The sewing machine is the most necessary invention for modern-day clothing construction. Before it’s invention, it took days and weeks to complete most garments by hand with a needle and thread, whereas today, some of the most intricate pieces of clothing can be completed in hours. Thomas Saint, who was an Englishman in 1790 is considered the inventor of the first working sewing machine.
Have you ever wondered how a sewing machine works it’s magic? It there is really nothing magical about it but it is a rather simple mechanical device. Let’s take a look at how it works.
The sewing machine locks in stitches as it runs along two pieces of fabric that are being sewn together. The person sewing uses a foot pedal that regulates the speed with which the machine makes a running stitch upon the fabric by applying lighter or heavier pressure upon the pedal with the foot.
A sewing machine has to first be threaded from the spool at the top of the machine down through the needle which is located just above the fabric that will be sewn. The thread goes through a series of hooks and a take-up lever before it is drawn through the eye of the needle. Bobbin thread also needs to be in place under the needle in order to have the threads perform a locking action as it stitches the fabrics together.
When a foot pedal is depressed, the threaded needle goes through the fabric and down through a hole in a metal plate called the throat plate. Underneath the throat plate is a bobbin, which is a threaded spool which sits inside the bobbin case and snaps in place into a bobbin well. Once the needle decends, a shuttle hook spins around and hooks the thread which is brought around the bobbin catching the bobbin thread in order to make a stitch. The two threads coming together lock the stitch in place.
So, you see, the sewing machine is a simple, yet very necessary, piece of equipment that is used all over the world on a daily basis.