The options can seem overwhelming when you're looking for a sewing machine. The following terminology of the types and components of sewing machines can help guide you:
Serger - A sewing machine that creates an overlock stick. An overlock stitch sews edges, hems and seams by sewing over the edge of cloth. It differs from a lockstitch machine because it lacks a bobbin and instead, has loopers and multiple thread cones. Compact serger machines make it easy to stitch at home or on the go, while commercial machines are much larger.
Lockstitch Sewing Machine - One of the most common types of sewing machine, which creates a lock stitch. This involves two threads that lock together in the stitch with the help of a rotating needle. In a commercial garment factory, typically about half of the machines are lockstitch. For use at home, you can select a domestic or portable model.
Embroidery Sewing Machine - A machine dedicated to embroidery work, with the ability to create artistic designs. Some of these products may be compact for portable use.
Jacquard Loom - A mechanical loom that is used for making complex patterns in fabric, using a punch card. Jacquard looms are commonly seen in industrial applications.
Drop Feed - The feeding mechanism seen in domestic sewing machines. This mechanism involves a set of feed dogs that grip the material as the needle is leaving it.
Needle Feed- The feeding mechanism seen in industrial sewing machines. The material is moved while the needle is still in it. This allows many layers of fabric to stay together during the feed action.
Walking Foot - The component that feeds the workpiece and shifts it along as it is created.
Bobbin - A spindle that holds the thread. The bobbin driver is a mechanism that feeds the thread to create stitches.
Industrial and commercial sewing machines can handle large sewing jobs, particularly for clothing textile manufacturers. They are integral components when these manufacturers need to achieve a heavy output of sewn clothes and other materials for embroidery or other uses. Manufacturers in this industry sell machines in bulk at a discount price to these and other types of customers. Since sewing machines designed for household use can’t handle the large output required by a commercial and industrial factory, large-scale sewing machines are required for this task. Since they produce large quantities of sewn materials at one time, the job goes much more quickly, saving time and resources. Seamstresses can stitch materials by hand or with smaller sewing machines but this household solution just doesn’t cut it when a company has a huge order of clothing to fulfill. Commercial wholesalers may sell small sewing machines for residential or small business use at home or in a small store, but industrial sewing machine wholesalers target a different demographic. Sewing machines can be compact and portable, or large and fixed to one spot. Equipment used in sewing machines include bobbins, pullers, loopers, needle feed mechanisms, and plates. A manual or automatic machine may also contain a walking foot, also called a dual feed, used for piecing fabric together or for machine quilting at home or in a business. From drop-in bobbin sewing machines to compact ones, there are a variety of machines and related parts that are required for this industry. Customers can save money and buy used refurbished machines with a reduced price, or they can buy brand new. Sewing machines can handle a variety of functions, from decorative embroidery to stitching.