Industrial sewing machines are highly specialized, heavy duty devices that are used mainly for commercial purposes and that are suitable for professionals who know not only how to sew, but also how to recognize the technical and mechanical aspects of sewing machines. Although not widely available to the general public, industrial sewing machines have a huge range of commercial applications.
Industrial vs. regular sewing machines: what’s the difference?
- Features: a regular sewing machine, the one that anyone can buy for personal use, tends to be like a jack of all trades. If offers many features that cater for various average necessities, but it is not specialized in anything. On the other hand, industrial sewing machines focus on only one feature (stitching, quilting, sewing on a specific material), but perform it flawlessly and at an advanced level.
- Uses: industrial sewing machines can usually be found in the tailoring/manufacturing industry, but some people purchase them for personal use if they have their own workshops.
- Durability: industrial sewing machines are made to last. They are rarely remarkable in the design department, but they are built to be sturdy and withstand daily use and abuse.
- Performance: industrial sewing machines are superior in terms of performance and provide higher quality results that can rarely be achieved with a regular machine.
- Fabrics: a regular machine can successfully sew on common fabrics, such as cotton, wool or linen, sometimes on knitwear and silk. However, an industrial one also works for incredibly thick materials that produce more than clothes: leather, upholstery, tends, even canvases. Because these materials are difficult to work with, industrial machines have an attachable walking foot to prevent the material from slipping.
- Ease of use: there is no way that a beginner can use an industrial sewing machine. These are highly specialized devices that only a pro can master. You can buy a regular sewing machine as a hobby, but industrial ones are for the professional use.
- Price: given their nature, industrial sewing machines cost more than regular ones.
Top 5 industrial sewing machines
Last on the list is the Singer 20U109, which does both zig-zag and straight stitches at up to four times the speed of a regular sewing machine. It is quite versatile in terms of fabrics, so it can handle lighter materials as well as leather and upholstery. However, despite its advanced commercial-grade features, the build could be better. The body of the Singer 20U109 is made entirely out of plastic, so it would wear off sooner than other machines.
Another sewing machine that can do 1500 SPM, the brother PQ1500SL is aimed at problematic fabrics that regular sewing machines (and even some industrial ones) cannot handle. It is one of the most feature-packed machines out there and its performance sounds great on paper: it has an adjustable pin feed mechanism, an automatic thread cutter and a walking foot. In addition to this, is also has several components that let you adjust the pressure and control the fabric.
Made in Japan, this machine is so quiet that the manufacturer recommends it for in-home use. However, it’s far from being a regular sewing machine. Specialized in heavy duty straight stitching, the Juki DDL-5550 is equipped with a servo sewing motor that guarantees top performance in commercial environments. It’s capable of sewing up to 5500 stitches per minute and it works best on thin to medium fabrics.
The JUKI TL-2000Qi was developed especially for quilting apparel and home décor and it performs beautifully in the arts & crafts industries. Both powerful and fast, it has an automatic needle threated and it stands out through durability, as it has as aluminum cast for support. It can sew through materials as thick as denim and except for the fact that it doesn’t allow zig-zag stitching
Upholstery, gloves, knitwear, jeans, vinyl, leather suitcases, the Tacsew GC6-6 can handle any material from thin to thick, which is why almost factory has one. the stitch length goes up to 9 mm and it also has automatic lubrication. Thanks to its large bobbin, it can perform heavy duty tasks successfully and performs them incredibly fast. It does have a walking foot, but doesn’t include a welt cord foot, so you’ll have to purchase it separately.