In memory of my grandfather Theodore
Very different natural factors influence on a human body during a lifetime. We are cold from frost and wind in winter; it is hot from heat in summer. In order to minimize the influence of these factors, people use different adaptations. One of the main among them can be considered such a banal element of our existence as clothing. Earlier clothes were sewn by hands, but mechanics is much more effective. Well, this post will be about which sewing machine is the best for choosing for beginners.
The history of a sewing machine dates back to the late 18th century. At that time, the efficiency of such device did not differ much from hand sewing, but it was already mechanization. During centuries of development machines from hand-made smoothly switched to electromechanical, and now to electronically-computerized.
Let’s consider in more detail the modern sewing machine features:
1. Types of sewing machines.
At the moment it is possible to distinguish three different types of sewing machines: mechanical (hand/foot drive, etc.), electromechanical, computerized.
We will not talk about mechanical (non-electric) machines (for example, a hand-drive sewing machine) that sew through the use of the physical strength of a seamstress, since most of them are already in the category of museum exhibits.
An electric sewing machine is a machine in which the sewing process is carried out using electric energy and a number of special mechanisms, but under the full control of an operator.
A computerized sewing machine with processor differs from electromechanical so that the working process in them is controlled mainly not by human, but by a control program. Such machines are similar in nature, for example, with multi-cookers, where the work of a device is also regulated by a special microprocessor.
The advantage of computerized sewing machines is that they can perform much more operations, including decorative ones. Such devices may even make embroidery, but they cost about 1,5-2 times more expensive than electromechanical ones.
When buying a machine, the choice of its type should be done based on your needs.
If you will use 5-6 types of stitches – you will not need a computerized machine, but if you want to do mainly a decorative sewing – choose this particular type.
2. Types of sewing shuttle.
The lockstitch itself was a separate invention, which became the basis for most modern models.
Vertically-swinging, horizontal and vertical rotational shuttles can be found in household machines.
Types of sewing machine shuttle:
- Horizontal shuttle
- Vertical rotary shuttle
- Vertical swinging shuttle
Let’s get acquainted with each of them closer:
A vertical swinging shuttle was the first of its siblings. Already, its name indicates that during the working process, such a shuttle swings from right to left. Most low-cost models of sewing machines (somewhere around $ 100) have installed just such a shuttle.
A horizontal shuttle. The features of this shuttle can also be judged by its name – it is located horizontally to the plane of sewing. A horizontal shuttle is considered more modern, it has a slightly higher sew speed and it works quieter. A horizontal shuttle most often is installed in machines of the middle and higher price segment.
A sewing machine vertical rotary shuttle is a certain symbiosis of the two above-mentioned types – it has a vertical arrangement, but it does not swing, but rotates. Such shuttle type is installed in the most expensive models of household sewing machines, and very often used in industrial machines.
When you need to buy the best sewing machine – choose a shuttle based on the following considerations:
For the infrequent use in most domestic tasks a vertical swinging shuttle is quite enough. The difference in quality/velocity/noisiness of such a shuttle with a horizontal one in modern models is small.
If you have high demands on the quality of sewing and noisiness of work – choose a machine with a horizontal shuttle.
If you want to choose a sewing machine for a small workshop – buy a model with a vertical rotational shuttle.
3. Motor power.
Sewing machines motors power does not play such a role as, for example, in meat grinders.
Most sewing machines have a motor power from 60 to 100 watts.
However, the thickness of the material, which you can sew, depends on the motor power.
Figures are not very large, but the difference between a machine with a power of 80 Watts and 60 Watts is 33.3%, and this is already serious.
Models with a motor power of 70-80 watts can be recommended.
4. Number of stitches (lines).
Basically, sewing machines stitches number is an indicator that distinguishes between different types of machines.
You can often find from 12 to 32 different types of stitches in electromechanical sewing machines, in computerized – from 40 to 400.
The best professional sewing machine can have 500 or even more stitches.
The types of stitches on a sewing machine are drawn on its body and specified in the instructions in most cases.
So, you will need to see how much and which stitches you really need and then you have to choose a good sewing machine based on this.
It is possible to recommend paying special attention to the presence of overlock, elastic and knitted stitches. For example, sewing machine with overlocking will help you to simulate overlock and knitting, although it will still not reach the true overlock.
5. Features of buttonholer processing.
Modern models of sewing machines can handle buttonholer on clothes. This process can be made in automatic or semi-automatic modes, respectively each device can be with one of these modes.
A semi-automatic buttonholer is made in 4 operations – the upper fastening – one side – the lower fastening – the other side. Each operation must be switched in the control panel.
All this is done in one operation, without switching, in full automatic buttonholer machine.
In principle, it seems that the differences are not critical if you do a few buttonholers once a year. However, if you regularly sew clothes with buttons – the full automatic buttonholer machine will simply be necessary.
6. Number of sewing feet.
For different sewing operations, you need to use different types of sewing machines feet.
Some of them are included in the kit, although additional can always be bought.
It is desirable that the kit should contain at least the following quick-change sewing machines feet:
- Universal foot
- Buttonholer foot
- Zipper foot
- Blind stitch foot.
7. Additional features.
The following parameters of sewing machines can be attributed to this category:
- Presence of presser foot adjusting – this feature will help to better sew materials of different thickness;
- Automatic needle shrinkage – this “feature” will be especially useful to people who have bad eyesight;
- Backlighting of a working surface – almost all types of machines allows you to improve the lighting in a work area with LED now;
- Automatic thread pruning – helps to work without scissors;
- Automatic winding of bobbin – it helps very much to wind a bobbin for a shuttle;
- Sewing machine case. Such a case will help you to store a device and sewing accessories better. If it is not included – you can sew your own.
I would like to say a couple of words about that a sewing machine is a working device with many knots and it requires a regular care and lubrication.
Models with a vertical shuttle need a regular lubrication particularly.
For these purposes it is better to use special oil for sewing machines.
As for manufacturers, I personally like the models of such sewing machines manufacturers as Singer, Brothers, Janome and Husqvarna.
Well, now I hope you’ll know better how to choose a new home electric sewing machine.