If you’re a mother who likes to sew costumes and dresses for your kids, or if you’re just creative and love to experiment with fashion projects, then an over-locker sewing machine is what you need alongside your conventional sewing machine. This machine will enable you to come up with garments and projects that will look like an expert made them.
What is an over-locker sewing machine?
When purchasing an over-locker, it is important that you understand all its features so you can make the best decision. This machine can tidy seams or edges of the fabric, and create many decorative effects. It can sew up to 1,500 stitches per minutes so sewers can really save a lot of time.
When the over-locker was invented in 1881 by the Merrow Machine Company, it was only intended for industrial use. The first over-locker sewing machine used loopers to make loops for the needle to pass through, utilizing the concept of crocheting.
In 1964, a number of engineers and managers of a company in Japan tried to innovate the machine by making it smaller and portable. They wanted to market the machine to the home sewers. They tried to make a smaller version of the industrial over-lockers. Eventually, they invented the Baby Lock. The home machines were capable of sewing several stitch types as compared to the industrial machines, which were only capable of sewing one stitch type.
What are the types of over-lock stitches?
The most common way of identifying the over-lock machines is by the number of threads used in making the stitches.
Each of these types has its benefits and uses:
1. The two-thread model is used for finishing seam edges, stitching flat-lock seams (with the wrong sides of the fabric together), stitching garters and lace lingerie and sewing hems. This is the type that is commonly used in homes.
2. The three-thread model is used for sewing fabric edges, creating decorative edges, making rolled hemming, and finishing the seams of knit fabrics.
3. The four-thread model is used for creating decorative edges, and making durable stitches while still maintaining flexibility.
4. The five-thread model is quite expensive but can do many types of stitches. It uses 2 needles so there’s no need to switch machines to produce a strong seam and a neat finish. It is usually used in making apparels.
5. The stitch width and stitch eccentric features also determine the type of over-lock stitches made. The stitch width specifies how wide each stitch is. The lighter the fabric, the wider the stitch should be. The stitch eccentric specifies the number of stitches there should be for every inch of fabric. The stitch eccentric affects the way edges look.
Another feature found in over-locker sewing machines is the differential feed feature. This allows feed to be adjusted according to the need and type of fabric used. Stretched seams and wrinkled edges can be created using this feature.
Choosing the Right One
Now that you’re ready to buy your over-locker sewing machine, make sure that you check out several brands and models. Try out all the features to see if the machine is working well. Check if knotted threads flow easily by tying an overhand knot and adjusting the tension dials.
Try to do some stitches and check if it is easy to start and stop the machine when you are already doing the stitches. Also, check if the presser foot is easy to raise and lower. Use many types of thread to check the tension adjustments. Sew at different speed levels to see if the machine is easy to control. Try several types of fabric to see if the machine works well.
Do not be in a hurry to decide which brand or type of over-locker sewing machine to buy. Choose only the machine that is best suited to your needs and will guarantee your satisfaction.