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        1. A Few Random Images

          So here are a couple of images taken of a few interesting things in the Los Angeles Fashion District. They are of a double-needle overlock (serger) kind of machine – or at least what appears to be, a miscellaneous (what appears to be probably a walking foot machine, although the walking feet are not there) extra heavy duty machine for extra super thick materials, and a view of Bega’s (only about half of it, probably only a third really).

          The Taiko, was peculiar only because of it’s cool green graphics, but after looking at it for a few minutes it became clear that this was no everyday machine. It is hard to say what exactly it is for, but as you can see in the picture it is a double needle machine, it does not use a bobbin(s) but instead relies on a similar thread feeding system to the conventional serger, and lastly it has a very unique bed with two diagonally opposed sliding mechanisms.

          The next picture is incredibly thick materials which have been sewn together by who-knows-what. The part that is mystifying is that it has the small loop section on the presser foot, which does not seem to tell us that it is a directional foot. As in – it is probably some kind of tacking system. So what that means is that it has a round (presser) foot, or hoop style because it has a programmed or pre-set range of motions to make a particular type of stitching pattern. Like a bar-tacker does an across and then zig-zag stitch, back over the first large stitch. It was hard to tell however what the pattern of the stitch was on the yellow material. it could be assumed that it was a rectangular pattern with some kind of diagonal crossing in the middle of it, much like you may see on hiking gear – where there is a common square with an X to re-inforce areas that will see extra stress. Although there should still be two small feet ont he side that are generally used to hold the fabric steady, with the mechanism below as the driving force for the given pattern.

          The last picture is of Bega’s. It was taken from the front of the shop as you are walking in, and then looking a bit south and east. Just to give you an idea of how much industrial sewing is going on in that area of the country, this is only about a third of Bega’s – and Bega’s is only one in very very many industrial sewing dealers in the Los Angeles fashion district. A truly fun way to spend the afternoon.


          So, it seems about time to post some images of the shop in all it’s official-like glory. This space is shared with the Sharchitecture folks in Chicago IL. Perhaps the delayed manner of this post is so that by the time the shots were loaded up to the web, the shop itself would be fully activated and less of the pipe dream it once was. So far the Brother is very comfortable there, and of course the tables work like a dream. The building has 220 volt access if needed, but unfortunately is on a single-phase circuitry. The possibility of running the old Mitsubishi Limi-StopZ motor was very exciting, but once againg the 3-phase system escapes, which is necessary for such a beastly motor. However, because of some of the tooling Sharchitecture uses, maybe in the far off future, 3-phase circuitry will become available.

          Needlefeed would like to extend a thank you to Jreidko for the imagery provided and intensive seminar in lighting with remote flashes. Thank yous.

          PostScript: Shortly after these images were taken there was a major overhaul implemented in the tables construction. Due to necessity of a more dust free environment for the materials and storage below, a skirt-like system was developed. It consists of multiple flaps of Dow Weathermate tacked around the perimeter of the tables. Also a second shelf was added to the table closest to the wall, it will serve for all the full-roll materials leaving the shelf below for smaller swatches.

          Freestanding Cylinder Arm

          It is hard to say exactly what the purpose of this particular machine is, but it is definitely worth speaking about. It is also hard to say what exactly its proper title would be, for sake of this entry, we will call it a freestanding cylinder arm. The first image is from Bega, although it is quite messy in the background it was the best picture for a sense of scale – you should see two, a white one and a green one. In the other two images you can begin to see that it is kind of like a combination of the bad robots in the Terminator, and the good robot Johnnie5. The motor sits on top of the whole apparatus and the belt connects to the head-pulley at the front of the machine (or at least as close to the actual needle bar as you can be). It has two pedals at the bottom, one for the drive, and one for possibly a stop mechanism, or maybe a thread cutting device. It is hard to imagine the second smaller pedal would be for reverse, or that there is reverse at all – as you can see from the diagram, it would probably not work in reverse, or if it did – it would be quite cumbersome and clumsy. Not to mention that because these are probably always used with a folder, there would not be the possibility of moving the fabric back, you can see where the folder is mounted in the lower image. What is also unique about this machine is that it uses a chain stitch instead of a lock stitch. This is for one of two reasons, either it is due to tradition or it is because of how small the cylinder arm is underneath where the stitching occurs, therefor there is no room for a bobbin. Because the chain stitch can be fed like a serger (or overlock) machine, there is no need for a bobbin – not to mention that even if you were using a large bobbin case, you would have to replace it every few minutes of sewing time. This is why there are six thread tension knobs on top, one for each of the three stitch-seams, top and bottom. This particular one in the two lower pictures was set up to lay three stitches, three needles, 3 sets of threads.

          But once your set up with your material and have your thread routed and folder in place, you can go ahead and lay down some clean seams with ease. As you can see in the lower image, the material comes from both sides and meets up at the end of the cylinder arm. Why you cannot have the same action/result with a regular machine is a bit of a mystery. Although, what this machine allows you is not to have any struggle with your material fighting for space on the table between the needle bar and the structure of your machine to the immediate right. You could get an extended arm machine with an extra long bed, but this cylinder arm type machine allows your fabric to be completely free on both sides, which prevents unnecessary tugging and pulling of your fabric. When all is said and done, this machine is intended for the heaviest of industry people. To have this in a home environment, or even a small company would be pretty luxurious, consider this a good example of the right tool for the job: but only once you have learned every other way of accomplishing the same types of stitch and seam combinations with more typical machines.