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What Is A Horizontal Sewing Machine? Find Out Here!

Our Guide To Horizontal Sewing Machines

When choosing a sewing machine, figuring out what hook your model needs is important since this affects what you can do with the machine.

A horizontal sewing machine is normally a rotating hook machine where the bobbin drops from the top of the machine and stitches then have to make a 90-degree turn with the top load horizontal hook.

We’ve composed a short guide below taking you through what a hook on a sewing machine is, how horizontal and vertical ones differ, how horizontal and vertical bobbins differ and the pros and cons of each one.

What Is A Horizontal Sewing Machine?

What Is The Hook On A Sewing Machine?

The hook on a sewing machine is essentially the ring that surrounds the bobbin case on the machine selection. As the needle moves thread down through the material the hook will be moving around the bobbin. 

Hook revolutions are important in machine effect usage since the finger needs to go through the loop, catch thread then take it down as the needle comes up again. 

How Do Different Types Of Hooks Matter On Sewing Machine? 

The type of hook you choose on your sewing machine, oscillating or rotary affects the bobbin thread and how it is loaded in the machine, for example, an oscillating hook will not carry the bobbin thread entirely around the case, it instead moves it just to the centre. 

Oscillating Hooks

This means the pressure of the needle will pull it down and doesn’t need to change direction, the main oscillating movement of this hook is that it stays in reverse and then switches back again each time the needle comes back and down.

Rotary Hooks 

Rotary hooks on the other hand simply stay in one direction, allowing the thread to go all the way around the bobbin case, taking a thread loop over the bobbin case and then releasing the loop on the other side which is what makes the stitch. 

The take-up lever on these current machines is what lifts the top thread up as the needle comes down tightening the stitch and tension discs. 

What Is A Horizontal Sewing Machine?

Horizontal Vs Vertical Bobbins – Which Is Better? 

Apart from the orientation of your hooks, you should also consider whether you’re after a top-loading or a drop-in bobbin. 

Drop-in bobbins are now mostly used on current machines and economical sewing machines since they are easier to use than front-loading options. On these machines, you will see that the bobbin sticks out on top, to remove it you just have to take off the needle plate and then the bobbin case which is normally found horizontal underneath. 

Front-loading bobbins are found much more on an older plain workhorse machine, this is where the bobbin case will sit vertically with a door for access. These bobbin machines are much harder to change than horizontal ones and take more time to get the right tension with too. 

Horizontal bobbins on the other hand are a lot easier to change and suited for beginners, thanks to their clear cover cases which allow you to see how much bobbin thread you have left inside.

Frequently Asked Questions About Horizontal Sewing Machines

Why is the drop in horizontal bobbins better? 

Drop-in horizontal bobbins are much easier to use since you are simply just dropping in the bobbin, no effort is required to move the case, which can speed up your sewing time too.

What are the two different types of thread spools in sewing machines? 

You can also find two different kinds of spools in your sewing machine, criss-cross or stacked, stacked thread spools are traditionally wound in a line and work best in vertical machines while criss-cross thread spools are meant for horizontal machines since the sewing thread comes off easier.

Why does my vertical spool thread keep catching?

If your vertical thread keeps getting caught or jammed then it’s likely not coming off at the right angle, otherwise, the thread will keep getting stuck at the grooves on the end of the spool.

Is a rotary or oscillating hook on a sewing machine better?

Rotary hook models are great if you want to be able to sew faster on your machine since they take less time to change direction, they can also make wider zig-zag stitches. 

Oscillating hooks are the better choice for ease of repair and can produce high-quality stitching, just not in the wide range that a rotary model can.

What Is A Horizontal Sewing Machine?

Last Words

To conclude, a horizontal sewing machine is often referred to as a drop-in bobbin machine since the bobbin sits horizontally inside. The hook orientation also determines this in a sewing machine, rotary hooks are often found on horizontal machines.

We suggest choosing a horizontal sewing machine as a beginner for ease of use, vertical models are older and take more getting used to with changing the bobbin.

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter

Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.View Author posts