History of the Sewing Machine

The sewing machine was slow to appear, and this is one of the enigmas of the history of inventions. He did not do it until the first third of the 19th century in France, the idea came from the Lyonese tailor Bartolomé Thimonnier , who in 1830 built the first sewing machines. Therefore, the answer to the following questions is:

  • Who invented the sewing machine? : The inventor of the sewing machine is Bartolomé Thimonnier.
  • When was the sewing machine invented? : in the year 1830.
  • Where was the sewing machine invented? : in the city of Saint-Étiene, France.

The first sewing machine in history , built in wood, was so rudimentary and crude that it did not work much faster than the human hand, since it only made a single thread stitch. Despite the elementary nature of the invention, it attracted the attention of the army, which in 1841 bought eighty units.

The army, in need of a quick way to make military uniforms for its huge number of soldiers, saw in the Thimonnier machine the way to quickly uniform the troops during the monarchy of Luis Felipe.

It would be reasonable to think that such an invention would make the owner of the patent rich , but far from becoming a famous and respected man, Thimonnier was on the verge of being lynched by a mob of tailors who feared that the machine would end their age-old profession and industry.

The tailors’ riot attacked his house, destroying everything, and he was so bitter that poor Thimonnier had to flee to London where, in 1848, he patented his invention . He didn’t make a fortune in England either: he didn’t sell a single one of his new machines, much improved over those years.

He partnered with the mechanic Magnin to make iron sewing machines and a sewing-embroiderer that did chain stitch and produced two hundred stitches per minute. To the poor tailor it was worth nothing and he returned to France where he died in 1857 poor, unknown and hated by those of his trade.

Before the innovation of the sewing machine, all dress, home decorations, and even farming sacks were sewn by hand. The arrangement of occasions and developments that prompted what we perceive today as a sewing machine was an essential piece of history. Here is a review of some of the creators, their commitments, and how we at long last made reality the fantasy of a machine that could remove the work from sewing.

The main individual to apply for a patent for a sewing machine was a British innovator named Thomas Saint in 1791, however, his machine was not known to have at any point been produced. The principal genuine working sewing machine to be displayed all things considered to the world was in 1814 by an Austrian tailor Josef Madersperger, albeit no evidently working machine is thought to have originated from his work.

In 1830 Barthelemy Thimonnier from France protected a working machine that was equipped for sewing straight creases with a chain fastened. By 1841 he had a processing plant of these machines yet it was professedly disrupted and torched by French tailors, they were accounted for to have seen the presence of these machines as a risk to their occupations as opposed to the important work apparatus that the sewing machine became. Thimonnier, in the long run, came to England with a machine and was evidently the primary individual to offer working machines available to be purchased, he additionally ran a piece of clothing industrial facility.

An American Walter Hunt concocted the primary lockstitch sewing machine in 1833. This machine utilized 2 spools of string with an eye guided needle comparable toward machines of today, however, the machine required resetting over and over again to be reasonable. Another American, John Greenough, created a working machine in which the needle went totally through the material yet was not able to produce enough enthusiasm to deliver the machine for resale.

Elias Howe made a machine like that made by Walter Hunt in 1845. There were various upgrades that made his machine the most practical yet despite the fact that he attempted to increase money related support. In the wake of endeavoring to offer his machine in England, he comes back to the US to discover bunches of individuals had taken his thought and delivering comparative machines that evidently encroached his patent.

Isaac Merritt Singer was a specialist who chose to update the revolving sewing machine. His machine utilized a flying transport rather than a revolving one; the needle was mounted vertically and incorporated a presser foot to hold the material set up. It had a settled arm to hold the needle and furthermore incorporated an essential tensioning framework. Vocalist got an American patent for his machine in 1851, he built up a foot pedal or treadle, for use with his machines. Howe took Singer and a couple of others to court over patent ruptures and was granted some remuneration.

A fascinating reality, on the off chance that you discover these things intriguing, is that the principal employ buy sort installment plot is accounted for to have first been achieved by Singer and a legal advisor named Edward Clark, and was realized keeping in mind the end goal to enable individuals to bear to purchase their sewing machines. The achievement of the Singer sewing machines has a tendency to be ascribed more to the business methods utilized by Singer and Clark, as opposed to anything exceptionally unique with their machines.

Throughout the years other individuals and associations brought enhancements and made more machines. There were more than a couple of quarrels about licenses and dangers to sue. Allen B Wilson and Nathaniel Wheeler made a calmer smoother machine under the Wheeler and Wilson Company fabricating machines in the 60s. As more individuals entered the plan and creation of sewing machines ‘The Sewing Machine War’ came to fruition as everybody attempted to secure their own particular licensed innovation, in the long run, Singer, Howe, Wheeler and Wilson and Grove and Baker met up with their licenses shaping ‘The Sewing Machine Combination’ in 1856. This constrained alternate makers to do things their way and pay a permit charge for the benefit.

Weaving machines were first observed in 1877 as a knit machine, this was developed by a Joseph Merrow. This machine was in reality the primary ‘overlock’ sewing machine and The Merrow Machine Company still deliver overlock machines today.

In 1885 Singer licensed the ‘Vocalist Vibrating Shuttle’ sewing machine utilizing Allen B Wilson vibrating transport, this machine was more adjust at lock stitching, supplanting the wavering transports and proceeding with use till the rotating transport machines supplanted them.

Electric sewing machines were entirely created in 1889 by the Singer Sewing Co. Up until the point that this point they had proceeded on the attempted and tried plan with simply more embellishment. Electric engines were stuck in favor of the old machines, to begin with, yet discovered their way into the case turning into a characteristic piece of the machine.

History of the Singer sewing machine:

Isaac Merrit Singer obtains the patent for the first SINGER brand sewing machine.


A Singer sewing machine wins first prize at the Paris World’s Fair.


The “New Family” model is introduced.


This is the brand with the girl in the red “S”, destined to become one of the most famous logos in the world.


Singer sells 90 percent of the global sewing machine market and is one of the world’s most famous brands.


There are nine Singer production factories in the world, employing 27,000 people and producing 3,000 models. Singer acquires the Standard Sewing Machine Company. Singer presents its first vacuum cleaner, the first act of a diversification strategy with devices other than sewing machines.


At the Chicago World’s Fair, Singer introduces the “Featherweight” model. It will be produced for 30 years.


From 1939 to 1944, Singer interrupted the development of sewing machines to concentrate on war production.


There are already almost 400,000 housewives taking sewing courses at the Singer Sewing Centres.


NBC broadcasts a special about the return of Elvis Presley. Singer is the only sponsor.


In 1997, Singer was acquired by the sewing machine manufacturer Pfaff, which had been in the hands of Chinese businessman James Ting since 1993. Pfaff had nothing to envy to Singer’s heritage. It was founded in 1862 by the industrialist Georg Michael Pfaff, who designed a machine for sewing leather shoes. At the turn of the century, it had factories all over the world. Currently, it is present in 160 countries. In the early 1990s, it entered an economic crisis. When Ting bought it, the company’s problems were more than obvious. In December 1997, it began a restructuring program whose objective was to reduce costs by 16,000 million pesetas per year (96 million euros).

The program included a 30% reduction in productivity and the elimination of 6,000 jobs in three years, 28% of the total, and a downgrade for another 1,000 workers. The company currently has 2,604 workers. The restructuring affected all Sfaff and Singer production plants from Brazil to Japan, passing through Mexico, Germany, Spain, Turkey and Taiwan.

Pfaff introduced new management and marketing techniques and brought technical efficiency to the company. However, the lifeboat that Singer saw in his counterpart Pfaff was not such. In recent months, and already mortally wounded, the company closed several plants in Taiwan, Russia and concentrated production in its factories in Japan and China.

The company’s distribution network spans 150 countries, including those we call developing countries. Currently, it has 1,500 production plants around the world and 58,200 points of sale.

Singer introduces the world’s first electronic sewing machine, the Athena 2000.


Singer celebrates his 150th anniversary. Singer introduces the world’s most advanced home sewing and embroidery machine: the QUANTUM XL-5000.


Singer introduces FUTURA, the “embroidery computer”: the home sewing and embroidery machine that embroiders with the aid of the computer.


Singer celebrates its 160 years of history with a “vintage” model: the 160 Anniversary.

History of the Husqvarna Viking sewing machine:

The Husqvarna group , a multinational of Swedish origin, has its origins in the musket factory that it had built in the Swedish town of Huskvarna, this is the name of the city under the new spelling, but the brands remain under the old spelling, or Be Husqvarna. It mainly manufactures and markets forestry, agricultural and gardening machinery. Also machinery for construction, rescue and cleaning as well as individual protection equipment and street clothing and accessories.

The sewing machine division is now a completely independent company, officially registered as  VSM Group AB . It maintains the  Husqvarna Viking trade name  and uses the original Husqvarna symbol as its logo: the design that evokes the muzzle of a rifle barrel and contains the H inside.

This company has its origins in 1872, when some of the local artisans who worked in the arms factory decided to take advantage of its resources


SVP Worldwide  is a privately held American company that designs, manufactures and distributes consumer sewing machines and accessories worldwide under three brand names: Singer,  Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff.

SVP was formed when Kohlberg & Company LLC, an American private equity firm that owned the Swedish group VSM, which owns the Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff sewing machine brands, combined VSM with Singer , which it acquired in 2004 for $134 million.

In 2018, Kohlberg & Co. sold SVP Worldwide to Ares Management, a Los Angeles-based publicly traded global asset manager, in 2018.

The management of SVP Worldwide is divided between the United States and Sweden. The company was founded in 2006  and was previously based in Hamilton, Bermuda.

History of the Alfa sewing machine:

There is no doubt that all the stories of the big brands have a certain dose of emotion behind them, but in the case of the story of Alfa and the story of its sewing machines it is something else. We go back to the beginning of the 20th century in a small town in the Basque Country called Éibar. At that time Alfa was dedicated to manufacturing weapons, but after going through a small crisis and thanks to the accurate vision of Don Toribio Echevarría, they put aside such a dubious job of promoting the art of war, and devoted themselves fully to the precious guild of seamstresses, creation, and enjoyment at home: Alpha sewing machines had begun their history in Spain and it was the year 1920.

The pioneer sewing machine company in Spain continued to grow and grow until the arrival of the civil war, but after several years of intense war in the area, everything went to waste and we had to put our foot down.

In 1939 our war ends but the other great war begins, that of Europe, and as back in 1940 the North Americans begin to see the ears of the wolf, the Singer brand wants to pitch in for its country and decides to manufacture weapons like crazy to give  pal hair  to Germans and Japanese. By then they had already realized that launching sewing machines from their planes or shooting them from their cannons was not a great idea, unless they wanted every enemy to start making their own clothing to keep them busy.

Some of his best known machines or advertisements were:


History of the Janome sewing machine:

JANOME products   have been at the forefront of technology in the home sewing machine industry since the early days of the company’s founding. We were the first to develop electronic sewing machines for home use (the  Memory 7 model  in 1979), the first to offer professional embroidery machines for home use ( the Memory Craft 8000  in 1990), and the first long-bridge quilting machine for home use. domestic ( Memory Craft 6500P  in 2003). The long bridge quilting machine evolves from the fourth generation  Memory Craft 8900QCP model , featuring 11 inches of usable bridge length,  AcuFeed dual feed detachable presser foot and high resolution LCD touch screen with control dial.

Today, our flagship model, the  Horizont Memory Craft 15000 , is redefining the way sewing enthusiasts enjoy their hobby. This revolutionary model is the first sewing machine that incorporates the wireless system. Users can now send designs or special stitches from their sewing machine to their iPad or PC. JANOME  also offers two useful and functional iPad AppStore applications for embroidery:  AcuMonitor  and  AcuEdit AcuMonitor  allows users to embroider in real time, while  AcuEdit  offers a complete application for  the MC15000 applicable on iPad. That is, in short, it offers a real 9mm wide stitch, Variable Zigzag,  Linear Motion Embroidery System  and many more functions that make this model very powerful, very easy to use for quilting to embroidery available.

Our mission is to produce machines that inspire creativity and innovation while being easy to use. We know that the most important thing about our products is not the machines themselves, but what users can create with them. The best tools, the most innovative and artistic machines that make sewing a pleasant experience. That is why we design our machines with design, functionality, easy to use, very intuitive and also comfortable to use.

As a leader in the sewing industry, we strive to provide our customers with best-in-class products and services that enable creativity and innovation for sewing users. At  JANOME , we create our products to inspire, not intimidate – because the most important function of our machines is that users can create freely.

History of the Elna sewing machine:

Symbol of innovation and high standards of service, the elna brand is characterized by the high quality of our products and the elegant design of our sewing machines. Since our founding in 1940, elna has always been a pioneer in innovation, introducing a multitude of models that feature remarkable advances on the fronts of technology, design and wearer comfort.

played a very important role in the sewing industry, as a result of numerous innovations that have made our products top of all lists.

With the Elna #1 in 1940, we launched the first compact, portable electronic free-arm sewing machine. This innovative model was followed by many other developments, such as the elna Supramatic, which is highly expandable with the new stitch package, or the elnapress, the first home ironing press.

History of Juki sewing machine:

·       1938

Juki is born under the name of “ TOKYO JUKI MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION ” and around 900 sewing machines are manufactured in Tokyo.

·       1947

The first juki sewing machine (HA-1) is manufactured

·       1954

The first domestic Juki sewing machine (HW-8) is released

·       1976

The first Juki domestic overlocker is designed

·       1978

The first automatic threader sewing machine on the market (HZL-550) is designed

·       1985

Juki launches the first automatic tensioner in domestic machines (HZL-7000)

·       1988

The company changes its name to “JUKI CORPORATION”

·       1989

The first JUKI MO-600 series overlocker is released.

·       1991

Increases manufacturing up to 5 million units per year.

·       2003

The first juki MO-700 series 5-thread overlocker is born

·       2004

Juki launches the TL-98P model, the first long-arm quilting machine.

·       2009

Creates the HZL-F series range

·       2013

The first overlocker with an easy air threading system is born.

History of the Bernina sewing machine:

The year 1893: The world’s first hemstitch sewing machine

In 1893 Karl Friedrich Gegauf invented the hemstitch sewing machine. This machine allows to sew 100 stitches per minute. It is a world first and also causes a great sensation abroad. From then on, the making of hemstitch by machine is called “gegaufen” in German.

Around 1900 between 70 and 80 people worked in the workshop; it had become a small factory. Karl Friedrich Gegauf was the technical director. His brother Georg was in charge of business affairs. The hemstitch sewing machine had spread widely and was also supplied abroad.

The Fritz Gegauf era begins

In 1928, after the death of Karl Friedrich Gegauf, his two sons Fritz and Gustav Gegauf took over the factory from their father. Gustav Gegauf retired from the company in 1947. Fritz Gegauf was a creative person who marked the company for several decades and whose inventions have left their mark to this day.

The BERNINA brand home sewing machine leaves the Steckborn factory. The logo contains a rounded “A” and shines on black lacquer. The highest peak in the Eastern Alps, Piz Bernina, was the inspiration.

The zigzag machine has arrived

The first BERNINA zigzag machine is launched on the market. To substantiate Swiss quality even on a visual level, the brand logo is now adorned with the crossbow.

Zigzag with independent support

In 1945, the first portable zigzag sewing machine appeared. In turn, the production figures evolve in a straight line, constantly on the rise: until 1963 BERNINA manufactured a million zigzag sewing machines.

Semi-automatic operation arrives

The world sews and sews – and BERNINA continues to develop the machines. In 1954 the company launched the first machine with a patented snap-on presser foot and a semi-automatic buttonhole sewing function.

The next generation takes the reins

From 1959, Odette Ueltschi became familiar with the management of BERNINA with the help of her father Fritz Gegauf, and in 1979 she became president of the company.

The year 1963: Swiss quality compels

Under the leadership of Odette Ueltschi-Gegauf, BERNINA continuously produces innovations. In 1963 BERNINA launches the first machine with a patented, knee-activated presser foot lifter. The FHS hands-free system, which not only raises the presser foot, but also lowers the feed, is still an important feature of almost every BERNINA today.

The year 1971: BERNINA hits the pedal

In 1971, the BERNINA 830 is a sewing machine with electric pedal control. This machine established itself as the top model in the 1970s, remained a bestseller for eleven years and today enjoys a legendary reputation.

The year 1982: even more power when sewing

Odette Ueltschi-Gegauf continues to drive innovative thinking strongly. The BERNINA 930 is the first model to feature a stretch stitch function and a particularly powerful motor.

The year 1986: the computer age begins

In the mid-1980s BERNINA manufactured the first computerized sewing machine with fully automatic single buttonholes and a stitch pattern memory with the model 1130.

The year 1988: Hanspeter Ueltschi takes over

In 1988, Hanspeter Ueltschi, the great-grandson of the company founder, takes over the management of Fritz Gegauf AG from his mother Odette and runs the company ever since with great skill and insight. Under his leadership, BERNINA became a cult brand for quilting experts in the USA.

The year 1989: Odette becomes Bernette

Odette Ueltschi-Gegauf continues to mark the company in such a way that the bernette line of sewing machines is launched in her honour: a combination of her first name and the BERNINA brand name

The year 1990: The factory is moved to Thailand

Company owner Hanspeter Ueltschi decided to set up a production facility in Thailand 20 years ago due to the political stability in the country.

The Year 1993: More Material for Greater Achievements

In the 1990s, BERNINA innovations advanced even more strongly. The top model 1630 offers a 9mm stitch width, over 400 stitch patterns, monograms, 5 alphabets and allows for 16 direction sewing.

The year 1998: The first true sewing computer

Hanspeter Ueltschi launches the Artista 180, BERNINA’s first sewing computer. The computer age makes its definitive entrance in the company.

The year 2001: new functions, new possibilities

There are already many “buttons” that adorn BERNINA machines. The top model activates 145 is equipped with a CPS software for custom settings. Scanned patterns can be converted into embroidery patterns with the corresponding BERNINA software.

The year 2002: BERNINA and Microsoft Windows

The world’s first sewing computer with a Microsoft Windows operating system is released. Other features are the CD-Rom player, LCD display and memory functions for stitch combinations and embroidery patterns.

The year 2004: Non-stop innovation

In 2004 BERNINA presents another first: the company launches the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR) for exactly the same length of stitches when sewing with the feed dog lowered. The BSR earned BERNINA the “Best Innovator” award from AT Kearney. The aurora 440 QE, delivered with the BSR, has become the machine of choice for demanding quilting experts around the world.

The year 2006: Progress is and will remain the essence of the program

The new Artist 640 and 730 machines are becoming more and more like computers. Features such as utility and decorative stitch programs, integrated embroidery software and on the Artista 730 even a touch screen display the innovative strength and progress.

The year 2009: The greatest BERNINA of all time

The BERNINA 830 is an exceptional machine – the biggest and fastest machine ever to leave a BERNINA plant. No fewer than 15 patent applications have been filed for this product. Thanks to Swiss precision, the B 830 guarantees an incomparable sewing and embroidery experience.

The year 2011: A new look for BERNINA

With the introduction of the new 5 Series (BERNINA 530, 550 QE and 580) the BERNINA brand is presented with a new image. Now the logo is embroidered and the motto “made to create” has been added.

The year 2012: the BERNINA 7 series – sewing longer and faster without interruptions

The new BERNINA 7 Series comes in a simple and elegant design, as we not only focus on sophisticated technologies, but also want to set new standards in product design.

The year 2013 (BERNINA 880)

The BERNINA 880 is our most sophisticated creation and leaves nothing to be desired. Discover amazing new features like the stitch designer or the color wheel.

The year 2014: BERNINA E 16

The first multi-needle embroidery machine from BERNINA. The BERNINA E 16 machine represents the latest in embroidery technology, offering the highest quality stitches, ease of use and industrial-grade durability.

The year 2015: the first BERNINA longarm quilting machine

With the two long-arm quilting machines Q 24 and Q 20, a dream has come true for countless quilting experts. The two longarm quilting machines impress with their easy handling and high-quality, robust design. They allow to make quilts with a length of up to 3 m. The integrated BERNINA stitch regulator ensures precise and equal length stitches, and thanks to front-side operation of the machine, hands-free quilting becomes a new experience. A high-quality quilting frame was developed for the BERNINA Q 24 and is available in three sizes. The Q 20 includes a quilting table as standard, but can also be used on a frame.

The year 2017: NEW BERNINA 5 Series

BERNINA launches new embroidery features in the new 5 series, the B 790 PLUS and the B 880 PLUS. And BERNINA will continue to be a family business in the future, because the fifth generation is already taking their first steps in the company.

The year 2018: Celebrating your creativity!

BERNINA celebrates an important anniversary. It is a very special year because 125 years have already passed since Karl Friedrich Gegauf founded the company. To celebrate, BERNINA is bringing out special limited-edition models with a gold faceplate, as well as two genuine gold-plated presser feet and a gold anniversary box.