Considerng a second hand upholstery sewing machine?
An upholstery sewing machine is necessary if you are planning on doing upholstery on a regular basis. Most look very similar to industrial machines. Actually, if you do not see a label or title on the machines, it can be difficult to tell them apart unless you are a seasoned sewer. Below is a picture of an Juki 8700 used for upholstery.
Some regular machines are also designed to handle the heavier and thicker upholstery fabrics. However, you will usually need to change the smaller, standard sewing needle to a bigger upholstery one.
It is not really recommended to attempt sewing heavy fabrics on a normal portable sewing machine unless the machine is specifically designed to handle it. Otherwise you will experience problems such as broken needles, bobbin and thread jams, because the tension will be difficult to adjust accordingly. You can seriously damage your sewing machine in this way.
A good idea would be to invest in a second hand sewing machine. There are numerous types and styles you can find. It does not matter how old the machine is as long as it does the job. I have picked old singer sewing machines with the walking foot and reverse stitch for next to nothing. The walking foot is the device under the foot that helps push the fabric through. The reverse stitch is an arm on the machine that when pushed down will reverse the stitching process. This is handy because when you are at the end of your sewing you can reverse the stitch and lock it. The heavy duty electric motor that runs the machine should have a clutch on it. The reason for this is if the material is too thick and the upholstery sewing machine cannot handle the load the clutch will disengage, preventing damage to the sewing mechanisms.
Buying a second hand machine it is like buying an older car. Take it to someone who specializes in sewing machines and have them take it for a test run. It will only take a few minutes to check everything out.
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