What is a Straight Stitch Sewing Machine

99% of your sewing stitches will be straight. Learn more about this type of machine and decide if a straight stitch only machine is a good choice for you.

With all of the fancy modern computerized sewing machines on the market these days, an advanced or beginner seamstress can have at their hands on a machine that has options to do dozens if not hundreds of types of stitches, embroidery, letters, numbers, etc.

Before we had the option to do all of these different stitches there was the simplicity of a straight stitch only machine. And although this may seem less appealing than a machine with all the “bells and whistles”, many advanced seamstresses choose a straight stitch machine and are able to sew just about any project with it.

What is a Straight Stitch Sewing Machine?

A straight stitch is the most basic stitch that a seamstress will use when sewing. It is formed by the interlocking thread and bobbin thread. Although it is a basic stitch, the length, tension, and other features of the stitch can vary.

A straight stitch only sewing machine can do one stitch only – straight! Simple enough. That means you can stitch forward straight as well as in reverse to anchor a stitch. But it is important to understand that a straight stitch machine still has a lot of versatility. It can be used to do many other things besides sewing a seam together –

Why Buy a Straight Stitch Only Machine

Did you know that most sewing is about 85-90% straight stitching? This is why a lot of sewers who are mostly into clothing construction and quilting swear by the accuracy and precision that a straight stitch only machine can give.

Just think about it, before we had all of the fancy machines everyone used a straight stitch only sewing machine, and were able to sew just about anything with it. And to top that off, a lot of those vintage machines are still around today.

Top Straight Stitch Only Machines

 Brother PQ1500SLSinger S16Juki DDL-8700
Current Price
Max Sewing Speed1500 stitches / minute1600 stitches / min5500 stitches / min
Max Stitch Length5 mm
Automatic Needle Threader?YesYesNo
Knee Lifter?YesYesNo
Variable Speed ControlNoYesNo
Warranty25 Year Limited25 Year Limited5 Year
Weight30 lbs31.5 lbs20 lbs

Brother PQ1500SL

The Brother PQ1500SL is a ultimate machine for tackling problem fabrics, and is amazing for

larger scale jobs.

A high-speed straight stitching machine, sewing up to 1,500 stitches per minute!

The PQ1500SL features an adjustable pin feed mechanism, 4 feed dog settings for maximum fabric control, knee lifter & bed extension table for quilting, full range foot pressure adjustment and an Automatic thread cutter with F.A.S.T. needle threader – a time saving convenience. Includes straight stitch sewing foot, rolled hem foot, adjustable zipper foot, invisible zipper foot, quarter inch foot, spring action quilting foot, seam guide, walking foot, power cord, foot control, sewing notions, owner’s manual.

Singer S16 Studio Industrial-Grade True Straight Stitch Only Sewing and Quilting Machine

The name of this sewing machine says it all – straight stitch, industrial-grade, and quilting.

Singer touts this machine as having the power of an industrial machine for a fraction of the cost. It can sew up to 1600 stitches per minute.  It also has conventent features such as: Easy Threading, Automatic Needle Threader & Presser Foot Sensor as well as a Programmable Needle Up/Down and Knee Lifter, which are helpful for piecing quilt tops.

The Singer S16 also features a variable speed control so you can set the stitches between 100 and 1600 stitches per minute.

Users of the S16 love the speed and also mention how heavy and durable it is – perfect for heavy duty jobs. Users also raved about how easy it was to setup and use right out of the box.

Juki DDL-8700 Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine

This powerhouse can sew up to 5500 stitches per minute – that is incredible!

This is a true industrial machines so it is permanently installed in a table top and it is not portable like the two machines above.

With engineering for reduced vibration and noise, the Juki DDL-8700 is optimized for comfortable operation. With the addition of a servo sewing motor, this unit is almost completely silent so it is perfect for home use, but it is a popular choice for businesses and schools as well.

Straight Stitch Sewing Machine Bottom Line

Straight stitch only sewing machines have been around since sewing machines were invented. It is the most basic stitch that is used 99% of the time in sewing projects. Because of this, a straight stitch machine is an excellent choice if you want a workhorse to do most of your sewing on. Just keep in mind that you will not get all the bells and whistles that other machines have.

For newbie sewers, the electronic machines are often a good place to start and once you have some experience, a straight stitch only machine may be something you decide to purchase for the majority of your projects.

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