“What is a Serger “& other 5 FAQ answered on buying sergers

serger buying guide

FAQ 1.

What is a Serger?

Serger is a machine that sews the seams of fabric and at the same time trims the seam allowance and finishes  the raw edges .ie. it sews, it cuts, it finishes the edges of fabrics all in one go. The professional finish you see in most store bought garments are finished with a serger. 

FAQ No. 2

What is overlocking? Is a serger and Overlocker the same thing? Is there a difference?

Yes , A serger and an overlocker are essentially the same thing.These names are used interchangingly.

Overlocking is stitching the edges of fabrics ( one or more layers ) for hemming, edging or seaming.

A Four / five thread serger forms a seam with a chain as well as overlocks the edges, so this serger is way more than a simple overlock machine.

FAQ No. 3

Why do I need a Serger ? What are the benefits I get in owning a Serger?

I really want a Serger. Anything that saves my precious time is a life saver. But do I need a serger ? No. I can do very well with my regular sewing machine for all my sewing. But  advantages of Serger are tempting enough –

  • Serger finishes the seam and edges in one go – so saves a lot of your time
  • Serger stitch is best for sewing knits, being very flexible and stretchy
  • Narrow seams, overcast edges, rolled hems, blind stitched hems are all easy with sergers

FAQ No. 4

How is a serger different from a sewing machine? When to use a serger vs sewing machine?

A serger cannot be a substitute for a sewing machine. You cannot top stitch, sew buttonholes, attach zippers or stitch corners with a serger.

But for its particular use it is the best. it can really make your sewing look top notch. It sews, trims and overlocks the edges fastly and conveniently in one go. You can use it as a very useful accessory which will make your sewing a lot easier and faster.

FAQ No. 5

What are the different types of sergers available?

The sergers are categorized according to the number of threads they use to form stitches.

  • 2- thread overedge serger – This is a overlocking machine alone ; it doesnot sew a seam. 
  • 3 Thread Overlock serger – I would recommend this as a useful serger as it works seams and overlocks as well.
  • 3 / 4 Thread overlock serger – Here 3 thread stitch is made with an extra stitch down the middle. This is a very suitable one for sewing thin knits as well as woven cloth
  • 4 Thread overlock – This serger makes a seam with two thread chain stitch and then uses two threads to overlock the edges
  • 5 Thread overlock serger – This serger makes a seam with two thread chain stitch and then uses three threads to overlock the edges

FAQ No. 6

What are the things to look for when buying a serger – Must have features in your serger

  • How many threads are used in the serger? One, two, three, four or five
  • Does the serger have a free arm?
    A free arm is needed to easily sew all points of garments.
  • Is it easy to thread?
    A sewing machine is a breeze to thread. But not so the serger. At first you may find the instructions difficult to follow and difficult to remember. Ensure that the instruction manual of the serger has clear instructions to thread the machine easily and efficiently. Check that the serger comes with colour coded guides to thread properly.
  • Can you change the stitch width and length easily enough?.
  • Does it have other features like other types of stitches and is it easy to change between them?
    The  serger usually have overlock & chain stitch. Check if your serger has other stitches you may need like  cover stitch or rolled hems, blind hem. Check whether you need them even if the machine has them. You should not be buying extra features which you may not even use after the first few times.
  • Does the serger feel stable when the machine is sewing or does it feel fragile?
  • Can the tension be adjusted easily enough?
  • Accessories along with the serger – Do they cost extra and how does it add to the cost ?

Your serger will usually come with the following accessories – dust cover, travel case, accessory case, carrying handle. Verify that the serger accessories and the manual list match

  • Can the serger handle heavy fabrics or many layers of fabric?

Are you convinced you need that serger?

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