When you are working with knit fabrics, not just any sewing machine would be fit for the job.
Working with knit fabrics is considered to be one of the most difficult sewing projects and only requires the best sewing machine for knit fabrics for a job well done.
These sewing machines are usually serger machines or overlocking sewing machines, which are completely different from the regular sewing or embroidery machines we see everywhere.
They might be a little difficult for absolute beginners to handle but at the same, these specialized machines are what you need for working with knit fabrics.
In this article, you’ll find every kind of information required to choose the best sewing machine for yourself and your sewing projects.
Best Sewing Machine for Knit Fabrics
Below you’ll find the names and the description of the nine best sewing machines for knitting that you’ll find in the market at the moment.
1. Singer 4423 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
Affordable and efficient, the world-renowned name of Singer says it all! The Singer 4423 is a heavy-duty sewing machine that has a dimension of 12” x 15.5” x 6.25” in all slides.
It’s not an automatic or an electricity-powered machine but one that runs on treadle power. This particular sewing machine comes with 23 built-in stitches that include basic stitch, stretch stitch, buttonhole stitch and other decorative stitches, all perfectly important for sewing, repairing and decorative projects.
Additional features of the Singer 4423 include an automatic needle threader, the capability of making 100 stitches in a minute, and a motor that’s 60% stronger than other machines. The heavy-duty metal body of the machine will keep on working perfectly for decades, generation after generation.
Besides the usual features, this sewing machine also comes with multiple extra feet, including the all-purpose foot, the zipper foot, the buttonhole foot and the button sewing foot. With this machine, you’ll also be getting a seam ripper, a lint brush, needles, a screwdriver, auxiliary spool pins, a quilting guide, and bobbins.
This machine isn’t just for regular sewing but can handle any kind of knit fabrics and most other fabric types easily.
- Heavy duty sewing machine from Singer
- Dimension: 12” x 15.5” x 6.25”
- Runs on treadle power
- Comes with 23 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- 100 stitches in a minute
- 60% stronger motor that can run for a long time
- Comes with multiple removable feet
- Heavy and sturdy metal body
- Comes with a additional tools and parts
- Can handle all types of fabrics and knit fabrics
2. Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine
Besides Singer, Brother is another trusted name in the world of sewing machines. The Brother CS6000i too is a heavy-duty sewing and quilting machine that will last for generations, even with regular and extensive use.
This machine comes with 60 built-in stitches, which include various decorative stitches and seven individual auto-size buttonhole sewing stitches.
Besides the inbuilt stitches, the Brother CS6000i also comes with an automatic needle threader and a drop-in bobbin pusher. This machine also includes an extendable table with a free arm for working on pants and sleeves.
The machine comes with a small 2” LCD display to control the machine easily, and as many as 10 included and removable sewing feet for different purposes. The work light over the working space makes it easier to work at night and in a dark room without disturbing anyone, keeping your workspace as bright as daytime.
- Sewing and quilting machine
- Dimension: 16” x 11.4” x 6.7”
- Comes with 60 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- Drop-in bobbin
- Comes with extendable long arm for working on pants and sleeves
- Built-in 2” LCD display
- Comes with 10 removable sewing feet
- Worklight over working space
- Comes with needle set, bobbins, and more accessories
3. Singer Quantum Stylist 9985 Sewing Machine
This is a computerized sewing machine from Singer – the Single Quantum Stylist 9985 comes with an outstanding number of 960 built-in stitches. With this amazing sewing machine, you won’t just be able to sew on regular fabrics, but also on all kinds of knit fabrics.
Besides, the different stitches of this machine help in basic and stretch stitching, fashion and decorative sewing, quilting and crafting. With the color touch screen, you’ll be able to select any of the fonts or the stitches in the sewing machine directly.
This sewing machine from Singer also comes with an automatic needle threader, making it extremely easy to thread your needles in the middle of a sewing project. The automatic needle threader will pull your thread through your needle’s eyes in less than a second, saving time and effort.
Among the 960 built-in stitches, you are getting a total of 6 alphanumeric fonts, 13 one-step buttonhole sewing stitches and other decorative and sewing stitches, as well as the mirror imaging stitch and the Stitch Elongation.
This spectacular sewing machine can make 850 stitches in a minute, making it one of the fastest sewing machines ever. The Singer Quantum Stylist also comes with 13 included feet including the all-purpose foot, darning foot, narrow rolled hem foot and button sewing foot.
As an added gift, you get a seam ripper, needles, Class 15 bobbins, a lint brush, a spool pin and spoon pin felt, threads, screwdrivers, a foot control pedal and power cord with this sewing machine. The heavy duty metal body of the machine also helps it to run smoothly for a long time.
- Computerized sewing machine
- Dimension: 17.25” x 12.5” x 8.5”
- Comes with 960 built-in stitches
- 6 Alphanumeric fonts, 13 button hole sewing stitches
- Comes with built-in mirror imaging stitch and elongation stitch
- Comes with automatic needle threader
- Color touch screen for easy choosing of stitch and operation
- Comes with 13 included feet
- Makes 850 stitches per minute
- Heavy metal body of machine
4. Bernette 38 Swiss Design Sewing Machine
The Bernette 38 Swiss Design comes with a metal body and a dimension of 19.5” x 16.11” x 11.1”. Slightly larger than the average sewing or quilting machine in the market, this machine can make stitches 7 mm in width.
The special features that come with this machine include the automatic needle threader, an adjustable presser foot, a thread cutter and a tie-off function.
This sewing machine comes with an extendable table, which is a tremendous help in sewing large projects, curtains, quilts or even when working on sleeves and pant legs. It also comes with 394 built-in patterns and stitches to choose from, a 170 mm free arm and a hook system drop-in.
- Electric sewing machine
- Dimension: 19.5” x 16.11” x 11.1”
- Larger than most other sewing machines
- Comes with 394 built-in patterns and stitches
- 8 one-step buttonhole stitches
- 170 mm long free arm
- Extension table for sewing larger projects
- 7 mm stitch width
- Hook system drop in
- Metal body
- Automatic needle threader
- Adjustable presser feet
- Thread cutter and tie-off function
5. JUKI MO654DE Portable Serger Sewing Machine
JUKI is a brand that mostly adheres to the garments industry or industrial production of clothes. This particular model from JUKI – the JUKI MO654DE – is also a model that can be used both in a commercial garment factory or in a household for various types of projects.
Not just for use on regular fabrics, this is a professional-grade serger sewing machine that can easily handle knit fabrics of all types.
The JUKI MO654DE is a 2/3/4 thread serger machine that comes with an automatic rolled hem. This is a machine that can be used for color-coding threads breakaway and looper external adjustment for every stitch length and differential feel. With an extremely powerful 1500 stitch per minute speed, this is also one of the fastest sewing machines anyone can use.
The stitch length ranges up to 4mm in size, but the machine is a safe one to use as it would not run when the swing cover is open. The JUKI MO654DE is also a treadle-powered machine but can be used to work with any heavy and thick thread.
- Treadle powered sewing machine
- Dimension: 10.6” x 13.6” x 11.6”
- 2/3/4 thread serger with automatic rolled hem
- Can be used for color coding threads breakaway
- Looper external adjustment for stitch length and differential feel
- 1500 stitch per minute
- Stitch length ranges up to 4mm in size
- Safe to use
6. AODD Portable Sewing Machine
Small but effective, this portable sewing machine from AODD comes with 12 built-in stitches and can be used in most kinds of sewing, repairing, appliqueing, quilting and crafting projects. Although this machine only has a dimension of 13.78” x 11.81” x 6.5”, it is an effective and trustworthy one for all kinds of sewing jobs.
It is very easy to choose any of the 12 built-in stitches that come with this machine by turning the selection dial. This machine also has two speed settings: high and low, which is helpful when you are a beginner. This portable machine is easy to store and use; the machine operates on a low noise but gives a good speed.
With the AODD portable sewing machine, you will also be getting an adaptor, a foot pedal, a needle, a buttonhole presser foot, 2 spools, 2 bobbins and a manual.
- Portable, electricity powered sewing machine
- Perfect for sewing, repairing and quilting
- Dimension: 13.78” x 11.81” x 6.5”
- Comes with 12 built-in stitches
- Stitches can be easily selected with selection dial
- Two speed options: high and low
- Makes low noise while operating
- Easy to store and use
- Comes with additional accessories
7. Brother SE600 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
With a dimension of 21.8” x 15.51” x 16.54”, this is a versatile embroidery and sewing machine from Brothers. It comes with 80 built-in embroidery designs and 8 embroidery lettering fonts that can be used in any embroidery project to personalize it.
Added features of this embroidery machine include an automatic needle threader and an automatic drop-in top bobbin – two of the most important features needed in any sewing machine.
This embroidery machine from Brother also comes with 103 built-in stitches to choose from, which also includes 10 auto-size buttonhole stitches. With a maximum stitching speed of 710 stitches per minute, this is a pretty fast machine compared to most other embroidery machines in the market.
The Brother SE600 comes with a 4” x 4” embroidery field that includes an embroidery hoop, an extensive embroidery arm as well as 7 sewing feet to help in the embroidery. The rather large 3.2” LCD color touchscreen makes it easy to select the pattern or the stitch needed in embroidery or sewing.
- Machine run by electricity
- Perfect for sewing and embroidery
- Dimension: 21.8” x 15.51” x 16.54”
- 80 built-in embroidery designs and 8 embroidery lettering fonts
- 103 built-in stitches including 10 auto-size buttonhole stitches
- Maximum stitching speed: 710 stitches per minute
- Automatic needle threader
- Automatic drop-in top bobbin
- Comes with a 4” x 4” embroidery field and an embroidery hoop
- Comes with 7 sewing feet
- Extended embroidery arm
- 3.2” LCD touch screen
8. Janome S5 Computerized Sewing Machine
Just like JUKI, Janome is also a trusted brand when it comes to professional-grade and industrial sewing and embroidery machines.
With a dimension of 26” x 15” x 18”, the Janome Skyline S5 includes an automatic needle threader, an automatic thread cutter and a memorized needle up/down feature. Surprisingly at a mid-price level, this is one of the best sewing machines from one of the leading manufacturers of the world.
This is a computerized sewing machine that runs on electricity, and comes with 91 needle positions for precise embroidery and sewing. Besides, each stitch is 9mm in width, making it easy to make different stitches with this single machine.
- Computerized machine run by electricity
- Perfect for sewing and embroidery work
- Dimension: 26” x 15” x 18”
- 91 precision needle positions
- Automatic needle threader
- Automatic thread cutter
- Memorized needle up/down feature
- Mid level pricing
- Maximum stitch width: 9 mm
9. Dechow Sewing Machine for Beginners
Portable and easy-to-use, the Dechow Sewing Machine is absolutely perfect for beginners, hobbyists, and new sewing enthusiasts.
It comes with a complete set of all the tools and accessories required for a few initial projects, including cotton fabric, elastic rope, needles, scissors, thread and measuring tape, thread cutters and even a thimble. With this complete set of tools, you won’t need to buy anything else to start your first sewing project.
The machine runs on dual power: both electricity and batteries. This sewing machine can also be run with a pedal switch and the push button switch, which is easier for a new user. There are two-speed settings in this machine, high and low. With a dimension of only 10.8” x 10.2” x 4.7”, this is a sewing machine that is easy to store and carry around.
Although small, this sewing machine from Dechow comes with a powerful motor that can be used for a long time. This sewing machine can handle regular and knit fabrics and is an ideal gift for anyone in the family.
- Portable, small and easy to use
- Perfect for basic sewing and repairing
- Perfect for beginners and occasional users
- Dimension: 1.08” x 10.2” x 4.7”
- Comes with complete set of tools and accessories
- Comes with sample fabric and thread
- Runs on both electricity and batteries
- Can be run on pedal power and push button switch
- Two speed settings: high and low
- Powerful, long lasting motor
These are the top choices for sewing machines in the market that can handle knit fabrics perfectly. If you are working with knit fabrics, any one of these sewing machines would be the perfect choice for you.
Can I sew Knits with a Regular Sewing Machine?
Regular sewing machines from renowned brands these days are equipped to deal with all kinds of fabrics and stitches, even knit fabrics at times. If your conventional sewing machine comes with a stretch stitch, you will be able to use the stitch on any knit fabric.
While woven fabrics are woven on a loom with horizontal and vertical threads, knit fabrics are knitted. They are made from interlocking loops of thread to make up a piece of fabric. Knit fabrics stretch when pulled by hand, which is a feature absent in woven fabric.
This special feature of knit fabrics also makes it unsuitable for a lot of regular stitches, as well as a few sewing machines.
The most common kinds of knit fabrics include jerseys, double knits, sweater knits and novelty knits. These kinds of fabrics require special stitches and even a special sewing machine when you are trying to work with them.
Although regular sewing machines can be used to sew along knit fabrics, they will not give the best results. Even when stretch stitches are used, the best result from a knit fabric can be achieved by using a serger machine or an overlock machine.
A serger machine or an overlocking machine is essentially the same sewing machine, named differently because of their location of origin. Serger machines (or overlocker machines) sew around the edges of knit fabrics, making loops around each other so as to lock the fabric inside the stitches.
Serger machines use the stretch stitch, which stretches the naturally stretchy knit fabrics while stitching, and the stitch moves along the fabric. This keeps the knit fabric stable and the stitches perfectly formed.
However, although serger and overlocker machines are perfect for sewing a seam on knit fabrics and clothing, it isn’t great for hemming the same fabrics. For hemming knit fabrics, a cover stitch machine is more preferable for the best results.
Coverstitch sewing machines are similar to serger machines when it comes to stretch stitches.
These kinds of sewing machines use two parallel stitches to hem knit fabrics, which we usually see on T-shirts and jerseys made from knit fabrics. Because of the twin side-by-side stitches, the knit fabrics stay together even when they are stretched.
If you are using a conventional sewing machine on knit fabric, it is better to use a stretch stitch for the seams, or a zigzag stitch for the hems.
Only when you have these two removable feet or stitch options in your regular sewing machine, it will be possible to use a regular machine on knit fabrics.
What is the best sewing machine for Stretch Fabric?
Technically, any serger sewing machine from any reputed brand is the ideal and the best sewing machine for stretch fabrics, i.e. knit fabrics.
In the United States, these machines are known as serger machines whereas they are known as overlocking machines or overlockers in the rest of the world.
Despite the difference in name, serger machines and overlocking machines are the best sewing machines for all types of stretch fabric and knit fabric.
Although the stretch stitch or the stretch feet in any regular sewing machine can give similar results when working with knit fabrics, for the best possible result, it is always better to invest in a serger sewing machine.
Any kind of serger or overlocker sewing machine from a popular or common brand can give a good performance with knit fabrics. Even the most basic serger sewing machines with not many extra features will do the job.
What Stitch Do I Use to Sew Knit Fabrics?
If you are using a serger or an overlocker sewing machine, the default stitches of these types of machines are what’s appropriate for knit fabrics.
However, if you are using a regular sewing machine instead of a specialty sewing machine, there are a few special stitches that can give similar – if not exactly the same – results.
For seaming knit fabrics, a zigzag stitch can be the best stitch to choose. This particular stitch allows the stretchy fabric to move along with the stitch. A zigzag stitch with a length of 1.5mm and a width of 5mm is the perfect measurement for a zigzag stitch on knit fabric.
Knit fabrics are more popular these days instead of woven fabric as they are much more affordable, more comfortable and more easily available.
However, sewing on knit fabrics requires the use of a serger sewing machine or an overlock machine, especially if you want perfect, professional-quality work.