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All About Sewing Machines – Research and Review

Sewing Machine

A machine that uses thread to stitch fabric and other materials together is called a sewing machine. The main purpose behind the invention of sewing machines was to decrease the amount of manual sewing work performed by workers of several companies. The credit to the invention of the first working sewing machine goes The English Inventor and Cabinet Maker, Thomas Saint in the year 1970. It is not known whether Saint really manufactured a working model of his creation. The patent depicts a bit that punched a gap in calfskin and went a needle through the gap. A later propagation of Saint’s creation in light of his patent drawings did not work.

In 1810, German, Balthasar Krems imagined a programmed machine for sewing tops. Krems did not patent his development and it never worked well.

Austrian tailor, Josef Madersperger made a few endeavours at developing a machine for sewing and was issued a patent in 1814. The majority of his endeavours were viewed as unsuccessful.

In 1804, a French patent was conceded to Thomas Stone and James Henderson for “a machine that copied hand sewing.” That same year a patent was allowed to Scott John Duncan for a “weaving machine with various needles.” Both innovations fizzled and were soon overlooked by the general population.

In 1818, the principal American sewing machine was imagined by John Adams Doge and John Knowles. Their machine neglected to sew any helpful measure of texture before breaking down. The categories of sewing machines can be broadly divided into two streams, namely, Industrial Sewing machines and Home Sewing Machines.

Though further details on the over said terms will be provided as we move ahead.

The textile industry has grown in ways unimaginable. As vast as it gets are the lengths of the industry. But, what we should not forget is that, the very growth of today’s global scale industry started from nowhere but just a piece of thread and a needle. Yes indeed, these two are the most essential part of the dynasty.

Though in earlier times, only people were seen sewing or stitching clothes. But with the passage of time came a revolution which introduced machinery in the world of clothes which made the world even brighter.

The stories of the first sewing machines however lack the aura of success. The cause of this failure was odd, the inventors tried to develop machines that could mimic the motion of hands but it never worked.

The breakthrough finally struck in the year 1830, when Barthelemy Thimonnier (1793 – 1857) a French embroiderer invented a machine, rather an embroidery machine that adopted a traditional yet modified hooked embroidery needle. It had a hook near the point of the needle to sew basic and easy chain stitches. Though the machine was not up to the mark for the stitches it made were too weak to produce strong seams. This went on for some time, for in every few years, someone else would come up with a better model of the machine, but none of them achieved perfection soon enough.

Top 5 Most Popular Merrow Sewing Machines

Merrow sewing machines are hand built to the highest quality standards in the sewing industry. The company manufactures over 360 models for industrial and home use. If you are looking for a high performance machine that is built to last, look no further than Merrow sewing machines. Some of them are designed delicate garments such as lingerie and satin clothing, while others can sew wool, fleece, jersey, tricot, denim, linen, and synthetic fabrics.

Here are top five most popular Merrow sewing machines for industrial and home use:

Merrow 18A

This sewing machine has been refined over its nearly century long existence. Merrow 18A sews at speeds of up to 1400 RPM and requires very little downtime. It can be used at home, as well as in large production facilities. You can use this machine to edge pillows, blankets, mittens, hats, and shawls. Merrow 18A is designed to operate longer than any other machine in its class. Its components are handcrafted and hand built.

Merrow M-3DW

Merrow M-3DW overlock sewing machine sews a tight edge or seam on lightweight to medium weight fabrics. Its operating speed can reach 5500 RPM. The stitch is uniform and can be used to provide accent. This sewing machine uses Merrow’s cam-driven technology to sew quietly and smoothly. Millions of people from all over the world use this machine for its remarkable durability and fast, quiet operation. Merrow M-3DW is also used in factories.

Merrow 72-D3B-2

Merrow 72-D3B-2 is an innovative machine featuring three feed dogs for superior fabric handling, an extended cutting system, and an improved dust shield. This machine can be used not only for sewing, but for many other operations such as pad and steam dyeing, scouring, mercerizing, steaming, slitting, singeing, and shrinking (sanforizing). This unit is hand assembled using premium steel parts within the traditional Merrow cast iron frame. The machine is suitable for both home and industrial use.

Merrow MG-3Q-3

This high speed machine can be used anywhere an accent on a garment is required, from baby blankets and children clothes to athletic socks, burp cloths, and fleece lined baby jeans. This machine produces the most beautiful stitch for garment edges. Users can vary the color and appearance of the shells and sew a wide range of materials, from woven to fleece.

Merrow MB-4DFO

This revolutionary sewing machine was released in 2012. You can use it on protective combat uniforms, merino wool hiking pants, running jerseys, cycling jerseys, and base layer activewear. This new model uses Merrow’s unique barrel cam architecture to sew more consistently and precisely than other machines.

Sewing Machine FAQs

A sewing machine is a device which manipulates thread to form a stitch.

What are the uses of a sewing machine?

The uses of a sewing machine are stitching garments, leather, green house covers, car covers, parachute, canvas, bags etc.

What are the two types of sewing machines used?

The two types of sewing machines are household sewing machine and industrial sewing machine.

What is an Industrial sewing machine?

Industrial sewing machines are used by textile manufacturers and customers who need a faster and professional job.

What are the differences between industrial and household sewing machines?

An Industrial sewing machine is faster and performs perfect stitches. They can perform only one operation at a time. While a household sewing machine can perform a straight stitch, a zig-zag, sew on a button or make a button hole with all operations built into the machine.

Whether a sewing machine can stitch heavy weight materials such as canvas etc.?

Yes, a sewing machine can stitch heavy weight materials such as canvas by using needle feed or walking feet or a combination of both with the sewing machine.

What are the classifications of sewing machines?

Sewing machines can be classified according to its usage. Its classification includes computerized sewing machines, embroidery sewing machines etc.

What are the names of companies who are famous in the market of sewing machine?

The companies which are popular in the production of sewing machines are Singer, Pfaff, White, Brother etc.

How can a sewing machine be purchased?

A new sewing machine can be purchased anywhere once the model is finalized by the customer. But a used sewing machine is best purchased from a trusted dealer. Dealers must have showroom and demonstration facilities.

How can one ensure about the right sewing machine?

By talking and asking questions to a local dealer of sewing machines. One can also get a free demonstration from the dealer.

What are the important points to be asked to the dealer while purchasing a sewing machine?

The important points to be asked to the dealer while purchasing a sewing machine are:

Are parts readily available?

Whether the dealer provides local service?

Whether the dealer maintains the list of customers who purchase sewing machine from them?

Whether the dealer provides any guide or video tape for learning the usage of sewing machine?

Five Tips to Buying a Sewing Machine

Whether you are buying a sewing machine for yourself or as a gift, you will need to ask yourself some questions to be a more informed consumer. Here are 5 tips to purchasing a sewing machine:

  1. Budget. Decide on how much you want to spend. The caveat is that if you spend too little, the machine will be worthless and you will never be able to get the sewing done you want. What’s too low a price? Do not purchase anything less than $100 new. Budgeting $200 will give you a good, basic machine. Sometimes you can find good machines used or refurbished for under $100. That would be fine, just don’t buy a “cheap” machine new.
  2. Sewing Requirement Level. Is this machine for a beginner? Or someone who only needs basic functions for simple sewing and mending? If so, look at the mechanical and more simple electronic sewing machines. Is this machine for someone who is going to run a small business or teach sewing? Look at the commercial grade, or industrial sewing machines. Is this machine for an advanced crafts person? Check out the embroidery and sewing combination machines. Is this machine for a professional tailor? Consider getting a serger as well.
  3. Don’t over purchase. The vast majority of sewing machine owners never use the multitude of fancy stitches available on their machines. A few extra decorative stitches is usually fine. Be sure that zig-zag stitch and some way of making buttonholes is available if the machine is going to be used for garment construction.
  4. Look for included accessories. Presser feet attachments, lint cleaning brushes, and the right machine oil can help you get the job done right. If you can find the same machine with accessories for the same price, get that one.
  5. Read the reviews. This is the age of the internet, even if sewing machines still need us to sit down next to them to do the mending. Read the reviews of the machine model you are thinking of purchasing. Pay careful attention if the same complaint comes up over and over again.
  6. Read the user manual. Many of the user manuals are available online, and you can download them to read. Make sure that the instructions make sense to you, because they are often what can make or break your experience.

Once you get your sewing machine delivered, re-read that user manual. Follow the instructions the first time through, even if you are an experienced operator. You’ll find it will save you time and frustration to just follow the instructions that come with the machine.

If you are purchasing a sewing machine as a gift, all of these points are exactly the same, just ask yourself from the point of reference of the gift recipient. And remember, don’t purchase a new machine under $100. You may be the lucky one to find one that stands up to decent use, but most of the really “cheap” sewing machines are too cheap to last with normal use.

A Brief History of Sewing Machines

Initially, sewing machines were manufactured for garment factory production lines, allowing for clothing to become uniformly mass-produced. It was French tailor Barthelemy Thimonnier who invented the first functioning sewing machine in 1830 for use in his garment factory.

This original machine used only one thread and a hooked needle for a chain stitch. His factory was burnt down and he was nearly killed by an angry mob of French tailors who were afraid his machines would leave them unemployed. A few years later in America, Walter Hunt shared the same fears, and abandoned the work to patent his own version of a straight-seam sewing machine. The fears were unfounded, as industrial sewing machines created multiple job opportunities worldwide.

Modern garment factories incorporate the same mass production techniques as other industries, with each workstation completing one part of the overall job. Industrial sewing machines are generally designed to perform one specific sewing function such as embroidery. Machines with different functions are operated to complete clothing items in a production line. Marketing to individuals didn’t begin until 1889, allowing for women to have the means to create clothing for their family without the labor-intensive hand stitching. The domestic sewing machine used in the home is manufactured to perform many tasks from sewing straight or zigzag stitches and the creation of buttonholes, as well as stitching buttons on to the piece of clothing.

Industrial sewing machines, like their domestic counterparts for the home, were created to simplify and speed up the otherwise labor-intensive hand stitching. The domestic sewing machine is manufactured to perform many tasks from sewing straight or zigzag stitches and the creation of buttonholes, as well as stitching buttons on to the piece of clothing. Sewing machines were adapted for use in industrial settings, allowing for clothing to become uniformly mass-produced. The industrial sewing machines are generally designed to perform a specific sewing function such as embroidery or applying buttonholes. Companies from all over the world manufacture industrial sewing machines with very basic features as well as higher-end computer operated models.

A variety of machines with different functions are operated to complete clothing items in a production line. A few examples would be a Bag Closer sewing machine which is used for sewing a single thread chain-stitch, a high-speed plain sewer is used for stitching seems and double needle machines are used for adding top stitching details to items like jeans.

Walking foot machines are invaluable for quilting and sewing coats, as it keeps the fabric moving along without bunching and making for a smoother and faster production. Overlock serger sewing machines, which are also available in smaller versions for the home, create the whipped V stitch along the edge of a seam of T-shirts and other stretchable fabrics.

Purse Making 101: How to Choose Your Sewing Machine

The first thing you can consider when looking for a sewing machine for making a purse is the level of sewing are you looking at. Is it for fun or are you starting a business? If it’s for just the casual purse making venture then you may want to purchase a good home machine. If your sewing pursuits are more on the profit-making side, an industrial machine is highly recommended.

Your First Sewing Machine

If this is your first machine don’t be timid about choosing one with power. You should have a machine that has power to sew a variety of fabrics. Home machines vary greatly in this. The less expensive models are generally a little low on power so they sew very s-l-o-w-l-y. Though you may want to start with this as a beginner you will find that you quickly out grow this machine and would be looking to invest in a more powerful one in no time. To avoid this frustration it is recommended that you invest in a model that can move. Perhaps even a portable commercial machine is worth considering.

What Kind of Sewing Machine Will You Need?

While you can sew a bag with a flat-bed machine, a cylinder arm machine allows you to get into places a flatbed dare not venture. It is not important to have a great amount of features on your machine, but as you develop in your skill you may like to have the fancy accessories and added benefits. The top needs of your machine are:

  • A good sturdy straight stitch
  • Back stitch or reverse capabilities
  • A means to make button holes
  • A zigzag stitch
  • A great presser foot (adjustable)
  • speed/power

While these features may be standard on most home machines, an industrial or commercial machine may be great for speed and heavy-duty stitching but low on the other features unless you invest in the attachments. It’s a good idea to shop around to various dealers to see the variety of machine available and test a sample of the type fabric you will be using.

When looking for a new sewing machine get advice from a local sewing machine repairman. He’s usually aware of what’s on the market, their functions and the availability of parts for a particular machine. He may also be able to direct you to a one that is excellent for sewing bags.

Although most of us would rather have a brand new out of the box machine, many times it is better to invest in a used or refurbished commercial sewing machine that will last you a lifetime. Industrial sewing machine dealers generally offer warranties on their used machines. So all in all if you have the space, the funds and the desire to sew purses you may want to just cut to the chase and purchase a good industrial sewing machine.

Sewing Machines: A Brief History of the Merrow Sewing Machine Company

Founded in 1838, The Merrow Machine Company is a leading manufacturer of sewing machines. The company was established by Mr. Joseph Merrow, a gunpowder manufacturer. Today Merrow is one of the largest and most popular suppliers of textile sewing equipment and industrial sergers. The company not only creates quality overlock machines, but customizes them for specific applications. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world are using Merrow sewing machines for their reliability and uncompromised quality.

The Merrow Machine Company has evolved from a knitting mill to the world’s largest manufacturer of overlock machines. Mr. Joseph Merrow became interested in manufacturing gunpowder and built a powder mill in the early 19th century. The mill was destroyed by an explosion in 1837, so Mr. Merrow has built a knitting factory on the same site. The factory quickly became the first business of its kind in the country.

The knitted goods were made of native wool that was sorted, picked, dyed, scoured, spun into yarn, and then knitted into hosiery. The final product was shipped to retail stores throughout New England. Sewing machines were also being created in the machine shop in conjunction with the knitting business. In 1887, a fire destroyed the knitting mill once again. In the next years, the company has focused solely on creating superior overlock machines that last longer.

In 1905, The Merrow Machine Company had agents in 35 countries. The first line of “A Class” machines was created in 1932. Joseph M. Merrow continued as president of the company until his death in 1947. A new type of sewing machine was patented in 1955. In 1964, the company expanded operations in the South by opening Franklin Industries in Georgia. The Merrow Machine Company continued to be a leading designer manufacturer, and distributor of industrial machines throughout the 20th century. Today the company is operated by brothers Charlie and Owen Merrow. Their machines wear better, last longer, and have better seams.

In 2004, this manufacturer changed its name to The Merrow Sewing Machine Company. The people who run the company are proud to continue its tradition of precision engineering and innovation in the 21st century. New models of overlock machines are built every year. In 2010, custom industrial sewing machines were added to its standard product line. The company is now based in Fall River, Massachusetts. Its customers can still order parts for machines constructed in the 1800s.