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**A** sewing machine is a mechanical (or electromechanical) device that joins fabric using thread. Sewing machines make a stitch, called a sewing-machine stitch, usually using two threads although machines exist that stitch using one, three, four or more threads.
Sewing machines can make a great variety of plain or patterned stitches. They include means for gripping, supporting, and conveying the fabric past the sewing needle to form the stitch pattern. Most home sewing machines, and some industrial machines, use a two thread stitch called the lockstitch. Most industrial machined use an overlock stitch produced by a machine sometimes referred to as a serger. Some older machines produce a chain stitch.
The fabric shifting mechanism may be a simple workguide or may be pattern-controlled (e.g., jacquard type). Some machines can create embroidery-type stitches. Some have a work holder frame. Some have a workfeeder that can move along a curved path, while others have a workfeeder with a work clamp.
Before the invention of a usable machine for sewing or dress design, everything was sewn by hand. Most early attempts tried to replicate this hand sewing method and were generally a failure. Some looked to embroidery where the needle was used to produce decorative, not joining stitches. This needle was altered to create a fine steel hook
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