Monday, August 15, 2011

Industrial Sewing Machines 101 - Part 1

I just nearly fell off my chair!! Someone is saying that industrial sewing machines chew wraps?? That is one of the funniest things I have EVER read!!!! What do they hem wraps with?? What do they make the Hopp and Storch 1/2 buckles with? Time to dis-spell some 'myths' that are being created by mistake (Im sure).

It has to do with your needle. Any machine that has improper weight needles will chew through anything - chiffon OR denim! That is, of course, when we are talking domestics. That does come into play with industrials BUT you need to make sure that you (first and foremost) have a machine that suits your needs. Industrial machines are built with a specific application in mind and simply do not perform well in other applications. Its quite unfair to lump them all into the one category - just like domestic machines!

Also, Wrap fabric really IS only fabric. Yes, it is special, yes we love it, but in the grand scheme of things it is fabric and sewing machines are made to sew fabric.

Now, Vintage machines are in fact very nearly industrial - they fall into a domestic heavy category. I have a collection of vintage machines and yes I love them but for me I am a professional and I choose to use professional machines. If you ask just about anyone else in the industry what they use, you will find that they end up with industrials. Domestics just DO NOT HAVE THE POWER to sew through the layers I sew through.

Anyone worth their salt would investigate their options. Like anything, different sewing machines serve different purposes. My Juki is a dressmakers machine, designed to sew anything from chiffon to heavy denim. Which is classed as light to medium. Although we class canvas as heavy weight it really isnt in the 'industrial' world. Shade sails, tents, annexes are considered heavy weight and then there are even heavier applications that industrials cover. Machine models are made with a specific purpose in mind, and they serve that purpose extremely well but only that purpose, IYKWIM. Domestics are designed to fulfill many purposes but not all purposes proficiently.I love my Juki - it is so amazing. I am able to sew through many layers with complete ease, and it is 100% stress free. My stitches are perfect, and it has just made my life so much easier. And because my machine is ideal for MY purpose, it sews through wrap fabric beautifully and with complete ease.

It is such a shame when people say that any machine doesnt suit their needs. It means that they haven't had the right information to base their choice/opinions on. As I said, ALL industrial machines are built for a specific purpose, but it is incredibly hard to find information out there. There just isnt any. I was lucky and had the advice of three very experienced people (an ex seamstress who did piece work for years, and two mechanics, one that solely works on industrial sewing machines/bartack machines/buttonholers/bag closers/ etc you get the picture), and they led me in the right direction.

I absolutely research every option when considering a new machine to add to my collection. I LOVE SEWING MACHINES! I am well versed in vintage style cam machines, and sure they are lovely. I have three vintage cam machines of my own, one is a total pain in the ass, the other is amazing and in mint condition, and the third burnt its own motor out while being haunted by some poltergeist (it needed a bypass in the pedal to make it function in Australia). I have my heavy domestic Elna which is AMAZING (some peeps call the semi industrial but they arent), and she does all my decorative work (did I mention that I love her!?).

I just wanted to throw some of those well-meaning but uninformed ideas out the window :).

Stay tuned for Part 2 :P

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