Types of Sewing Machines: Industrial or Domestic. Which One is For You?

Amid the pandemic last year, many of us got bored staying home. Yes, some were still busy working from home, but some hours also had to be allocated to doing things to relax and de-stress. This is where you pick up a hobby! If you are reading this article, you have probably been thinking about picking up sewing as a hobby–but where to start?? To give you some help, here we will go over some of the types of sewing machines available out there. 

Yes, you can opt to learn how to sew by hand, but learning how to use a sewing machine is also a handy skill–after all, these machines are not so easy to use as a beginner. The advantage of using the machine is that you will be able to make, fix and create different pieces of work much faster. This allows you to make many more things quickly and allows you to think of more creative designs and techniques. Sewing in itself has many benefits you will find. 

Whether you are a beginner or someone trying to get back to the hobby of sewing. Here we will be going over different kinds of sewing machines that may work for you. Get those creative juices going and make something for yourself or your family. Enjoy! 

Do you have a particular question about different types of sewing machines? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

Types of industrial sewing machines

To give you a bit of background, let me remind you that sewing machines started off as something in mass garment production. It was an item that could only be accessible to companies and large industrial factories. Now, of course, many types of sewing machines have been adapted to function easily inside our homes!

Industrial sewing machines run at very high speeds as it is power-driven. Another important thing to know is that industrial-type sewing machines are special sewing machines. This means that they do something very specific (for a specific stitch and seam class), so make sure you read the description of a machine you intend to purchase soon. 

There are many types of industrial sewing machines available; you may need to expand your knowledge on stitch classes first. Here are a few descriptions. A single needle lock stitch machine makes lock stitches (formed with one needle thread and one bobbin thread). The purpose of this machine is to join two or more fabric plies. It can be used for lightweight, medium-weight, and heavy materials. 

Another option is the Overlock Sewing Machine, making it possible to do 2-5 threads over edge sewing. The purpose is to serge garment panels and for an overedge stitch. They are mainly used for knitted garments or for a side stitch of a t-shirt. 

Another type is the Flatlock sewing machine. These types of sewing machines typically are with 2-3 needles. They are usually used for hemming sleeves and bottom of knit products. Also known as a cover-stitch sewing machine, they can be used in part of a piece of clothing for decorative purposes.

There are so many different sewing machines in this category to even include in this article! But some interesting ones to know are Button Attaching Machine, a specialty sewing machine for just attaching all types of buttons, Feed off the Arm, sewing side seams, and underarms. And also Zigzag sewing machine for the zigzag stitching seen in bra and jacket manufacturing. Again, these are specific garments machines, so these are for more professional sewers. 

Most common domestic sewing machine models

Next are the domestic types of sewing machines. Domestic machines are meant to be used at home. These are lighter models and a little bit slower than the industrial ones. As you already know, industrial machines each have a specific purpose; however, on the other hand, domestic sewing machines can serve many purposes/functions.

This is good for you! One device with many capabilities for a wide range of sewing tasks. A quick note that these different types of sewing machines for the house are best with lightweight materials such as silk, cotton, or any fabric typical in everyday attire. The better you get at sewing, then maybe you could go for the ones that can handle thicker and heavier materials. 

There are also many types of domestic machines, but here are some that are unique to know. The first type of domestic machine to know is the manual sewing machine, which was used back in the day! These don’t require electrical power and can be used anywhere. To use this, you have to continuously turn a handwheel. The pro of this is you get a good workout; a con is that it is a little slow to crank by hand. 

Another type is a mechanical sewing machine. This is a level up from a manual one and does not require electrical power. Instead, you use a pedal placed on the floor. These are less expensive than electrical machines and are easy to use for beginners. They are equipped with a small selection of stitches. These are also slower to use and may not be the best choice for complicated projects. Still, they are quite handy for making simple garments, fixing tears, or adjusting sizes. They are pretty sturdy too!

The electronic sewing machines, on the other hand, run on electricity. They have a single motor that is activated by a foot pedal. These are a little pricier but definitely have more features. These come with many stitches. And include decorative ones too, with the ability to adjust the length and width of the stitches. 

Finally, there are computerized sewing machines. These are the most advanced equipped with USB ports and Wi-Fi. This type of weaving sewing machine comes with hundreds of built-in stitches, ready-made images and patterns, and the ability to create buttonholes. This is a machine to invest in. They are fast to operate and can be used for people who want to start a business.  

What kind of sewing machine do I need?

The sewing machine you would need (assuming you are not a large company yet with a massive number of orders coming in) would be a simple domestic sewing machine. What you want to be looking for is the number of stitches the device has (which, as a beginner, is only two: straight and zigzag), the weight of the machine (especially if you are taking a class/group, this could be handy to be able to carry it everywhere), and the ease of use (they should be easy to follow instructions, helpful tools, and a sturdy metal frame). Here you will find some good options for beginners. 

Credits: photos by Canva

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