Industrial sewing machine Advice

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Does anyone have any experience with industrial machine sewing? I decided my life would be made so much better if I had an industrial sewing machine and I have been looking at the various options out there. My budget is tight, simply because I won’t be able to justify another sewing machine purchase to Mr. Dibs not long after I bought my Pfaff Ambition 1. I currently have two Pfaff machines, the Select 4 and the Ambition, and I love them to bits. However, I want another machine. My blog name is Dibs and the Machine after all. I can’t help it, I love machines. You know how the uber geeky people go gaga over gadgets? That is how I feel about sewing machines. The only reason my house is not overflowing with machines is because 1) I cannot afford them and 2) Mr. Dibs has threatened divorce and 3) Mr. Dibs is not impressed by my dismal sewing output.

I am a Pfaff girl through and through, but unfortunately, I can’t seem to find affordable Pfaff industrial machines, and, if the internet is to be believed, Adler and Juki are the business in the industrial sewing world. Do correct me if I am wrong please.
I cannot afford an Adler, so Juki it is. I know Brothers also make good machines, but I have not really looked at them. I suppose I should since my budget is quite small for this type of machines.
So back to my question. Any word of advice on industrial machines? Do you have one that you love or know about that you think I should take a look at? I am leaning towards the Juki DDL 8700 but I would be grateful for any other suggestions.

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12 Comments

  1. October 11, 2014 / 2:57 pm

    I don't actually know what industrial machines are like. They sound fabulous! We went to see a wedding dress designer's studio in Brighton and she had an industrial machine sitting there. It looked very different and she explained to us that industrial machines are often made for just very few and specific functions. This one would only sew straight ahead! If you want to stitch back you have to swivel your sewing around. I was quite shocked by that.
    What are the Juki machines like that you looked at? I am rather keen to hear what their functionality is like.
    I must say though that I love my Janome 6600P – it has a bigger 'hole' under the arm so you can squeeze bulky sewing in (bridal, gowns or quilts etc) where you would struggle with other domestic sewing machines. I love the walking foot that swings down and locks in! How did I ever cope without one before?

  2. October 11, 2014 / 4:11 pm

    I have an industrial, it's actually my second one. My first one was a 100-years old singer that I upgraded for a juki 8300 (super similar to the 8700 you are looking at). My advice would be : get it used (check craigslist), industrials are meant to be used for years, there is really no reason to pay for a brand new one especially considering the limited number of hours we use them (compared to what they go through in factories), and if you can, get a servo motor. I don't have one because power here is irregular and would ruin it but it has many advantages : it is silent and a lot easier to control. Lastly, boyfriends/husbands like industrial machines, they remind them of cars…

  3. October 11, 2014 / 4:28 pm

    I've used that Juki model as well as Brother industrials at school and liked them both. Really, I don't think there's a huge difference between industrials. I second the vote to get one used- the technology doesn't really change and I've used one at work that's about 40 years old and feels exactly the same as the ones at school. I'm not sure if they're readily available in the UK, but I have the Juki TL2010Q, a semi-industrial, and I love it. It doesn't have a separate motor and it sits on a regular tabletop, so it doesn't require as much space as a true industrial, but it sews fast like an industrial and has a knee lift and a thread cutter in the foot pedal. You also just need to oil it before every use, which is different than industrials (their machinery basically sits in a pan of oil).

  4. October 13, 2014 / 4:04 am

    I have sewn with a Bernina 217N for years – this is a semi industrial, and is all you need for dressmaking. Industrials sit in a bed of oil, which needs changing every year – not fun. My semi – industrial doesn't. Industrial machines only do straight stitches, the Bernina 217N does zig zag as well, and you can use it for buttonholes (operator skill needed though – it's not an automatic or a four step buttonhole). I've used industrials – they are a lot faster than semi industrials, but not so good if you want to slow down a bit and control what you are doing.

  5. October 13, 2014 / 7:32 pm

    Hmm, interesting about the industrial not being able to sew reverse without swiveling your sewing. How ole was her machine? I think some of the more recent machines have the possibility of reverse sewing. I am still trying to find out which machine to go for. I have not been able to find any shop in Northampton that sells industrial machines, so I might have to go one weekend to Birmingham or London and test drive some machines. I will definitely let you know how I get on.

  6. October 13, 2014 / 7:38 pm

    I looked at your blog, and you make really beautiful things. One day I will reach your level I hope. We don't have craigslist here in the UK, so I checked ebay, and saw quite a number of good options. The Juki I am looking at retails from about £550 new I think. The Servo motor really sounds ideal. I took my husband with me to the only sewing shop in my town, and he was not impressed..pfff….he has no clue.

  7. October 13, 2014 / 7:41 pm

    Dude, the only Juki industrial I saw here in my town is even more expensive than the Juki in the post. The new juki industrial is about £400 les expensive than the semi industrial one. I have no clue why. hmmmm. I will test drive that semi industrial though, I might decide I want it after all, but that price man…..

  8. October 13, 2014 / 7:49 pm

    Hi Sarah, thanks for the input. I did see a couple used of semi-industrial machines on ebay, but I did not really look at them. Might have to go back and check. I saw a brand new juki semi-industrial but it was over £1000 and that is WAY above my budget.

  9. October 14, 2014 / 9:05 pm

    Thanks you're so kind!! Ignore the husband then!! I would not necessarily buy t through Ebay because it is SO heavy with the table and the motor and you may want to test drive it… Maybe you can have other classified websites in the UK. For reference I paid 500 USD for mine (table and motor included) and had to go pick it up in the Bronx, in a house where spanish speaking people where doing a live radio show… Weird…

  10. October 15, 2014 / 5:41 am

    Hahahahahaha. I can' t imagine what it must have been like. Did you get the name od the radio to check it out later? I don't drive yet so any purchase that needs to be picked up will need the help of my husband unfortunately and so i will need to bribe him. I take my test next month so hopefully i should be able to drive myself to a machine soon.

  11. October 17, 2014 / 4:57 pm

    Yes please do, it'll be so interesting and useful to hear how you get on.
    The Brighton wedding designer's machine seemed quite old, and I think she had quite a few other ones too (in a different part of the building that we didn't get to see).
    I hope you can convince your husband!

  12. October 28, 2014 / 3:06 pm

    Hello Sarah, my name is Goldie. Straight to the point. Get it. I have been sewing for over 44yrs. I have had my industrial machine for 20yrs. I love the speed. I have the Singer 20u33. My daughter has the model you are looking at the Juki. The Juki my daughter has sews a bit faster than mine. I beleive because my Singer is straight and zig-zag stitches. Hers (Juki) just sews straight stitch. Please take that into strong consideration. The zig-zag came in very handy with other projects. An industrial machine will sew and take on much heavier fabrics, such as home dec, or even if you decide to use heavy fabrics for coats, you just never know. If I may suggest, in your adventures of your art of sewing, always try to stay ahead of yourself machine wise. An industrial sewing machine will do it. Think of this also the different attachments you can purchase later. Such as will this model take a buttonhole attachment, a ruffler attachment, and other attachments that will be a great asset to your art of sewing. Speed, speed, speed, that it has. It will cause you to question yourself, "why did'nt I get one sooner". I pray you get it. Happy Sewing!!!!! Goldie

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