An overlocker or a coverlock machine?
Why does a seamstress needs an overlocker? If you are sewing clothes and want to give the results professional appearance, you definitely need an overlocker. An overlocker and a sewing machine are the perfect combination for a seamstress. You need the sewing machine for the sewing work and an overlocker for the perfect fishing touch. It is though possible to sew without an overlocker, but the result will never be as beautiful and professional as you would like it to be.
The finishing touch is guaranteed with an overlocker. Nicely cut and overlocked hems and edges. Beautiful ‘self-made’ clothes!
If you have decided to buy an overlocker, you suddenly notice the term "coverlock". Or "cover stitch machine" or "coverlock-combination". Help, what does it mean? Are these machines the same? Or are we talking about two entirely different machines with their own specific functions? Don't panic, we'll explain it to you:
Why do you need an overlocker:
An overlocker or also known as a "lockmachine" is used to sew stretchable fabrics together and to finish with the 3 or 4-thread overlock stitch. This gives your sewing-work a professional look. You can also easily finish woven or frayed fabrics.In addition, the lockmachine also makes blind hems, neat zoom edges and decorative edges in multiple variations. The overlocker cuts and sews at the same time. Turn any item of clothing inside out and look at the seams: neatly and straightly finished with an overlocker.
An overlocker is a supplement to your sewing machine but not a replacement.
What about cover stitches:
You often hear the terms ‘cover stitches’ when sewing with stretchy fabrics such as stretch fabrics for a t-shirt, sweater or beautiful jersey dress. Jeans fabrics are nowadays more elastic than ever. But those fabrics are difficult to finish and no matter how you try, the result of the sewing work will look like "self-made". This should be a compliment, but always feels a bit like: not thát nice; it is not the stuff you buy in a store...
Cover stitches are those stitches you notice at the bottom or at the neck of a t-shirt. On the right side of the fabric you will see a double row of stitches and loops at the back. This stitch is extremely stretchable and the best option for finishing stretch fabrics. It is really a very professional hem that looks like two rows of stitching on the top and a serger-like stitch on the back. The benefit of a cover stitch is its stretch ability and the covering of the raw edge all in one pass. You may have thought that these are always made by factory-machines, but that is not truth. Or maybe it is true, but you can cover stitch at home!
A coverlock machine:
With a cover lock machine you can make those stitches and finish your sewing nicely!
BUT: The cover stitch can only be made on coverlock machines and on combination overlocker-coverlock machines and not on a regular lock machine. (Unless the lockmachine does have the option: look in the manual for ‘cover stitching’, normally these lockmachines are more expensive than the normal lockmachines)
A coverlock machine is also called a Coverstitch or a covermachine.
Overlocker or coverlock machine?
The distinction is therefore fairly simple. A lock machine is doing better cutting and locking work. A cover lock machine does the typical cover stitches that are used for zoom edges. A combination of a lock machine and coverlock also exists. However, these machines are more complicated to use (and more expensive). A normal lockmachine and a separate coverlock machine works a lot better and more efficiently. You don't have to change the overlocker in terms of settings to make the cover stitches.
Your sewing equipment are your best friends!
If it still not loud and clear: think of an oven. You can heat up food in an oven, as well as in a microwave. Yet these are both different processes for preparing a tasty meal. An oven-microwave combination also exists. Make sure that you properly switch from the one to the other function as you do not want a melted frozen meal including the foil or package. In either ways: if the result should be a nice delicious meal for the whole family, with both heating and preparing-options you have a bigger chance of success and you buy a piece ( = both machines) of convenience.
Let's just stick to the sewing work. Imagine that you want to make a nice jersey summer dress. You are sewing the dress with a sewingmachine, then finish the seams with an overlocker. The coverlock machine does the final work: the dress is beautifully hemmed with cover stitches and now looks perfect. “Did you really make it yourself?” are friends asking you, because nobody will believe it !