So that's how it works

I’ve always known that sewing machines do not mimic hand sewing at all. Instead of using one thread which is pulled through the cloth at the end of the needle, sewing machines use two threads, one of which is plunged through the cloth using a hole at the tip of the needle. But I could never quite visualise how this was done.

I found this picture on the front page of Wikimedia Commons tonight, while I was looking for a picture of Thomas Hobbes and his Leviathan.

An animated representation of the inter workings of a sewing machine, using the lockstitch method

An animated representation of the inter workings of a sewing machine, using the lockstitch method


I understand!

Now if someone could just explain the Michelson-Morley experiment to me I would be happy.


18 comments on “So that's how it works

  1. Pavlov's Cat says:

    *Light bulb goes on*

    I still use the Janome sewing machine I got for my 21st, and I’ve never understood that … till now.

  2. vibenna says:

    It looks like an impossible picture – an optical illusion like the drawings of Escher.

  3. Adele Villemez says:

    I have often sat at my sewing machine – also a Janome! 🙂 – happily sewing a seam with part of my mind trying, and failing, to envision what the machine is doing with the bobbin thread. Now I know! Thank you!

  4. […] So that’s how it works – In A Strange Land shows how the sewing machine works. […]

  5. Karen says:

    Thank you! I have wondered about this more than you can imagine!

  6. Barbara says:

    That is so cool. I never could figure it out before.

  7. Rebecca says:

    thanks, I have always wondered!

  8. Terri says:

    So interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  9. paola says:

    thank you for sharing!! never understood before! YOU MADE MY DAY!!!

  10. Annette says:

    thanks for that! I was wondering the very same thing 🙂

  11. Polly Monica says:

    OMG! Been sewing my whole life and never sawe it demonstrated so simply!! I’d love to show that link on my blog, too! Thanks! Polly

    • Deborah says:

      Polly Monica, I found the image on Wikimedia Commons, and I put it on my blog under the Creative Commons Licence. If you click on “source” (just below the image) you should be able to download it from Wiki Commons and put it on your own blog. It’s free for anyone in the world to use, provided you acknowledge the source, and you don’t get any commercial gain out of it.

  12. ADA says:

    how really neat to see how a stitch is formed!

  13. Thanks for sharing. Love to know the how and why of things.

  14. milainoa says:

    una buena forma de aprobechar los bordes
    saludos ..

  15. Jean says:

    I, too, have always wondered how it worked. It is really good to know. Thanks for the connection.

  16. […]  an animation of the actually working of a sewing machine–top and bottom […]

  17. Shirley says:

    Thanks Ann It looks so easy!!!

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