What Are The Best Sewing Machine Brands - Sewing Machine Guide

If you are new to sewing then you may have noticed that there are a lot of sewing machine brands to choose from. With so much choice it can be overwhelming when deciding for the first time which model to buy. Knowing which  sewing machine brand is the best, as well as them having an excellent reputation and long history of producing top quality home sewing machines, will make it far more likely that you don’t invest in one of the lesser well-known brands that offer little in terms of quality.

In this guide to the best sewing machine brands I will be sharing as much information as I can about each of the brands featured. Truth be told there are many factors that make up a good sewing machine and no two models are the same. Each brand tries to differentiate themselves in one way or another and over the years they have all done something to make sewing machines better for those of us that love to sew.

What Are The Best Sewing Machine Brands?

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There are a number of brands that are instantly recognisable even to those that don’t sew. These tend to be the ones that have been around for a long time and have built up a reputation consisting of quality, functionality and the practicality of their sewing machines. It is a very rare occasion when a new brand releases a model that is of very good quality and when they do, the successor never lives up to the expectations that were built-up with the previous model. The reason for this is that new brands just don’t have the experience, know how or innovation that the bigger brands have.

If you want to know “which is the best sewing machine brand” then the answer to that question is one that has been around long enough to know every aspect of what makes a top quality sewing machine. With that been said the following brands have been around for a very long time indeed and all have a solid reputation for very high-quality models.

BERNINA

Image result for bernina sewing machines amazonBernina have been around since 1893 and have recently celebrated their 125th anniversary. Founded in Steckborn in Switzerland by Karl Friedrich Gegauf they have done a lot over the years to help with the advancement of home sewing machines.

The Bernina brand are without doubt considered one of the biggest brands and they have a very good reputation for their high-quality sewing machines. They are also one of the few brands that still has a factory in their country of origin. Due to both of the above factors their sewing machines tend to be among the most expensive on the market, however, this is always the case when paying for the best that money can buy.

It wasn’t until 1990 that Bernina opened their first factory in Thailand. It is worth mentioning that the factory in Thailand manufactures the lower end models in the Bernina range and the Swiss factory oversees the production of the top of the range models.

Surprisingly between 1890 and 2009 there has only been four people who have run the Bernina company. These are Karl Friedrich Gegauf his successor and son Fritz Gegauf his daughter Odette Gegauf-Ueltsch and her son Hanspeter Ueltschi. This is the type of experience that new modern brands lack and one of the main reasons why Bernina are one of the most reputable brands, for them sewing is a family tradition.

Contributions To Sewing 

  • invented the world’s first hemstitch sewing machine, capable of sewing 100 stitches per minute
  • in 1945 released the world’s first portable zigzag machine
  • In 1986 they launched the first fully automated sewing machine, the 1130 on to the world

REVIEWS ON BERNINA SEWING MACHINES

SINGER

Related imageThe Singer sewing machine brand also known as the Singer Company have a very long history and are synonymous with sewing. They first came into existence in 1851 and like most of the oldest brands they were known by a different name, which was I. M. Singer & Co. The key player in their early years of this long-established sewing machine brand was founder Isaac Merritt.

There was a time when Singer were the largest manufacturer of sewing machines in the world. At one point they even sold more machines than all the other brands combined. Although this is an American company they had a factory in Glasgow as far back as 1867. For a long time the Glasgow factory was the largest producer of sewing machines in the world, employing 16,000 people at its peak.

As with all things good, they eventually come to an end, the Glasgow factory closed in 1980 with all the work going to factories in China. In the build up to the closure Singer sales dwindled and along the way their reputation took a hit.

The older Singer sewing machines are still highly prized and it wouldn’t be wrong to say they are iconic, however, the new models are mostly not considered top of the range. These days Singer focus on the beginner and intermediate models which are less technical than sewing machines for advanced users. That is not to say they aren’t very good quality, it’s just models for advanced users are obviously going to be better than a budget sewing machine.

This is where it gets interesting

The Singer Corporation are part of SVP Worldwide which also consists of and Husqvarna Viking. The SVP Worldwide company are in turn owned by Kohlberg & Co, basically two of the biggest brands are owned by one company. PFAFF also used to be part of SVP Worlwide, however, they are no longer.

Contributions To Sewing 

  • For a long time they were the largest manufacturer in the world
  • The patented, Bernina Stitch Regulator or BSR which adjusts the machine’s stitching speed when doing free hand embroidery based on how fast you are moving the fabric, which in turn gives you very consistent stitches.
  • In 2017, they launched their new SINGER Sewing Assistant App

REVIEWS ON SINGER SEWING MACHINES

HUSQVARNA VIKING

Related imageHusqvarna Viking are a Swedish company that first started making sewing machines in 1872 in Husqvarna. Owned by the VSM Group AB the brand has a history of producing a wide variety of models including both computerised and mechanical.

With new models coming out almost every year the Husqvarna is quick to include any new improvements in sewing technology and their machines have a reputation for been solid in design and quiet when in use.

On today’s market the brand has a large proportion of the so-called Smart sewing machine market and makes some of the best models. For quality and price you can’t go wrong with one of their models.

If you have been paying attention you may remember that Husqvarna is also part of SVP Worlwide, which is made up of three of the biggest sewing machine brands in the world.

Contributions To Sewing 

  • Manufacture some of the top rated computerised sewing machines in the world.

REVIEWS ON HUSQVARNA VIKING SEWING MACHINES

ELNA

Image result for elna sewing machinesElna is another Swiss company with a very good reputation, although they are not considered as good as a Bernina, both their sewing machines and overlockers are of the best quality in terms of overall design and functionality.

The brand first hit the scene in the 1940’s and their sewing machines and overlockers quickly became the standard machine in many sewing factories.

With a large presence in America, they have many admirers in the US where they are fondly known as Blue Tops, due to the striking blue colour on every model.

Today the Elna Excellence 680 is one of their best models with excellent features. In addition the Elna Explore 240 Sewing Machine is one of their very popular beginner sewing machines.

Currently the Elna brand is owned by Janome which is a Japanese sewing machine brand.

Contributions To Sewing 

  • Introduced the Air Electronic which is cushion powered control foot, with the power coming from air in an internal compressor. This made the metal control foot virtually redundant due to the fact it never heated up and was silent when in use.

REVIEWS ON ELNA SEWING MACHINES

JANOME

Related imageJanome are a Japanese sewing machine brand with a history that goes back to 1921. They have factories in Taiwan and Thailand and export their sewing machines to over 100 different countries.

For a long time they have been considered an innovative brand that have many times lead the way in inventing new sewing machine technology. In 1971 they were the first brand to release a programmable computerised sewing machine on the market for home use.

In terms of variety Janome have many models to choose from with the Janome 525S sewing machine been a very good quality and affordable introductory model to sewing.

Recognised as one of the top brands, Janome sewing machines are one of my personal favourites and they come highly recommended for beginners, experienced and advanced sewers.

Contributions To Sewing 

  • Janome was the first brand to develop a computerized sewing machine for home use
  • first to offer a long-arm quilting machine for home use the Memory Craft 6500P

REVIEWS ON JANOME SEWING MACHINES

PFAFF

Image result for pfaff sewing machine amazonPFAFF were founded in 1862 by George Michael Pfaff in Kaiserlautern, Germany. The first machine-made by PFAFF was handmade and used to sew leather in the shoemaking process.

As a sewing machine brand PFAFF have been passed around quite a bit in their long history. They used to be part of SVP Worlwide which consisted of the Singer and Husqvarna Viking brands. That was until 2013 when they were brought back into German ownership by the German holding company of SGSB Group Co. Ltd.

In terms of their sewing machines they are very good, if not a little to complex though for a beginner to easily get to grips with. Best suited to experienced and advanced users PFAFF have a good reputation for well-built and highly functional sewing machines. Their quilting sewing machines are probably what they are best known for among sewing enthusiasts.

Contributions To Sewing 

  • The PFAFF pole sewing machine received the award for Best Of The Best in the field of upholstery furniture manufacturing and bedding.

REVIEWS ON PFAFF SEWING MACHINES

BROTHER

Image result for brother sewing machine amazonAlmost everbody has heard of the Brother brand, however, not that many people know that they started out as a sewing machine company in Japan in 1908. Brother is now a very large electronics company and they make all sorts of electrical appliances, their sewing machines though are still one of their biggest earners, which comes as no surprise as they do sell an awful lot of them.

These days they tend to focus mainly on the entry models to sewing, which are easier to produce than the best models. This may have something to do with their factories been in China, Vietnam and Thailand, three places that can easily mass produce affordable, less technical electrical appliances.

If you do your research on Brother sewing machines you will notice that in terms of specifications, they vary little from model to model. In terms of quality there is no denying they are good just not the very best money can buy.

Contributions To Sewing 

  • Nothing of significance

REVIEWS ON BROTHER SEWING MACHINES

To Conclude

Hopefully, my guide to the best sewing machine brands has opened your eyes to what brands to be looking at if you are wanting to invest in a top quality model that will last a long time.

For more information on the different types of sewing machines available to buy check out my guides section. Here you will find out everything you could possibly need to know about sewing machines. If you are new to the world of sewing you may be interested in my guide on “how to choose the best beginner sewing machine

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