Can Sewing Machines Do Overlocking

<h2>Can Sewing Machines Do Overlocking?</h2>
<p>Overlocking is a technique which generally produces a tightly joined seam that lies flat, with no raw edges visible, and it can add a professional finish to handmade and commercial garments. Most people associate overlocking with a specialist machine that can produce this particular technique and many think of it as something professional seamstresses and machinists must invest in, so the question remains, can sewing machines do overlocking? </p>
<p>According to industry expert, Sarah Williams, the answer is both yes and no. Sarah explains that the majority of domestic sewing machines cannot do an overlock stitch, which is typically used for durability and neatness in commercial or hand-made apparel. However, she explains that sewing machines may have stitches within the machine that can create a stitch reminiscent of an overlock stitch. This means that most likely there will not be the same level of durability and quality as that of a specialist machine, but it does provide a great option for hobbyists who want to save on buying a separate machine. </p>
<p>There is a huge range of different machines available in the market, which means that some machines will have access to more ‘specialist’ stitches than others. Some models have a lock stitch button that creates a stitch similar to the overlock stitch, while others may have a “serge-like” stitch. The locking stitch button offers an alternative to the overlock stitch and is usually used to sew seams where an overlock stitch is not necessary. </p>
<p>Whilst some machines do offer a solution to creating stitches similar to the overlock stitch, it should be noted that the level of durability may not be as strong as that of an actual overlock machine nor will it be consistent across the garment. It is highly likely the found thread will wear away quickly and the stitching itself may appear uneven and bulky. </p>
<p>Overall, ordinary sewing machines cannot do an overlock stitch; however, most machines have stitches within them that can create a stitch similar to the overlock stitch. The degree of quality and durability will vary in comparison to an actual overlock machine, so it is up to the individual to weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of investing in both options.</p>
<h2>Do I Need An Overlock Machine?</h2>
<p>When considering whether or not to invest in an overlock machine, it is important to assess the type of sewing and crafting that one is likely to do. For any form of professional clothing manufacturing, an overlock machine is a must since the stitch will provide much better durability and quality. It is a good idea to invest in an overlock machine if one is to make a number of garments in particular, as the stitching will provide a better quality. However, individual hobbyists and crafters may not need an industrial one and can opt for an affordable domestic one instead. </p>
<p>Overlock machines help to reduce fabric bulk and are particular useful with stretch fabrics, such as jersey and tricot. They are versatile machines, as they can be used to edge fabric, finish hems, seam and join fabric panels, overlock seam allowances and secure fabrics to linings. </p>
<p>The stitch options of an overlock machine are also wider in selection than a regular sewing machine. Overlock machines come with a variety of different stitch settings, such as different thread tensions and widths, for example, and this variety provides a greater level of flexibility for your projects. </p>
<p>Finally, it is important to note that an overlock machine is an invaluable tool for professionals, however may not be cost effective for casual hobbyists and crafters. The level of quality and durability will be much higher of an overlock machine, so it is worth considering this when deciding which machine to invest in.</p>
<h2>Types Of Overlocking Machines</h2>
<p>When it comes to investing in an overlock machine, the most important factor to consider is what your needs are and what sort of investment you are willing to make. Generally, there are two types of machines available on the market – industrial and domestic. </p>
<p>Industrial machines are best for high-volume professional production, as they are sturdily built and are able to cope with the sustained use and pressure. Industrial machines are often accompanied by a range of different stitch options, such as different warp tensions and widths, which can enable the user to conveniently adjust the stitch, depending on their requirements. </p>
<p>Conversely, domestic overlock machines are aimed at the home sewing enthusiast and hobbyist. Whilst domestic machines may not have as many stitch options as the industrial machines, they still offer a great option for those looking to invest in an affordable overlock machine. Typically, domestic machines offer a limited range of stitch settings and can usually cope with clips and cuffs, however they may not have the capacity to cope with items such as jeans and leather.</p>
<p>When considering which type of machine is best to invest in, it is important to determine what your needs are, as different machines offer different features and levels of quality. Overall, the type of machine you elect should suit your needs, budget and level of importance placed on quality.</p>
<h2>How To Choose The Right Machine</h2>
<p>When choosing an overlock machine, the most important factor is to consider what type of sewing and crafting you will be doing. Generally, hobbyists and casual users may be better off investing in a domestic machine whereas professional tailors and machinists may benefit from investing in an industrial machine. </p>
<p>It is also important to consider other factors such as the type of fabric you intend to work with. If one intends to work with heavier fabrics such as denim, canvas etc., then investing in a more robust industrial machine may be the most prudent option. </p>
<p>Moreover, it is important to consider the range of stitches settings the machine offers. Industrial machines offer a lot more stitch settings compared to domestic machines, however it should be noted that these options may not be suitable for every sewing project. Therefore, it is important to consider your individual needs and requirements when selecting an overlock machine.</p>
<p>Other features to look out for include the size and weight of the machine, as well as its durability and the manufacturer’s warranty period. It is also essential to consider the cost of the machine; what type of budget you have in mind and what exactly the machine is offering. Overall, choosing an overlock machine is an important decision and should be carefully considered before investing.</p>
<h2>How To Use An Overlock Machine</h2>
<p>It is important to remember that even if one has invested in an overlock machine for their projects, the machine cannot do all the work. Overlock machines require regular maintenance and a good understanding of fabric weights, needle sizes and tension settings in order to produce neat results. Therefore, it is essential to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and practice on some scraps of fabric beforehand. </p>
<p>The tips below provide advice for how to use an overlock machine: </p>
<ul><li>Read and understand the user manual and take time to practice with some scraps of fabric. </li><li>Always make sure the machine is clean and free of loose thread and lint. </li><li>Check if the needles are sharp, in good working condition, and suited to the fabric type. </li><li>Check that the thread is the correct type and colour, and is of a suitable tension. </li><li>Ensure that the presser foot is the correct one for the stitch you are using. </li></ul>
<p>It is important to remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to using an overlock machine. Even experienced machinists find that it takes time to perfect their skills, so it is important to be patient and take the time to familiarise oneself with the machine and practice. </p>
<h2>Benefits Of Overlocking</h2>
<p>There are a number of benefits associated with overlocking and the use of an overlock machine. Firstly, overlocking adds a professional finish to the garment, as the seams are bound neatly, securely and with no raw edges showing. This means that the final product looks more professional and higher quality.</p>
<p>Moreover, overlocking also offers added durability, as the stitch is designed to resist wear and tear, even when the garment is being handled regularly or moved around. This additional strength can ensure that the garment lasts a longer period of time. Additionally, overlocking can also be used to neaten and strengthen edges which may be prone to fraying, such as trims, zips, and facings. This means that the garment is less likely to require repairs or adjustments despite the wearer’s movements.</p>
<p>Ultimately, overlocking offers a range of benefits for many sewing and crafting projects; from adding a professional finish to the garment, to increasing its overall durability and strength. Overlock machines, both industrial and domestic, offer a great option for those looking to invest in a machine and enjoy the added benefits of overlocking. </p>
<h2>Maintenance Of Overlock Machines</h2>
<p>Maintaining an overlock machine is essential in order to ensure the correct working and optimum performance of the machine. One of the most important things to do is to ensure that the machine is regularly cleaned and kept free of lint and dust. This can be done by blowing compressed air around the needle plate, loopers, feed dogs and other areas. </p>
<p>Additionally, it is important to regularly check the needle and tension settings, which can ensure the machine is producing the best possible results for the user. It is also a good idea to check the threading of the machine often, as this

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

Leave a Comment