16 Types of Sewing Machines [GUIDE] – Quilted Sewing

Sewing machines serve as invaluable tools for individuals from all walks of life. Regardless of your background or occupation, there will inevitably come a time when you require the assistance of a sewing machine. Initially, there was only a single type of sewing machine in existence. However, with the advancement of technology, a diverse range of sewing machines, each equipped with unique components and features, has emerged.

In the present day, the market boasts an extensive array of sewing machine options. Whether or not you have immediate plans to purchase one, it is essential to familiarize yourself with some of the most popular sewing machine variants available.

Today, we will delve into the world of sewing machines, shedding light on some of the most sought-after models. In a previous post, we offered a comprehensive buying guide for sewing machines, and now, we aim to expand your knowledge further. Many individuals remain unaware of the diverse options available in the sewing machine market, inadvertently missing out on the opportunity to make a more informed purchase.

We encourage you to read this post in its entirety, as we will not only explore various sewing machine types but also provide essential tips to consider when making a sewing machine purchase, whether online or in-person.

What Is A Sewing Machine?

Before we tell you types of sewing machines and their functions let us tell you what sewing machine actually is. A sewing machine is a machine that can be used for various works like seaming, quilting, stitching, buttoning, and many more. Since there are different types of sewing machines available out there each of them does different things.

While some machines are made specifically to serve a single purpose. While buying a sewing machine you can specify your need and that is why we come up with this post so can you know everything about different kinds of sewing machines available out there.

Domestic Sewing Machine Types

1) Manual/Mechanical Sewing Machine

Manual-Mechanical Sewing Machine

Mechanical sewing machines are the most popular and widely used sewing machines around the world. These machines can be operated by both the feet and with the hands too. In most of these mechanical sewing machines, a wheel with handle is given and that needs to be pulled in order to make the machine work. These machines are suitable for all home sewing needs.

There are some vintage-style mechanical sewing machines available out there and you can spot them rarely these days. Since the arrival of automatic and advanced sewing machines mechanical sewing machines lost their place and these days only a few of the online and offline sellers have these machines and that too is a bit costly.

2) Electronic Sewing Machine

Electronic Sewing Machine

Electronic sewing machines are more advanced than mechanical machines and right now these machines are the most popular among all. The best thing about these sewing machines is that they are fully equipped with functions and parts that can help you in doing various works in a single machine instead of buying multiple sewing machines.

Generally, a mid-ranged electronic sewing machine will come with multiple built-in stitches selection, LED lights for guidance, automatic needle threader, and thread cutter, buttonhole placements, and many more. If you are not on a tight budget then you can also get some electronic sewing machines with LCD display panels.

3) Computerized/Automatic Sewing Machine

Computerized-Automatic Sewing Machine

Computerized or Automatic sewing machines are just upgraded versions of the electronic sewing machines. These types of sewing machines come with more advanced features and you can use them for both home and professional works. Apart from the built-in stitches feature, you might get embroidery stitches memory feature to save your embroidery designs in machine memory.

Since a lot of electronic machines can’t be used for embroidery and heavy-material work, this isn’t the case for automatic and computerized sewing machines. While these machines are expensive they may last longer than other sewing machine types for sure. These types of sewing machines are considered a one-time investment.

4) Mini & Portable Sewing Machine

Mini & Portable Sewing Machine

Mini or Portable sewing machines are very easy to use as they come with only a limited number of features. You don’t have to lose your pocket too much on these sewing machines as they are very cheap. If you are thinking of buying a sewing machine to do basic stitching and buttoning work, then these sewing machines are perfect for you.

There are many portable Singer sewing machine types available out there so you might need to read about every machine before buying. There are several machines out there that are made to serve only a single purpose, so do read the functions of a sewing machine before buying it. Also, these machines are perfect for beginners and intermediate sewers.

5) Quilting Sewing Machine

Quilting Sewing Machine

Quilting sewing machines are really powerful sewing machines as they are made for big projects. These machines can easily go through multiple layers of fabric and your basic sewing needle won’t work with these. Do not worry as these sewing machines are also capable of handling sewing, stitching, and buttoning work.

These sewing machines come with an extender most of the time that can increase the flatbed length of your machine. Also, you might get some additional attachments and accessories with these machines as they are really helpful while quilting. These machines are really powerful and some of them have got a stitching speed of 1500 stitches per minute.

  • Also Read About: Best Quilting Sewing Machines

6) Embroidery Sewing Machine

Embroidery Sewing Machine

There are multiple sewing machines types on which you can do the embroidery work. Though there some embroidery-only sewing machines available in the market. If you are a fan of embroideries and often do it then you can consider getting yourself an embroidery sewing machine that comes with various price segments.

A lot of embroidery machines also comes with USB port feature that can be used to import embroidery designs in the machine. Remember that basic embroidery machines might come cheap but they won’t offer every embroidery function. So if you are serious about this work then we will recommend you to go with high-end embroidery sewing machines.

7) Overlocking & Serger Sewing Machine

Overlocking & Serger Sewing Machine

Serger sewing machines might not be as popular as other machines of this list but they are definitely useful. Well, these machines aren’t much popular because they are used only for heavy work. These machines are used to sew with knit fabrics and not everyone can handle them as there are some professional-grade features available in these machines.

These types of sewing machines are also known as Overlocking sewing machines and some of them come with a function to work with 4 threads at once. These machines are perfect for sewer experts and professionals who often work with heavy fabrics. These machines are generally heavy so you can’t use them as a portable sewing machine.

8) Button Sewing Machine

Button Sewing Machine

There are two types of button sewing machines available out there. One is the Buttonhole machine while another one is the Button sewing machine. Both of these may sound like one but they do different work. While buttonhole sewing machines are used to create holes for buttons quickly, say thousands in a minute.

The button sewing machine is used to sew different types of buttons like flat, shank, etc. easily. Well, if you are getting an electronic or computerized sewing machine then you don’t have to buy any of the buttonhole machines. These machines are mostly used by retailers who want to sew and make buttonholes on thousands of fabrics. Though if you want then you can buy them as they come cheap.

9) Double-Needle Sewing Machine

Double-Needle Sewing Machine

Twin-Needle Lockstitch sewing machines or Double-Needle sewing machines come with two needles and two bobbins that work altogether. By using these machines you can create two stitches or do anything like sewing or embroidery work with two stitches at a single time. These machines are not very popular as they are used for decorative work.

You can adjust the length and distance between the stitches in these machines. Also, you can use two different colors of threads at the same time to get unique stitches on your fabrics. Another good thing about these sewing machines is that you can use them with two threads and even with one thread as per your needs.

10) Chain Stitch Sewing Machine

Chain Stitch Sewing Machine

Just like double-needle sewing machines Chain sewing machine can also be used with double threads at the same time. The best thing about these machines is that they work perfectly fine with a single thread and create a loop around the stitches that makes a chain. You can use this machine to make different types of stitches like straight, zig-zag, etc.

There are different models of chain stitch sewing machines available out there so choose one according to your needs. You can select between one needle or two-needle machine, also between one threaded or two threaded chain stitch machines. You can also use these sewing machines to do embroidery and decorative work on the fabrics.

  • Also Check Out: Sewing Machine Buying Guide

Industrial Types of Sewing Machines

1) Flat Bed Sewing Machine

Flat Bed Sewing Machine

Flat Bed sewing machines look and work just like normal sewing machines but they come with a larger flatbed. The position of the needle and arm is extended in these machines and these machines are perfect when it comes to joining different large pieces of fabrics. Though they are rarely used by anyone out there.

Also, there are only limited manufacturers out there who make these Flat Bed sewing machines. Well, if you are thinking of buying this machine then we will recommend you to go with electronic or computerized sewing machines rather than buying this. Still, if you want then you can check the Brother CS-8800 sewing machine which is a perfect example of a flatbed sewing machine.

2) Cylinder Bed Sewing Machine

Cylinder Bed Sewing Machine

Cylinder sewing machines are just the opposite of flatbed machines as these machines come with a cylindrical design. Well, even though they are very less popular these machines are being used a lot in the production houses and factories. We are not talking about fancy Cylinder machines but about the regular and rugged machines.

Cylinder sewing machines that are made from high-quality metal are the best machines to produce things made from heavy materials like leather. Shoes, suitcases jackets are some of the examples of products that can be produced with this machine. Most of these sewing machines come with presser foot as users might need to use both hands on the fabric.

3) Post Bed Sewing Machine

Post Bed Sewing Machine

Post Bed sewing machines come with a raised bed that can also be called as a vertical bed. These industrial sewing machines are used by manufacturers who make hats, boots, and other three-dimensional products. These machines are very popular and can work with a variety of fabrics including leather and other medium-weighted fabrics.

These machines are available in various price segments as the top-most variant may cost up to $10,000. Some of these machines are made to work only with specific things and you can attach other accessories and parts with them to increase their functionality. Definitely, you will have to spend some time learning the features of these machines.

4) Of-The-Arm Sewing Machine

Of-The-Arm Sewing Machine

Of-The-Arm sewing machines are one of the fastest sewing machines that are available right now. Some of these machines can give you speed up to 3000 stitches per minute. These machines are definitely not useful for homes as they are used mostly in the garments industry. You can throw a heavy fabric to this machine and it will handle it easily.

These sewing machines can make 10-16 stitches per inch so they are used for sewing jeans, double-stitching garments, and other heavy fabrics. These machines are very costly and can’t be handled by any person. You will need extensive knowledge of threads, needles, and of course of the Of-The-Arm sewing machine to make it work for you.

5) Cycle Sewing Machine

Cycle Sewing Machine

Cycle sewing machines are mostly used in factories and by those who want to do repetition of the same work. These machines work in a cycle so they can repeat a function on a loop for an unlimited number of times. Garment manufacturers use these machines for buttoning, bar-tacking, and labeling work as these machines can easily do it.

Remember that these machines are not meant to be used for basic stitching work. These sewing machines can be controlled by a computer and the users can set or modify a pattern in the computer to make the machine work as per that. These machines are definitely costly and you may have to spend thousands of dollars on the basic version.

6) Coverstitch Sewing Machine

Coverstitch Sewing Machine

Coverstitch sewing machines are used to create professional-looking and perfect hems in the fabrics. These machines are mostly used in boutiques as they are the only ones who do much of these beauty work on the garments. If you are a fashion designer then you can consider buying this machine as it will come helpful to you.

There are different types of Coverstitch machines available out there and you may have to select between single-threaded and double-threaded machines. Also, you can use these machines to fix the raw edges of fabric easily. These machines can be attached to a presser foot so the user can use both of the hands-on fabric.

Final Words

So this is all about different sewing machines and we hope now you know how many different types of sewing machines are there. Remember that the differentiation is not limited only to the sewing machines but there are different types of sewing machine needles available too.

We will keep this post updated with more different types of sewing machines available out there so keep visiting our blog to know about them. If you know about any other sewing machine types then you can let us know about them so can we include them to this list.


Hannah Nelson

Hi, there! I am Hannah Nelson, your host on this website. I started this blog to teach my lovely readers how to master the art of sewing effortlessly and how to turn this hobby into an income generating business.

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