How to Use an Industrial Blindstitch Hemmer

Written by elena rakitskaya
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Blindstitches are visible on one side of the fabric and not visible on the other. Garments you buy in a store are hemmed by industrial blindstitch sewing machines, which are also called hemmers. A blindstitch machine has a curved needle that partially penetrates fabric and joins two layers of the hem with thread. Clothing factories and professional tailors use industrial blindstitching machines, which provide high quality hem finishing.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    To thread the machine, turn the hand wheel clockwise until the needle carrier reaches its farthest left-hand position. Draw the thread from the spool and pass it through the closest thread guide. Place the thread between the tension disks and draw it through the thread guides at the top of the arm. Pass the thread through the hole in the needle clamp and then through the eye of the needle from below. Pull about 2 inches of the thread through the eye of the needle.

  2. 2

    Set the stitch length--a number of stitches per inch. To adjust the needle penetration, turn the regulator clockwise for less penetration and counterclockwise for deeper penetration.

  3. 3

    Set the skip stitch adjustment. Move the lever to a position "2:1" if you want the machine to skip every other stitch, which will reduce puckering on lightweight fabrics.

  4. 4

    Fold the edge of the hem to a depth of 1/4 inch for lightweight fabric and up to 3/8 inch for the heaviest.

  5. 5

    Fold the hem along the width you need--a finished depth at the bottom of trousers or a dress is at least 1 1/2 inches. Press the folded or double-folded hem evenly. Pin through both layers of the hem every 3 to 5 inches.

  6. 6

    Press the knee lifter. The feed plate will swing downward and create a gap between the presser foot and the feed plate. Insert the fabric in the gap so the folded edge is levelled alongside the edge guide of the presser foot. When the fabric is in the right position, release the knee lifter.

  7. 7

    Turn on the machine. Slowly press the foot control and start sewing. To control the fabric, grip it behind the needle with your left hand and in front of the needle with your right hand, with 10 to 15 inches between your hands. Sew that portion, stop, grip the next portion of the fabric, and continue until it is finished.

  8. 8

    Release the foot control. Turn the hand wheel clockwise until the needle is completely out of the fabric. Press the knee lifter and quickly pull the fabric rearward out of the machine. This will lock the last stitch and break the thread. Turn off the machine.

Tips and warnings

  • Turn the hand wheel in the same direction as the motor drive is wired. A motor drive of the hemming machine is usually wired to obtain a clockwise rotation. Therefore, to operate an industrial blind hemmer, turn the hand wheel away.
  • Always test the fabric and ensure that the stitches do now show on the right side of the fabric.
  • Oil the machine regularly according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Don't operate the machine without fabric under the presser foot. You may damage the needle and the feed dog, as well as the feed plate.

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