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What is a Needle Feed Sewing Machine?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Used extensively in both home settings and large scale textile production companies, the needle feed sewing machine is considered to be one of the best options when the sewing technique calls for rapid stitching with a high degree of uniformity. Offered by a number of different manufacturers, needle feed sewing machines can be equipped with several different features that can make the device even more desirable for a variety of sewing projects.

One of the advantages of the need feed sewing machine over other models is that it is possible to achieve a high level of uniformity in stitch length while still moving at a rapid pace. This helps to make the machine especially popular with manufacturers of items such as goose down jackets and sleeping bags. The ability to run sections of material through the sewing process and obtain a even stitch, while still keeping production levels at a high rate of efficiency, translates into more production in less time. Since more finished products means more opportunities to make a sale, the needle feed sewing machine has been a favorite in textiles for a number of years.

Another important feature of the needle feed sewing machine is some of the optional components that can help to make the device easier for the operator. Feed dogs are one of the most popular options on the needle feed style of machine. Essentially, a feed dog is a mechanism that helps to aid in the advance of material through the sight of the needle. Feed dogs serve as guides that help to keep the material straight as the stitch is applied. A feed dog is not only an asset in a manufacturing environment, but can also be helpful in home applications as well.

Presser feet are another component of the needle feed sewing machine that helps to make the device popular among both sewing professionals and hobbyists. Often stored in a compartment that is under the top lid of the machine, the foot helps to keep the thread straight. Generally, the storage compartment will hold several feet, so there is always a spare.

One final aspect of the needle feed sewing machine is that it is possible to acquire units that utilize a single needle or use two needles for the actual stitching. The double needle variety is ideal for sewing projects where the creation of a double seam will either enhance the look of the finished product or is necessary for stability. Many models with the dual needle capability allow the operator to adjust the machine for use with a single needle as well as making it possible to sew a double stitch design.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including About Mechanics, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon51575 — On Nov 07, 2009

A needle feed machine pulls the fabric in with the needle so as the material passes through the needle is through the fabric at the same time the feed from the bottom is pulling, hence no puckering. As for the other question when you say over feeding do you mean puckering? The way you can avoid this is to release the tension on the presser foot so thick fabrics loosen it and for thin fabrics tighten. hope this helps.

By anon40534 — On Aug 09, 2009

how does overfeeding of material happen on a needle feed machine?

By anon25540 — On Jan 30, 2009

I still don't know what needle feed actually does and how it works? Feed dogs are on all my domestic machines so it cannot be those...-Bryden

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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