What Is A Serger Sewing Machine

What is a Serger Sewing Machine?

A serger sewing machine is an advanced type of sewing machine that uses a set of needle and thread combinations to stitch together a fabric edge. The edges of the fabric are sewn with a series of looped threads, while the material is simultaneously pressed together and trimmed. These stitches provide a stronger and more durable finish than traditional sewing. As such, serging is used for hems, seams, and decorative trims.
Sergers have multiple sewing needles, as opposed to regular sewing machines, which usually only have one. Additionally, sergers may also have several non-stitching features, such as a trimming blade or a coverstitch. There are many different types and sizes of sergers available, allowing you to choose the best one for your sewing project.
Serger machines are designed with either a two- or four-thread needle configuration. The two-thread configuration creates one stitch on the fabric edge and the four-thread creates two. The two-thread threading is usually used for simple finishes, such as hems or for decorative edges, while the four-thread is used for a more durable finish.
Serging is also effective for creating a smooth, stable, and flat fabric edge. This is because the multiple threads of the serging stitch trap the folded edge of the fabric, which eliminates any puckers. The resulting finish looks professional and neat, without the need for added bulk or seam allowances.
In addition, sergers can be used to create a wide variety of decorative fabrics and trims. For example, decorative ruffles and drapery trim can be sewn with a serger. It can also be used to apply elastic trims, as well as to create lace and ribbons.
Sergers are also particularly useful for sewing stretchy fabrics, such as knits. The multiple threads of the serging stitch are designed to stretch with the fabric, allowing for a secure and stretchy stitch. This type of stitch is often used to sew swimwear and activewear.
Finally, one of the most beneficial features of sergers is that they are incredibly fast. They are able to sew at a much faster rate than a traditional sewing machine, meaning that projects can be completed quicker. Sergers also have a large throat, allowing them to sew larger pieces of fabric and wider seams.

Advantages of a Serger Sewing Machine

Serger machines offer a variety of advantages and advantages over traditional sewing machines. Firstly, sergers have a great ability to sew curves and rounded edges. Traditional sewing machines have to use a rounded foot to sew on curved edges, however, sergers do not need these extra attachments as the threads will wrap around the curved fabric edge, creating a smooth, even stitch.
Furthermore, serger machines have the capability to produce many different types of stitches. This includes the ability to tailor stitch width and length, allowing for a wide variety of potential finishes. The multiple needles of the machine also generally allow for a much faster stitch.
Finally, being able to create intricate, high-quality stitch patterns with a serger often requires less precision than with a traditional sewing machine. This is due to the fact that the thread is looped, rather than crossed over each other, which allows for a more continuous and even stitch.

Disadvantages of a Serger Sewing Machine

Despite the many advantages of serging, there are a few downsides that should be noted before purchasing a serger. Firstly, serging machines often come with a steep learning curve. Threading the machine and learning different types of stitch can take some time and practice, which can be frustrating for novice sewists. Furthermore, sergers often require more troubleshooting than regular sewing machines.
In addition, sergers can be more costly than a traditional sewing machine, usually ranging anywhere from $400 to $4,000. This increased cost can be prohibitive for sewists on a budget. Furthermore, because of the complex design of the machine, it is important to purchase from a reputable brand in order to ensure quality.

How to Choose a Serger Sewing Machine

There are many factors to consider when selecting a serger sewing machine. Firstly, ask yourself what type of projects and fabric do you plan to sew with your machine. Different sergers have different capabilities, so it is important to choose a machine that is suitable for the type of fabric and stitching you plan to do.
It is also important to consider what type of threading you prefer. Some serger machines have a two-thread system, while others have a four-thread system. Again, it is important to choose a machine that best meets the needs of your project.
Once you have narrowed down the features you are looking for, it is important to compare the features of different machines. Look for features such as adjustable tension, stitch length, adjustable presser foot, multiple thread capability, and an assortment of presser feet. Also, consider the size of the opening of the machine and the throat length. The size and length of the machine can greatly influence the ease with which you can sew larger pieces of fabric.
Finally, it is important to consider the budget you have for the machine. The cost of sergers can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, so it is important to have a budget in mind when making a purchase.

Maintenance and Care for a Serger Sewing Machine

In order to keep your machine running smoothly and troubleshooting problems, it is important to maintain and care for your serger. Firstly, it is important to keep the machine clean. After use, wipe the machine down with a damp cloth to remove any dust and lint that may have accumulated, in order to ensure the machine continues to work properly.
It is also important to regularly check the tension of the machine. This can be done by inspecting the fabric sample created by the machine and seeing if it is evenly tensioned. To avoid potential problems with the tension, it is best to avoid placing too much fabric in the machine, as this can strain the needles, resulting in poor stitch quality.
Finally, when troubleshooting issues with the machine, it is important to consult the owner’s manual for tips on resolving the problem. If the problem persists, it is best to take the machine to a professional and have it serviced.

Uses for a Serger Sewing Machine

Serger machines can be used for a variety of projects, from creating professional and decorative hems and seams, to making elastic trims and draperies. They are especially useful for creating curved and rounded edges, as the multiple threads will wrap around the fabric edge to create a secure stitch. Furthermore, sergers are ideal for sewing stretchy fabrics, such as knits, as the threads are designed to expand and contract with the fabric.
Sergers can also be used to make clothing and other garments. The multiple threads of the serger allow for a more secure and stable seam, meaning that garments are durable and well-fitting. Additionally, the threading of the machine is designed to eliminate extra bulk, resulting in a neat finish.
Finally, sergers can be used to create a wide variety of decorative fabrics and trims. For example, lace or applique can be easily sewn with a serger. Furthermore, the multiple threading of the machine ensures that trims, such as elastic, are securely sewn and won’t unravel.

Benefits of a Serger Sewing Machine

Serging has many benefits over traditional sewing. Firstly, serging requires less precision, as the multiple threads of the machine create a more even and continuous stitch. Furthermore, the threading of the serger machine is designed to stretch with the fabric, meaning that stretchy fabrics can be stitched without any fears of it unraveling.
In addition, the multiple threads of the machine create a stronger, more durable finish than traditional single thread stitching. This means that garments, such as swimwear or activewear, tend to be more resistant to wear and tear. The trimmed edges of the serging stitch also eliminate the need for bulky seam allowances, creating a smooth and neat finish.
Finally, sergers are ideal for creating decorative trims and fabrics, such as lace and ruffles. The multiple needles of the machine ensure that the fabric edges are securely sewn, while the threading can be adjusted to create different stitch widths and lengths to create a variety of decorative finishes.


Serger machines are an essential tool for any sewist. They offer a variety of benefits over regular sewing machines, such as the ability to create secure, durable stitches on stretchy fabrics, intricate and decorative trims, and a smooth, neat finish. Furthermore, they are able to complete projects much faster than traditional sewing machines, making them ideal for sewists who need to achieve professional-looking results in a short period of time.

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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