Learn more about different types of sewing machine and find the perfect match for your needs.
Sewing machines are the best inventions that have helped humans design entire industries and live around them. Without sewing machines, we would still wear loose, stitched clothes without personalized fittings and designs. That would just not look good.
Sewing machines have saved us all from wearing basic clothes every day. Today, almost every home has a small or large sewing machine, as there are many hobbyists and professional tailors.
Sewing machines were first invented in 1790, but the original inventor could not bring them to the limelight. Thomas Saint invented the sewing machine with basic functionalities that would allow people to make more durable, and neater stitches in less time.
Barthelemy Thimmonier developed the sewing machine patented design that we use today in 1929. With this invention, the entire clothing and textile industry was changed. This invention is still one of the most important tools in the textile industry.
A sewing machine comes with different parts and configurations, and the features make them apart from each other. Numerous brands in the world make sewing machines, and there are multiple machines that solve serious stitching problems.
This article is all about exploring the different types of sewing machines. We will also cover some things you should know while buying a sewing machine for your needs, and at the end, we will answer some FAQs that every beginner has regarding sewing machines.
Table of Contents
15 Different Types of Sewing Machine
Sewing is much more than a hobby. It’s a centuries-old art form that’s gotten better with time. Everything from apparel to stuffed animals to blankets can be made with them.
Today, there are many brands that offer different types of sewing machine available in the market. Want to know more about each brand’s sewing machine offering? Read our article on,
Each sewing machine comes with its own set of functions, and it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Don’t be worried. We have put up a list of the top ten best sewing machine for beginners (and beyond). We’ll also go over the pros and cons of each machine to decide what makes each one unique.
Domestic Sewing Machine
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Domestic Sewing Machines are the best sewing machine models that are designed for home usage. These sewing machines are made for people who are not working on heavy-duty sewing projects and use the machine to make minor stitches.
Domestic sewing machines come with limited features, which may not be sufficient for you if you are working on professional projects.
These machines can make simple stitching work fast and provide you with neater stitches than your hands. You can also sew unique clothes and give them personalized touch using Super Label Store’s
These sewing machines come in a variety of sizes and structures for different home needs, but they can never catch up with industrial sewing machines. Domestic sewing machines are not designed for everyday usage, and they may not last long if you use them every day for all your sewing needs.
Industrial Sewing Machine
As the name suggests, industrial sewing machines are machines that are made for professional and industrial usage.
While domestic sewing machines cannot handle multiple layers and advanced stitching options, industrial sewing machines overcome these issues.
An industrial sewing machine is powerful and can help you sew multiple layers of fabrics in one go without any issues. These machines can help you in sewing leather, rubber, plastic, foam, canvas, etc., with utmost ease and help you in creating stronger stitches between your fabric pieces.
These machines are quite strong and are made using metal parts that last way longer than the plastic components of a domestic machine. Industrial sewing machines are made for specialized use cases, but you can still find some classification of industrial sewing machine in the market that can serve a wide variety of your needs.
Treadle Sewing Machine
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Treadle sewing machines are iconic and antique sewing machines with a different control structure than conventional sewing machines.
In this type of sewing machine, there is a treadle on the bottom of the sewing machine, which has to be operated with legs to move the sewing machine parts that make the stitch.
To make stitches with this machine, you have to paddle the board underneath the machine. Just as you stop paddling, the sewing machine will also come to a halt.
It is operated by your own energy, and you can learn to sew until you have energy left in you. If you are a lover of these sewing machines and want to use them for longer, you can also attach a small electric motor to make the paddling automatic.
It is a great type of sewing machine for people who don’t know how to use an electric or handheld sewing machine or for people who live in places with almost no electricity.
Hand Operated Sewing Machine
Hand-operated sewing machines were the favorite option of sewing machine users once, but that is not the case now. Today they might have been replaced by faster and more advanced sewing machines. They still hold a high value.
They are the different types of sewing machine that are now considered antique pieces, and they came in exciting materials. They are hand-operated and come with a handle on the right side of the machine. It was used to control the speed and other features of the machine.
If you are looking for an antique sewing machine that can sit as a collectible in your cabinet and you don’t want to use the sewing machine much, these are the best white sewing machine to invest in.
Electronic Sewing Machine
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You might have understood this type of sewing machine by reading the name. Electronic sewing machines are machines that have electronic items in them.
Electronic sewing machines often come with LCD screens and different buttons to control the functions of a sewing machine.
All the parts are controlled by electronics that send instructions to mechanical parts. These machines can also make different types of stitches like zig-zag stitches, straight stitches, decorative stitches, and much more. These types of machines are advanced in terms of technical aspects.
They are reliable and can help you save significant time, but they can be a bit expensive. Their maintenance and parts can be quite pricey if you are using the sewing machine to its limit.
Mechanical Sewing Machine
Mechanical sewing machines are simple yet excellent sewing machines. These machines don’t come with that heavy electronics and buggy software that makes the performance bad. They come with high-quality mechanical parts that last way longer.
Such sewing machines are cheap and affordable for people who have just developed a sewing hobby.
Mechanical sewing machines often come with more and easier features than electronic machines. Using these sewing machines is quite simple, and they are some of the best things to start working with.
Computerized Sewing Machine
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You can consider a computerized sewing machine as an advanced electronic machine. These sewing machines come with better software systems and intuitive features.
Computerized sewing machines also have a programmable interface where you can program your own sewing types. The machine can also save them for reuse at a later point.
Computerized sewing machines often come with crisp LCD displays that work as a control panel for the entire machine. You can tweak all the features using this touchscreen system.
These sewing machines provide multiple stitching options, speed controls, and customization options, which can be worked around to find the best settings for your needs.
People who just do embroidery should focus on this sewing machine type. Embroidery sewing machines are special sewing machines that help you do all major types of embroidery.
These machines are quite advanced and come with options where you can import your digital designs and convert them to embroidery using intelligent embroidery software.
If the designs get distorted while importing them into the machine, you can fix them and make changes using the built-in design editor.
The LCD displays on the embroidery sewing machine are much bigger and better than other computerized sewing machines because the use of display is much more in these machines.
Image Source: Diary of a Quilter
If you are a fan of quilting and pattern-making through the quilting process, a quilting machine is a must for you. As the name suggests, this machine helps you in making the quilting process easier by automating it.
Quilting machines often come with programmable interfaces, so you can program the machine to make better patterns and even remember them for future use.
To make the quilting much more polished, these sewing machines also have different stitch options so that you can make stitch designs while you are quilting.
Serger sewing machines are one of the fastest types, averaging 9k revolutions per minute. These machines are used for special purposes like durable sewing seams, hems, and fabric edges.
Sergers are used in stitching sportswear, activewear, and knitted dresses.
These sewing machines also come with a fitted cutter that can cut off excess material on the edges and provide a sharp and even look to the edges of your fabrics.
These machines also come with edge neatening options that make your sewing fabric edges neater than before once you pass it through the machine.
Blind Stitch Machine
Image Source: Textile Learner
This machine does what its name says. It helps in making blind stitches. Blind stitches are types of stitches that cannot be seen from the other side of the cloth. You can find such stitching on trousers, hems, shorts, and even your favorite skirt.
If you find yourself working with clothing items that need to conceal the stitch, you need a blind stitch sewing machine for your project.
This machine is quite faster at making hidden stitches as it specializes in this area, so the output of the stitches is also a lot better.
Button Attaching Machine
There are very few tailors who’d agree to stitch buttons on a manual basis. It is a tiring task, and there’s a lot to do for stitching a single button in the perfect way.
If you don’t like stitch buttons but are coming across such projects, then you should invest in a button-attaching machine.
This machine takes in your buttons and stitches them at the defined place on your fabric without any lengthy process. You can also select the type of button you are using to make the stitching process more customized and get better-stitched buttons.
Buttonhole Sewing Machine
Image Source: Brother Sewing Machines
Before you stitch a button on a fabric, you also need to create a buttonhole where the button will go. To do that, there’s a special type of machine which is called the buttonhole sewing machine.
This machine can help you create buttonholes at high speed so that you can finish more work in less time.
Long Arm Quilting Machine
Sometimes you may take on large quilting projects, and your machine’s area can be a hindrance, but not anymore.
A long-arm sewing machine is a type of quilting machine that can be used to handle large quilting projects in the most efficient way.
These sewing machines come with both mechanical and electrical configurations, so you can choose to buy the ones that suit your needs.
Image Source: Easy Sewing for Beginners
If you are new to sewing and are just using it as a pass time, you may want the freedom to take your machine to any place with you and work from there.
If that is your requirement, portable sewing machines can be used to work on smaller tasks. These machines can help you make simple stitches and mend your fabrics, but they might not be able to stitch entire clothes for you.
If your stitch involves traveling around, or you do minor stitching on your own, then you should try out portable sewing machines.
Different Types Of Sewing Machines And Their Functions: Decision Making Table
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There are many kinds of sewing machine and their names available, and understanding what each one can accomplish can assist you in choosing the best one for your needs.
Here is a brief overview table of different types of sewing machines and their functions to help you decide:
Perfect for everyday sewing projects. Can sew clothes, home décor items, and many more.
Vintage and old sewing machines. Used for decorative or collection purposes.
Perfect for sewing knits and finished edges
Straight and decorative
Excellent for everyday sewing projects. Can sew clothes, home décor items, and many more.
Intended to sew embroidery on fabric
Each industrial sewing machine is intended for one specific purpose.
Want to know more about some other sewing machines? Read our article on,
5 Factors To Consider When Buying Different Types Of Sewing Machines
A sewing machine is a key tool in making clothing, which means that choosing the right one can make or break your career as a seamstress.
How do you choose? With all types of sewing machine models out there—from basic to advanced—it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options.
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be hard to tell if the machine you’re considering is right for your needs.
Don’t worry! We’ve got your back with this section on factors to consider while buying different types of sewing machines.
Let’s take a look.
One of the first factors to consider when buying different types of sewing machines is your usage type. Before shortening some machines, you should assess your usage type.
If you are a professional, you’ll require a different sewing machine than the ones that can just be used as a hobby.
We saw above that each type of sewing machine is used for a specific purpose. If you have identified your usage type, you should be able to differentiate between the machines.
If you are someone who is going to do a lot of embroidery and quilting, you need to buy a sewing machine that supports embroidery and quilting at the best levels.
If you end up buying a machine without considering your usage type, you’ll not enjoy working with it, and you’ll have to change the machine very soon.
There are numerous stitch options available in sewing machines, and as you advance on your sewing journey of how to sew clothes, bags, pants, etc., you’ll use multiple stitch options. For the basics, you should choose a sewing machine that can support the below-discussed stitch options.
- Zig Zag Stitch
- Just like the name indicates, a zig-zag stitch is a basic stitch that goes back and forth on your cloth and leaves behind a zig-zag pattern after stitching. This stitch is used to stitch stretchable fabrics and join fabric pieces on a temporary basis or even reinforce an existing stitch.
- Zig Zag Stitch
- Straight Stitch
- A straight stitch is one of the most basic stitches in the sewing industry. Every sewing machine comes with this preset option, and it is synonymous with basic stitching.
- Straight Stitch
- Buttonhole Stitch
- To have a button, you need to have a buttonhole, and that’s where a buttonhole stitch comes into the picture. Buttonhole stitch is required to create an opening for buttons.
- Buttonhole Stitch
- Blind Hem
- Hems are the most common items that people stitch in their homes. It is common to have a loose or torn hem, and a sewing machine that can make a blind hem stitch is very important. This stitching option allows you to make hem stitches that cannot be seen from the outside.
- Blind Hem
- Stretch Stitch
- As the name suggests, a stretch stitch is a type of stitch used to make stitches that support stretching. It is a basic stitch, and almost everyone needs to make one, so ensure that your shortlisted sewing machine assists in making a stretch stitch.
- Stretch Stitch
Mechanical or Computerized
Image Source: Sewing And Quilting Club
Today sewing machines are way more advanced than they used to be, and it is visible in the feature options that are available in new-age machines. Mechanical or computerized is a factor you should consider while choosing a new sewing machine.
Computerized sewing machines are much more advanced and provide new-age features. The machine can be programmed to perform specific stitches and save your preferences well, so you don’t have to configure the sewing machine every time.
Mechanical sewing machines provide reliability and the authentic feeling of sewing machines.
These are much light-weight and easy to carry around. Mechanical machines do not require any electrical connections so you can work with them from anywhere.
If you are a beginner who wants to learn sewing at the very best, buying a mechanical sewing machine might be a good choice.
If you are looking just to get the work done and not get into many details, a computerized sewing machine that can be configured as per your needs is the better option.
Budget is one of the most influential factors in any purchase decision. You may love an expensive machine, which can provide all the features you need now and in the future, but you may not be able to buy it because of budget constraints.
While you shortlist sewing machines for your next purchase, decide on a budget and try to stick to it. Going over the budget for just fancy features, you’ll not need useless and bad choices.
A sewing machine can cost anywhere between $100 to $1000 and more, and the features change based on the price you spend.
Always try to have a budget before buying your sewing machine and shortlist those options that fit within the range.
Service and Warranty of the Machine
The machine’s service and warranty are other important things you should consider while buying a sewing machine. The machine’s warranty will allow you to use it stress-free and provide you with easy and almost cost-free repairs for a long time.
Having plenty of service centers of the machine’s brand ensures you can visit the nearest service center whenever there is any issue.
Sewing Machine Types And Uses: FAQs
Sewing machines continue to improve at a rapid rate more than 150 years after the first one was designed. Each type of machine has its own set of advantages.
You’ll want to choose the ideal sewing machine for your purposes, which may include knowing a little bit about each difference in sewing machines.
Here are some excellent FAQs regarding sewing machine type and uses:
What is a Sewing Machine?
A sewing machine is a device used for making beautiful stitches in fabric. It consists of a needle and a hook that moves up and down in the bed of the machine.
A bobbin holds thread, which is wound onto it by turning a hand wheel or lever. The bobbin is attached to the underside of the needle by means of an arm called a hook shuttle, which moves up and down as the needle does.
Who and When Invented Sewing Machines?
The first sewing machine was launched by Englishman Thomas Saint, who received a patent for his invention in 1790.
What is the Difference Between a Mechanical Sewing Machine and an Electronic Sewing Machine?
Mechanical sewing machines use metal cams to push the fabric through the needle, while electronic machines use motors to power the feeder.
How Do I Know Which Type of Sewing Machine is Best for Me?
There are several factors that should be considered when choosing a sewing machine: what you will be using it for (sewing clothes or repairing furniture), whether or not you have any previous experience with this type of machine or other types of machines like it (like a serger), how often you plan on using it (if at all), whether or not you’re looking for something portable so you can take your work on-the-go or something more stationary where there’s plenty of room to work with no distractions from other people/animals/etc. Nearby).
Can a Sewing Machine Sew Leather?
Yes, but you may have to adjust the tension and needle. The thicker the leather, the higher the tension needs to be.
Image Source: GUR Sewing Machines
You can also use an industrial sewing machine with an adjustable presser foot and pressure foot feed system.
Are Buying Old/Vintage Sewing Machines Worth It?
It depends on how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re looking for something that will last a long time and hold up under heavy use, it’s worth it!
Sewing machines have been around since the first half of the 1800s, and they’ve changed a lot since then. There are so many different types of sewing machines that it would be impossible to cover them all in one article!
We hope this guide has helped you understand the basics of what makes up a sewing machine.
Make sure you consider a sewing machine that meets your needs. The type of machine you choose will depend on your intended use and budget.
Some sewing machine models are designed to be used for specific purposes, such as quilting or embroidery. Others are designed for use on different types of fabric, such as silk or denim.