Sewing Machines Selection Criteria

Since the invention of the first working sewing machine during the industrial revolution by Englishman Thomas Saint, it has been able to continuously upgrade itself from a mechanical to a computerized machine, greatly improving both productivity and efficiency. At present, we have hundreds of varieties of sewing machines as an option and choosing between them seems a lot harder. But each of the buyers will have his/her reason for buying a sewing machine. 

In this topic, we are going to discuss the various factors that need to be considered before buying a sewing machine. I am going to categorize by the place where machines will be used and relate the factors accordingly.

Selection of Industrial Sewing machines

Industrial sewing machines are the most used sewing machines in the world. Machines performing straight stitch, zigzag stitch, serger, flatlock, buttonhole and button attachment are the most common used one. For buying an industrial sewing machine one should consider the following criteria. 
sewing machine image
Jeans waistband attaching machine

1. The quality of sewing provided by the machine should be a very important criteria that is to be looked upon buying a sewing machine. The machine can be sophisticated but if it does not provide a consistent quality stitch, in the long run, it would prove to be inefficient.

2. The speed of the machine in rpm (rotations per minute) is another important criterion as it determines the production that the machine is capable of. In industry, the skill level of the operator is very high as a result of which they are able to operate machines at high speed.

3. The budget also becomes a factor since a number of machines having different functionality have to be bought from a pre-determined budget.

4. Specialty becomes an important factor as in industries most projects are subdivided into various operations and having a single machine tuned for a particular operation increases the production efficiency many folds. This can be checked by choosing machines which are compatible with various types of attachments.

5. Machine complexity should also be checked as most of the operators may not be able to understand the computerized machine on the first go. If given, then separate training may be needed.

6. Good quality heavy duty machine is also a must since all the machines will be operated throughout the shift orders after orders and having a bad quality machine will only add to increased repair and maintenances cost.

7. Warranty is also essential and machines with more warranty period should always be preferred.

8. Versatility is not preferred so much as most of the time for mass production basic stitch types like straight, zigzag, etc is only used and moreover, it compromises with the speed of the machine.

Selection of the home sewing machines.

Home sewing machines are bought by people who sew as a hobby or having a small-scale tailoring shop. Their selection criteria become completely changed as they have a different objective for sewing. The sewing becomes more focused on

1. Stitching Quality: The reasons are the same as above as it is a thing which cannot be compromised over.

2. The speed of the machines is also an important criterion as most often a beginner must operate the machine for the first time. So, a machine with adjustable speed should always be preferred.

3. The budget should also be seen. A costlier machine would have all sort of functionality performing various types of stitches including those of decorative stitch also. But then again this question has to be asked whether such machines will be required or not since ninety-nine percent of the time basic sewing stitches can be enough for the project.

4. Versatility can be preferred as home projects often include various decorative things for which having a machine with numerous sewing options is most preferable.
home sewing machine image
Home sewing machine 

5. Machines should be selected such that it is compatible with different types of attachment like feed dog for different types of stitches.

6. Good quality heavy duty machines are always preferable along with portability since people will always look for comfort in the home environment and the machine is also expected to be able to portable.

7. Warranty and serviceability also become an important factor as an individual may not be able to service it by himself/herself. Most machines give a warranty of 25 years and such machines should always be selected. Machines can also be available online both new and used. Through online often the prices are low but it won’t provide with the serviceability. For buying in online precautions must be taken by selecting the product with the highest positive review.

General guidelines for sewing machine selection

Apart from the above list, there are some general procedure that always has to do before buying new machines
  1. Think upon the long-term and short-term objectives with the machine before buying.
  2. Always look at different makes, research on your available options, talk with people to know how they will rate the machines and in what criteria.
  3. Always ask for a total demonstration.
  4. Always try the machine before buying, get to the feel of the machine. This is very much essential for all the home sewers as it would be their own personal machine and they can become comfortable with it.
  5. Take samples of the type of fabric which is usually sewn on(the fabric used in the shop are easily handled and gives a smooth finish on any machines).
  6. Ask for to sew in a very thick seam and look for ay defect and abnormalities in the machine while sewing.
  7. Not necessary to buy the most expensive machine, selecting machines should always be upon the requirement of the sewn to be done.
  8. Machine manufactured in Europe will be costlier than that in eastern countries.
  9. Ask for the range of accessories to be kept for stock.
  10. Ask for the various types of functionality the machine will provide in terms of various types of stitches.
  11. Check for the portability of the machine.
About the Author: Soumyadeep Saha is a graduate in Apparel Production and is currently pursuing his Master degree in Fashion Technology from NIFT, New Delhi. He is interested in Quality Assurance.

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