How to choose your first industrial sewing machine! - AE Sewing Machines

With so many types of industrial sewing machine available, choosing the right one can be a minefield! If you need help or recommendations tailored to your specific application then you can contact our team directly, but this guide should help to point you in the right direction.

To help you find the right industrial sewing machine for your needs, it’s a good idea to consider the following:

  • Do you need an industrial sewing machine? We’d love to sell you a sewing machine, but only if it’s the right choice for you! Think about your reasons for investing in an industrial machine – if your current domestic machine isn’t working for you but you aren’t looking to take your sewing to a professional level then it may be a better option to look for an alternative domestic model. Domestic models are more versatile and are generally a better choice for hobby sewers! However, if you’re looking to sew professionally or you sew for long periods of time then an industrial machine is likely to be worth the investment.
  • How much space do you have? Unlike domestic models which can be lifted and moved easily, industrial sewing machines need a special table to house the motor. This means they take up a lot more room and may not be suitable for your sewing space. It’s a good idea to check the size of the fully built machine and table before purchase just in case!
  • How much does it cost? It’s no surprise that professional standard equipment comes with a higher price tag than hobby machines. However, there are many good value options out there! We’ve written a list of our most commonly purchased entry-level machines to give you an idea of what to look for and some guidance on prices.
  • What do you want to use it for? Industrial sewing machines are ruthlessly trained sewing machines – they are designed to handle specific tasks in high volume, from straight line sewing to buttonholes or handling heavyweight fabrics. This means they are less versatile than domestic machines, so it’s important to have a clear idea of how you want to use it now (and in the future) to help you choose the right machine. More than one industrial sewing machine may be required to produce a single item if there are multiple processes involved.
  • How will the machine arrive? If you are purchasing your first industrial sewing machine, it’s worth considering how it will arrive! All machines purchased from AE Sewing Machines arrive fully built, set up, tested, and ready to use. Other suppliers will usually just send the boxed machine head unless otherwise stated. We do the hard work so all you have to do is plug it in, set up the thread stand, and get sewing!

The most popular beginner machines:

For tailored advice about the best possible machine for your application, please contact our team directly! As a guide to get you started, we have written a quick overview of the most common machine types and our best-selling entry-level machines.


When most people think of a generic sewing machine, they picture a lockstitch! These are the most commonly used machines for general sewing of lightweight to heavy fabrics. The straight stitch which is produced (stitch class 301) looks the same on each side of the fabric.

Light-medium weight fabrics:

Juki DDL-8100e – This is the lowest cost model, it does everything you need it to but the price is kept low by the lack of automatic functions and digital features

Juki DDL-7000A-7 – A step up from the 8100E which has digital features and additional features such as an automatic thread trimmer, backtack and optional automatic footlift.

Heavyweight fabrics:

Juki DU-1181N – The most basic walking-foot machine in our range which is perfect for beginners working with upholstery or leather items.


These machines, sometimes known as “sergers” produce “overlock stitches”. There are various different stitch classes, 503, 504 and 512 which are creating by using different amounts of threads in the stitch (3, 4 and 5 are the most common variances). The stitch, which resemble a series of loops, and are used for hemming and seaming. They usually cut the edges of the fabric as it is being stitched to prevent frayed or uneven edges. Overlock stitches are very common and often seen on the side seams of t-shirts and other jersey items.

Juki MO-6814S – A good entry level 2-needle, 4-thread overlock machine.

Juki MO-6714DA – A step up from the 6814S, a 2-needle, 4-thread overlock machine (semi-dry type) which eliminates the risk of oil staining on garments.


Both flatbed and cylinder bed coverstitch machines are incredibly popular and widely used in apparel production. When using a coverstitch machine, you get a 406 stitch class – on the top of the fabric, parallel rows of straight stitches are produced, and on the reverse loopers produce overlock or “serge” stitches. These types of stitches are found on many different items of clothing, particularly around hems.

Juki MF-7523-U11 – A flatbed coverstitch (universal type) for flat seaming

Juki MF-7923-U11 – A cylinder-bed coverstitch (universal) for hemming


A variant type of lockstitch machine designed to create zig zag stitches rather than straight ones. These machines consistently stitch two or more pieces of fabric together with minimal fraying at the seams and are very useful for edging fabrics and sewing with stretchy materials.

Juki LZ-2280A – A 1 step zig-zag machine (predominantly used for producing lingerie/swimwear and perfect for working with stretchy materials)


Chainstitch machines are frequently used for making jeans. With a chain stitch, two threads are bound together, interlooping and interlacing to create a “chain”. The stitches produced resemble lockstitches on the top side and double chains on the underside. The great advantage of chainstitch is there is no bobbin, so bobbin changes are almost completely reduced (you still have to change cones of thread).

Juki MH-481 – A 1-needle double chainstitch machine

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