overlock machine stitch

Overlock machine is a sturdy machine that can be used to create seams of multiple threads as above and give a professional finish to the garment, as it also cuts the remaining excess fabric in the operation. An Overlock machine creates stitches that help in giving elasticity to knit fabrics while maintaining the strength of the garment.

An overlock stitch is different from a lockstitch as instead of a bobbin, it is fed by multiple thread cones. Loopers allow to create thread loops, that allows the edges to remain in the seam.

I always try to give a tad bit of history associated with the topic, so here it goes.

Overlock stitching was invented by the Merrow Machine Company in 1881. The company was formerly into knitting, and had an innovative gene. They created several technologies, one of them the overlock machine. Connecticut was at the forefront of textile production and the company established its first plant there to give access to the garment manufacturers.

However, in the 1960’s some Japanese mechanical engineers and technicians thought that they could create a better product which would be sturdier, have better strength and would be quite smaller and efficient than the current design.
They pitched the idea to their boss and were told to get back to work! The team quit and started the company “JUKI” that today is the biggest name in machinery for garment manufacturing.

overlock machine

We will now go through some of the basic precautions, maintenance, operating environment conditions and precautions to use the overlock machine. Please note that these basic conditions stand true for most of the machines irrespective of the company, model and make of the overlock machine.  If you are a t shirt manufacturer and maintaining overlock machines, this would be a good read for you. The topic is also a good read for people trying to understand garment manufacturing.

Basic precautions:

1) When you buy a new industrial overlock machine it is always advised to read the operating manual before switching the same on. Industrial overlock machines are a costly affair, and you would not want your machine to break down without getting the use of it.

2) Advice the person operating the machine to wear a safety goggle when to protect from an accident due to needle breakage.

3) Those who have a heart pacer, have to use the machine after consultation with a medical specialist.

Safety devices and warning labels

1) Be sure to operate the machine after verifying that safety device is correctly installed in place and works normally in order to prevent accident caused by lack of device.

2) If any of the safety devices is removed, be sure to replace it and verify that it works normally in order to prevent accident that can result in personal injury or death.

3) Be sure to keep the warning labels adhered on the machine clearly visible in order to prevent accident that can result in personal injury or death. If any of the labels has stained or come unstuck, be sure to change it with a new one.

Education of the operator:

In order to prevent accident resulting from unfamiliarity with the machine, the machine has to be used only by the operator who has been trained/educated by the employer with respect to the machine operations and how to operate the machine with safety. Thus establishing a training program for all machines like Coverstitch machine, stitching machine, double flat lock machine and other equipment in the factory is necessary in garment manufacturing. At Custombaba we take care to educate our operators on basic precautions to ensure their welfare.

Various operation stages:


Keep in mind the weight of the machine and take care for it to be transported by care to prevent falling and breakage.
While installing, always remember to get the same done through an authorised personnel of the company.


Make sure to use all spare parts and accessories, including motors, pulleys, tables and wiring of the authorised company to prevent mishaps.

For a more detailed installation refer : Installing overlock machine.


1)Be sure to use company genuine grease to the parts to be lubricated.
2)If the oil adheres on your eye or body, be sure to immediately wash it off in order to prevent inflammation or irritation.
3) If the oil is swallowed un-intentionally, be sure to immediately consult a medical doctor in order to prevent vomiting or diarrhoea.

Overlock machine maintenance:

Periodically cleaning the machine and oiling the same as per needs of the company is required for long lasting life of the machine. Chances are that your machine would have a warranty of 6 months to 1 year, but still, nothing is lost if you oil the machine regularly and keep a watch on the maintenance of the overlock machine.

Operating environment:

Operating environment of the machine would decide the premises, humidity, voltage, electricity fluctuations and and other things to keep in mind when operating the overlock machine.

For example, depending on the radio wave signal condition, the machine may generate noise in Tv or radio. If this occurs, use the TV or radio well kept away from the machine.

For more details refer: overlock machine operating environment.


Industrial safety is very important and we need to take care of operators and the plant as number one priority.
There are many precautions that need to be taken care and we are going to list an example.

While operating  the machine, never operate the machine with the belt cover and the eye guard removed.
For more details refer: Overlock machine precautions.

Let me know what details you would look forward to,  wish this blog helped you!

Post category: Garment manufacturing.

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