To those with limited knowledge, it may seem like one sewing machine is pretty much like any other. But there are actually many and the differences are significant in the attributes and capacities each kind offers.
A primary and obvious distinction is between domestic and industrial devices. The former will by nature be smaller and take on tasks of lesser scale. The industrial sector, however, relies on more robust machines with higher capacity and power.
According to Sewing Is Cool, there are no fewer than 21 kinds of sewing machines overall, although this list is split between 15 types used in industrial settings and six specifically for domestic purposes. Some have broad general uses, while others are for specialised tasks.
Among industrial machines, one of the most common is the lockstitch. This is the most common mechanical stitch and the name comes from the way the thread is comprised of two intertwined cords that will go together through the hole in the fabric, which makes them more durable than a single thread.
Overlock machines are another very common kind. These are not for use in the whole clothes-making process, but for the edges, creating perfect seams and hems. They come with cutters to trim away any excess to make everything look immaculate.
Coverstitch machines are similar to overlock machines in that they work on things like hems. However, unlike overlock machines, they do not have blades. It does not need twin needles, although it can use one, two or three. But most importantly, it creates very neat stitches which give clothing a professional look.
These are the main kinds of machines and, like any other, it is important to get to know their uses. By applying the right machine to the right task, your products can be of the high quality you would want them to be.