8 types of sewing machine

Types Of Sewing Machines

The number of different sewing machines is amazing to most people – they would never have imagined there were so many types of sewing machines! Then, you’ll feel a bit less overwhelmed because you know what each type does.

Are you looking for the right sewing machine? You may be having a simple sewing machine with extra bells and whistles other than the basic sewing stitches. You will realize different features, types, and capabilities to consider when purchasing a sewing machine. Suppose you want to turn your sewing hobby into a profession; you need to buy bigger and better. Moreover, you can get an industrial sewing machine or a computerized embroidery machine.

Different Types of Sewing Machines

However, many people get surprised to know that there are different types of sewing machines available in the market.  Although some sewing machines overlap, there is a difference.

The machines are classified according to features, domestic and industrial, and capabilities.

Domestic Types of Sewing Machines

types of domestic sewing machines

Domestic sewing machines are constructed from less sturdy materials like plastic. Also, they are smaller and slower when compared to industrial machines. They occupy less space, unlike the professional ones. If you don’t have much space for the unit, you can choose these types of sewing machines. Plus, they don’t stitch rigid fabrics and take much time to sew. These sewing machines include:

A) Manual Sewing Machine

The manual sewing machine is also known as a traditional sewing machine. It features a handwheel which you have to turn if you want the machine to work. However, these types of sewing machines are slower, and making clothes takes much time. Interestingly, the machine doesn’t come with a motor that can jam when sewing. It is perfect for beginners as it is simple to operate. Plus, it does not require electricity for it to work hence no inconveniences. Although many people don’t use this machine in the 21st century, it is still efficient and durable.


  • Cheaper compared to other sewing machines
  • Require low maintenance
  • Durable and long-lasting


  • It doesn’t have advanced features.
  • Finding the right setting might be difficult.

B) Mechanical Sewing Machine

This sewing machine is more advanced than a manual one. Thanks to the pedal and switch, which determines it is on or off. You can choose the length and the width of the stitch by turning the dials and knobs on the machine. It works great for beginners, and it is also affordable. You can make your simple garment with this unit, but if you want to add more embroidered details, you need a more fabulous machine.

C) Electronic Sewing Machine

The electronic machine is equipped with a foot pedal which is plugged into the power. By pressing the pedal, power goes from the motor to the needle and makes stitches. The machine has various features which make it great for purchase. For instance, the dial and buttons are fantastic features that determine the stitch to give plenty of clothes design and fit options.


  • Easy to use
  • Variety of versatile features
  • Offer more control through the foot pedal
  • Faster compared to manual machines.


  • Require frequent maintenance
  • Not durable
  • Expensive

D) Computerized Sewing Machine

A computerized sewing machine is more advanced compared to the 3 previous machines. Interestingly, the unit has come with excellent features that have changed the sewing experience. However, the significant part is that the sewing machines don’t have any dials or buttons but are equipped with an LED touch screen that helps you choose the feature you want.

Some of these machines also feature a Wi-Fi and USB feature to allow you to download designs and other features online. They are precise and don’t make any mistakes in stitch length.


  • Stitches are precise and make fewer or no mistakes
  • It has over 100 built-in stitch types
  • The LED touch screen helps select features
  • Come with Wi-Fi and USB features
  • Controls machine speedwell


  • Many brands on the market
  • Short lifespan
  • Very expensive

Types by Features

embroidery sewing machine for beginners

Other sewing machines come with versatile features. They are considered “optional” machines if you want to make clothes that look like those bought in the stores. They include:

A) Embroidery Sewing Machine

The embroidery sewing machine is known to make delicate embroidery since it is fully computerized. Amazingly, this machine is speedy and valuable because it is time-saving. It would help if you had this machine to make any of your garments unique.

In the past, people were creating embroidery using the zigzag function; however, nowadays, this unit allows you to make your latest designs.  Besides, the modern machine enables you to download designs from your laptop or phone, import them, and embroider them onto the fabric.

B) Overlocker Sewing Machine

The overlocker machine is also called Serger. You need to invest in this machine to make your clothes look like ones bought at the store. The machine sews cloth from start to finish and allows you to create mistake-free edges and great-looking seams and hems. Some people refer to it as an overedging machine, although overedging machines look different from the standard overlocker.

However, the machine comes with a cutter to cut away the fabric’s edges while creating a seam. Plus, the sewing machine is high-speed.

C) Lockstitch Sewing Machine

Although most sewing machines come with the lockstitch, there are machines designed specifically for making these stitches. The lockstitch is a standard mechanical stitch in the sewing world. The machine comes with one or two needles. With the unit’s help, you can lock two threads tighter before going through the hole made in the fabric. You enhance the durability of the clothing by locking it. Besides, this stitch is suitable for most materials and can be used both at home and in the industry. If you want to sew various clothing, you will need more options.

D) Portable Sewing Machine

The handheld machine can be found everywhere. Although it looks like a toy, it is not. If you love to travel a lot, this machine can be useful. You need to be patient to mend clothes or add a detail or two to the garment. Most people give their kids this machine to create doll clothes. The significant part is that this machine is battery-powered making sewing enjoyable.

E) Bottonholing Machine

Although buttonholes may seem alike, there are various types of them. Thus, you need to invest in a buttonholing machine for the best buttonholes. The machine features a double chain stitch zigzag or a zig-zag lockstitch. You can use this machine to make the best stitches since they can easily get distorted when washing. Since creating a proportional buttonhole with a simple device can be challenging, you can opt for this machine to firmly grip the fabric.

F) Button Attachment Machine

You can use this machine to attach the buttons to the clothing. However, the machine is not much essential if it is for domestic use. You can use it for a simple chain stitch or a lockstitch. This machine speeds up the sewing process if you cater to a lot of people.

G) Bar-Tacking Sewing Machine

Give your collars, buttonholes, or pocket opening more strength with the bar-tacking machine. Plus, the sewing machine hides any wear and tear on the garment. However, it is still optional since you can get this strength using a whip or zigzag stitch.

H) Double-Needle Sewing Machine

As the name suggests, it comes with two needles and two bobbins. It is also known as the twin needle lockstitch machine. You can use it for decorative stitching because it creates two parallel stitches at the same time. Moreover, you can adjust the distance between the stitches with this machine.

Industrial Types of Sewing Machines

industrial sewing machine price

Industrial sewing machines are designed to sew rigid fabric without experiencing wear and tear. Major components of these machines, including housing, connecting rods, gears, and body, are made from sturdy materials like iron and aluminum. This makes them more tough, robust, and durable.

Moreover, the machine is equipped with high-quality and advanced features allowing you to choose different options, unlike the domestic sewing machines. Plus, the machines are more extensive and also very expensive. They tend to be faster than domestic machines and incredible nowadays with the ever-changing fashion trends.

The “bed type” is what makes these machines so different from the home sewing machines. Thus, you can perform more elaborate sewing due to the type of bed they come with.  Below are some types of industrial sewing machines:

A) Flat Bed

As the name suggests, the unit is equipped with a flatbed. The machine is perfect for connecting flat fabric pieces and creating a fantastic seam. Although its design is not that different from other sewing machines, it tends to be faster and more precise.

B) Cylinder Bed

Unlike the flatbed machine, this machine comes with a cylindrical bed. That is why it is excellent for making cylindrical parts of the garments, such as cuffs. Besides, this machine is used for making shoes.  When you sew with this machine, the fabric goes over the column and under it hence making even stitch. Another exciting thing is that the machines come in various sizes, from 5 to 16 cm in diameter.

C) Post Bed

If you want to sew three-dimensional items like boots, hats, and gloves, you can invest in this post-bed machine. It will allow the seamstress to have more space for creating these things with the bed raised. With this machine, you will not have to keep adjusting the fabric all the time.

D) Of–the–Arm

The of-the-arm machine resembles the cylinder bed and also allows you to sew items, including cuffs. However, this sort of machine is rarely seen because modern machines nowadays come with this free-arm feature. For instance, you can detach a part of SINGER® 1507WC to get this feature. If you want to sew cuffs, you can easily drag the fabric under the horizontal column.

Type by Capabilities

industrial coverstitch machine

A) Blind Hemming Machine

Creating a blind hem can be difficult if you don’t use the right sewing machine. The blind hemming is explicitly designed for this sort of sewing. The machine also comes with a handy dial that turns left or right for the needle to grab fabric. However, the more material the needle grabs, the more the stitch will show. When creating a blind hem, ensure the thread matches the fabric color for the best results.

B) Chain Stitch machine

Most people use the lockstitch since it is far sturdier than the chain stitch. Nevertheless, a chain stitch machine is preferred by embroidery-loving cultures since it is used on curtains, bed linens, and upholstery. However, it doesn’t mean that chain stitch is not reliable, but it is perfect for cutting away excess fabric precisely.

C) Cycle Machine

The cycling machine works in cycles. Thus, these small and fast cycles make the tiny details on clothing. Cycle machines include label-sewing, buttonholing, bar-tracking, and button-sewing machines.

D) Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

As the name suggests, you can use these machines for “heavy lifting” in the world of sewing. The good thing about these machines is that the needles can penetrate through the thickest materials to give you both durable and robust clothing. An example of a heavy-duty machine is the Singer Heavy Duty 4452. This machine can stitch 32 different styles and can be used in all sorts of projects, including sewing jeans and costumes.

Moreover, this machine can perform various tasks without having to invest in additional machines. Investing in this machine is a superior decision since you will get extra features without using all the tablespace. Though they are smaller compared to professional ones, they are faster than standard sewing machines.

E) Coverstitch Sewing Machine

Last and not least, the cover stitch machine is designed for hemming. With the classic twin needle, you can make your T-shirt or dresses look professionally made. Unlike the overlocker, the cover stitch has two needles to make a wonderful stitch and prevent clothing from coming out. Plus, the double needle helps in case one needle accidentally breaks.

Another good thing is that the machine can use either one, two, or three needles depending on the stitches’ strength and look.


With so many sewing machines, you need to research a particular machine before you purchase it. Some will offer you all you want while others will do one or two things, requiring you to invest in different machines. The types of sewing machines to buy depend on whether sewing is your hobby.  A sewing machine can help you enhance your skills with the right sewing machine.

I hope this article will help you get the right sewing machine to give the best results.

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