Sewing Machine or Serger – What’s the Difference?

Sewing is an ageless and fun hobby enjoyed by many creative people. It is the craft of attaching or joining materials such as fabrics, using stitches made with a thread and needle. The skill of sewing is used for products in many fields, from apparel, sportswear, shoes, to bags and tableware. Sewing is one of the oldest forms of textile arts used to date.

If you are on your sewing journey, then you probably own a sewing machine and know how it works. But are you familiar with a serger or an overlock machine? Are you aware of the working of this machine? Do you need both a sewing machine and a serger at a time? If not, then this article will help you provide all the information about a sewing machine and a serger and the difference between the two.

By the end of the article, you will be able to decide whether you need to spend coins on a sewing machine or a serger or both.

What is a Sewing Machine?

If you are planning to venture into the world of sewing, start with a sewing machine. It is a device with a mechanically driven needle, which is operated by a motor. It can stitch many types of fabrics, in a variety of different patterns that to in a concise time.

A sewing machine has one bobbin and thread to sew clothing. It is an elementary device to work with and is also super-efficient.

There are many types of sewing machines. The most common being mechanical and computerized. The things you should look for in a quality sewing machine is weight, durability, built-in stitches, heavy-duty or seamstress use, and stitch options like buttonholes.

A sewing machine has a lot of variance and tactics in their working method, so choose one that fits your work best.

What is a Serger?

A serger is a specialized sewing machine, also known as an overlocking machine. It includes features that are not found in a typical sewing machine. It has almost 3 to 5 bobbins attached with 3 to 8 different thread cones, alongside blades to cut the seams.

A serger loops thread around the fabric without fraying, giving it a finished and professional look. It trims the seam and encases raw edges, making the seam durable. A serger works faster and more effectively than a regular sewing machine.

The Similarities

It doesn’t seem like it, but a sewing machine and a serger have a lot in common. The functions that both devices can perform flawlessly are as follows.

  • Gather fabric.
  • Blind hemstitches.
  • Neatly attach piping.
  • Do a narrow, rolled hem.
  • Can sometimes hem knit.

The Differences

The fundamental differences between a sewing machine and a serger are,

  • A serger has more needles than a sewing machine, which has only one.
  • Many threads accompany the multiple needles of a serger. To handle a large number of threads, more bobbins are required. Whereas, a sewing machine requires a single bobbin.
  • A serger works on an automatic system to control the movement of threads. On the other hand, a sewing machine is controlled both in manual and automated ways according to the requirement.
  • A serger works more efficiently and rapidly than a sewing machine.
  • The average sewing speed of a serger is 1300 to 1500 stitches per minute, and the average sewing speed of a sewing machine is 300 to 800 stitches per minute.
  • A serger works on a fixed pattern, whereas a sewing machine allows more creative freedom. You can

Functions Particular to a Sewing Machine

Other than the things discussed above, a sewing machine can:

  • Straight stitch.
  • Zig-zag stitch.
  • Embroidered stitching.
  • Create buttonholes.
  • Insert zippers.

A sewing machine offers a range of stitches and can put together a garment. The flexibility of work that a sewing machine offers is incomparable. It is best for beginners because it is effortless to handle, and you can edit your garment as much as you like while using this device.

Functions Particular to a Serger

Other than the similarities discussed above, a serger can:

  • Overlock or mock overlock stitch.
  • Mock flatlock stitch.
  • It can do a cutting knife stitch to make the hem look clean.
  • Works well with fabrics like chiffon.

This machine mainly focuses on overlocking. It joins the pieces of fabric and loops thread over it, which prevents fraying, and the built-in cutters give a neat look. It is less time consuming and effective. A serger is perfect for industrial use as it provides the garment with a store-bought feel.

What Should You Use?

If you are a beginner, the only machine you need is a sewing machine. Having only a serger will limit your options as it does not have a primary use in the household. There are no stitching patterns that you can do with a serger, not even a straight stitch. A serger cannot create a garment; it can only finish it.

A serger is only required by a professional or a person who is experienced in the art of stitching. It will make your work faster, easier, and professional.

On a sewing machine, you stitch a garment and then finish the raw edges separately. That is why a serger is a great machine to use alongside a sewing machine. Using both together will help create neater and professional looking items.Some modern sewing machines can also do basic overlocking, so it is not necessary to get a serger.

Using a sewing machine and serger together is excellent for the mass production of garments.

Final Verdict

All information concerning both devices is discussed in detail. A sewing machine is a basic necessity if you want to sew only. If you are doing DIY projects in your home that require sewing, then you need to use a sewing machine before buying a serger. A serger cannot help you make garments; it just does the end work.

It is the era of technology, and using a serger is perfect in terms of high-quality and consistent work. The best results can be achieved when you use both devices together.

We hope this article helps you get a better understanding of a sewing machine and a serger. One last reminder: make sure to choose a device based on your needs and preferences.