Overlocker VS Sewing Machine: What Is the Difference

Last Updated on June 15, 2021

Overlocker Vs Sewing Machine: A sewing machine is a piece of equipment that seams dense materials. An overlocker is a sewing machine that seams the edges of irregular fabrics to prevent the fabric from unraveling. Each device can reproduce only one type of seam, ranging from ordinary straight stitches to decorative lines. A common feature of these seams is elasticity, which allows you to work even with knitted fabrics. It is desirable to have a toothed rack, which works with delicate material stretches the fabric, allowing you to reproduce more accurate and high-quality seams.

Overlocker VS Sewing Machine

The Differences Between the Overlocker and the Sewing Machine

The main difference between the overlocker and a conventional sewing machine is that two loopers are installed instead of the shuttle part, which performs their functions. In addition to them, there are two knives, an upper and a lower one, which is responsible for cutting and processing the edges of the product. Here’s what your should know when comparing a Overlocker VS Sewing Machine.

The device of the current overlocks provided the ability to remove the knives when required, only by sheathing the fabric. Including in some models, two pairs of loopers are installed, which can reproduce seams from four threads. In the process of work, you can turn off one, two, or three loopers at once, depending on how many threads you need to get a seam from.

Also, overlocks differ among themselves in the appearance of weaves. The loopers determine how the threads will be intertwined with each other and how many stitches will subsequently turn out in each seam. Each seam is made with one specific looper, but a three-thread overlock seam uses both loopers. It is designed for handling bulk materials.

A miniature tongue interlaces the threads, thereby maintaining the width of the overlock seams. If you remove it, you can get a three-thread border, the width of which does not exceed 2 mm. In addition to the tongue, you can attach a small metal staple to the upper looper, which brings the bobbin thread to the needle, helping to form a two-thread weave. The thread is threaded directly into the needle and the lower looper.

Important! The overlock may differ from the sewing machine in the number of threads required. If the overlocker simultaneously uses up to five threads, then the sewing machine can handle only two threads.

The overlocker uses the threads in such a way that they do not break during the processing of the material. This opportunity arises due to the direction of the threads not into the bobbin itself but directly into the bobbin of loops. As a result, the overlock stitch is strong and stretchable. The length of each stitch increases, and subsequently, the threads are not used as economically as they would be with a sewing machine.

Can a Sewing Machine Replace an Overlock?

By itself, the overlock goes as an addition to the sewing machine, increasing the functionality of its capabilities. But it is worth noting the fact that it can work well without it. And until recently, it was so because the overlock practically did not appear in stores, and only a few professional seamstresses knew about its existence.

The sewing machine is used to join the edges of the fabric. But, albeit slowly, it can handle the edges of dense materials. In the case of light fabrics, for example, chiffon, it is better not to use it since defects and stretch marks are inevitable.

What Is an Overlock on a Sewing Machine?

If a person does not plan to be professionally engaged in sewing clothes, then there is no particular need to purchase an overlocker. Some sewing machine models have a built-in program to reproduce overlock stitching on certain materials. It will help to process the edges of the products, and in general, will improve the quality of the seams obtained. It is better to be interested in the availability of this program right away when buying a sewing machine. But it happens the manufacturer himself describes such possibilities on the body of the device.

Sometimes an overlock foot is included with the sewing machine. But you can also purchase it separately if the device provides for the possibility of its installation. It cannot become a full-fledged replacement, but it can help combine two devices in one, providing the sewing machine with part of the overlock functions.


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