Industrial Sewing Machine Buying Guide

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Industrial Sewing Machine Buying Guide

Sewing machines stitch fabric and other materials, such as leather and denim, together by employing a technique called threading. The first sewing machines were introduced at the height of the First Industrial Revolution, and the machines instantly changed how clothing companies produced clothes and clothing accessories. Production speed and product quality were both enhanced by using industrial sewing machines. The smaller scale version of the industrial sewing machine made its way into homes during the Second Industrial Revolution. These machines allowed consumers to repair damaged clothing and even operate sewing businesses from home.

Since industrial sewing machines are by design larger, faster, and more complex than standard home sewing machines, many consumers mistakenly believe that they must visit a shop to find an industrial sewing machine that meets their needs. However, shrewd shoppers understand that they can find high-quality industrial sewing machines at affordable prices online at eBay. First, consumers who are interested in buying industrial sewing machines should learn about the types of machines, the important features to consider, and a few tips to ensure that they find the industrial sewing machine that matches their shopping criteria.

Overview of Industrial Sewing Machines

An industrial sewing machine performs the same function as a standard home sewing machine, although it is typically used in a factory setting for stitching more rugged materials, such as upholstery fabric that covers living room furniture. A common purpose for an industrial sewing machine is the mass production sewing of trouser pockets into garments comprised of extra heavy materials. Manufacturers also construct industrial sewing machines to handle heavy sewing volumes for extended periods. The internal gears and motors built into standard home sewing machines, and even home sewing machines considered industrial strength, cannot handle the workload presented to factory industrial sewing machines.

Industrial sewing machines constructed for industrial environments perform in an assembly-line-based system. This means assembly line industrial sewing machines perform only one function, and the names given to such machines are based on the one function performed. Some of the more common names given to one-function industrial sewing machines include: buttonhole, pocket setter, and programmable pattern sewers. As the most recent industrial sewing machine innovation, programmable industrial sewing machines store between 10 and 30 patterns in memory and provide users with a sewing field that measures 30.48 by 15.24 cm.

Types of Industrial Sewing Machines

Manufacturers have four primary types of industrial sewing machines that workers can utilise in a factory setting. However, consumers who perform a steady amount of heavy duty sewing should only consider buying one of the following types of machines designed for industrial sewing.


As the most common type of industrial sewing machine, the flatbed is the closest resemblance to the standard sewing machines found in most homes. Thus, consumers should consider the flatbed over other types of industrial sewing machines. The arm and needle extend to the flat bases of a flatbed sewing machine. Workers use this type of industrial machine to sew flat fabric pieces together.


The cylinder-bed machine features a narrow column in lieu of a flat sewing base, which passes fabric around and under the column instead of passing the fabric over a flat surface. The advantage of a cylinder-bed industrial sewing machine is the 5 to 16 cm diameter range of the various models. Factory workers utilise cylinder-bed machines for sewing cuffs, saddles, and shoes.


Post-bed sewing machines feature bobbins, feeds and loopers that rise in a vertical column constructed next to the flat base of the machine. Column heights on a post-bed industrial sewing machine range between 10 and 45 cm. This specialty sewing machine handles difficult sewing jobs, such as attaching emblems and producing equine boots.


Consumers have little use for off-the-arm industrial sewing machines, as this type of machine handles the most difficult sewing jobs of heavier and thicker materials. The most common applications performed by off-the-arm sewing machines include producing sleeve and shoulder seams.

Features to Look for in an Industrial Sewing Machine

Consumers who shop for industrial sewing machines should be aware of terminology, such as semi-industrial, heavy duty, and industrial strength, since these terms indicate standard home sewing machines that are unlikely to perform factory-type sewing jobs. Look for three common industrial sewing machine features to ensure authenticity.

Big Bobbin

The first feature to look for is called the big bobbin, which is the ideal feature for handling heavy fibres and fast sewing times. Upholstery manufacturers require sewing machines that run a high class bobbin for stitching the heavy fabric used for producing furniture upholstery. The class M bobbin, which is larger in diameter than the class L bobbin, holds more thread for large-scale stitching jobs.

Side-Mount Bobbin Winder

Industrial sewing machine manufacturers conveniently place side-mount bobbin winders to operate off of the machine's belt. The winders should be easily accessible for operators to adjust for speed and length. While some industrial sewing machines do not come with this important feature, installation is neither complicated nor expensive.

Compound Walking Foot

A compound walking foot sews through the heaviest upholstery material in a process that mimics quilting. One part of the foot secures the material and the other part of foot slowly moves the material forward. The small sewing steps prevent fabric from becoming entangled in the machine.

How to Shop for an Industrial Sewing Machine

While most home sewing projects can be accomplished using an overlocker sewing machine, some consumers may need an industrial sewing machine because they produce clothes and clothing accessories as a side business. Consumers who produce their own clothes and upholstery should shop for industrial sewing machines in the same manner that large corporations procure the machines for their assembly lines.


What is the primary purpose of buying an industrial sewing machine? Is it for continuous sewing projects that require extra speed, power, and durability? The keyword here is continuous, because consumers cannot justify purchasing the more expensive industrial sewing machine for one project or infrequent sewing jobs.


Most industrial sewing machines purchased for home use sew flat fabrics. Therefore, look for a flatbed industrial sewing machine that stitches together two or more pieces of flat fabric, such as polyester.


Read the reviews that users publish online concerning an industrial sewing machine under consideration. Most, if not all, of the reviews come from manufacturers who have extensive experience operating the model under scrutiny. Consider an industrial machine that has received an overwhelming number of positive reviews for performance and durability.

Test Drive

The reason car dealers allow customers to test drive an automobile is because of the expense involved in purchasing the car. Have the same mindset during the industrial sewing machine shopping process. Bring pieces of felt or cotton, and sew on the machine to ascertain noise level, operating capability, tension, and ease of feeding materials. Ease of use should be near the top of the test drive factor list.


Industrial sewing machines may be out of the range of most homeowner budgets. They are constructed with numerous parts that require intricate designs. Large companies have the resources to purchase industrial sewing machines. The best strategy for consumer industrial sewing machine purchases is to budget for the bare necessities and focus on cheaper flatbed designs.

How to Buy an Industrial Sewing Machine on eBay

Businesses typically do not replace industrial sewing machines because they break down, but because a new line of machines make the current machines obsolete. Instead of jettisoning an industrial sewing machine in the scrap pile, many businesses turn to eBay to sell their industrial sewing machines. This means consumers who possess limited budgets can find high-quality industrial sewing machines that cost far less than a similar machine sold in a shop. Used industrial sewing machines provide owners with many years of high performance. The question is: how do you find an industrial sewing machine bargain on eBay?

Have the same mindset as the purchasing agents employed by large corporations: shop by brand name. eBay provides buyers with a powerful search engine that utilises keywords to match buyers with sellers. Brother and Singer are two highly touted industrial sewing machine brands that you should consider. Type either brand into eBay's search engine to reduce the number of seller search results. Once you find a seller who matches your shopping criteria, analyse the seller's product photograph to discern the condition of the industrial sewing machine. You should also review customer feedback and delivery terms that the seller posts on his or her product page.


The do-it-yourself movement has exploded in recent years, as consumers find more ways to save money during difficult economic times. Home improvement projects that were once the domain of professionals are now completed by do-it-yourselfers. Sewing is another task that has found its way into more homes, and not just the type of sewing that repairs torn clothing. Many consumers have taken to sewing to provide extra income. They produce clothing and accessories that were once produced only on large assembly lines. This means that the standard home sewing machine used to stitch together a small shirt tear has been replaced in the home by rugged industrial sewing machines.

While there are four main types of industrial sewing machines, most do-it-yourselfers only require the flatbed model for sewing two or more flat pieces of fabric together. However, sewing do-it-yourselfers need to make sure that any industrial sewing machine under consideration includes a big bobbin, side-mount bobbin winder, and walking foot compound to provide ease of use and high performance. Buying an industrial sewing machine can break the budget, so shoppers should follow a few tips before making a purchasing decision. Perhaps the most important buying tip is to take two pieces of polycotton and "test drive" an industrial sewing machine under consideration to ensure high performance.

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