No problem, but there are a few questions you must ask yourself before handing over any cash. There are many different sewing machine manufacturers, with many different types of machines, all with various sub-classes, produced to cater for thousands of different applications. So making a few notes before venturing out into the market place will make life a lot easier.
- Make a note of the type and range of products that you intend to manufacture. – Clothing, What type? : Canvas, Flat sheet or tentage ? : Sails, Light weight or Heavy
- The type and thickness of the material that you wish to use. – Cotton, Nylon, Polyester ? : Stretch or Non Stretch ?
- The type and thickness of the thread that you wish to use. – Nylon, Polyester, Polyester / Cotton ? : Size M120, Size M75, Size M12 ?
These are a few simple questions to ask yourself but they can have an enormous effect on the machine that is suitable for your needs. Think of it like this you can buy a car; a city car, which is fine for the city but wouldn’t last a day going ” off road “, or alternatively you could buy a family saloon, just don’t try to race it F1 style at Brands Hatch. Sewing machines are the same, buy the correct machine for the application and life will be a lot easier.
- How can I ensure I get the right machine?
- Visit or talk to a dealer that specialises in industrial sewing machines.
- Take samples of your intended product, some of the materials, and thread that you wish to use.
- Ask questions.
- Get a demonstration of the machine, if possible using your materials and threads.
Can I use this thread with this machine ?
The sewing machine is a device that manipulates thread to create a stitch. If you try to use a light weight thread in a machine that is designed for heavy thread, it will be unlikely to work. The same applies if you try to sew with heavy weight thread in a machine that is designed for light weight thread.
Will it sew this material ?
Most machines can handle most materials within reason, if configured correctly, but the right type of machine for the job will make life a lot easier, and inevitably increase production. i.e. If you are trying to sew materials that stretch then a zig zag may be of benefit. If the material is heavy, like vinyl/canvas, or sticky, like rubber or PVC, or has large bumps or joins, then a machine with needle feed / walking feet, or a combination of both may be necessary. If there are long seams, maybe a machine with a puller feed.
- What is a needle positioning motor?
Industrial sewing machines are normally driven by two very different types of motor. The clutch motor and the needle positioning motor.
The clutch motor has a mechanism operated by the foot pedal, to engage and disengage a mechanical clutch, which in turn provides the drive to start and stop the machine.
A needle positioning motor is electronically controlled, and offers the ability to provide a variety of extra functions. The main function is needle positioning. The motor can be configured to make the machine stop with the needle either in the work, or out of the work, which eliminates the need for the operator to manually position the needle using the hand wheel when turning a corner or removing work. Other options available are electronic digital control of the sewing speed or automatic back tacking at the start or end of a seam.
- How much are the machines?
How long is a piece of string ?
A basic single needle, flatbed, lockstitch machine for clothing should start at about £ 400.00, for upholstery with the addition of walking feet, £ 750.00 to £ 3,500.00 and for more specialised machines £ 2,000, £ 10,000, £ 25,000, £ 50,000, there really is no limit