Do You Need An Industrial Sewing Machine?

need industrial sewing machine

Do you need an industrial sewing machine?  Take a good look in your basement and perhaps you already know the answer.  Down there under the dusty covers and dark shadows, there are the many wounded soldiers of your exploits and garage sales.  Unless you are an antique dealer or a collector, why would you want to clutter your home with any more unused machinery?  Some women buy sewing machines like they buy jeans.  Don't believe me?

Run to your nail salon and ask around.  You will find that the average women have 6 pairs of jeans, some will have more. I am guilty of this, at one point of my life, I had 12 pairs of jeans and 6 sewing machines (1 Singer, 1 Toyota, 1 Juki, 1 Janome, and 2 sergers..).  I'm not sure if you know, but Toyota actually does make sewing machines –as well as cars, trucks and just about everything else.  Then I started to ask myself –what possessed me to accumulate so many pairs of jeans and this amount of sewing machines?

sewing machine brands

The answer was quite simple, I was not entirely satisfied with the product.  I kept looking for a pair of jeans that would look good and are comfortable, and I kept buying cheap ones in the hope that one day I will find the one.  I did find a couple, but they never lasted more than a year, and I was left once again hunting for the perfect pair.  Until one day I had to move to a tropical place.  My needs changed and with it the need for 12 pairs of jeans.  If I take 40 dollars and multiply it by 12, I have enough to buy a pair that is made with the best design and shaping capabilities.

Like the need for a better pair of jeans, our need for a reliable sewing machine arrives in the shape of the mountains of projects forgotten and put aside because we were not happy with the look of the buttonhole or the zigzag doesn't work anymore or the machine is skipping stitches when sewing bulky items, etc. etc.  Notice how after a marathon of sewing, your domestic sewing machine is never quite the same?  This is because home sewing machines are not meant to be used for an extended period of time.  Do you want a sewing machine that can do everything? Everything? Really..? What does that even mean?  Can it attach lining on its own while playing Bach in the background?  There is no such thing as a perfect sewing machine that does everything.  With time I have learned that 95 percent of the stitches I will never use and that professional-looking buttonhole is everything.

So now, do you need to buy an industrial sewing machine?

Like with many things, the answer is “It depends.”  You could certainly argue that an industrial sewing machine is what separates the amateurs from the professionals.  Here are a few other considerations:

  • Do you want to declutter your home by getting rid of mediocre machinery?
  • Do you want to supplement your income with your sewing and need a reliable machine with a professional-looking stitch?
  • Do you want to combine different types of material together for accessories?
  • Do you work with canvas, jeans, leather or sequined fabrics?
  • Do you sew every day for more than 4 hours a day?
  • Do you own an embroidery machine and are thinking of making quilts and handbags?

Then the answer is yes!

need industrial sewing machine


As with my sewing machines, I traded my jeans for a nice pair of well-fitted dark color  7 for all mankind jeans slimming illusion –I like the illusion part the best– and, Yes, I have only one pair now.  Expensive for sure, but worth every penny.

How many sewing machines then?  I think of machines as the brush of a painter.  You can use your hands or have just one, but the true and full answer is 3.  One serger, one domestic machine that makes flawless buttonholes, and my workhorse –an old Pfaff 563 that is reliable and noisy like a tractor, but it sews many layers of fabric together, thick leather and finishes the job efficiently and quickly.

How many sewing machines do you have?  Would you consider an industrial one?  Do you have the perfect sewing machine for your needs?  Leave a comment on the box below.  We'd love to hear your opinion.

I just discovered that you can even find industrial sewing machines on Amazon!  Below are some options.

If you're thinking about a new sewing machine, you can find lots of great reviews over on Sewing Machine Reviews.  If you find one of your existing machines in their list, go ahead and leave a review so you can help other readers with their decision.

Best sewing machine reviews online. Read before you buy!

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132 Responses to Do You Need An Industrial Sewing Machine?

  1. Vlierbloesem says:

    An industrial machine is good for a sewing sweatshop, where every one has its own task at the dedicated machines. Most is done with sergers, and strait stitch only machines, one makes button holes, one uses the button attach machine, one stitches the cuffs automatically, and another is for bias tape sewing.

    A good quality household sewing machine does most of these tasks. For sewing at home I think it is best to have 1 sturdy metal vintage household zigzag sewing machine, 1 modern electronic sewing machine for buttonholes and special stitches, 1 good serger.

  2. Halima says:

    I wish I had that many machines that actually worked. I have 1 machine that is an Empisal brand, don’t know if you heard of it, and am having difficulty sewing with it. Am looking around for another but i want to make the right decision this time and really dont know what to do.

  3. Jackie says:

    i have 3 machines, one is just a baby machine but has stopped sewing, i have one domestic sewer which works well until i need to use thick fabric which it doesnt seem to like, and a Janome overlocker which i just love to bits… so yes would love to have a industrial machine to add to my family of sewing machines!

  4. Lesley Brough says:

    I saw your headline picture and I have one of those [in my dolls house], along with 4 in my sewing area and at lest 2 older models one that uses shuttles and an overlocker. Somehow I doubt that I will be getting any more or my husband might decide to leave home.

  5. Suzanne says:

    I sew for enjoyment, to make gifts, and produce items such as simple clothing for children in Africa and colorful pillowcases for children in our local hospital. I love making quilts and usually do a couple hours of sewing every day – but not always on the same machine. I have nine, so I guess I qualify as a machine “junkie”.
    At my age (pushing 70) I neither need nor want an industrial machine. My vintage Kenmore “boat anchors” easily sew through 4+ layers of denim and canvas if I happen to be making jeans, slipcovers or such, and my modern Brother Dreamweaver is just a joy for quilting, making clothes – wovens and knits – and the occasional handbag or wallet. It also sews through garment weight leather very easily. As a retiree, I rarely do ‘deadline’ sewing and don’t need super speed – my machines make excellent stitches and are fast enough for me.

  6. Sarah says:

    I have and electric with some basic stitches (buttonhole, zig-zag, stretch-stitch), but the machines I use the most are my vintage Singers. I have a total of 4–two model 66-1s (one in a treadle cabinet, the other a hand-crank), and two model 99s that I converted to hand-cranks as the motors were shot. I prefer them as anymore, I don’t have much need for the electric’s fancy stitches. Yes, I do get it out when I need to sew buttonholes or need to zig-zag, but I just prefer my vintage machines

  7. Oh, yes, I do wish I had a serger for cotton knits.

  8. I have an old New Home that sews through 6 layers, Pendleton Blanket (for coats) wool 4 layers, lining and interfacing. When I try to use my Brother on it (same company) it will not sew through so I use it for cotton, silk, and linen. Oh, and buttonholds, the New Home doesn’t do great buttonholes.

  9. marie keller says:

    I drive/sew with a Mitsubishi at my day job. I’m totally convinced I need an industrial sewing machine at home. Though my home machine has surprised me on what it can handle it’s so much prettier on a machine made for the job.

  10. Patricia Pfeiffer says:

    Now I am sorry that I let my husband convince me I had too many sewing machines. I gave away a wonderful 1941 electric Singer with about every attachment available, including one to do hemstitching ( the edging that allowed you to crochet lace edgings on linens). One old serger that would have been best put to use as a boat anchor.
    I won that in a contest, and suspect it was the dealer’s solution to getting rid of a unit they were unable to sell ( sergers were not popular at the time, and I never did get it to work).

    I had other machines I parceled out to my two daughters. Today I have my favorite, a Pfaff Performance 5.0, two Pfaff sergers, one just an over locker, the other a combination, and my old Pfaff that I got back from my daughter because I was sewing jeans and had one machine set up for regular thread, and the other with top stitching thread, so I am down to only 4 machines now.
    I thought I would like to have an embroidery machine, but I really do not need it. My Pfaffs handled the denim well, and a lot of strange things my husband had me sew from heavy canvas. My daughter, the one that sews, bought a Pfaff Performance 5.1, but prefers an older Singer for buttonholes.
    The younger daughter doesn’t sew and gave away the old Japanese machine which was the first machine I bought after high school graduation. I learned to sew on a White my mother had that my sister still uses once in awhile. Plus all the machines in 4 years of home ec., mostly Singers.
    I did try out sewing before the White on a treadle and I was surprised to read how many are still using them, especially for free motion embroidery. Why are they so useful for that? Maybe I need to look for one???

  11. Karen Poole says:

    Well, I do have many machines but not because they didn’t work well!! I also have and industrial type machine for my Little Gracie II quilting frame. It does straight stitch only and has a built in scissors and will go through 7 layers of leather like its butter!! I bought it for my quilting frame but use it for other sewing on heavy duty fabrics like jeans! Then I had my original regular sewing machine that my late husband gave me. I purchased a combo embroidery/sewing machine with 4 x4 hoop, but I quickly learned I used it a lot and wanted larger design space so I bought a Brother that does regular sewing, quilting and embroidery, hoops to 12×7. So the smaller embroidery//sewing machine was then designated as my grandsons machine at my house. When his brother started sewing, I bought a used standard machine for him to have at my house. Then I decided my great big sewing/embroidery machine was too big to take to classes so I bought a beginners machine with just a few stitches and very light to take to classes! Oh and I can’t forget my serger! So that makes a total of so I have a total of 7 machines. They all get used for different reasons! Oh and I forgot to add, I bought a second embroidery machine, it’s an embroidery only machine. Now when one is in the shop for repairs or tune ups I still have one to use, plus if I need to make a bunch of embroidered items, like at Christmas I get it done much quicker as I can run both machines at the same time! Plus I have an old Singer Treadle machine, it works but I mainly have it for looks!!

  12. barbara t says:

    I’m actually kinda embarrassed to answer this question, but here goes: I have 16 (yes, SIXTEEN) sewing machines. I do not make a living sewing, but I just can’t pass up a vintage sewing machine (plus my others). I do have an industrial machine (actually, it’s my husband’s, but he lets me use it ;), and it’s great for handbags. I have a serger, an embroidery machine, my go-to Janome 6600P, two Singer Featherweights, a Bernina 830, a couple of treadle Singers, a new Janome treadle, my little Janome Jem for my camper, a vintage Husquavarna and assorted other vintage Singers. I’m a sewing machine hoarder, but I just hate to see a good vintage machine wind up in the landfill – they’re not making any more.

  13. Cyn says:

    I have about 13 machines, but honestly, they are black Singers for my restoration hobby, I have Sparrow 30 for my day-to-day machine, a cheap Babylock for teaching students, and a 1950 Featherweight for heavy duty work–It’s a champ! I used to dream about an industrial machine, but now I’d rather have a long arm quilter!

  14. Tina says:

    I love these comments and it really makes me feel like I have found my tribe of sewers. Like many of you, I have many and love each of them in their own special way. Like a sewing machine zen.

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