Sewing Machines
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13 Different Types Of Sewing Machines

Are you curious about the types of sewing machines? Domestic sewing machines are used in the home, while industrial sewing machines are used in factories to make clothes. Home sewing machines come in six different varieties, and industrial machines come in a huge variety of specialized forms.

Domestic VS. Industrial Sewing Machines

Power and functionality are where these two machine types primarily diverge.

When someone uses a domestic sewing machine to sew only for themselves, it is not necessary for it to be as powerful or effective.

Due to potential space limitations, they may also desire a variety of features to be combined into a single machine.

An industrial machine will be more advantageous for someone who needs sewing machines that operate more quickly and with fewer features.

Let’s examine both in more detail!

Advantages Of Domestic Sewing Machines

A domestic sewing machine is probably the best choice for you if you’re new to sewing or only need one to make samples rather than finished garments to sell.

Compared to industrial machines, these sewing machines move more slowly, giving the sewer more control.

A typical domestic sewing machine can usually sew the following things:

  • Straight stitch
  • Zigzag stitch
  • Buttonholes
  • A range of decorative stitches

Additionally, more sophisticated home sewing machines may offer the following sewing options:

  • A twin needle
  • A walking foot

These devices are excellent for anyone looking for a machine that can perform all tasks with a small amount of space and power.

There are also less advanced domestic sewing machines, like the vintage hand-cranked Singers, which are regarded as being more domestic than industrial and only have a lockstitch option and require manual needle turning!

Advantages Of Industrial Sewing Machines

Contrarily, we also have flatbed machines, which are industrial sewing machines.

They can only sew ONE of the following, but they can sew both quickly and well:

  • Straight stitch (flat lock machine)
  • Overcast stitch (serger / overlocker)
  • Buttonholes (buttonhole machine)
  • Cover stitch (overstitch machine)
  • Embroidery (embroidery machine)

As you can see, these machines are serious workhorses with just one stitch option.

Let’s take a closer look at the various sewing machine types that are available in both domestic and commercial models.

Types Of Domestic Sewing Machines

Mechanical Sewing Machine

When most people think of machine sewing, they immediately picture the traditional mechanical sewing machine. Many of us have grown up using it; the learning curve is small; and, in comparison to electronic or computerized alternatives, the cost is reasonable.

The majority of simple projects can be finished with mechanical sewing machines because they don’t have a digital interface and instead operate with buttons and dials. It’s critical to remember that some are very basic and offer only a few stitches and functions, whereas others have a large number of stitches, can make buttonholes, and are generally sewing room workhorses. According to logic, the price range of mechanical devices tends to increase as more features are added.

Quilting Sewing Machine

These practical designs, also known as long-arm sewing machines, are perfect for quilters because the arm’s extra flat surface allows for more work space. This makes it possible to work on large sections of fabric while they are laid out securely.

They can be used to make crafts and for repairs just like a smaller machine would be because they perform tasks very similar to those that a domestic sewing machine would perform. One significant distinction is that they can successfully sew through thick or multi-layered materials, which is necessary for the construction of quilts but is occasionally difficult with a mechanical machine.

Both mechanical and electronic quilting machines are available. Electronic models are more expensive, can perform more stitches, and have more quality-of-life automations than smaller domestic machines.

Manual Sewing Machine (treadle)

Old-fashioned hand-operated and treadle sewing machines are no longer widely used, despite the fact that they are interesting and frequently quite beautiful. This is so that the sewer can manually operate the device using a spinning wheel or floor pedal, bypassing the requirement for electricity.

These machines were not only made to last, but many of them were also built into tables and were intended to be free-standing pieces of furniture. If you manage to obtain one, you might be able to teach yourself how to operate it (YouTube can undoubtedly be of assistance), but be ready for a laborious, slow process that is relatively inaccurate in comparison to modern technology.

New hand-operated and treadle sewing machines are not in particularly high supply, but they are occasionally available. Where electricity is not readily available, they are still more frequently used.

Computerized Sewing Machine

Electronic and computerized sewing machines are an improvement over mechanical ones because they perform all the same functions as their knob-powered counterparts, plus more. They automate laborious tasks like bobbin winding, needle threading, and tension control and typically operate through the use of a handy LCD panel with clearly labeled buttons.

Nearly always, electronic sewing machines offer more stitches and features than mechanical machines. Some people are capable of determining the ideal stitch type and tension for a project and self-correcting to produce the most accurate stitching.

Some computerized sewing machines can embroider using a variety of proprietary designs or ones that the user uploads to the machine. Shop wisely because not all electronic devices have this feature.

Electronic sewing machines frequently fall at the higher end of the price range due to the abundance of features they offer and how simple they are to operate. This is especially true if the machine can embroider or has a long-arm quilting design.

Embroidery Machine

A particular kind of decorative stitchwork called embroidery is frequently associated with hand sewing rather than machine sewing. Modern sewers have the option to automate, with some using electronic sewing machines that also embroider and others choosing a standalone embroidery machine.

These machines don’t operate like typical sewing machines and are employed both domestically and commercially. Only embroidered patterns and accents are added to textiles using them. The majority of embroidery machines allow users to upload their own patterns via USB in addition to a variety of pre-loaded patterns to choose from.

Sewing Machines

Types Of Industrial Sewing Machines

Heavy-duty Sewing Machine

These robust machines, designed for heavy-duty textile mass production, are frequently integrated into tables to create workstations. Compared to the typical domestic sewing machine, they can handle thicker fabrics and materials and operate at a high speed while producing incredibly precise results.

While there are some general-purpose industrial sewing machines, like the one mentioned above, most industrial textile production involves the use of a variety of different machines for a variety of different tasks. It is possible to use different machines to add buttons, make hems, execute particular stitch types, and more. Below, we’ve discussed a few of these more specific models.

Blind Stitch Machine

A blind stitch machine is employed when invisible stitching is required for a garment.

A task that is challenging to accomplish in any other way is the machine’s ability to quickly and precisely create an invisible hem or bond on a garment. Its usefulness ends there, but it’s very helpful when making clothes that should give the impression of being smooth when worn.

Chain Stitch Machine

These specialized machines perform chain stitch, a strong stitch that works well for clothing, and are used for seams, binding, and embroidery.

There are many different types of chain stitch machines; they can have one or two needles and use one or two different kinds of thread. They are only used to make straight and zigzag seams.

Cover Stitch Machine

A cover stitch machine makes it much quicker and simpler to finish hems neatly, especially on knit fabrics.

This machine creates sturdy seams that are resistant to tearing and can stretch and move with worn-out fabrics. Additionally, lace, elastic, and decorative trim are attached with it. On quilts and other textile projects, it can also be used for decorative topstitching.

Safety Stitch Machine

Despite the fact that the functionality of this device is frequently combined with that of a serger, it is occasionally offered separately under the name of a safety stitch machine. The machine’s purpose, which is to create clean seams and tidy up edges, is somewhat similar.

For long-lasting results, safety stitch machines use three thread overlock and two thread chain stitches.

Sergers, Overlock, And Overedge Machine

By removing seam allowances and repairing raw edges, sergers—also known as overlock or overedge machines—are used to give textile products a professional finish. They are perfect for delicate and challenging-to-sew fabrics; knits, as well as particularly heavy and light fabrics, frequently benefit from a serger.

Sergers work quickly and typically use two needles. They are allowed to use eight spools of thread at once.

Sergers are most frequently used in industrial sewing, but they are also available as domestic machines, and some sewing enthusiasts might want to keep one in their toolkit.

Bar Tack Sewing Machine

To increase the lifespan of clothing, it’s crucial to reinforce high tension points. A bar tack sewing machine performs these stitches in an industrial setting.

With the aid of high density stitches called bar tacks, which are used to hold clothing together at particularly weak spots, this unit makes bar tacks. Particularly for fastening the corners of belt loops and pockets, they are frequently used in the production of slacks and jeans.

Flat Seam Machine

Given their flimsiness and sewing challenges, knit fabrics can be tricky to work with. A flat seam is made on a knitted item of clothing or other textile product using flat seam machines. Additionally, they are used to finish products with seams that are flat on both sides and bind cut edges.

Their functionality is occasionally combined with that of a serger. Depending on the application, a flat seam machine’s bed may be flat or cylindrical.

What Types Of Sewing Machines Should You Select?

The features you’ll require, how frequently you plan to sew, and, of course, your budget will all determine the type of sewing machine you should purchase. You will likely be looking at a more affordable computerized or straightforward electronic machine for the majority of beginning sewers.

My Janome electronic sewing machine has manual knobs and no computerized features. It is a workhorse that has endured for years despite being a fairly simple machine and is capable of sewing leather as well as heavier materials.

The majority of people actually don’t use decorative stitches that come with more expensive machines very often.


There you have it, a comprehensive overview of the various sewing machines that can be used at home or in the clothing manufacturing sector.

This article should have dispelled any confusion you may have had regarding the various types of sewing machines that are currently on the market, whether you’re a home sewer who is prepared to make an investment in a machine to sew your own clothes or a fashion designer who plans to make an investment in more specialized machines for specific sewing tasks.

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