Friday, January 28, 2011

Industrial Sewing Machine Q&A


Just posting some Q/A from the etsy forums on this topic for future reference. Many super etsians have shared info on this as well.


I am picking up my machine on Weds Feb 2nd next week, I will be going with my husband to get this he plans to tape me during the "training" so I have it for future reference.

Question on the feet, I have been told there are a variety of feet that are available. I am getting a quarter inch foot and 3 different zipper feet, I have not seen any of these in person. I was told they do offer a variety of other feet for piping, rolled hems and teflon, these are often used by decorators for drapes and heavy fabrics so these are common to that. I am hoping though not optomistic my walking foot (or any) might fit on as well, or that is something I can add. Additionally you can have a seam guide installed onto your machine at a set stitch, I would assume this is a plate with a raised groove, this is what they were originally going to give me. I took all the feet I use now so they could get a sense of what I needed, he said a quarter inch foot is no problem - it was just not what they called it.

I will NOT have to do any assembly at all, that was part of my price package. Usually with the industiral machine, you have the "head", motor, table and all the workings down below and then the foot pedal which will be affixed to the table. When I get my machine on Wednesday they will be fitting to foot to my desired location, when originally built (by the dealer) it is center of needle on the machine, which would be the left foot, which is not how I sew. I was told there are about 20 components for the machine and table. They will remove the head for transport and show us how to put it back on, the machine and table will weigh about 250 pounds. My table will be fitted with rubber feet as it will sit on hardwood.

Saftey - I literally wake up at night thinking/worrying about this. The main feature for me about saftey is speed and getting used to that speed This machine has speed control from 100 stiches per minute (SPM) which is super slow all the way up to 5000 SPM. I am doubtful I will sew much faster then 1600-2000 and even this only occasionally. The machine comes with a "finger guard" this is basicially a black wire shape in front of the fabric feed area. It meets OSHA requirements but I was told it is almost always removed, I think that was about it for saftey features.

I don't work a whole lot with anything heavier then cottons but was told it will easily sew through layer and layers of home decor fabrics. At this particular dealer they sell this mainly to automotive and marine supplier who do sew vinyls and leathers, I would ask specifically about your fabric uses when doing research. When I took my samples that were cottons and some interfacing the dealer really thought I needed the "needle feed machine" which seem to me like a lesser version of the walking foot, the needle moved to feed in the fabric. This was about a 1600.00 jump or almost double of what I am getting. I really felt as my Viking handles all my tasks now that a much better stronger machine would be sufficient. I do a lot of straight sewing most of which is not with layers of interfacing the needle feed seemed like overkill for me.

Thanks Peacock and studiocatb for the input and links, I am totally going to check them out as well. My machine is the "next generation" of the 8500 with a few updates, so that is a good point of reference as well.

I hope this is helpful, I know I spent a lot of time finding bits and pieces of info on a home business going through this process. I totally appreciate all the comments and conversations.

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