Features of various kinds of sewing machines

Sewing machine performs the function of stitching together fabric and other materials. The first sewing machine was invented by Thomas Saint, an English inventor, in the year 1790. The basic version was improved upon and a new and more the efficient sewing machine was invented by a French tailor named Barthelemy Thimonnier in the year 1829.

There are many kinds of sewing machines ranging from domestic to industrial models in the current times. Electronically operated and even computerised sewing machines have appeared in the market alongside the basic manual models. Some of the various types of sewing machines have been discussed here.


The domestic sewing machine is also known as a manual sewing machine. It is operated by using a pedal run by the user’s feet. The settings such as tension, stitch length, type of stitch, etc. need to be adjusted manually in such a sewing machine. Domestic sewing machines usually have only one inbuilt stitch pattern, but the modern domestic models can also have more than one inbuilt stitch patterns. The domestic sewing machine is suitable for basic stitching of clothes and other things. It is usually made of light materials such as plastic.


The electronic sewing machine is run by a motor which needs electricity to operate. The motor is started using a foot pedal. This type of sewing machine comes with several inbuilt stitch patterns. An electronic sewing machine offers a minimum of 7 stitch patterns. A dial is present on the machine to enable the user to select the types and lengths of stitches. Many modern models even have LCD screens with touchscreen capability to select the stitch programs and lengths. The electricity to run the motor can either come from an external outlet or an internal battery depending upon the model.

Electronic sewing machines are much faster as compared to manual sewing machines. Electronic sewing machines are well suited for sewing professionals who need to sew regularly and require multiple features.


Computerised sewing machines are highly advanced sewing machines which can be connected to computers and even the internet through Wi-Fi or USB. They can have as much as 200 different inbuilt stitch programs. Computerised sewing machines perform highly precise stitching, embroidering, quilting, smocking and other types of functions. New stitch patterns can also be downloaded into the machine from the internet. The machines can be loaded with multiple needles. There are also numerous spool spinners on the machines. LED touch screens are present to select the settings.

Computerised sewing machines can handle high volumes of fabrics of all kinds and work extremely fast. Autopilot stitching mode is usually present in computerised sewing machines. This feature enables the machine to automatically control the speed of stitching, stitch length, thread tension and other settings. All these features make computerised sewing machines highly suitable for the textile industry.


There are multiple kinds of sewing machines which are specialised to perform specific functions. Some of them are as follows.

  • Embroidery sewing machines make fine embroideries precisely. These are computerised machines with a memory to store various embroidery designs.
  • Overlock or Sergers are make overlocked stitches on hems and edges to create tight and neat edges.
  • Bar tack sewing machines make stitches on certain areas of garments to strengthen them.
  • Blind stitch machine makes invisible stitching on hems of garments.
  • Buttonhole machine makes hundreds of buttonholes very quickly in garment factories.