Overlockers have been around for many years and while the stitch may have stayed the same (or close to) the workings and especially the threading has changed dramatically. So the question is, with so many different brands and models of overlockers available, what overlocker is going to be best for you?
This guide will aim to assist you in selecting the correct overlocker so that you get the right serger that will save you time and frustration.
- Tension System
Setting up your overlocker does not have to be a struggle. While some brands have each tension set to a different level (or no tension control at all). The benefit of Janome and Elna is that every tension is set to “3”. This means that should the dials get bumped, you can reset the tension yourself without have to that your overlocker in to see a mechanic.
- Number of Threads
When shopping for an overlocker, it is easy to get confused with the number of different systems available (“4 Thread / 3 Thread”, 4 Thread / 3 Thread / 2 Thread”, & “8 Thread”). What this means is the number of threads being used to create the overlocking stitch.
If you look at the clothing that is being produced by the major labels and top designers, they are predominately using a 3 or 4 thread overlocking stitch for all seems. One of the few times that you see a different stitch is a 2 thread flatlock being used as a visible hem.
As with everything, it is personal preference, but the golden rule is “more thread, more threading”.
- Rolled Hem
Ensure that you purchase a machine that can be easily converted to do a rolled hem. Whether you use a rolled hem every day, or once a year, you will thank yourself later that you do not have to change your needle plate and foot each time you want to do a rolled hem.
Every Janome and Elna overlocker feature an easy converter slide, quickly and conveniently changing your machine between functions. Better still, the Janome 644D, Janome 744D, and Elna 664Pro also feature a tension switch that internal sets each tension for rolled hem for you.
Ease and convenience at the flick of a switch!
- Differential Feed
The major improvement to the overlocking market has been the addition of differential feed. Differential feed allows you to overlock over stretch materials without having them stretch under the presser foot. When possible look for a overlocker that features a wide scope on the differential feed. Janome and Elna have the differential range of 0.5 to 2.0.
While every overlocker on the market will cut the edge of work for you, ensure that the overlocker features a Tungsten Lower Blade. Not only do the tungsten blades last longer than their standard steel counterparts, using a tungsten lower and steel upper blade means should you ever run over a pin (a common hazard in overlocking) only one blade will be damaged. This will save you from the cost of replacing/sharpening both blades each time there is an accident.
- Thread Cutter
It is often not possible to have a pair of shears available when overlocking; that is why you should ensure that your future overlocker has a thread cutter in an easy to access location.
As you grow and develop your sewing style, you want a good overlocker that will allow you express your creativity. All Janome and Elna overlockers can be fitted with different feet and attachments allowing you to control what you can do.
Overlockers in Australia range between $299 and $4999. With every price point, sewing machine companies add addition features. However after you get to a certain price point, they seem to add features that very few people would ever use for the sake of it. To get a strong reliable overlocker that will last for years of day-in day-out sewing, the average price is $599~$699.
Feel free to get in touch with the team at Janome Sewing Centre, Everton Park Brisbane for any sewing advice you may need!