Which is best for clothes?

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Whether you run a small sewing business from home or sew your own clothes, you need the right machine to get the job done efficiently. A question that comes up regularly in the beginner sewing community is whether you should use a serger or a sewing machine for garments.

So what are sergers, and how do they differ from sewing machines? Should you choose one over the other or should you use both?

Read on to find the answers to these three questions and more.

Photo, Tato Toto.

Serger versus sewing machine: what’s the difference?

In a nutshell, a serger is a specialized sewing machine. When comparing a serger to a sewing machine, the main difference is that a serger – or serger – has different capabilities.

Unlike a traditional sewing machine, a serger can sew a seam, trim the seam allowance and enclose the edge of the fabric simultaneously.

Sergers are also called sergers because they use an overlock stitch to fold the fabric over and wrap the seam, resulting in a perfectly clean, professional-looking edge.

Sergers also differ from sewing machines because they use multiple spools of thread at once to loop the stitches together – this means the stitches produced by sergers are sturdier than those made by a standard sewing machine.

What can a sergeant do?

A serger performs three functions to ensure that garments look neat and professional.

A serger automatically cuts seam allowance fabric, sews the seam, then overlocks the edge of the fabric with an overlock stitch to keep it neat and protect the fabric from fraying.

However, sergers aren’t just used to make garments look more professional; they also cut, sew and overlock at phenomenal speed. Indeed, a serger can achieve up to 1700 stitches per minute!

Sergers can perform some of the same functions as a sewing machine – such as gathering fabric and making piping, rolled hems and hem knitwear.

What can’t a sergeant do?

While a serger is an essential machine if you want to quickly create professional looking garments, there are some things a serger cannot do.

For example, you will still need a sewing machine to create facingsstitching, zippers and buttonholes.

Serger vs Sewing Machine: Which is Better for Clothing?

Photo, Ashley Worsham-Giaccone.

Conclusion: Which machine is best for clothes?

Which machine you should use will largely depend on the type of fabric you are using.

When comparing sergers and sewing machines, the most important factor to consider is that the two machines have different capacities. Because sergers and sewing machines are constructed differently, they are not interchangeable. A serger cannot replace all the functions of your sewing machine.

If you want fast, neat, and factory-accurate seams on your garments, a serger is the best way to achieve it. While some sewing machines come with an overlock feature to enclose the edge of the fabric, it will never look as professional as a seam made with an overlocker.

Sergers are also the best option for sewing stretchy or knitted fabrics – like merino wool – or fabrics that tend to wrinkle, like velvet, silk and lace.

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