What Are The Types Of Sewing Machine?

Sewing machines come in many different styles. Read and understand the different types of sewing machines before you get one.

A sewing machine is used to sew fabric and some other materials together with threads of different kinds. People used to sew manually until the first industrial revolution. To decrease effort and time taken in manual sewing work, these machines came into existence. From that time to now, the sewing machine has undergone many transformations. Sewing machines which we use at home are very different from the industrial ones.

What Are The Types Of Sewing Machine?

There are a variety of sewing machines, and we will tell you about them. The difference is based on general and technical classification. It also depends on how and where we plan to use them.

Domestic sewing Machine

This is the most common sewing machine that people have at home. It is relatively simple to use and can do almost every type of stitching you need to do at home. The most basic ones will have straight stitching, while some will have decorative stitching features like zigzag and buttonhole stitches.

Industrial Sewing machine

A domestic machine cannot sew many layers of fabric or sew for a long time continuously. This is where industrial machines come into the picture. With these, it is easy to stitch all kinds of fabrics and other materials for a long time without pause. The stitches are even. These sewing machines can operate at high speeds and finish the work in less time. They are more expensive than domestic sewing machines. We can classify industrial sewing machines into 4 main types according to the design of their arm and needle post.

  • Flat Bed

It looks like a traditional sewing machine. The arm and needle extend to the flat base. It is mainly used for flat sewing pieces of materials together

  • Cylinder Bed

There is a narrow, horizontal column like a cylinder. The fabric or other material passes through and under the column. It is used for cylindrical sewing pieces like cuffs.

  • Post Bed

There is a vertical column that rises above the flat base of the machine. The column has bobbins and loopers. These are used in making gloves, boots, and for attaching emblems.

  • Off-the arm

These types of machines require a person to feed material along the axis of its horizontal arm. It is used in seaming sleeves and shoulders of a dress.

Manual Sewing Machines

  • Hand Operated

This used to be very popular once and was mostly the only option available. There is a handle that you turn manually to run the machine. It takes a lot of time, and you need to have the skill to run it effectively.

  • Treadle

This is also manual, but it has a base stand that you need to treadle. There is a belt that moves when you treadle and operate the wheel. This allows both your hands to be free.

Mechanical Sewing Machines

These machines have a few knobs which you can turn to change some settings. You can set stitch length, width, etc. For people who want to do simple stitching and embroidering, these could be a good option. They have an electric motor but are not entirely electronic machines.

Electric/ Electronic Sewing Machines

It has many options to combine different stitching techniques and styles easily. It generally has multiple built-in stitching options. It has a computer which runs all the motors and monitors everything. Highly advanced machines may also boast of LCDs and touch screens.

Computerized Sewing machine

A computerized machine is like an electronic machine but with programs and settings on offer. You will be able to accomplish more intricate embroidery combinations. They may have automatic needle threading, stitch selector, speed control, etc. It is more expensive than the other options, but if you plan to take your sewing seriously and may even want to take on small orders, then this sewing machine is worth it.

Mini Sewing Machines

This is a portable sewing machine and will take care of little stitching, alterations, repairs, adjustments, etc. You won’t need much space, and these are quite cheap. Though they are advertised to be as good as a big sewing machine, they are not. They have limited effectiveness and cannot handle heavy materials. If used correctly, they are a handy product.

Lockstitch Machine

This refers to the sewing machines which are used for straight as well as zigzag stitching of seams. It uses two threads, one from the bobbin and the other from the top. The stitching looks the same from both sides. Heavy-duty machines are used for industrial stitching or sewing business.

Chain Stitch Machine

This machine creates a chain stitch to sew on fabric with just one thread. Thread loops around itself under the cloth and forms a chain of stitches. You can sew straight or zigzag. It can be used for binding two edges or even for decorative purposes.


This is a multi-purpose sewing machine that can do many things. You can efficiently finish seams and edges. It works well with knitwear or other stretchy fabric. Some people call it an over-lock or over-edge machine. Some sergers even have a cutter, which will automatically cut edges while sewing the over-lock along the edges.

Long Arm Quilting Sewing Machine

If you love quilting, then you will love this machine. These come with more workspace, and in some machines, it is possible to add extensions for more space. You may get computerized or mechanical quilting machines which can help with designs and patterns automatically when you press a button.

Embroidery-Only Sewing Machines

These are meant for embroidery of different kinds. They have many designs and patterns already in-built. Some even come with USB ports so that you can feed any design you want. Some machines have editing features for you to come up with new designs. Some modern machines even have a display to show you a preview of the design.

Button Attachment Machine

These machines are used for attaching buttons on dresses. Chain and lock stitch can be used for this. It is an automatic machine and makes it easy to attach buttons.

Bar Tacking Sewing Machine

These machines produce a series of stitches to hide away any wear and tear in garments. These are mostly used in areas like pocket openings, pleats, buttonholes, corners of collars, etc. these are used to increase the strength and durability of stitches.

Double-Needle Sewing Machine

This machine has two needles and two bobbins. It delivers two parallel rows of stitches. The distance can be adjusted to a certain extent. These are used for decorative purposes as well as for more secure stitching.

Related Questions

What Kind Of Machine Should You Get As A Beginner?

You should start with a primary sewing machine that can perform all the essential functions. Don’t waste money on a very complicated machine which can stop you from learning. There are a lot of people who start with a lot of enthusiasm but realize that sewing is not their cup of tea. Choose something easy to use and handle.

Why Is The Machine Not Sewing Properly?

There could be many reasons for this but try to rethread the top thread and the bobbin. Make sure that you have the right needle and thread for your project. Generally, the machine will start to work correctly. If the problem persists, then you can call a mechanic.

Why Is The Bobbin Tension Not Consistent?

If you have to adjust the bobbin thread tension constantly, then check the bobbin. Plastic bobbins can wear out quickly with use. They may become loose inside the housing and not work fully. You can try a metal bobbin and see if it resolves the issue.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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