How Is The Sewing Machine Used Today

Domestic Applications

Today, sewing machines are mainly used in the home for clothing repairs, construction of home decorations, tailoring clothes and making crafts. Sewing machines come in size and shape for all type of applications given its main usage for domestic activities like dress making, quilting making and home furnishing. Sewing machines have advanced from the first lock stitch introduced in 1790 by Thomas Saint to an array of machine capable to performing hundreds of stitch types, colour change threads and are now capable of digitizing patterns. Sewing machines are now a piece of technology filled with features oriented to the home environment in order to make the user’s experience easier and enjoyable.

As technology advances, more models are equipped with upgrades such as advanced lighting, faster stitching speeds, better tension control and more automated in order to help beginner and more experienced user to enjoy their crafting experience. Thanks to its technical advancement, today’s domestic market is filled with buzzing models filled with features dedicated to practicality and user satisfaction.

Commercial Applications

Sewing machines have a vast application on the commercial market. Industrial and commercial grade sewing machines are capable of handling heavier workloads, are more robust, and are faster in order for the user to constantly obtain results in a short amount of time. Thanks to their versatility industrial sewing machines can be used to manufacture high quality leather goods, auto upholstery, canvas, tarpaulin, or any form of heavy duty fabric. In the same way, commercial sewing machines are also used for embroidery works, light duty upholsteries, and dressmaking.

In the commercial market, industrial and commercial sewing machines come many sizes and shapes giving the user a wide selection of choices. Sewing machine manufacturers are always working to create faster sewing machines, with automated functions, that could withstand heavier workloads and with better features in order to improve the user experience. So they constantly upgrade with the times, thanks to the collaboration of technical specialists, engineers and marketing and customer satisfaction specialists.


Thanks to its technical advancement, today sewing machines are widely used in education institutions as part of the textile and fashion courses. Modern sewing machines provide greater control for the student for creating small and intricate designs. Sewing machines that use automated functions increase engagement and reduce tension for the operator so they can be freed of fatigue and generally reduce learning time and increase the students satisfaction when learning new technique or creating small and intricate designs.

Modern sewings machines are now equipped with LCD screens that facilitate the menu navigation, needle threading, stitch selection and better tension control throughout the whole experience. This in turn helps to make sure the student learners obtain the appropriate skills very close to the industrial quality standards required information and reduce the workload associated with tutorials and other documentation that usually comes with the process.

General Benefits

Sewing machines offer a wide range of benefits for its users. For example, dressmaking and tailoring processes are improved thanks to functions that measure multiple fabric and pattern requirements. This saves tremendous amounts of time compared to traditionally cut, measure, mark and sew style of dressmaking. Moreover, different functions, lighting and stitch selection help keep the creative process alive, allowing the user to be able to see the results instantly and allowing the user to have the ability to edit or undo and redo any part of a garment they may change their minds on.

The use of Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology has made it easier to follow the sewing pattern lines, as well as offering a brilliant, sharp and focused light to line up the pieces throughout the dressmaking process. Furthermore, when using factories with an assembly line process, this technology allows them to reach higher output rates and higher standards quality.

In the same way, sewing machine models equipped with embroidery functions add an extra layer of integration to the user experience, giving more options when creating a garment or a project. Embroidery functions can save the user a tremendous amount of time as well, allowing the user to save time adding trims, fringe and labels to their job. Moreover, this functions are essential to tailor shops, factories and home users who wish to customize their projects.

Functional Types

Today the market is full of functional types of sewing machines. Electronic models are now equipped with upgraded capabilities; computerized machines give user direct experience and better stitch results; embroidery machines allow for direct computer input for adding trims to the users project and;Overlock machines give the user the possibility to easily assemble and finish different types of fabric with a single edge optionally serging more than one layer of fabric in a single step.

In the same way top of the line Ultra-High Sewing Speed (UHSS) models allow users to work on massive production of material to tight deadline whilst allowing the user to apply industrial technique and obtain results that follow industrial high standards. Furthermore, automated Low-High speed machines offer responsive and cleverly position of both lateral and vertical presser feet that offer the operator great control across different types and thickness of material.

These automated functions are designed to help the user minimize effort, maximize performance and reduce fatigue, when designing a garment or a project.

Social Trends

The increasing popularity of DIY webshops, youtube channels and tv shows has increased the number of user that search and buy sewing machines, either for domestic purposes or for commercial purposes. This means that there is now a extended range of models with different features available in the market directed to hobbyist, experienced crafters and industry professionals. It has been predicted by the world’s leading sewing machine makers that this trend of personal self-expression is set to continue to rise drastically.

With this in mind, companies like Brother, Janome and Singer have managed to fully capitalize on this opportunity and create sewing machines tailored to social trends, creating machines filled with features that can suit all budgets and preferences, from the first of beginner to the experienced user.

These social trends have also helped to increase the amount of customer reviews on sewing machines, allowing the user to make a better choice when buying a sewing machine and allowing companies like Singer, Janome and Brother to have a real time feedback of customer satisfaction and change their products accordingly.

Global Trends

Today, sewing machine makers are now focusing on producing sewing machines with automation and portability in mind. This means the customer has now more options when need to adjust to their workspace, and store their sewing machines accordingly.For example, models like the Brother CS10-GM come with a very light weight, a LED working space ideal in darker environments and a portability case, ideal to support the customer when they are travelling.

In the same way, manufacturers are now focusing their efforts on achieving higher stitch speed, creating smaller form factor machines, improve the quality of the stitching and suppleness of the fabric and create tighter stitching density for any type of material.

With the current changes in the market, the most leading sewing machine makers are marketing their products toward both, the domestic and commercial sales sectors, by creating lighter weight and more cost-efficient machines for factories, but also creating sufficient and elegant machine for domestic use, allowing manufacturers to conquer both sectors and increase their standalone revenues.

Costs Benefits Analysis

The cost benefit analysis that comes with buying a sewing machine, should vary according to the user needs. If a buyer is looking for a dedicated domestic machine with a certain set of features, the cost benefit analysis should consider the technical specifications, the user reviews and the overall cost verses the usefulness of the model.For example, if a user needs a machine that supports embroidery, then a specific embroidery model should be of use.

On the other side, if a user needs a dedicated commercial machine, then sewing machine models that can support industrial workloads should be considered. Machines like the Janome 4120 should be taken in consideration, as this model has a maximum stitch length of 6 mm, a high speed of 1300 stitches per minute and it is able to handle heavier fabrics like jute, denim, and canvas.

In the same way, if a user don’t need a machine with hundreds of advanced functions and feature a traditional model like the Brother LS2125 could be useful as this is a great entry model to the world of sewing at a very reasonable price compared to other types of models.

Overall when buying a sewing machine, it would be wise to consider the user’s needs and match it with the available models to the corresponding cost benefit parameters and finally decide on the most cost-effective machines within the chosen criteria.

Latest Developments

Today industry leaders are constantly searching for ways to improve their offerings to market. One of the latest developments in this industry is the use of artificial intelligence to increase efficiency and help user to save time. Studies have shown that by using machine learning new models capable of recognising stitches and detecting fabric types can arrive to decisions up to 5 times faster than its manual counter part. In the same way, the use of Machine Vision (MV) coupled with artificial intelligence can help machines detect fabric size and tension automatically, allowing for better results when working on garments and industrial fabrics.

The use of automation in sewing machines have also increased the social application of it. For example, machines with automated functions can analyse the user’s size and shape to create a garment that is tailored with them in mind, allowing the user to order garments online and get a better suited garment.

In the same way, advancements in machine vision, robotics and automated functions have also improved industrial outputs, as well as allowing for higher number of changes as the workflow advances. This has allowed for faster production process and for an overall cost reduction in the manufacturing process.

Moreover, the advances of 3D printing have allowed for another layer of integration in the sewing machine industry. Companies like Janome have already joined this trend, allowing the user to 3D print accessories and garment components; a great tool to have when making custom projects or DIY projects.

Environmental Impact

Sewing machines have definitely a large amount of environmental impact. Aesthetically speaking, low power consumption devices help reduce electricity demand in the environment. Moreover, machines designed with more robotic functions and automated features use less manpower and reduce the overall operational costs. This is why when companies invest in new sewing machines they usually save a great amount of energy.

For example, recent advances in LED lighting source have allowed factories to reduce the energy consumption of their factories by up to 50%. Moreover, machines like the Brother GX37 with its low energy consumption save up 30% energy when compared with its counterparts.

In the same way, due to its wireless connectivity, modern machines are able to use power drawn from the machine, reducing the amount of electricity wastage by reducing the amount of electricity needed for the operation of the machine.

But when recycled, sewing machines add to the reduction of waste. For example, overlock machines contain large amounts of fabric elements that can be broken down and recycled for other uses

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.

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