What is an Overlocker On a Sewing Machine?: [UPDATED]

Most people who courage to enter sewing life often don’t know “what is an overclocker on a sewing machine“? This may be harmful to them because if they don’t know about an overlocker machine, they may not be able to show their hidden talents to the world in this sewing game.

An overlocker machine (also called serger) is a sewing machine that is designed to sew over one or two pieces of clothes producing overlock stitches.

This machine cuts off the fabric along the edges to prevent fraying while sewing.

Overlocker stitches
Overlocker stitches

Unicode to Krutidev

It also joins the edges of one or two pieces of clothes leaving overlock/overcast stitches. Mostly it is used for edging, hemming, or seaming.

The speed of overlocker machines is about 1000 to 9000 rpm and is mostly used for hemming, edging, and seaming a variety of fabrics.

Two needles overlocker machine
Two needles overlocker machine

Before buying the overlocker machine, you may wonder which company invented overlock stitching? What are the different types of overlock stitches and their uses? What are the uses of overlocker machines? Differences between an overlock machine and a normal sewing machine? Here you go.

Which company Invented Overlock Stitching?

You may know to do overlock stitching but did you ever think which company invented overlock stitching? You may don’t think about it. So let me tell you the name of that company which invented overlock stitching.
Here you go, Merrow Machine Company invented overlock stitching in 1881.

Different Types of Overlock Stitches and their Uses?

Overlocker machine provides many types of overlock/overcast stitches.
Simultaneously, you can use overlock stitches anywhere between 2 to 5 spools of thread.
They can be categorized by the number of threads used while hemming or edging. There are 5 types of overlock stitches. They are as follows.
➢ Single or 1 Thread Overlock Stitch
➢ Double or 2 Thread Overlock Stitch
➢ Triple or 3 Thread Overlock Stitch
➢ 4- Thread Overlock Stitch
➢ 5- Thread Overlock Stitch

Each of these threads has its different advantages and uses as explained below:

Single or 1 Thread Overlock Stitch:
You can use this stitch for end-to-end seaming, or “butt-seaming” of pieces of goods for textile finishing.

➢ Double or 2 Thread Overlock Stitch:
It is almost common in every overlock sewing machine and it has many uses in our sewing world. Double thread overlock stitch is a great choice for giving the edges of lighter-weight fabrics a perfect finish.
You can use this stitch for edging and seaming of woven fabrics, simple hemming, stitching elastic and lace to lingerie, stitching flatlock seams, finishing seam edges, etc.
This stitch is not much strong so it’s not a perfect choice for seaming.

➢ Triple or 3 Thread Overlock Stitch:
This stitch is a very famous choice for decorative edging and is very similar to the 4 thread overlock stitch but it is not much strong because only one needle is used.
You can use this stitch for quick finishing the edges and seam allowance of thick and medium weight fabrics, like 2 thread overlock stitch this stitch helps to seam knit or woven fabrics as well as finish fabric edges.
The 3-thread overlock stitch is also helpful for sewing pintucks, creating blind hems and narrow rolled hems, etc.

➢ 4-Thread Overlock Stitch:
This stitch is the strongest overlocking/serging stitch on your sewing machine and it’s the best choice for seaming.

If you look at your clothes, there is a high chance to get 4 overlock stitches on your clothes. If you want your fabrics to be long-lasting and flexible then use 4 overlock stitch on knit or wovens.
Like 3 thread overlock stitch, you can also use it for decorative edging and finishing.

➢ 5 Thread Overlock Stitch:
Only more expensive overlocker machines have the capability to sew 5 thread overlock/safety stitch. This stitch is a combination of a 2-thread chain stitch and a 3-thread overlock.
You can use this stitch for hemming the raw edges of the fabrics, creating a strong seam for heavyweight fabrics such as denim and terrycloth.
It is superior to 3 thread overlock stitch because it has 2 needles and 2 loopers secure stitch.

What is an Overlocker Machine Used For?

An overlock sewing machine is almost mandatory for a professional tailor because they need to do edging, hemming, and also perfect finishing for their fabrics. You can also use an overlock sewing machine if you need to do professional work like them. An overlock sewing machine surely pays off if you have the capability to use it for your sewing works.

Overlock machines are widely manufactured for different functions that even a conventional sewing machine cannot perform. Some of the plus points in an overlocker machine is doing neat and professional finishes. However, it cannot take the place of a sewing machine in all sewing projects. But you can also keep an overlocker machine with your sewing machine for doing professional work.
Overlocker machines have the following uses as listed below:

➢ Lockstitching,
➢ Decorative edging,
➢ General and rolled hemming,
➢ Making patterns and designs on-seam,
➢ Sewing pintucks, creating blind hems, etc.

What is the Difference Between an Overlocker and a Normal Sewing machine?

There are great differences between an overlocker and a normal sewing machine and they are listed below:

• Speed of an overlock machine is higher in comparison to a conventional sewing machine. An overlock machine could perform neat and professional works in about half of the time that a conventional sewing machine would take.
• The neck of an overlock machine is larger than the neck of an ordinary sewing machine.
• An overlock machine can use 3 to 8 cones of thread at once whereas an ordinary sewing machine can only use 2 cones of thread at once.
• You can sew your clothes from any side by your sewing machine but an overlock machine can only sew from the left side.
• An overlock sewing machine can reduce/remove excess seam simultaneously but a conventional sewing machine can not. For a sewing machine first, you will have to sew your clothes after cutting them.
• A sewing machine tends to be more flexible than an overlock machine because a sewing machine allows sewing from any side.
• An overlock machine can perform only some simple types of decorative stitching while a sewing machine can perform different types of decorating techniques.

Is It Necessary To Buy an Overlock Machine?

Absolutely it is necessary to buy an overlock machine because it performs it works about 1/2 of the times that a sewing machine takes to perform the same task and also there are many more works that a conventional sewing machine could not perform which only an overlock machine could do.

If you need neat, clean, and professional finishing on your fabrics then it is possible to do so by using an overlock machine. An ordinary sewing machine could not perform professional finishes.

Replacing a sewing machine with an overlock machine is also not compatible because the sewing machine is mandatory for sewing works. However, you can also keep an overlocker machine with your sewing machine for doing professional work.

Important Words

You should never replace your sewing machine with an overlock machine. However, you can also keep an overlock machine alongside your sewing machine. The reason for this is an overlock machine has limited capability in comparison to a conventional sewing machine.

Yeah absolutely it is costly having an overlock machine alongside your sewing machine, but you must also remember you can do neat and professional finishing works. If you are a professional tailor, owning an overlock machine will surely pay off by working on your projects that need a professional finish.

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Hey there, I am Sam, I have used several sewing machines in my life, so now I decided to open a blog so that I can help other people finding the best sewing machine out there in the market according to my experience & research.

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