We had an industrial sewing machine in the workshop but never really got on with it due to it's poor controllability (I think we had a dud). On a recommendation we replaced it with a Janome 1600P QC semi industrial. This sewing machine has been perfect for us, it has a strong controllable straight stitch that's ideal for making curtains, cushions, and blinds. With the correct needle it has the power to sew through the layers of fabric, lining and buckram on the back of pleats that some less powerful machines can't manage.
Our 1600P QC is a powerful table top machine that just focuses on doing one thing well, a great straight stitch! It is not loaded with gimmicks, any features on the machine are uncomplicated and there because you will need them and use them (well most of them).
1. Metal Casing : Gives the machine some weight and a strong solid feel as opposed to plastic cased machines.
2. 9" Long Arm : Great for making curtains giving you more room to get fabric alongside the needle. 9" is the distance from the needle to the inside of the machine
3. Fast Straight Stitch up to 1600spm : We don't need anything quicker than that! (note it only does a straight stitch)
4. Backwards and Forwards Paddle : Nice feel and easy to use when you are reinforcing or starting and finishing with some backwards and forwards stitches
5. Auto Thread Cutter : Couldn't be without this, just watch some of our videos and see how quickly and effortlessly you finish the sewing just pressing the "cut button"
6. Remote Thread Cutter Port : We don’t use this, there is a port to connect a remote switch.
7. Stitch Length Adjuster and Indicator : You can adjust the stitch length form 0 to 6mm.
8. Maximum Speed controller : With all that power and speed available in the foot pedal you can limit it's speed range to give you more control.
9. Independent Bobbin Winding : You don't have to unthread your main thread to wind the bobbin, very handy!
10. Programable Needle Up/Down : We use this all the time, it lets you set the machine so the needle will automatically stop in the DOWN position on the fabric or UP when you stop stitching. Note the needle will always stop in the up position after auto thread cutting.
11. Adjustable Thread Tension : Don't use this much.
12. Adjustable Foot Pressure : Set at 3 for regular sewing, Reduce pressure for sewing on fine synthetics and elastic fabrics. Set the dial to 1 for extra fine fabrics.
Auto Needle Threader : A bit temperamental this doesn't always work so we don't use it
Knee Lifter : We use this all the time, by pushing against the arm that hangs down with your knee you can lift the foot up. This is particlarly handy when you are positioning or moving fabric with the needle in the up or down position
Extension Table : We prefer to just use the machine on a small IKEA table without the extension table.
Industrial Style Rotary Hook :
Fully Computerised : If you read the blurb, it says it is fully computerised but I'm not sure what that actually means.
WHAT IT DOESN'T DO
NO Foot Adjustment Left or Right : The foot position is fixed so you will need a left and right zip foot as there is no facitilty to adjust it left or right as on some machines
NO Other Stitch Types : It only does a straight stitch (extremely well). This is not the machine for you if you want any other stitch types such as zig zag etc.
The Janome 1600PQC has been our main machine in the workroom for the last 2 years and has been consistent and reliable. It cost us £850. If you are a looking to start a curtain making and soft furnishings business or want a decent straight stitch machine for making interlined curtains you won't go far wrong buying this sewing machine, for us it has been a great buy.
If you need a machine suitable for curtain making, but that does more than a straight stitch the Janome 6600 may be worth a look. We bought one and will write a review later.
(All honest opinons of the Author, there has been NO sponsorship, NO financial gain, NO FREE loan of a machine etc, to influence this blog item, we just liked the sewing machine so much we thought we would write about it!)