Domestic or Industrial Sewing Machines?
What is the difference between domestic and industrial sewing machines?
If you happen to be experienced in the area of sewing, or you are a ‘quilter’ with a few years or perhaps even decades, then it is quite likely that you have a couple of sewing machines lying around. That being said, finding the perfect machine just for you, whether you are experienced or are new to sewing, it can be overwhelming – there is a lot to choose from.
To begin with, the first decision that you are going to have to make is whether you need, or even should, buy domestic or industrial. There are lots of other descriptors, but the choice is a domestic or industrial sewing machine. That's it.
Now, deciding between the two of them is a bigger deal than you possibly realise, whether you are new or an old hand. Deciding between the two is important because it will determine which features will be available to you and the types of projects that can handle.
So, apart from the naming convention, what are the differences between the types of sewing machines?
Both industrial and domestic sewing machines can accomplish the basics
Naturally, both machines are built for sewing so let’s put that aside. When it comes to making garments or basic projects, you can fully expect both machine types to be able to see these two things through to completion. That being said, however, just because both can that does not mean the results are going to be the same in terms of quality.
Quilting and crafting, for instance, is possible with either option but some machines offer more in the way of comfort, convenience and quality.
When it comes to price, also, you can find affordable options in both machine types and when you consider that industrial machines can be hired, rather than bought outright, then the decision making process gets that little easier.
What are industrial sewing machines able to do that domestic machines cannot?
While industrial machines were initially designed and made for businesses, factories, film studios, education sector etc. It is also common to see them in private homes too.
Industrial sewing machines are capable of producing exceptional high-performance in terms of the quality of the sewing, much more so than domestic machines. Apart from the quality, industrial machines also operate at much higher speeds and this is because of their high-powered motors.
These machines can also handle heavy-duty thread and heavy-weight fabrics such as leather and upholstery material. As just one example of this, the Jack H2 Walking Foot is ideal for heavy fabric.
Are there things that domestic machines can do that industrial machines cannot?
Domestic sewing machines come with ‘fancy’ stitches, where an industrial machine will normally have one or two stitches. One plus for the domestic sewing machine though is that they do not require cleaning. While industrial machines do require cleaning and oiling, this is usually outweighed by the sheer versatility and quality of the finished project.
With sewing speed in mind, domestic machines are much slower and there is a cap on the maximum speed possible. Of course, this makes them great for those just starting out or those teaching others how to sew using a machine.
Also, it is worth bearing in mind that while the quality of the finished stitch is not as good as with industrial sewing machines, this can often be compensated for with the expertise of the operator.
So, which of the two should you opt for?
It all depends on what it will be used for and whether the higher quality is something that is being looked for. For the beginner, it would be remiss not to say that a domestic sewing machine is possibly the better option of the two.
For operators that are more experienced and need higher quality/speed, or you run a business then the industrial sewing machine has to be the obvious choice. If you are not sure, or if you have a question, you can use the online chat function in the lower left of each screen. Or you can fill out a quick form here if you don’t quite have the time for a chat.