What Is a Sewing Machine?

sewing-machine Credit: Phil Gradwell/CC-BY-2.0

A sewing machine is a device that stitches materials together with thread. They range from foot-operated or electric domestic machines to large, industrial machines. Sewing machines are mainly used to make clothing faster and easier than is possible by hand.

The first sewing machine design was created by Thomas Saint in 1790 to make sails and other goods easier to produce. Modern domestic sewing machines allow people to sew materials without having to deal with thimbles and needles. Industrial sewing machines are usually bigger and faster than domestic machines, and some can be used to sew tough materials, such as leather.