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The Uses Of Sewing Machine

May 13, 2008
Sewing machines were invented long back during the first Industrial Revolution. The intention behind the invention of such machines was to decrease the time required in sewing, as before this all the sewing work was done manually. The cloth companies needed to optimize their work and sewing machines was the answer.

Once the first sewing machine was invented, the productivity and the efficiency of the clothing and fabric industries increased vastly. Also, the sewing machines have improved greatly with their speeds increasing manifolds, variations available in stitching styles. The modern sewing machines look and work in a much more mechanized way as compared to the sewing machines which our great grandmothers used. Instead of simple stitching, they embroider, stitch, attach buttons, do pekoe and many more other activities.

The older machines used a single thread chain stitch mechanism. The modern sewing machine uses two threads instead of one and uses what is called lock stitching mechanism. The industrial sewing machines are generally specialized for one type of stitching since they need to be optimized. They are designed in a way that the fabric is able to glide in and out easily, without any hassle of thimbles and needles. The ease reduces the effort required and saves a lot of time.

The problem with the chain stitch was - it was extremely weak and it was possible to pull it apart very easily. With the introduction of machines in the field, people started to think that a better and stronger way of stitching could now be devised which would only be possible through machine usage. Lock stitch was the answer to their questions. In the case of lock stitch, two different threads are interlocked from both the sides of the fabric. It results in a stitch which can be looked as if the fabric is stitched from both ends making it much more strong and durable than the conventional chain stitch.

Thomas Saint was the first person to have a design for sewing machine patented. His machine was designed to work on canvas and leather. A working model of the same was never built. Other designs and patents came along in the future. Walter Hunt was the developer of lock stitch technique.

Other than the basic requirements in the motion of loopers, needles and bobbins, the most important movement is that of the fabric. It is necessary that the fabric moves at the required time (generally continuously) so that the stitches are made at the right position. The motion is also called as `feed`. Typical feed motion include: needle feed, drop feed, puller, walking foot, and manual. Generally, more than one kind of feed is used in a single machine to optimize the working.

A household machine will generally include only the lock stitch mechanism. But the machine can be used in a little different way (generally by moving the needle in different ways which is an included function in the machine); fancy stitches can be made possible. The simplest form of a fancy stitch is zigzag in which the needle just needs to perform an oscillatory motion continuously as the stitching is done normally.

Mechanical configuration can differ vastly in sewing machines. Some of the typical configurations are - cylinder bed, flat bed, off the arm and post bed. All the basic feed mechanism and stitch types are available in all these configurations. However, for industrial purposes the best possible configuration is used for a type of stitch. Like, blind stitch always uses cylinder bed configuration.

The invention of sewing machine was a necessity. And its introduction greatly increased the production and quality of the cloth industry.
About the Author
This article can also be accessed in portuguese from the Article section of page www.polomercantil.com.br/eletroportateis.php
Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for www.PoloMercantil.com.br
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