Let’s talk about industrials for a moment. There seems to be a misconception among home sewers that “industrial” means heavy duty. Not so. There are industrial machines for all different types of work. An industrial dressmaking head will no more sew heavy materials and be able to handle heavy nylon thread than whatever home machine you are working on. Nor will a machine intended to handle heavy materials work well if you are making a dress.
This is an industrial zigzag – a Singer 20U-33. She used to be blue but she had a face lift last year. :-) I use her mainly for uniform work in my embroidery business (sewing on trims, tackle twill numbers, etc.). She also handles home dec projects very well (dust ruffles, draperies, pillows, etc.) and doesn’t mind lightweight garment leathers. However, she does not like heavy work, nor does she like heavy thread. Believe me, I tried it *very carefully* last year and ended up breaking the hook.
This is an industrial walking foot machine – a Consew 206RB. She LOVES heavy work! She will sew through bulky layers of leather or awning canvas like a hot knife through butter. Heavy thread? No problem! I use her mainly for sewing heavy leathers but she will handle anything and everything from canvas on up. My friend Sandy uses the same machine in her upholstery business and my friend Sharon uses a similar model (the 226) to make tapestry purses and pressing boards.
What really peeves me are unscrupulous Ebay sellers who list plain old domestic machines as “industrial”. Just because it looks like an iron horse doesn’t make it industrial and if it is industrial doesn’t mean it will handle heavy work. Do your homework – I cannot stress this enough! If you don’t know someone who is knowledgeable about the model you are considering, a wealth of information can be found right here on the internet.
Here’s a good one. This machine is being sold as an “industrial walking foot”. Check out the sticker! ;-) It even uses “industrial thread”! You mean, like cone thread? Wow.
And look! The seller has cleverly disguised the “industrial walking foot” as a plain old zigzag foot. Read further and you’ll find that the walking foot is “detachable” – a dead giveaway. Honestly, how do people keep a straight face when they are typing up these listings? Even worse, how do they sleep at night?
The seller says he has sold this machine for nearly $1000 new in the box but you, my dear Ebay buyer, can buy it for just over $100. My local dealer sells this budget-friendly home machine for $99.