Different Types of Sewing Machines

If you are interested to learn about the different kinds of sewing machines out there, this guide will help you with just that. There are lots of variations of sewing machines, ranging from industrial to household use, leather to cotton. While there are innumerable different kinds of specialized industrial types, for household usage it boils down to six different kinds of sewing machines.


Singer 4423
Singer 4423

Having fundamentally changed the clothing and upholstery market, the significance of the invention of sewing machines cannot be underestimated.

Whether you are sewing professionally or just as a hobby, and the kind of material you will be working with, should all be taken into consideration when deciding on which machine to buy. If you are planning on using the machine less than three times a week, a household sewing machine is what you should likely buy. If it is more of an everyday activity, an industrial machine will be needed.


For the domestic sewing machines here are the main six categories :
1. Mechanical sewing ones
2. Electronic sewing machines
3. Computerized and automated sewing machines
4. Embroidering machines
5. Quilting sewing machines
6. Over locking and serger sewing machines


1894 vintage Singer sewing machine
1894 vintage Singer sewing machine

Having been created before electricity was widely distributed, these machines can be hand-used or operated with a treadle. These are the most basic.

Depending on the model, these sewing machines are used either with a treadle, or with a turning wheel. With a turning wheel, a handle is used to move the needle and produce stitching. With the treadle option, the treadle plate on the floor, along with a rubber belt, is used to operate the machine and needle.

You can find these in antique stores as they are a classic vintage machine. Most of the time the machine was attached to a wooden table or desk. These could only perform straight stitching, and would last a very long time.

Electronic sewing machine

These machines have a built-in computerized system which allows for a variation of stitching options. These may include the possibility of buttonhole making and overlocking, which just utilize switching instead of knobs. They have far more stitch options than the mechanical one and will often have an LCD display screen to select the different options.

Computerized sewing machine

With a computerized mechanism, computerized sewing machines give you the option of setting up programs and programming your sewing preferences. These also allow you to perform embroidery work, with different embroidery stitching modes.

They also have lots of other options: buttonhole puncturing with up to 7 variations, a hassle-free display screen to select stitching with stitches, a control over the speed of the stitching, different possible decorations to add to your work, needle threading, to name a few. It comes to no surprise that these are the most expensive of the different model types.

Embroidery machine

Brother Quattro 2 Sewing
Brother Quattro 2 Sewing

Embroidery, especially high-quality, can be hard to find in fast fashion and clothing boutiques. With your own embroidery machine, you can not only add embroidery to any piece of clothing, but you can also design it yourself and make it special.

There are different subcategories of embroidery machines. Some allow you to design whatever you like, something with a computerized system. With the most advanced of the machines it is possible to download a drawing from a computer and transfer it to the machine.

Quilting machines

There machines are great for patch work and quilt making. They resemble basic sewing machines with added features for this particular kind of sewing. They are useful when you need to sew layers of fabric with one another, and some have a wide variety of quit stitching options, which is great for regular quilt makers.

Culturally speaking, quilting is a very important and historical tradition which can be found all around the world. There are large communities of quilters which come together. In fact, this skill is increasing in popularity.

Janome 4300 QDC
Janome 4300 QDC

This community has textile workers spanning from Japan to the United States to Europe. You can easily find competitions, exhibitions, and conferences surrounding textile and quilt work. Some work is so impressive it is almost identical to a photograph.

Overlocking or serger machines

Overlocker machines are specialized in sewing perfect hems. A well-done hem is necessary for professional looking sewing. To do this it usually means the edges were done with an overlocker sewing machine.

You should not use these for the entirety of your sewing project, but they give clean cut and neat edging results a regular sewing machine cannot. Overedging and overlocking machines are often confused, although they are very similar. Both use cutters made to make perfect and clear cuts in the fabric.

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