffness.

They can sew any fabric, but cannot handle heavy fabrics. There’s also a limit to what they can do, as the features on a manual sewing machine are limited to two-faced stitching.

2. Electronic Sewing Machines

Electronic sewing machine
Electronic sewing machine

Electronic sewing machines are easy to use and make use of electricity, reducing the amount of work for the sewer. Functions are also improved to include an electronic foot pedal, a wide range of stitch patterns, and an automatic thread cutter and button stitch. A tension dial is also included by the side to regulate the length of stitching.

Electronic sewing machines are fairly affordable and low maintenance, but require a reliable power supply to function, making them suitable for professional sewers.

3. Computerized Sewing Machine

Computerized sewing machine
Computerized sewing machine

Technology takes sewing a step further with the high-end computerised sewing machine that is every tailor’s dream. Computerised sewing machines possess no dials or levers, instead, they come with a LED display screen where all sewing specifications are imputed for automatic sewing.

USB ports for flash drive or Internet connection are also available, from where the machine can download sewing patterns and designs to replicate on fabrics. This sewing machine can also remember previous settings and patterns to make work easy for the sewer. Just place the fabric beneath the needle, choose a setting in history, and the machine sews away! How cool is this?!

Advanced and basic computerized sewing machines can both sew any fabric in a nick of time, and perform all other functions like complex embroidery stitches, bar tacking, buttonhole stitching, and button attachment. Call it the All-in-one. This machine is most suitable for advanced sewers with high demands and garment manufacturing companies.

4. Over-locking Sewing Machine

Over-locking sewing machine
Over-locking sewing machine

Also known as Serger or Whipping machine in Nigeria (see here), the overlocking sewing machine performs a single function, edge hemming. This machine uses multiple needles and threads to create overlapping stitches that lock the edge of garments in place and prevent them from fraying. Some come with automatic cutters that trim garment edges before locking.

An overlocking sewing machine helps to give sewn fabrics professional finishing and can only be used as an attachment to a manual or computerised sewing machine, not a replacement.

These are the four sewing machines types that you can choose from. Other specific sewing machines include the embroidery machine, bar tacking machine, button holler and button attachment machine. Which of these suit your needs best?

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