Motors for Sewing Machines, Pros and Cons of Each type

Here is a table summarizing the different types of motors available for sewing machines, along with their pros and cons:

Type of Motor Pros Cons
Clutch Motor Precise control over sewing speed Requires more maintenance
Direct Drive Motor Quiet, smooth operation Less control over sewing speed
Servo Motor Energy efficient, adjustable sewing speed More expensive
Electronic Motor Adjustable sewing speed Requires electricity

Clutch motors are a popular choice for sewing machines because they offer precise control over the sewing speed and they are relatively quiet and smooth running. However, they do require more maintenance than other types of motors and can be more expensive to repair if they fail.

Direct drive motors are another popular choice for sewing machines. They are quiet and smooth running and do not require a clutch mechanism. However, they offer less control over the sewing speed than clutch motors.

Servo motors are a newer type of motor that is becoming more common in sewing machines. They are energy efficient and offer adjustable sewing speeds. However, they are generally more expensive than other types of motors.

Electronic motors are another option for sewing machines. They offer adjustable sewing speeds and do not require a clutch mechanism. However, they require electricity to operate, so they may not be suitable for all users.

Motors for all makes of domestic, Industrial and embroidery machines can be purchased at


Sewing Machines - Tips to consider when making a purchase

Sewing machines are a fantastic tool for anyone who enjoys sewing, whether you are a beginner or an experienced seamstress. They can save you time and effort, and allow you to create professional-looking garments and other projects with ease.

There are many different types of sewing machines on the market, ranging from basic models to more advanced, feature-packed machines. Here's a look at some of the key things you should consider when shopping for a sewing machine:

Types of sewing machines:

  • Mechanical sewing machines: These machines are operated by turning a hand crank or pressing a foot pedal. They are generally more affordable than other types of sewing machines and are a good choice for beginners.

  • Electronic sewing machines: These machines are powered by electricity and are operated using buttons or a touch screen. They are generally faster and more precise than mechanical machines and offer a wider range of stitches and features.

  • Computerized sewing machines: These machines are equipped with a computerized control panel that allows you to choose from a wide range of stitches and customize your settings. They are generally the most expensive type of sewing machine, but offer the most advanced features and are suitable for professional sewers.

Features to consider:

  • Stitch selection: Most sewing machines come with a range of built-in stitches, including straight stitch, zig zag, and decorative stitches. Consider the types of projects you will be working on and choose a machine with the stitches you need.

  • Presser feet: Presser feet are attachments that help hold fabric in place as you sew. Many sewing machines come with a range of presser feet for different tasks, such as zipper insertion and buttonhole making.

  • Needle threader: A needle threader can save you time and frustration by automatically threading the needle for you. This is a useful feature for those with vision impairments or for anyone who finds threading the needle difficult.

  • Automatic buttonhole: An automatic buttonhole feature allows you to create consistent buttonholes with the push of a button. This is a useful feature for those who make their own clothes or do a lot of mending.

  • Free arm: A free arm allows you to easily sew sleeves, cuffs, and other hard-to-reach areas. This is a useful feature for those who sew a lot of clothing.

  • Speed control: Some sewing machines come with a speed control feature that allows you to adjust the sewing speed to suit your needs. This is a useful feature for those who are just learning to sew or for those working on more intricate projects.

Where to buy:

Sewing machines can be found at It's a good idea to compare models , prices and features to find the best machine for your needs. It's also a good idea to read reviews from other customers to get an idea of the quality and performance of different machines.

When shopping for a sewing machine, it's a good idea to keep in mind the types of projects you will be working on and the features that are most important to you. With a little bit of research and careful consideration, you can find the perfect sewing machine to suit your needs.

Presser Feet

Presser feet are attachments for sewing machines that help hold fabric in place as it is being sewn. They can also perform specific tasks, such as zigzag stitching or attaching buttons.

To fit a presser foot, first consult your sewing machine's manual to determine the correct presser foot to use for your project. Then, raise the sewing machine's presser foot lever to release the current presser foot. Next, slide the shank of the new presser foot under the presser foot holder, and lower the lever to secure it in place.

There are many different types of presser feet available, including:

  • Standard presser foot: This is the basic presser foot that comes with most sewing machines. It can be used for straight stitching, zigzag stitching, and other basic sewing techniques.
  • Zipper foot: This presser foot has a narrow shape that allows you to sew close to zipper teeth and other narrow edges.
  • Buttonhole foot: This presser foot has a guide that helps you create consistent buttonholes.
  • Blind hem foot: This presser foot helps you create invisible hems on garments and other projects.
  • Overlock foot: This presser foot allows you to create an overlock stitch, which is a type of seam finish often used in knit fabrics.

You can purchase presser feet online at We stock parts, for all makes of sewing machines.


Bobbins are an essential component of many types of sewing machines, including both domestic and industrial machines. They are spindles or cylinders that are used to hold thread or other materials in place, and they play a key role in the sewing process.

There are many different types of bobbins available, and it is important to use the correct type for your sewing machine. Some common types of bobbins include Class 15 bobbins, L-style bobbins, M-style bobbins, magnetic bobbins, and metal bobbins. Each type of bobbin is designed to work with specific types of sewing machines, and using the wrong type of bobbin can cause problems with your machine and result in poor quality stitches.

Filling a bobbin is a simple process that requires a few basic steps. First, locate the bobbin case and remove it from the sewing machine. Hold the bobbin case with the opening facing up, and place the bobbin on the spindle so that the thread is running off the bobbin in a counterclockwise direction. Hold the end of the thread with your fingers, and pass it through the guides on the bobbin case. Pull the thread through the bobbin case and wrap it around the bobbin several times in a clockwise direction. When the bobbin is full, cut the thread, leaving a tail of about 1 inch. Pass the tail through the hole in the bobbin, and then through the notch on the edge of the bobbin. This will help to keep the thread in place and prevent it from unraveling. Finally, place the bobbin back into the bobbin case, and reinsert the bobbin case into the sewing machine. Make sure that the bobbin is seated correctly in the case, and that the thread is running smoothly through the guides.

In South Africa, there are many places where you can buy bobbins for your sewing machine. Some options include sewing machine dealerships and repair shops, fabric stores, online retailers, department stores, and craft stores. It is a good idea to shop around and compare prices to find the best deal on bobbins.

In conclusion, bobbins are an essential part of any sewing machine and are essential for producing high-quality stitches. There are many different types of bobbins available, and it is important to use the correct type for your sewing machine. Filling a bobbin is a simple process that requires just a few basic steps.We stock bobbins for all makes of sewing machines, they can be purchased at


We give these women wings

Four years ago Sr. Teressa Zungu, a member of the Holy Childhood Sisters in South Africa, started sewing courses for women around the rural town of Eshowe. Today, her idea has grown into a project for the whole of Zululand, supported by German development funds.

Sipho Makhanya is moving in-between sewing machines. The sound of clattering needles and cackling female voices is circling around him. He checks a pair of shorts, touches the seam with his fingers, assesses the result. “Good work”, the 51-year-old says to Nqobile, a young woman from Vryheid. Together with seventeen other women from all parts of Zululand she is finishing up her sewing course in the Development Center of the Catholic Diocese in Eshowe. Before, she has designed patterns, learned to handle different fabrics, worked with mobile and industrial sewing machines. She has sewed dresses and trousers, school uniforms and tracksuits. Today she will work until late at night to finish her last piece: A black summer dress with leopard patterns. “Every learner must be able to design and produce different clothes after the course”, Sipho says.

Bringing the project to the people

The skilled tailor is sharing his knowledge, and that has a lot to do with Sr. Teressa Zungu. The Franciscan Sister of St. Clare Convent in Eshowe recruited him two years ago to teach sewing in Vryheid. At the time, Sr. Teressa traveled up and down the Zululand Diocese to find companions and form new groups. In 2016, she started to teach sewing to a group of Eshowe women herself  – and realized a great interest and potential in her work. Some learners traveled more than 200 kilometers to join a sewing course. “But we realized that the cost and effort was too much for many women”, Sr. Teressa says. “That is why we started to go into the communities and bring the course to the people.” This outreach approach costed money: Sewing machines had to be bought, rooms had to be rented. She needed petrol money and funds to pay the instructors’ stipends. “We needed help to take the project to the next level.”

Planting a seed

Sr. Teressa found help with the German organization Yebo Zululand Initiatives and the International Rural Development Service (ILD). Up to this day, they are supporting the project with subsidies and donations. Meanwhile, ten sewing groups are working all over the Zululand region. “Sr. Teressa has planted a seed four years ago, and it has grown into a strong tree”, says Edeltraud Parensen, founder of Yebo Zululand. More than 200 women have participated in sewing courses over the years, says Parensen, who compares the development of the project to a “snowball effect”. “The social interaction within the groups helps the women to cope with everyday life”, she says. “And the sewing enables them to support their families.” At the moment, paying customers are predominantly rural schools. Demand for school uniforms in South Africa is huge, as children wear them from the first to the last day of school, in class, at sports lessons or at functions. “It is very important for the women to acquire contracts in their local neighborhoods on their own”, says Sr. Teressa. “We can give them wings, but they have to learn to fly themselves.”

Repay the trust

“We help each other out”, says Nolwandle Nxumalo, who has been part of the sewing initiative for years. She focuses on the social impact of the project: Women like herself are pulled out of unemployment and apathy. “Life in Zululand can be very difficult. Many people are poor and sit at home all day, because they are uneducated and nobody believes in them”, the 52-year-old claims. While some of the women are receiving their certificates for completing the course, she gives a blazing speech. She thanks project managers and the sponsors for their commitment – and promises to repay the trust wherever she can. “I will give every woman a push if she wants to be pushed”, Nolwandle says. When the sewing machines start clattering again, she is putting her words into action. She shares knowledge with newcomers, helps to acquire new contracts and supports the women with daily issues.

Continued support for women

In the future, her commitment will be needed more than ever. In February, the opening of the new “Innovation Center” in Eshowe was celebrated. Regular workshops will take place there soon, when students from all sewing groups in Zululand can come together, share their experiences and learn new techniques. Part of the ceremonial launch were the blessing of all new rooms by Bishop Xolelo Thaddeus Kumalo and speeches by the German sponsors, who will continue to support rural development in the area, both through sewing workshops and agricultural projects. Among the invited guests was Sipho Makhanya. He had organized a fashion show, where the women could present their work to a bigger audience. They walked the improvised catwalk proudly, a dream in blue, a leopard dress, a colorful pink spot. Sipho laughed and raised his thumb, watching the result of all his efforts. A touch of Haute Couture, in the middle of African Zululand.

Sewing a way forward

After Esona Mtshengu was retrenched she taught herself to sew and watched YouTube videos for ideas before creating her own fashion business.

The Khayelitsha resident began MTS Accessories soon after she lost her job in the travel industry last year.

She said: “I was a travel co-ordinator and helped companies with travel incentives for their employees. If a corporate wanted to reward their top performers with a trip to somewhere in the world, I would co-ordinate that for them, as well as trips for high-end honeymooners, mostly American and UK-based families wanting to travel in the Southern African region.”

The lockdown hit the travel industry hard and by May, Mtshengu was unemployed.

“I kind of saw it coming from December 2019 already because the tourism industry started suffering back then because we still had travellers coming in but those were people who already booked months in advance. We didn’t have any new clients making bookings for the months to come.”

She said: “I was retrenched and my last working day was April 30. When the company introduced the salary cuts I needed something that would supplement my salary, so I started getting items and reselling them to other people.”

She describes herself as particular and a person who knows what she likes, so she wasn’t happy reselling clothes that she would not wear.

Natural hair is one of the grooming and style trends she has always been keen on and this led her to start scouring the internet.

“My mom owned a domestic sewing machine and it was just collecting dust. I started watching YouTube videos, like how to make satin bonnets and hair protection stuff. Then I told my mom that we need to take the machine out; I wanted to try and make these products,” she said.

With her mom’s guidance she learnt how to thread a sewing machine and started to make the satin bonnets.

Mtshengu said: “I sold the items on Facebook Marketplace first and I’d post things on my Instagram page and WhatsApp status and my friends supported me.”

As the interest in her products grew, she knew that she needed to make a few sacrifices to continue to increase sales. “I sold my car and then bought a cheaper car because I still needed to do deliveries and, with the rest of the money, I bought the equipment that we needed (another sewing machine) and also paid for sewing classes. I want to add even more products in the future.”

As word spread about her satin bonnets, and more people started arriving on her doorstep, Mtshengu started making other products like the satin pillow cases, satin head wraps and scrunchies.

Today she not only sells her products to women who want a great quality satin product, but she also sells at wholesale prices to agents who want to market and resell her products.

“Selling wholesale was not planned, but I realised that so many people had lost their jobs that this was a great way for them to earn an income as well.”

She added: “Initially I thought I could give my former colleagues the opportunity to buy from me and resell to make a profit but when I advertised it on Facebook there was a very good response from people, people I didn’t even know.”

Mtshengu is working on sewing satin gowns which she hopes to offer to her clients soon, in time for Valentine’s Day. She also started sewing classes to learn more skills and wants to grow her business. She wants to open a factory and provide employment for others.

Mtshengu described her clientele as young and fashion-savvy. In the future she plans on creating a clothing line with fashion-forward items that she believes will be a hit with women.

EC agri and textile producers given tools to build their industries

MTHATHA – Eastern Cape rural development and agrarian reform MEC, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, has handed over vegetable seeds, gardening implements, industrial sewing machines, poultry, and piggery feed to 33 women-owned co-operatives in Mqanduli in the OR Tambo district municipality.

Speaking in Mqanduli, Qoboshiyane said his department had a constitutional responsibility to use public funds to respond to the needs of the people by supporting them, especially rural communities and co-operatives, to produce their own income through agriculture and textile production.

“We identified women-led co-operatives and gave them the resources they requested from us. The most important thing for us is that if our people have information about how to access government services and support, they access them for their own development.

“It is important that people realise they are their own liberators from poverty and government can contribute and assist them in their efforts so that those efforts become a success. There are difficulties but it is important that people produce food to sell to the markets; those who can’t produce must buy from producers so that our province can grow,” he said.

Of the 33 co-operatives, eight received industrial sewing machines, overlockers, two 50-metre lengths of fabric, cotton, domestic machines, industrial irons, cutting tables, and display racks for the finished products, the department said in a statement.

Nokwakha Pali, a member of Siyathunga sewing co-operative, said they teamed up to teach each other sewing, making clothes for women, churches, and school uniforms.

“We are happy that the MEC gave us these industrial machines because previously we couldn’t put embroidery on our clothes and decorate the material we produced because the old Singer machines don’t have that capability. We also need a place to do our business and to teach some unemployed youth sewing so that they can earn an income and stay away from taverns and drugs,” said Pali.

Thirteen vegetable-producing co-operatives from Libonde, Port St Johns, Mhlontlo, and King Sabatha Dalindyebo received wheelbarrows, spades, fork spades, hand hoes, rakes, watering cans, potato seeds, green coronet cabbage, cremsome globe beetroot, ford hoek giant spinach, texas grano onion, walthum butternut, and carrot seeds to produce vegetables to be sold to local markets, including retail stores.

Seven pig farmers who had also called Qoboshiyane’s office for help to feed their pigs received ten 40kg bags of pig growth, yellow maize, bran wheat, and creep feed.

Pig farmer Ntomboxolo Habe of Saints of Primary co-operative said they asked for help with pig feed, medicine, and assistance to build a piggery structure.

“This feed from government will help us improve the condition of our pigs to be good for all markets, including retail markets. This will help us grow our herd so that we make more money. We thank government for responding to our call for support because we started this piggery project to create jobs for some of the unemployed youth so that they don’t end up doing crime,” said Habe.

Three poultry farmers received ten 50kg bags of broiler starter, finisher, post, and chicken feed yellow maize, and 200 one-day-old broiler chicks.

Nothemba Mdunyelwa, a Mqanduli poultry farmer who started her poultry production in 2013, said she used to struggle because some of her customers did not pay her money for the chicks, so she then decided to write to government for help with her poultry production.

“I wrote to the department asking for support to help with my business because I was struggling. I produce broiler chicks and sell both chicks and chickens to the locals. My poultry business helps me to provide for and educate my children and I live a better life because of this business. My life has been different ever since I started this business. I am very excited for getting this support from government,” said Mdunyelwa.

New sewing machines a shot in the arm for Mthatha crafters

It was all ululation and dance at the Mthatha crafters’ imbizo on Friday as a group of industrious women celebrated a gift that will give their work a massive boost.
Arts and culture deputy minister Maggie Sotyu delivered on her promise to bring the crafters much-needed industrial sewing machines to boost their sewing output.
Sotyu handed over 19 machines at the crafters’ Imbizo at AbaThembu acting King Azenathi Dalindyebo’s Bumbane Great Place near Mthatha.
Sotyu said the Imbizo was a follow-up of the previous engagement which she had on June 9 2017 with the people of Bumbane, Sithembe and surrounding villages.
The machines were welcomed by Dalindyebo and his mother Queen NoCollege Dalindyebo, as well as Cacadu senior traditional leader Nkosikazi Nongongo Ngonyama.
Ngonyama said although initially the groups of women who were to benefit were 12, the number had now increased to 35.
Dalindyebo said King Sabata Dalindyebo mayor Dumani Zozo had donated another machine and that meant there were now 20 machines to benefit rural women in and around Mthatha.
In June last year, when Sotyu was in Bumbane, she listened to Dalindyebo and a group of crafters calling for radical rural women development.
They requested the deputy minister to donate some sewing machines and assist in developing their skills as part of rural women empowerment.
“At the 2017 Imbizo there were requests from various groups of women in the arts sector for sewing machines and other material,” the deputy minister said.
“Now I have come not to make speeches, but to deliver on my promise, the promise made by the ANC for the people of this area,” said Sotyu before handing over the machines to Nkosi Ngonyama and Queen Mother Dalindyebo who received them on behalf of beneficiaries.
“These are not personally for the king and his traditional leaders, but are to benefit the community.
“However they will be kept at the Great Place for everyone to have access,” she said.
She said that machines had come from donors.
The deputy minister said she would not stop at donating the machines, but the local municipality, the provincial government and the national government would assist in marketing the products of these women, even internationally.
The crafters said the donation would help fight poverty and unemployment...


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