Different Types of Sewing Machines Used for Hemming Operation in Garments

Hemming is a very common operation in making garments. The finished edges like the bottom opening and sleeve opening of a garment are called hem. The process of making the hem is known as hemming.

Like the bottom hemming of a shirt, and the sleeve hemming of T-shirts. Hemming is done by folding the edge and stitching by a sewing machine. Edge folding might be single-folded or double-folded.

Fig-1: Hemming in shirt bottom and shirt sleeve

In mass production, almost all kind of hemming operation is done by using industrial sewing machines. So what types of machines are used for hemming different apparel products? 

In this post, I will tell you the names of the sewing machines you can use for hemming operations.

Machines used for hemming operation 

1. Flatlock sewing machine (2/3 Needle Flatlock):

Normally, 2-needle flat lock stitching machines are used for hemming knit products for both bottom hemming and sleeve hemming. This machine is also known as a cover edge machine. See the example of T-shirt bottom hem and T-shirt sleeve hem. A 3-needle flat lock machine is also used for this operation in knit products.

Fig-2: Sleeve hem is done by using a flatlock machine

Fig-3: Flatlock machine

2. Lock stitch machine:

For woven products like shirts, blouses, uniforms, and skirts bottom hemming is done by using a single needle lock stitch machine. Normally, an attachment (hemmer) is used for the bottom hemming operation. 

This attachment improves the quality of the operation and accuracy in maintaining hem width.

Fig-4: Lock stitch machine

3. Overlock machine:

If it is not a folded hem only serging of the bottom opening is done with an edge stitch machine.
For example, the trousers leg opening is edge stitched (serge) by overlock machines. Learn more about an overlock machine.

Fig-5: Overlock machine

In case hemming is done in a garment following are the alternative options for cleaning edges. Attaching ribs by overlock machine in sleeve and bottom.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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