High-quality sewing machines are a joy for the home sewer, and a profitable business tool for those who sew for commercial reasons. But is it possible to go from a domestic machine to an industrial one and enjoy better results? The answer is – probably not. There are big differences between industrial and domestic sewing machines. The best way to illustrate this is to point out the strengths of each type of machine. As you’ll see, industrial and domestic machines have little in common so it’s not a formality that you can easily go from a home machine to a more commercial one.
As the name indicates, industrial machines are made for businesses and factories. In these commercial settings, machines are business tools that contribute to productivity and profit. As such, they have to deliver high-quality results, and quickly. They have to move at a much higher speed to accelerate production, and so they depend on very powerful motors that just keep working and working. To achieve that, they must be regularly cleaned and maintained.
The other key to being able to operate at such high speeds for longer, and without breaking down and cutting productivity, is a limited range of functions. Most industrial machines are designed to do just a handful of stitches, even as little as one or two. The principle behind this is that by doing less, it can produce more. It must be noted too, that in a commercial sewing operation, there is usually a range of machines to do different things, There’s no need for one machine to have to perform every function. The single function it does carry out is done quickly and reliably.
On the other hand, domestic machines are made for personal and home use. The latest household sewing machines come with all the bells and whistles. They have a wider range of functions than industrial machines, including an incredible diversity of stitches. Their versatility enables them to carry out all of the things needed to produce a garment – on the other hand, as we’ve discussed, commercial sewing operations usually rely on a number of machines to carry out those functions.
In terms of sewing speed, industrial machines win hands down. Domestic machines are usually a good deal slower and often have a cap on how fast they can go. This is actually a good feature for beginners or people who want to teach others to sew.
Overall, the quality of sewing is not as high on a domestic machine as you get with an industrial machine. However, the quality can depend on the materials you use and not just the machine. And, it must be said that the latest home sewing machines are better than ever before and capable of producing extremely professional results. These machines are so good, it would take a trained eye to tell the difference between a home-produced garment and a commercially made one.
In summary, you could say that industrial machines are about pace, power and productivity. Domestic machines are about versatility, fun and ease of operation. As sewing machine technology continues to advance, the features you find in one type of machine will become more evident in the other. With that in mind, it would be an interesting exercise to revisit this article in a few years time and see if the difference between industrial and domestic sewing machines is as big as it is now.
The author, Dr. David K Simson is a trained radiation oncologist specializing in advanced radiation techniques such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) / Rapid Arc, stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). He is also experienced in interstitial, intracavitary, and intraluminal brachytherapy.