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How Does A Lockstitch Sewing Machine Work? Do You Need One?

How Does A Lockstitch Sewing Machine Work?

Our Guide To Lockstitch Sewing Machines – How Do They Work?

.Lockstitch sewing machines are popular in households and factories thanks to them being able to sew a variety of materials and produce a strong holding stitch on items. 

Our Guide To Lockstitch Sewing Machines - How Do They Work?

A Lockstitch sewing machine works by intertwining the two threads from two separate bobbins in order to produce a strong stitch. 

We’ve composed a short guide below which will discuss exactly what this machine is and how it works, the different types and how this stitch compares to a chain stitch.

What Is A Lock Stitch Sewing Machine?

As we mentioned above, lock stitch sewing machines work by using two spools of thread when sewing to create a strong lock stitch on materials. 

This works by the first spool sitting on top of the sewing machine, running through the tension arm and then into the needle eye.

The second thread from the other bobbin which is located under the foot then gets pulled around the throttle so that it can loop onto the other thread on the machines. 

You can control the speed and stitch size of a lockstitch sewing machine with ease by turning the dial/handwheel.

What Are The Different Types Of Industrial Sewing Machines?

The lock stitch sewing machine is classed as a kind of industrial sewing machine, there are lots of other types of sewing machines to check out too if you are looking at investing in industrial sewing machines. 

  • Overlock sewing machines – Overlock sewing machines create a series of thread loops over the sides of the fabric, they can be used for hemming and seaming, and it cuts fabrics as it is stitched.
  • Chainstitch sewing machines – This is formed when the needle is sent down from the upper thread into your fabric, it inter loops itself forming a chain, you will find these machines with one or two threads depending on the type you buy.
  • Coverstitch sewing machines – There is a wide variety of coverstitch sewing machines used in the industry, they work by producing a straight stitch which is parallel from two needles, and the back side produces overlock stitches, they are most commonly used for sewing garments such as shirts.

What’s The Difference Between A Lock Stitch & A Chain Stitch?

Many people get confused between a lock stitch and a chain stitch since the two are very similar.

Both chain stitches and lock stitches/zigzag stitches are great for strong seam stitches, we’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of stitch below.

Lock Stitch 


  • Stronger stitch. 
  • Cheaper. 
  • Easy to do.


  • Less natural. 
  • Roping look effect is not good.

Chain Stitch



  • You can only see it on the inside. 
  • Can unravel. 
  • Difficult to get done.
What's The Difference Between A Lock Stitch & A Chain Stitch?

Frequently Asked Questions About Lockstitch Sewing Machines

Is a lockstitch the same as a straight stitch?

Lockstitches differ from straight stitches they are also known as zig-zag stitches for pieces of fabric since the two threads cross over each other.

What’s the difference between domestic sewing machines and industrial sewing machines?

Industrial sewing machines have extra large motors on them which is what enables them to work for hours on end, smaller domestic sewing machines have smaller motors.

Is a chain stitch sewing machine expensive?

Chainstitch sewing machines are expensive heavy-duty sewing machines just like overlockers and lockstitch sewing machines.

How can I make a lockstitch without a lockstitch sewing machine?

To achieve a lockstitch without using one of these professional machines you can simply shorten the lockstitch to as short as possible then sew on the same spot 1-4 times.

Does a lockstitch machine have automatic sewing?

Lockstitch machines do have automatic sewing since they are industrial sewing machines for professional use.

Is a lockstitch machine good for sewing clothes?

Yes, a lockstitch machine is especially good at sewing medium-weight fabrics and durable fabrics such as jeans, this is thanks to the strong stitch and multiple modes the professional machine has.

How do an overlocker and lockstitch differ?

Overlockers differ from lockstitch machines because overlockers use loopers fed by multiple threads while a lockstitch uses a bobbin to sew with. 

The loopers on overlocker machines help to create a seam by keeping the fabric inside of the loops, this gives a clean edge to raw fabric and a professional look, which is why it’s often used on clothes.

Final Words

To conclude, a lockstitch sewing machine works by intertwining two threads from separate bobbins to create a loop in the material you are sewing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lockstitch Sewing Machines

Lockstitch sewing machines create one of the strongest kinds of stitches and are used on industrial machines most commonly, we suggest using a lockstitch machine on heavy-duty fabrics or garments such as leather or jeans.



Heya! I'm Debbie (Deborah), my pride and joy is It is a resource I created to serve the community around sewing, stitching, crocheting and like crafts. I have always been into all kinds of arts and crafts and somehow gravitate towards sewing... hence my site SewingThis.comView Author posts

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