Industrial Sewing Machines - The Big Stitch Story

With the advent of clothes in the history of our civilization, the need to stitch arose. In fact even as back as Ice Age, bone needles were discovered. But it was only during the Industrial Revolution that industrial sewing machines were invented.

This spectacular invention not only sped up the garment production, but also gave a new dimension to the clothes making industry.

The origin of Invention

The origin of the invention could be attributed to England, France and USA. But it is difficult to find out exactly who invented it first. A series of inventions led to the industrial sewing machines that we have now. The first patent came out in 1790 by Thomas Saint, whose machine could stitch even leather and canvas. Later in 1807, William and Edward Chapman invented a corporate sewing machine with the eye of the needle at the bottom of the needle and not at the top.

But its fast speed and the fact that it required fewer people to make clothes, made a team of tailors nearly kill one of its inventors, named Thimmonier, in revenge. They were concerned about the competition presented by the new machine.

In 1834, Walter Hunt (also the inventor of safety pin) revolutionized the history of Industrial Sewing Machines by introducing a machine that locked stitch from underneath the machine with a second thread. In the early 1860's, inventors such as Howe and Singer reaped huge money during the Civil War taking huge orders of war uniforms.

Difference between an Industrial and Household machine

The Industrial Sewing Machine is different from a household one in many aspects.

While an Industrial Machine has a large and strong frame, the household version is much smaller and lighter. An industrial machine is supposed to work faster and more accurately. The power of the Industrial Sewing machines comes from the Power Stand. The speed can again further be increased with the help of the pulleys.

The larger the pulley, the faster the machine works. But for sewing heavy fabrics smaller pulleys are used to give each stitch more strength. The speed is calculated in SPM. SPM equals Stitches per minute. In case of Industrial Machines the speed starts from around 4000SPM while in case of household machine the SPM is nearly 800 units.

Industrial machines are needed by garment manufacturers and each machine is dedicated to perform only one type of function. In contrast, one can expect straight stitching to zigzag ones to button stitching and even buttonhole stitching all from one single household sewing Machine.

Some Words of Caution

Some Household Sewing Machine manufacturers use certain terms, such as, Semi-Industrial or Heavy Duty etc to imply that the machines are stronger, but one should check with the actual motor power to know the truth.

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