Industrial sewing machines (or industrials) are mainly produced for the garment industry where each station is doing one task (like seaming, hemming, binding, buttonholing, etc.) so each task requires a different machine. My machine is a straight stitch so it just sews a straight stitch. No zigzag, no decorative anything. Other industrials just do zigzag stitch, or just do blind hem stitch, or are specialized as a walking foot, or chain stitch, or two needle, or whatever. (Variations on the Juki website.) Industrial machines are sold in two parts: the machine itself or 'head' and the motorized table or base that powers it. There is a belt from the motor under the table to the right side of the head that powers the machine, much like the belt drive on old treadle foot-powered machines. This makes the machine by itself useless (they have no power of their own) so these are not portable at all, and in fact, weigh over 100 lbs with the whole assembly.
|The shank area and single stitch foot/plate.|
So why would anybody want such a boring, beastly machine? Well, industrials are work horses and very powerful. They may only do the one thing, but they do it very well and without complaint. Mine has been in my family for 22 years and is still capable of 5000 stitches/min at its tuneups. Mine is also self-oiling and has a continuous bobbin winder that winds a fresh bobbin while I sew(which means I buy my thread two spools at a time if it is one I use a lot). A big bonus for quilters is the added throat space industrials have and the fact that they are all flush with their tables and have knee lifters. Most industrials are a 'high-shank' type which means there is more room from the foot to the arm which helps me see what I am doing. The throat space (the area between your needle and the body of the machine to the right of the needle) on my Juki is 10.5" by 6", which makes it really easy to maneuver quilts around for free-motion quilting. Industrials are also made to sew through and advance thick materials and multiple layers of fabric so I can get away with never using a walking foot. It is a real champ with sewing bags and upholstery items, even leather or billboard vinyl.
|The oil pan under the machine. I need to change my oil!|
|Tilting the 'head' to check the oil level.|
|My sweet bobbin winder on the right side of the head.|
|The motor underneath the table.|
|Throat spaces on my Juki vs. my Bernina.|
|The needle system.|
|Stitch choices are just length. 0 length means no feed dogs. The wide lever is reverse.|
There is usually a seam ripper next to those snips (full disclosure). Note the thread stand in the back of the table.
|Plenty of space but no options.|
That is just a little bit of info on my sewing machine and industrials in general. I love my machine as I hope everyone loves theirs. Juki has recently started making excellent home/domestic models and I believe a few guild members use them. If I won the lotto and were to purchase a brand new domestic machine they would be the first ones I would look at (sorry, Bernina...). Thanks for reading!! --- Rozina D.