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Industrial 4 Thread Overlock Machines: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re in the sewing industry or looking to invest in a high-quality sewing machine, you may have come across the term “industrial 4-thread overlock machine”. This type of machine is widely used in the textile industry, as well as for home sewing projects, due to its ability to create strong, secure seams in a variety of fabrics. In this blog post, we will explain what an industrial 4-thread overlock machine is, how it works, and the differences between a 2, 3, and 4-thread overlocker. We will also discuss the differences between a 4 and 5-thread overlocker, and how they are used in industrial settings.

What is an industrial 4-thread overlock machine?

An industrial 4 thread overlock machine is a type of sewing machine that uses four threads to create a secure and durable seam. This machine is typically used in industrial settings, such as garment factories and textile mills, due to its ability to handle large volumes of fabric quickly and efficiently. However, it is also a popular choice for home sewers who are looking for a high-quality, durable machine that can handle a variety of fabrics.

How does a 4-thread overlocker work?

A 4 thread overlocker works by simultaneously trimming and encasing the fabric edge with four threads, creating a strong and durable seam suitable for medium to heavy-weight fabrics. The two-needle threads create a straight stitch on the top of the fabric, while the two looper threads create a looped stitch on the underside of the fabric. Here are the basic steps for using a 4-thread overlocker:

  1. Thread the machine: First, you will need to thread the machine with four threads – two spools of regular sewing thread and two spools of specialized overlocker thread. The thread is then passed through various guides and tension dials to ensure proper tension and prevent the thread from breaking.
  2. Place the fabric under the presser foot: Place the edge of the fabric to be finished under the presser foot of the machine.
  3. Lower the presser foot and start sewing: Lower the presser foot onto the fabric and begin sewing. The machine will simultaneously trim the raw edge of the fabric and encase it with thread, creating a finished seam.
  4. Adjust the stitch width and length: Depending on the type of fabric you are working with and the type of seam you need, you may need to adjust the stitch width and length. This can be done using the dials and controls on the machine.
  5. Finish the seam: Once you have completed sewing the seam, the fabric can be removed from the machine, and any loose threads can be trimmed. The seam is now finished, and the fabric edge is neatly enclosed and secured.

What is the difference between 2, 3, and 4-thread overlockers?

The main difference between 2, 3, and 4-thread overlockers lies in the number of threads they use to create a stitch. Here is a brief explanation of each type:

  1. 2-thread overlocker: This type of overlocker uses only two threads, which are looped around the edge of the fabric to create a narrow, lightweight seam. It is ideal for lightweight fabrics and delicate materials, such as silk and chiffon.
  2. 3-thread overlocker: A 3-thread overlocker uses three threads, typically two needle threads and one looper thread. It creates a wider and stronger seam compared to the 2-thread overlocker, making it suitable for medium-weight fabrics like jersey, cotton, and linen.
  3. 4-thread overlocker: This type of overlocker uses four threads – two needle threads and two looper threads. It creates the strongest and most durable seam of the three types and is suitable for medium to heavyweight fabrics like denim, wool, and canvas.

The 2 and 3-thread overlockers are suitable for lightweight to medium-weight fabrics, while the 4-thread overlocker is suitable for medium to heavyweight fabrics. The choice of which type to use will depend on the type of fabric you are working with and the type of seam you need.

What is the difference between a 4 and 5-thread overlocker?

The main difference between a 4 and 5-thread overlocker is the number of threads used to create the seam. A 4-thread overlocker uses two needle threads and two looper threads, while a 5-thread overlocker uses three needle threads and two looper threads.

A 5 thread overlocker creates a more secure and stable seam, making it ideal for heavier fabrics like denim, leather, and upholstery fabrics. It also has the added benefit of creating a separate chain stitch along the edge of the fabric, which provides additional strength and stability to the seam.

In contrast, a 4-thread overlocker is still a strong and durable option for medium to heavyweight fabrics, but it does not create a separate chain stitch like the 5-thread overlocker. It is still a popular choice for many industrial and home sewing applications due to its versatility and ease of use.


An industrial 4-thread overlock machine is a valuable tool for anyone working in the textile industry or looking for a high-quality sewing machine for home projects. Its ability to create strong and durable seams in a variety of fabrics makes it an essential part of any sewing setup. By understanding the differences between 2, 3, and 4-thread overlockers, as well as the differences between 4 and 5-thread overlockers, you can choose the right machine for your needs.

If you are looking to invest in an industrial 4-thread overlock machine, you can purchase one on our online store, Abizot. We offer a range of high-quality machines from top brands to suit your specific needs and budget.

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