Industrial sewing machines are heavy-duty, high-speed, and high productivity machines that can be used for a variety of tasks in the textile industry.
But you can reap the same benefit at the comfort of your home, thanks to the easy availability of these heavy-duty units.
Learn how to use industrial sewing machine with this handy guide!
What is an Industrial Sewing Machine, and How Does It Work?
Industrial sewing machines are not for everyone, but they do have their place in many different industries. They can produce seams with little or no puckering, which makes them perfect for selling in stores. Industrial sewing machines are also great for producing heavy-duty products, such as upholstery or leather.
Industrial sewing machines can be used for a number of tasks, including straight stitching, zigzag stitch, and overlocking. The machine head usually contains a needle that is fed by the “feed dog” or with an automatic feeder that drops thread from spools onto it. In all types of industrial sewing machines, the tension on the fabric is adjusted with a tension control device that applies pressure to the fabric.
These machines have higher running speed and stronger power than a home sewing machine. For example, the best auto upholstery sewing machine can sew leather, upholstery, and other heavy-weight fabrics with ease.
Industrial Sewing Machine vs Regular Sewing Machine
Industrial sewing machines are used for high-production processes. They can be used to sew rough or heavy fabrics, such as leather and upholstery. They have a powerful motor that runs at faster speeds than the home machine, but they still need some hand pressure on the fabric while stitching. Their feed dog will automatically feed thread in through the needle eye from the spool.
Regular sewing machines are used for simpler processes, such as household repairs and alterations. They have a lower motor speed so that the hand can control how fast or slow it goes to sew delicate fabrics like silk organza without ripping them apart. Their feed dog will not automatically pull the thread from the spool through the needle eye; this is done manually in most cases.
In all sewing machines, the needle moves up and down to create stitches while passing through fabric that has been fed through the machine’s feed dog on a bobbin or by hand from either side of the machine. The presser foot holds down fabrics flat for better visibility as well as keeping them in place during stitching.
Typically, the construction material of a heavy-duty sewing machine, like the best sewing machine to sew dog collars, is metal, with heavy-gauge aluminum or cast iron being the preferred materials. There are also some models, like the best sewing machine for canvas and leather, that offer a stainless steel exterior frame which can be helpful if you need to clean your machine in high traffic areas where it would otherwise get dirty quickly.
Now, the most common power source for these commercial sewing machines is an electrical outlet and an air compressor. But some regular portable sewing machines use batteries, which are great for projects that don’t need to be near an electrical outlet.
Sewing machines from the industrial sewing machine category also come equipped with a wide selection of presser feet attachments and bobbins to make your work easier – especially when you’re working on larger items such as quilts or pillows.
How to Use Industrial Sewing Machine?
Now, we’ll talk about the meat of the matter. We’ll explain it in separate sections for your convenience.
Setting up Your Industrial Sewing Machine for Different Projects
For straight stitching, where the final product is not elasticized: Adjust tension to produce a seam with little or no puckering.
For sewing stretchy material such as lycra and spandex: Set up your machine so that it produces zigzag stitches(an absolute necessity for wig sewing machine), using an appropriate stitch length for the fabric is a prerequisite.
For sewing heavy fabrics such as upholstery and leather: Increase the needle thread tension so that it is firmer than when sewing lighter weight material.
Remember to equip the right kind of ceiling light for sewing room, no matter what type of stitching you’re doing.
Threading the Needle on an Industrial Sewing Machine
The process for threading a typical industrial sewing machine may involve these steps –
- Thread the needle from front to back, and use a small loop of thread.
- For sewing lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, silk, and lightweight cotton: Decrease the needle thread tension so that it is looser than when sewing heavyweight material.
- For sewing heavy fabrics such as upholstery and leather: Increase the needle thread tension so that it is firmer than when sewing lighter weight material.
Using the Foot Pedal on an Industrial Sewing Machine
- Place foot on the pedal and push to the left, then release.
- Push down with the other foot while pushing the right pedal first (or vice versa); this will bring up a presser foot which is located under the needle.
(Repeat these steps as needed)
Using the Different Types of Stitches Available in an Industrial Sewing Machine
The different types of stitches available with an industrial sewing machine are straight stitch, zigzag stitch, and serged stitching.
This is the most basic type of industrial sewing machine stitch, which can be used to sew two pieces together side by side or hemming fabric. The stitch width should not exceed 0.06 inches.
This stitch is used to join two pieces of fabric with the needle continuously changing direction. This type of industrial sewing machine stitch can be done in various widths and lengths but will leave a zigzag pattern on the right side.
A serge stitch has an overlocker blade that cuts off excess material. The overlocker blade is also used to trim seam allowances before they are turned out, eliminating the need for a serger or an additional cutter. This type of industrial sewing machine stitch can be done in various widths and lengths but will leave a zigzag pattern on the right side of the garment.
There are also other types of stitches that are used for industrial sewing machines. But those aren’t that commonly used.
Tips on Using an Industrial Sewing Machine
- When using industrial machines, one thing that is key is how fast and slow you can go with your foot pedal. If you are going too quickly, then there will be more breaks in the fabric, which causes it to bunch up. So, it’s better to go a little slower and let the needle pierce through.
- When sewing with an industrial machine, you need to use two hands when starting your project: one hand controls how fast or slow the fabric feeds into the machine while the other hand handles everything else like guiding the material in.
- It is crucial to clean your machine after each project and periodically throughout the day.
- When sewing heavy fabrics, make sure you are using a needle appropriate for that weight of the fabric, so it doesn’t break easily.
Safety Guidelines for Sewing with an Industrial Sewing Machine
- Always use proper safety gear such as closed toe shoes or clogs, gloves if necessary.
- Thimbles are also useful for protecting the tips of your fingers and preventing them from getting caught in the machine.
- Sew slower than you would if hand sewing to avoid breaking needles, thread tangles, or skipping stitches.
- Be careful when lifting heavy fabrics off the table – use a rolling pin to help get it started while keeping it flat on the surface.
Common Mistakes When Using an Industrial Sewing Machine
These are the mistakes that some crafters make while working with a heavy-duty sewing machine –
- Doing too many stitches per inch, which will cause the fabric to bunch up on top of itself and create a pucker where the needle can’t pass.
- Pushing or pulling your project through the machine by hand instead of using the foot pedal – this is how accidents happen while sewing because you don’t have as much control over what you are sewing.
- Sewing too close to the edge of your fabric, which causes a lot of breakage on the needle and thread.
- Not feeding fabrics through the machine with precision, so they are lined up evenly – this will prevent skipped stitches or even jams in the sewing machine.
- Trying to sew multiple layers (or thick layers) at a time – this can also cause skipped stitches, jams in the machine, or heavy breakage on the needle and thread.
- Sewing too fast – you don’t want to go so slow that your sewing is sloppy, but if you are going too quickly, then there will be more breaks in your fabric which causes it to bunch up.
Common Uses for Industrial Sewing Machines
- Industrial sewing machines are typically used in factories to sew different types of fabrics together.
- These are also preferred for people who run a home business because they can be used to sew a variety of different materials.
- The industrial sewing machine is really great for those who are just learning how to use one, as it has the ability to adjust and change stitches easily.
- A home sewer will benefit from an industrial sewing machine in order to have more control over their work or if they want their clothes to look like the store-bought ones.
Why Should You Get an Industrial Sewing Machine?
Industrial sewing machines use thicker, stronger needles and thread, which means you can sew with more precision than the home or household models.
Is There Any Con of Using an Industrial Sewing Machine?
The only disadvantage of an industrial model is that it typically takes a little longer to get used to how they work compared to the smaller household models. But once you get the hang of it, you will be able to sew just as well, if not better.
What to Look for While Buying an Industrial Sewing Machine?
These are the thing you should be wary of while looking to buy a heavy-duty industrial sewing machine –
Stitch per Minute
The first thing you should look for is how many stitches the machine can make per minute. This information will be on a sticker or tag somewhere near the sewing machine, and it usually looks something like “300 spm,” which stands for stitches per minute. You want to find one that makes at least 500 stitches in a minute so that you can sew faster and produce more.
Automatic Bobbin Winder
If you are a heavy user of the sewing machine, look for one with an automatic bobbin winder so that you don’t have to worry about winding bobbins yourself while you’re working. For me, it was the most important aspect while buying my first industrial sewing machine for vinyl.
Motor’s Country of Origin
You should also find out if the motor is made in Japan or China because Japanese motors will last you a long time, whereas the Chinese motors will start to burn out and stop working after a year or two.
Number of Stitching Feet
Make sure that you get one with at least four stitching feet so that it has an all-purpose foot (one for heavy material), zipper foot, buttonhole foot, etc. You also want to make sure that it comes with a darning or embroidery foot.
You should also get one with a metal frame because it will last you much longer than the plastic frames that are common in lower quality machines.
Make sure to find out how big of an area can be sewn at once and if it has any automatic features like buttonholes or zippers so that you don’t have to do them manually on your own time using another machine for each step.
Common Queries Regarding Industrial Machines
How can I tell if my sewing machine needs a new belt?
A good way to tell is that it starts skipping stitches or stops sewing altogether. You need to replace the belt when you notice this happening so that your stitching quality doesn’t drop off.
What should I do with tangled thread after using an industrial machine?
It’s best to just cut them off and tie knots at the ends before throwing out of sorts fabric into the trash because they could get caught in another piece of clothing and cause some serious damage down the line when someone pulls it out.
Can you manually turn on an industrial machine without plugging it in?
No! If not plugged in, then only use as a tabletop model for light sewing.
In conclusion, industrial sewing machines are great for people of all skill levels- even beginners. They can be used to sew a variety of materials like heavy fabrics and lace. If you are looking for an industrial machine or want your clothes to look more professional, then start with one today following our how to use industrial sewing machine guide!