Types of Industrial Sewing Machines
Lockstitch Sewing Machines
The type of industrial sewing machine you will need is dependent on the job you need it to do. Dressmaking or clothing repair require a straight stitch or drop feed machine like the Juki DDL-8300 High Speed Lockstitch Machine. For making car seats you would need a walking foot machine like the Juki DNU-1541 Industrial Sewing Machine- Unison Feed Lockstitch.
Straight Stitch or Drop Feed Machine
Most industrial machines fall under this this class of machine. Drop feed means that when the needle is in the material being sewn, the cam that controls the feeder drops to its lowest point allowing the feed to drop below the level of the needle plate. This means that there is no movement of the fabric ensuring that the needle and the hook catching it make a perfect stitch. When the needle comes up out of the fabric, the cam moves to the higher position, allowing the feeder to grab the material and propel it forward so the machine can make the next stitch.
This system is the most widely used system and allws the machine to work effectively at both high and low speeds. Most machines in this class have self-oiling systems to help with the high heat and lubrication of the machine. (For example, the Juki DDL-8300 High Speed Lockstitch Machine)
Needle Feed Machine
Needle feed machines have the same hook system as the drop feed but when the needle comes up through the material it pulls on the material helping the feeder pull the material through. This machine is often used on heavier fabric to keep it even and on double needle machines where there is a long length of fabric. Long lengths of fabric are required for projects such as making a sail for a boat. For an example of a needle feed machine, see the Consew 315R Industrial Sewing Machine- High Speed Lockstitch.
Walking Foot or Unison Feed
The walking foot machine is also called a compound feed because it is a combination of the needle feed movement and the movement of the top foot or feed. This ensures that the top and bottom layer of fabric finish off evenily.
The walking foot also allows you to sew with heavier material such as leather and upholstery with a foam lining. The machine's stitches remain consistent, even with very long pieces of fabric. For example, see the Consew 206RB-5 Industrial Sewing Machine- Lockstitch.