My mum used to own a Butterfly Sewing Machine. That machine literally watched me grow into a man. It was a manual sewing machine and very durable. It came in handy too, especially when there’s need for emergency Stitches. But fashion has come of age in South Africa. Not that we were not always fashionable. Just that, today, we have come of age and can comfortably compete with the rest of the world. However, what has not changed is the need for sewing machines. If you’re one of those who still value the classics and you’re looking to buy a manual sewing machine, you’ve come to the right page.
In the world of fashion, fashion designers need to create trends that are appealing to consumers, and these trends must be able to thrive and remain relevant. Regardless of the sewing machine used, people want to wear good clothes. It is their desire and therefore your job to make them look good. To do this, fashion designers must carry out market research, to find out what trend just went extinct and what trend is likely to come back or influence design decisions in future, i.e. consumer demands, trends and even competitors.
A successful career in fashion design is very dependent on a strong business sense. Most fashion designs start with selection of the fabrics and accessories needed to make outfits. Most fashion designers make prototypes of their clothes, and they enjoy hands-on participation in making an outfit from start to finish. All of this work cannot be made possible without sewing, or the use of a sewing machine.
A Sewing Machine is one of the most important elements in fashion designing. In fact, most fashion designers would argue that having a sewing machine is the most important element in fashion designing. With this in mind, the price ranges of some popular manual sewing machines in South Africa are listed as follows. This prices may change from time to time, but this should give you an idea and serve as a guide for your budget when making the purchase.
Prices of Manual Sewing Machines in South Africa
- Butterfly Sewing Machine (Manual) === R$2,160 – R$2,520
- Singer Start (1234) Portable Sewing Machine === R$1,206 – R$1,440
- Singer Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine === R$6,480
- Butterfly Long Table Folding Sewing Machine (Manual) === R$1,980 – R$3,240
- Xian Industrial Sewing Machine === R$5,220 – R$5,760
- Emel Industrial Sewing Machine === R$5,580 – R$6,480
- Emel Sewing Machine (Manual) === R$2,340 – R$2,880
- Michley LSS-505 Multi-Purpose Sewing Machine with in-built stitches === R$2,052 – R$2,340
- Janome 2222 Sewing Machine === R$3,852 – R$4,320
- Brother XR3774 Full featured Sewing Machine === R$4,536 – R$5,040
There are different types of sewing machines, and before choosing a sewing machine, there are several things to consider. Some of these things include;
Factors to Consider when choosing a Manual Sewing Machine
Who is the sewing machine for?
Here, you have to know your level of professionalism before buying a sewing machine. Are you a learner/beginner? Do you have a little level of knowledge about sewing? Or are you a professional fashion designer? There are different sewing machines for each level of professionalism in fashion designing. Choosing a wrong sewing machine for your level is like putting a round peg in a square hole, and you might end up being frustrated. This question will also help you determine the other factors necessary in buying a good sewing machine e.g. Budget, Size, Threading capacity/Stitch options, etc.
What is the size of your pocket? (Budget)
This is a major factor to consider before buying a sewing machine. There are a range of options of sewing machines that can serve the same purpose you want, at the same price. Most especially in South Africa, where the dollar rate is a major factor of our economy; so you get to have a wider range to choose from. Apart from the dollar rate, you could also choose from buying either a very good used machine or buying a new one. The choice is yours according to your pocket.
Threading capacity/Stitch Options
The threading capacity of a sewing machine is also very important. After investing so much into purchasing a sewing machine, it would be very frustrating to realize that the sewing machine you bought is restricted into doing only one thing or one kind of stitch alone. It is advisable to look out for machines with Straight stitch, zigzag stitch, buttonhole stitch, blind hem stitch and utility hem stitch.
Attachments, Feet and Special Features
Many machines come with some awesome features e.g. adjustable speed control, lighting, automatic thread cutter, needle threader, knee lifter, etc. Some other machines have different attachments that aid sewing, making it easy. Some of these attachments include Presser foot, Zipper foot, Buttonhole foot, twin needles, etc.
Mechanical or Computerized Machines
Mechanical machines are easy to work or operate. If the machines are kept well oiled and clean, they tend to serve well and for long. A computerized machine (usually one that uses a motor foot pedal) is identified by the excellent stitches it makes every time. An electronic machine is one that runs on electricity. It is advisable to choose the ones that suit you, well, according to your budget.
Some other factors to consider include;
- The machine must be easy to maintain, as well as easy to carry when necessary.
- The machine must be universal, i.e. it must be able to do other functions that the user will become comfortable with as time goes on.
- The machine must be compatible with a lot of fabrics, and must be able to work different patterns on these fabrics.
In South Africa, Butterfly and Singer sewing machines are the most popular go-to manufacturers when it comes to reputation, state-of-the art machines, and accessories at affordable prices. It is easier for you to make your selection when you know some of the disadvantages of these machines and some of them include;
- Some of the machines jam continually.
- Some designs cannot be made with lightweight machines because they lack the sturdiness of heavyweight machines.
Armed with this information at your fingertips, I am very sure you cannot go wrong when purchasing your sewing machine. So go ahead and indulge yourself!