If you need to fix a hole in your clothes but you balk at spending money on an expensive tailor, getting a sewing machine may save your wallet in the long term while helping your wardrobe in the short term. By purchasing a device, you can also save many hours of manual labor. However, before you can sew patches onto your broken garments or embroider designs on outerwear, be prepared to learn some of the terms that will allow you to pick an appliance which will last you many years. Here are three terms to review before you buy from a dealer.
Needle - Different from your standard needles by putting the eye closer to the point, the sewing machine needle is designed to quickly stitch together pieces of fabric together. Different needles are useful for different jobs- a needle that is thin and sharp, which makes it perfect to repair rips in garments or to join cloth swatches together. Crewel needles have larger eyes to hold thicker thread to embroider with.
Bobbin - A small accessory which holds fibers to be used in sewing. The bobbin dispenses the thread while the appliance is running and is usually held in a reservoir under the needle. Many appliances have spindles to fix the bobbin to before spinning filaments onto it for use.
Pedal - A foot-controlled mechanism which varies the speed at which the appliance runs. Due to the connected nature of the pedal, applied light pressure results in slower speeds and vice versa. If your pedal is malfunctioning, it may adversely affect your ability to sew, so it is important that your dealer can repair it.
One of the first sewing machines was patented in 1790 but wasn't as functional as modern machines. A more functional and working sewing machine was later invented in 1830 to better assist tailors with faster machines to work with in their garment factories. In 1905, electric sewing machines were used more often and much later in the late 1970s, the first fully programmable computerized sewing machine appeared.
Sewing machine dealers sell everything from small portable machines to industrial size equipment machines. Some companies may specialize in home machines, others in the larger sizes.
Dealers may sell to craft shops, companies or the general public. They also act as suppliers of parts and thread. Some dealers sell used machines as well as, or instead of, new ones. Used machines include antique machines, some of which are manually operated by foot pedals instead of being electronic. Others may sell specialized machines for embroidery or quilting purposes.
The most modern sewing machines are computerized and may be programmed with special stitches or even entire embroidery patterns. This includes almost all industrial and commercial machines.
Suppliers of thread are likely to also sell needles, patterns and other parts. These dealers may also sell machines, or they may be specialized accessory dealers. Buying directly from a dealer may get a better price than going to a craft shop or retail outlet.
Antique sewing machines are seldom sold for use, although some folk crafters prefer them. They are also sometimes converted to furniture. It can sometimes be hard to find parts for very old machines.