Create neat, tailored edging and hems to clothing, bedding and more with our wide overlocker range. Discover our sewing equipment collection at Spotlight today.
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Learn Everything You Need To Know About Overlockers
Once you become more proficient at sewing with your sewing machine, you may consider purchasing an overlocker at one point. Overlockers may look like sewing machines with a few extra spools, they actually have a specific purpose. If you are looking into overlockers and want to learn more about them, be sure to read through our easy guide below.
What Does An Overlocker Do?
An overlocker is a specialist sewing machine. When you feed fabric through an overlocker, it will trim the edges of the fabric automatically. It will also create a special wrap of thread around the edges, giving you a cleaner finish when you join fabric together. This effect can be a lot harder to achieve on a regular sewing machine and requires considerable skill. Therefore, crafters will often look to obtain an overlocker to save some valuable time.
What Is The Difference Between A Regular Sewing Machine And An Overlocker?
Upon first glance, there may not seem too much of a difference between a regular sewing machine and an overlocker. However, the overlocker can do something that a regular sewing machine can't do. In fact, the overlocker is king at the so-called stretch stitch.
Doing a stretch stitch on a regular sewing machine can be next to impossible. Most stretch stitches on a normal sewing machine will part easily. Applying these stretch stitches with a regular sewing machine can also take a very long time, so many crafters often fear patterns with stretch stitches.
Fortunately, stretch stitches are not a problem for a good overlocker. Crafters can easily work with stretchy fabrics and their accompanying stretch stitches. They will also find that the finish with an overlocker is a lot cleaner and more professional-looking.
What Is The Significance Of The Extra Thread On An Overlocker?
When you look at an overlocker machine, you will notice it has the room for many additional spools of thread. The average overlocker will use between two and five thread spools, which in turn will create the specific stitch this sewing machine is associated with.
As a crafter, you can usually choose how many threads you use on your overlocker. Most crafters will recommend using four threads for a good stretch stitch. Using four threads will give you a durable stretch stitch that does not come apart while wearing your clothing. While you could get away with using three threads, using four threads is a much safer option.
What Stitches Can I Do With An Overlocker?
We already mentioned the stretch stitch in great detail, but there are other stitches that can be done with an overlocker. Here are some of the main stitches you can do.
Flatlock: The flatlock is a technique used to join the edges of two separate pieces of fabric. The benefit of the flatlock technique or stitching is that it leaves a clean seam without any unnecessary bulk.
The narrow hem: When you use an overlocker, you can use a narrow hem as well. The benefit of using the narrow hem is that it looks more discreet on apparel. So, if you don't like overstated hems, then the narrow hem with your overlocker will be perfect.
The rolled hem: This hem is done with three threads and creates a slight rolled effect. Like the narrow hem, it provides you with a different finish than the standard hem you would do with a regular sewing machine.
The cover stitch: Some overlockers are able to do a cover stitch, which is basically a wide hem. However, consider that you may have to change settings and some of the configuration of your overlocker. The ease with which you do this does depend on the features of your overlocker. If you struggle with the cover stitch, you can also obtain a specialist sewing machine for this.
Affordable Overlockers At Spotlight
At Spotlight, you can take advantage of various overlocker machines. We provide them in various designs and with countless features, so you are bound to find something that matches your crafting preferences. We also provide some matching accessories and spools of thread, so be sure to check out the other sections on our website too.