What an Overlock Machine or serger used for?
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What an Overlock Machine or serger used for?

Basically, Sewing Machines are categorized based on their features and functionalities. Embroidery machine and overlock machines are classified on their unique functionality.

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Overlock machines are also called Sergers. Sewing machines are meant for sewing, quilting, embroidering, zigzagging, making buttonholes, zipping, smocking and many more whereas overlock machines are used for serging, edging, seaming, hemming, zipping or overlocking - sewing one or more fabrics together. In other words securing the edges of fabric, such that the threads of the fabric do not get splitted or frayed.

over machine stiches

Overlock machines comes with an inbuilt blade such that the uneven and extra fabric can be automatically removed while serging. overlock stitch patterns are also made for seaming the fabrics like edging the napkins, sleepwear, sportswear, cushion covers, roll hemming the curtains, hemming elastics in lingerie, coverstitching the pillow covers, edging the fabric for a finished look, seaming the extra inner fabric of the garments like trousers, T-shirts any many other types of garments. overlock stitch patterns are of different types based on the number of threads are used for overlocking the fabric.

Difference between overlock machine and sewing machine

overlock machines or sergers are fast machines with about 5000 spm(stitches per minute), these machines are best suitable for garment textiles where large number of garments is designed in less amount of time. Overlock machine functionality are completely different from sewing machines, overlock machines cannot be used for normal straight forward or reverse sewing, embroidery or quilting. These machines are just for edging or seaming the fabrics, nowadays almost all garments inner are overlocked internally. overlock stitch patterns are different from normal sewing machine stitch patterns, unlike sewing machine overlock machine uses 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 threads at a time. The concept here is all about the needle and loopers, upper looper and lower looper, the upper looper makes a loop on upper side of fabric and lower looper makes a loop on lower side of the fabric, depending on the number of threads you choose for edging the fabric.

Threading this needle is different from simple sewing machines some edging stitches need two needles to be threaded. This machine is faster and efficient compared to normal sewing machines. overlock machine have two presser foot or feed dogs, positions of both presser foot can be adjusted as required, mostly depending on the width-wide or narrow stitch, tight or loose stitch you need sometimes on the thickness of fabric. Overlock machines with 3, 4 and 5 thread stitches are expensive and have varieties of features, these machines cannot be used for sewing, embroidery, quilting or zigzagging. Overlock machines have double throat width when compared to simple sewing machines.

Price of overlock sewing machines in India vary on the machine’s capacity, number of threads used for overlock stitch. Generally, overlock machines have less stitch pattern features and used in industries where large number of garments are designed in less time.

Overlock machine Vs Sewing machine

Feature Overlock machine Sewing machine
In-built presser foot 2 1
Sewing No Yes
Embroidering No Yes
Seaming/overlocking Yes No
No. of needles 2 1
Stitches per minute 5000 2000
In-built cutter/blade Yes No
Heavy-duty machine Yes Not all
No. of thread spools 1 1 to 5
Budget Expensive Inexpensive
Meant for household No Yes
Used for industries Yes Yes
By www.zelect.in

Types of stitches patterns can be designed on Overlock Machines

  1. Stitch type 501-Single thread overlock
  2. Stitch type 501 is a single thread stitch pattern. This type of stitch is used for home applications; this stitch uses one needle and one looper. This stitch is a simple hem stitch made on the lightweight cloth. This stitch is Suitable for light weight fabric; however this stitch will have very little hold on the fabric. This stitch is not suitable for edging or seaming. This stitch may be easily spoiled or on break of single thread loop the whole stitch can be spoiled.

  3. Stitch type 502 - Two thread overlock
  4. Stitch type 502 is a double thread stitch pattern. This type of stitch also uses one needle and one looper. This stitch type is suitable for edging trousers, lightweight fabric. This stitch doesn’t hold the loop securely. This stitch gives a simple finishing edge for the fabric.

  5. Stitch type 504- Three thread overlock
  6. Stitch type 504 is a three thread overlock, this stitch is considered as a standard overlock stitch. In Comparison of stitch type 501 or 502 stitch type 504 is a secure overlock holding a good firm on the fabric and gives a professional look edging and seaming finish.

    Stitch type 504 looks same on both sides of the fabric. Vertical movement of needle and horizontal movement of two loopers make a three thread overlock stitch. The needle thread makes a loop together when it interlocks with the under looper thread on the underside and upper looper thread on the upper side. This stitch type is best suitable for decorative edging, rolled edging, wovens, edging napkins, sewing laces and knits.

  7. Stitch type 514- Four thread stitch overlock
  8. Stitch type 514 is also called as chain stitch or a safety stitch. Four type thread stitch is secure stitch using two loopers and two needles. A perfect serged seam can be stitch by four thread overlock stitch. Best suitable for sewing lingerie, sleepwear, sportswear etc.

  9. Stitch type 516-Five thread stitch overlock
  10. Five threaded overlock machine machine is a latest machine which is more secure and durable than four threaded stitch overlock stitch pattern. This stitch pattern uses 2 needles and 3 loopers. Interlocking of left needle and lower looper together creates a 2- thread chain stitch.

    overlock machine serger sample stitch

    Advantages of Overlock Machine or Sergers

    1. Overlock machine machines are very fast machines with about 5000 stitches on minute, these machines are designed for garment industries purpose.
    2. Overlock machines or sergers are very efficient machines reducing the manual effort and time saving.
    3. Professionals can use it edging and hemming.
    4. Variety of fabrics like denim, linen, cotton, silk, woven, can be serged on overlock machine.
    5. Overlock machine are best suitable for attaching Elastic, lingerie can be sewed on overlock machines.
    6. Different types of stitch patterns can be sewed.

    Disadvantages of Overlock Machine or Sergers

    1. Expensive
    2. Cannot be used for sewing, you need a sewing machine along this machine.
    3. Threading is difficult.
    4. Consumes lot of thread.
    5. Consumes more power as it is a heavy duty machine.
    6. Less stitch patterns and advance features when compared to computerized sewing machines.

    Best overlock sewing machines in India

    1. Singer 14SH764CL Stylist Serger
    2. SiRUBA HSO-747D Overlock Sewing Machine for professional
    3. Mini electric overlock machine-Panama Overlock Sewing Machine
    4. Four Thread - 15 Stitch patterns - Over lock Sewing Machine Bernette

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