The Surprising Genius of Sewing Machines

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Күн бұрын

Sewing machines are mechanical marvels - here’s how they work. Get your first month of KiwiCo FREE at
If you’re looking for a molecular modeling kit, head to to try Snatoms - a kit I invented where the atoms snap together magnetically.
A huge thanks to Prof. Andy Ruina for suggesting this video topic, guiding us in the research, and giving deeply insightful notes.
Massive thanks to Noah Johnson and Tina Vines for teaching Derek how to chain-stitch, and letting us shoot with your embroidery machine! Please check out / stitchrite and / tina_vines if you're interested in seeing more of their gorgeous chain stitch embroidery.
Thanks to Denny Stanley and the whole crew at Las Vegas Props for building the large replica model of the sewing machine.
Parton, J. (1870). History of the Sewing-machine. Howe Machine Company, No. 38, N. Charles St.. --
Gregory, J. M. (2006). A History of the Sewing Machine to 1880. Transactions of the Newcomen Society, 76(1), 127-144. --
How America Spends Money: 100 Years In the Life of the Family Budget, The Atlantic --
Buckman, J. (2016). Unraveling the Threads: The Life, Death and Resurrection of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, America’s First Multi-National Corporation. Dog Ear Publishing.
Lewton, F. L. (1930). The servant in the house: a brief history of the sewing machine (Vol. 3056). US Government Printing Office. --
Special thanks to our Patreon supporters:
Adam Foreman, Anton Ragin, Balkrishna Heroor, Bernard McGee, Bill Linder, Burt Humburg, Chris Harper, Dave Kircher, Diffbot, Evgeny Skvortsov, Gnare, John H. Austin, Jr., john kiehl, Josh Hibschman, Juan Benet, KeyWestr, Lee Redden, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Max Paladino, Meekay, meg noah, Michael Krugman, Orlando Bassotto, Paul Peijzel, Richard Sundvall, Sam Lutfi, Stephen Wilcox, Tj Steyn, TTST, Ubiquity Ventures
Directed by Petr Lebedev
Written by Petr Lebedev, Derek Muller, Felicity Nelson
Edited by Trenton Oliver
Animated by Mike Radjabov, Fabio Albertelli and Jakub Misiek
Filmed by Derek Muller, Raquel Nuno, Gene Nagata and Taylor Cody
Additional Research by Gregor Čavlović
Produced by Petr Lebedev, Han Evans, and Derek Muller
Additional video/photos supplied by Getty Images and Storyblocks
Music from Epidemic Sound

Пікірлер: 6 000
@shangerdanger 3 ай бұрын
another awesome video. my dad and brother are engineers and my mom is a seamstress, so it was cool to see a video that everyone in my family could enjoy!
@sayhowling 3 ай бұрын
i bet they were so fascinated by this. probably the same way i did when i first found out how rice cooker works in elementary. that blew my tiny brain. they just used magnet and heat and boom you got yourself a ricecooker
@KimboKG14 3 ай бұрын
@jackgunn8112 3 ай бұрын
A rice cooker is pretty useless....
@sayhowling 3 ай бұрын
@@jackgunn8112 cool
@What_shall_happen 3 ай бұрын
@@jackgunn8112 I'm a bit lost. It makes rice, no?
@5MadMovieMakers 2 ай бұрын
Surprised the different inventors of the machine didn't sew each other
@shaggydogg630 2 ай бұрын
I sew what you did there.
@ramesestallman8259 2 ай бұрын
Boo. 😁
@nex05 2 ай бұрын
how is this not a top comment?
@uradithyak 2 ай бұрын
😂 Boo.
@mansquatch2260 2 ай бұрын
Let's keep this thread going!!!
@JaredOwen 2 ай бұрын
This video was fascinating!
@ouch9402 Ай бұрын
Love your vids JaredOwen!
@user-bc2mv4dh4w 14 күн бұрын
@user-bc2mv4dh4w 14 күн бұрын
Show how s generator works
@user-hs6tp6io1v 2 ай бұрын
I'm a mechanical engineer and a grown man. I still consider a sewing machine to be a magical device. Thread go down, thread come up. Magic.
@blaiketillman3691 2 ай бұрын
Hahahaha. Same.
@sgddfgfghfgh 2 ай бұрын
You must be a very bad engineer
@satunnainenkatselija4478 2 ай бұрын
@@sgddfgfghfgh The amount of development that needs to go into a sewing machine and its production must be enormous.
@StopChangingUsernamesYouTube 2 ай бұрын
@@sgddfgfghfgh Opposite, I'd say. Sure, a total neophyte could have similar perspective on the surface, but it takes a learned eye to appreciate the complexity going on under the hood for what it is. While I'd consider myself a bad benchmark and optimistically just somewhere between those two ends, I can often find myself momentarily floored by complex injection molded parts for example. Just thinking about what kind of wild multi-part die had to be designed and iterated on multiple times, and how many odd failure states that had to be worked through to get whatever widget I'm staring at.
@sgddfgfghfgh 2 ай бұрын
@@StopChangingUsernamesKZfaq that's a long way to agree he's a bad engineer
@DrDonnie 2 ай бұрын
I am Italian, i live near the famous "Rimoldi" factory and I am a specialized sewing machine technician, just like my father. I've been working in this field for 8 years now, and you have no idea how many machine models exist to create hundreds of different types of stitches. Each one has its own operation, adjustments, and tolerances. One must anticipate the behavior of the fabric and threads being used and adapt them to the process. Learning never stops. It's a wonderful industry!
@aileenhampton6911 Ай бұрын
So good you are involved in a specialized profession that is also intellectually and emotionally engaging!
@brushstroke3733 29 күн бұрын
That is awesome! You found a great niche!
@NoScope_FPS 19 күн бұрын
Im a qualified Technician at Bernina , you sir are correct, there are so many different machines with ALOT of different stitches but you only really need to test the honeycomb to see if the balancing is fine and zigzag to check tension, thank god we don't have to go through all them stitches on high end machines that would make this fun job very un fun😂
@fragglet 2 ай бұрын
I absolutely love how you built your own giant sewing machine model to explain this.
@atifarshad7624 2 ай бұрын
I'll admit I didn't expect to see the author of Chocolate Doom here. Fellow man of culture.
@neilfurby555 2 ай бұрын
If you want to see an even bigger sewing machine look for ..the secret life of the sewing of a series of videos (vintage 1980s) a genuine master of technical education Tim Hunkin.. All of utube. best regards.
@Faladaena 2 ай бұрын
IKR?! 😁👍
@RCAvhstape 2 ай бұрын
@@neilfurby555Tim Hunkin's youtube channel is great!
@neilfurby555 2 ай бұрын
@@RCAvhstape Pleased you think so, he is a bit of a legend in the creative engineering/entertainment world !!!
@pbs1516 3 ай бұрын
My mom, who is very good at sewing, didn't do it in a while because her machine wasn't set properly anymore after decades. As an engineer, I searched for the old instruction manual online, and carefully followed the instructions and oiled everything up : the machine was working flawlessly again. And I realized that I had NO IDEA of how it did work in the first place. So she explained it to me. I was litteraly amazed, so 1) seeing your video and your own amazement is so pleasing to me, and 2) blessed be my mom.
@DavyOordijk 3 ай бұрын
Not an engineer (yet), but did the same for my grandma, she was so happy.
@AxeltheGreen 3 ай бұрын
That's just wholesome, good job :)
@ernestoyepez5103 3 ай бұрын
God bless her.
@goldiegolderman1842 3 ай бұрын
@aaronward4319 3 ай бұрын
I wish we still made stuff like that man, try finding something made today that will sing with just a little maintenance in two or three decades time.
@aleksandermelnikov3041 2 ай бұрын
I have a Singer sewing machie built in 1926 and still use it (because if it works - it works). The surprising part was when I broke a needle in 2016. I thought I will never find a spare one, but when I took it to the nearest fabric shop, they immidiately gave me similar one that perfectly fit in. It's amazing that needeles didn't change after a century.
@lamdao1242 2 ай бұрын
I inherited my mother’s sewing machine foot pedal made around 1956. I love it
@peterfischer5420 2 ай бұрын
They changed a lot to the better, in terms of material. they are still changing today, but to the worse: the last package of needles had mediocre quality eyelets polish, possibly too much cost savings in production. If you want good stuff buy a machine from before 1960, needles and spools from before 1990, and have a motor and a frequency converter from today fitted.
@xoio Ай бұрын
It's fascinating how 'early' some tech is that is still unchanged today... Take the AA battery.. It came out in 1907 - 117 years ago & counting... And yet its format is the same.
@xiola Ай бұрын
Hopefully they let you know that you're supposed to change your needle sometimes (5~10 hours of sewing and make sure it matches the weight/type of fabric) instead of just waiting for it to break? 🥲🥲
@aleksandermelnikov3041 Ай бұрын
@@xiola Never knew there are different types of needles.
@scholarshiphelp5999 2 ай бұрын
I remember a teacher telling me that one doesn't always need to move miles for a revolution. Sometimes it is just one inch. Then he showed the ordinary needle and the needle of a sewing machine. We were so much influenced by those words.
@katesoboleski4470 2 ай бұрын
i found an 1890s White brand vibrating shuttle treadle machine at a town dump last summer! it was such a lucky find - it had everything except the drive band, which was maybe a $10 replacement part i bought online. i have no idea how long it had been sitting, or where, but it was pretty grimy and the treadle base had a fair amount of rust on it. i cleaned it up, oiled all of the parts, and sanded/repainted the rusty cast iron base with some black rustoleum. this took a few afternoons of work, but it immediately started making perfect stitches during the first test! i’ve had it for around a year and a half now and i’ve made so many projects on it. it powers through everything i’ve thrown at it, even heavy weight denim and canvas. i use it all the time!
@ellaisplotting Ай бұрын
How wonderful! Thank you for giving it another life! I hope it serves you well for decades to come!
@HeartOfLEO 2 ай бұрын
What is even more mind-poofing is the fact that very elaborate and elegant fabrics like velvet, satin and silk have existed for way longer than sewing machines. So the loom was really the first complicated sewing machine ever invented in a sense. Still, sewing those fabrics into garments couldn't be done with a loom but I'd say that most of the inventive work was already there.
@brianb-p6586 13 күн бұрын
The explanation of the shuttle would have been a good point to mention the precedent of the loom.
@macronencer 2 ай бұрын
I really love the oversized demo model you made for this video. Excellent teaching device! I spent some time looking at my mum's sewing machine when I was little, trying to figure it out. I didn't really understand it properly until I was older. They're kind of like magic if you haven't had it explained.
@thomasshelley4617 3 ай бұрын
Puzzled me for years and never bothered to look - amazing that they invented these things!
@User-jr7vf 3 ай бұрын
same here
@Smileyassassin47c 3 ай бұрын
@DMONEYlNDUSTRY 3 ай бұрын
*oh my God*
@andyjudd9686 3 ай бұрын
Same here, glad I've finally found out. 😄
@HicSvntDracones 3 ай бұрын
@niv8880 2 ай бұрын
Can't believe how much work has been put into this video in terms of animation and actual hardware. Brilliant!
@danielcraigo8251 2 ай бұрын
I’m an engineer and my daughter has a starter sewing machine that I was messing around with one day, and I realized that I knew nothing about how these machines worked but I quickly found out they were intricate. This video solved some mysteries in my head that I had pondered on ever since I was playing with my daughter’s starter sewing machine!
@pieterrossouw8596 2 ай бұрын
Can't believe I never really thought about how these worked. My mom made us plenty of clothes growing up, most moms did - only wealthy people's kids had majority store-bought clothes. I'd have one or two nicer bought shirts and pants for special occasions but the majority of clothing was made, and repaired by my mom. The material also lasted much longer that the flash fashion stuff we have today.
@speedwell0560 2 ай бұрын
I went to college in Glasgow 96-99 to study sewing and clothing machines, I then spent 13 years in a factory that made mattresses and divans. The principal design of sewing machines remained largely unchanged for decades other than the method used to power the machine. I worked on some large multi needled machines, computer controlled machines as well as some that had been bespoke made by old fitters to have longer beds and drive shafts to make repairs on mattress tops. It was a great job and the machines were fascinating in their design and function
@matejpetelin7796 2 ай бұрын
My Great-Grandmother had a Singer machine, was incredibly proud of it and it still works today. In the Balkans, we have a saying "Radi k'o Singerica!" - "It works like a Singer!", when something works perfectly. Incredible piece of history lodged in our cultures. Thanks for this :)
@lovivelaverdure1290 3 ай бұрын
I’m a mechanical engineer and forever promised myself to someday take time to figure out how sewing machines work. You crossed this item off my list in just 15 minutes. I owe you the pizza of your choice. Thank you!
@joseppedaia3673 3 ай бұрын
@aymanne5107 3 ай бұрын
I can relate. I'm not an engineer but hopefully by God's will I will be one, I wanted to create a DIY sewing machine prototype from cardboard, after grabbing a needle and observing how humans sew, I wondered how in the world does the sewing machine work, if I were to imitate how humans sew I would need robotic arms lmao, so I couldn't even form an idea on how to make sewing with a machine possible. But then this video was recommended and its beautiful, I love it. The most valuable lesson I learnt from this video was that, if the current ways are impossible, invent a new one.
@Secret_Chess 3 ай бұрын
The Earth is also Flat. Please check it out.
@Soheil-ev6ls 3 ай бұрын
​@@aymanne5107Yep. Another example of this is the dishwasher.
@lakesolon2027 3 ай бұрын
Ok, but how do you hold the bobbin? That's the real engineering genius that is disappointingly hand=waved away in the video.
@CourtneyCoulson Ай бұрын
As someone who has been sewing my entire life and now works as a seamstress for a furniture company, it's nice to see the humble sewing machine getting the attention it deserves. It's also nice seeing how others are impressed by it. That's right, what I do is pretty cool. These diagrams and models are some of the easiest to understand that I've ever seen.
@babybirdhome 2 ай бұрын
What a phenomenal video! I've wondered since I was a little kid watching my mom and sisters sew things how they worked. Obviously, I was never allowed to take any of our sewing machines apart to find out, but even as a 50-year-old adult, the wonder has never left me. Now I know, and I'm even more filled with wonder and awe at the people who made these incredible machines!
@monsegeek 2 ай бұрын
As someone who taught himself how to sew, I've been fascinated by sewing machines for years and I've always been marveled at their complexity and genius.
@jihedmedini1318 Ай бұрын
my mother owned a "new home" sewing machine for over thirty years, it's older than me, she used it to fix our clothes and make pillow covers, I miss the sound of it, I openend once for maintenance and I was amazed how synchronised and brilliant it is, it's a mechanical masterpiece, love it, you should do a part 2 explaining how threads sizes adjusment happens inside.
@Alaskaraised Ай бұрын
Thank you so much for this video! I teach sewing to kids and adults. This week I showed this at the beginning of all my kids classes. They loved it! I've been hoping for a video like this to come out. It was brilliantly done. It was easy for kids to even understand. BRAVO!!
@spiksplinter 3 ай бұрын
My parents own a sewing machine shop. My dad repairs them as well. I find it amazing that people can bring their old machines in, sometime 50 years old and they can just be repaired. No planned obsolescence, just a product that lasts a lifetime. Something that barely exists anymore with e-waste garbage piles that keep on growing without end.
@randibgood 3 ай бұрын
If your parents have or ever come across a Standard Sewhandy, or an Island or General Electric Sewhandy in decent shape, I would love to buy one. They are the inspiration for the Singer Featherweight and I like this model better than the Featherweight. I should have bought one about 3 years ago when I first learned of their existence. They have at least doubled in price, and often quadrupled, at least in the asking prices. I'm also looking to replace a Pfaff 230 that was my husband's grandmother's machine that was destroyed when our house was involved in a fire a couple of years ago. Thanks for any assistance in locating any of these machines! I would so appreciate it!
@Kpaxlol 3 ай бұрын
They can still produce long lasting stuff. Even in electronics. They just decide not to in order to make more money
@RaymondHng 3 ай бұрын
My mother bought an industrial Singer sewing machine in the early 1970s. It has a big electric motor under the table. It still works to this day.
@oompalumpus699 3 ай бұрын
​@@KpaxlolYes, as OP mentioned, planned obsolescence. It's the same reason why I'm not worried about robots taking over all jobs. Robot companies would make more money if their machines only lasted five years instead of three decades. That plus crappy warranty/refund policies combined with mandatory subscription to their proprietary software and suddenly, robots are not that good of an alternative.
@VincentHondius 3 ай бұрын
It's a symptom of money creation. Because of the constant devaluation of our savings, we start to put higher and higher valuations on short term gratification of needs, instead of planning for the future. It's a well studied phenomenon@@Kpaxlol
@dopio 2 ай бұрын
There was a British television show from the 1990s called "The Secret Life of Machines". The program explained the invention of the sewing machine, as well.
@AaronCiuffo 2 ай бұрын
This needs to be Waay up higher. SLoM is fantastic! We use so much of that in our teaching. His explanations are just perfect.
@englishrivieravanessa Ай бұрын
I used to watch these too and they produced booklets with fabulous little drawings explaining everything. I have a collection of them including the sewing machine one. I'm a sewer myself and fascinated by the mechanics of each type of machine. They should bring that TV prog back.
@pat190 2 ай бұрын
WOW, I am blown away. I have seen many animations and demonstrations of how antique and modern sewing machines work, but this one tops them all!!! thank you!
@grann3453 2 ай бұрын
My mother is a seamstress by education and throughout my childhood she constantly sewed all sorts of things (mostly special clothes for church servants). Every time she "recharged" the bobbin, I was always very curious about the device of the sewing machine. Even when the car was unattended, I opened all sorts of technical doors and looked at the mechanism, in which I could not understand anything, but the variety of details hypnotized me. Since then, I have forgotten how much I was interested in the device of the machine at that time, because there was a school, friends and it was not up to that. Now, many years later, I came across this video, which looked through the eyes of a little boy who is very curious about what is inside and how it all leads to a neat stitch on the fabric. (thanks to the translator)
@marblox9300 2 ай бұрын
A machine that we all take for granted - it is actually quite fascinating. I bought an $80.00 Singer (on sale) machine from Walmart and it works quite well. Sewing is more complex that I ever thought.
@BeardedBooper 2 ай бұрын
My great-grandmother had an in-table Singer from the early-mid 1900s. I remember being young an asking her how it worked. She sat me on her lap and showed me how to thread the machine from spool to needle, open the casing to fill and set the bobbin, and set up the stitch-width and feeder rate. It seemed so complicated, but it worked so flawlessly (most of the time), and as of a few months ago still functions just fine! This brings back memories, seeing how it all worked. I deeply appreciate the video Derek.
@Heyitscryz 3 ай бұрын
I do have a singer 27K. It's now 123 years old and I use it to sew my own clothing, or fixing damaged clothing. It's handcranked, no electricity needed with a shuttle bobbin. I love this machine. It works fantastic to this day. I've sown some cyberpunk tech wear style clothing with it. The contrast of the 123 year old machine and the futuristic clothing it helped to create is something I enjoy a lot. ❤
@Jamachlee 2 ай бұрын
that's so cool!!
@waltertanmusic1100 2 ай бұрын
Now with plan obsolete, we can no longer have lasting machine. Rip my oldhoood
@indigodino3897 2 ай бұрын
i have a singer machine with a shuttle bobbin! its from around 1910 so about 113 years old and its very robust its also hand cranked, the first time i tried to thread it i was very confused due to the shuttle bobbin but other than that its great
@theprojectproject01 2 ай бұрын
I'd love to find a 27 or 28 in really good shape, It'd be a worthwhile and important addition to my collection.
@jenn976 2 ай бұрын
My Singer (originally my mother’s) is a 1940 “featherweight” machine. She sewed many of the clothes I wore when in school, bequeathed to me, and now I sew things for around the house. Wouldn’t be without it.
@Bigsistermeg 2 ай бұрын
Can confirm the information from 10:47 because I have a treadle sewing machine with this style of bobbin that I purchased this past year and cleaned up. It was still in fully working order when I purchased it, aside from the leather drive belt needing to be replaced due to age. Working on a treadle is an entirely different feeling to a modern sewing machine, and I love working on my treadle machine when the projects I’m working on allow for it.
@dalesuhre6522 Ай бұрын
Yes, as long as you clean and oil them regularly they will last you, your children, your grandchildren, I have an 1869 Florence needle sewing machine that performance as if it just came off the factory floor. It was produced the same year my great-great-grandfather was born.
@howardcovitz7911 2 ай бұрын
Ever since Tim Hunkin demonstrated this, it validated my horrible experience in Jr High Home Economics Sewing class, where I learned how non-trivial a sewing machine is. Has to be one of the most underrated mechanical marvels!
@angelsjoker8190 2 ай бұрын
As someone who occasionally sews clothes as a hobby, the engineering and little tolerances used in the construction are a marvel. The video is super interesting.
@hicoteo 2 ай бұрын
Watching mom sew lead me to get a warm feeling around sewing machines. I've always had one in my "toolbox" and never knew how they worked till now. Thanks.
@retiredtom1654 2 ай бұрын
I have often wondered how this household/factor machine works. As expected, it is a true marvel of invention(s). I'm still amazed at the speed these machines can operate. Another great video!
@thhall459 3 ай бұрын
At 67 years old, and as a physician, I have episodically wondered about this since I was a child watching my mother sew. Back then, and ever since, I realized I could not imagine how the machinery worked to make this mechanical miracle work. Thank you for finally explaining it to me before I die.
@centurion2185 3 ай бұрын
I too, am an orthopedic surgeon and former high school shop teacher and had vague but unclear understanding of the functioning of sewing machines until now . THANK YOU!!!!
@P_steez 3 ай бұрын
I’m not sure how being a doctor is at all relevant but nice, transparent, humble brags gentlemen
@AlexanderRodriguez-ni4kt 3 ай бұрын
You posted this 8 hours ago when I saw your post and I’m wondering, are you still alive?
@TheDamagedKoda 3 ай бұрын
Hahah relax now, people these days live longer than 67 years old.
@rangefabre 3 ай бұрын
​@@P_steez😊🎉😢🎉🎉😂 18:43 18:43 😂
@sarahyip2825 2 ай бұрын
A humble machine even a teen could operate. Literally grew up with a Singer machine beside me, even used one and decades later finally see the "How it works". It had occupied the imagination of not a few early pioneers thru time. Answered questions in my head. What a delight! 👍
@aaaaa1957 2 ай бұрын
Great video. My mom was a seamstress when I was young, about 55 years ago. She also made quilted bedspreads for stores like Montgomery wards. The company set up one of the rooms of our house with a giant table and a fancy sewing machine. Apparently she made good money doing this. I remember different companies coming to our house trying to get my mom to work for them.
@LiquorandCheeseburgers 2 ай бұрын
I started sewing on my Sailrite LSZ1 a few years ago. Unfortunatley I learned all about the internal workings before anything. Darn thing kept coming out of adjustment and I'd have to re-time it again and again. Eventually I found the culprit, someone at the factory left a spare part up inside the mechanism that was in a very difficult spot to inspect. It was randomly jamming things up just enough to slip the timing where Id get skipped stitches and other 🤬 frustrating things. After I removed the "bonus" part, I re-timed and not a problem since. Great video, thanks for posting.
@gooball2005 2 ай бұрын
I really liked the 3d animation and your physical model of the chain-stitching sewing machine, so satisfying to watch :)
@battalion151R 2 ай бұрын
One of my earliest memories was being fascinated watching my mom sew stuff. I bugged the crap out of her to explain how this worked. I was kind of bad about taking stuff apart to see how it worked. I think she was worried I'd take her Singer apart, like dad's lawnmower. My grandma had a treadle machine that allowed me to slow everything down so I could see how it worked. Of course, she wasn't amused when she caught me trying to get that old treadle machine to run as fast as my mom's electric. I was under the machine, gripping the foot treadle with both hands and pumping like crazy. I still have a pair of Singer Featherweights. One was mom's. The other one I picked up at an antique shop. It still had the original bill of sale from 1948. 17:08
@TanukiOfficial 2 ай бұрын
What a truly exceptionally phenomenal video! I loved the live action model and the animations. I finally understand how a sewing machine works, but it still feels like magic. Thank you for such excellent content and effort! 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏
@sonysony18 2 ай бұрын
Looking at small inventions like this is just as equally important when looking at bigger inventions. Both are life changing and should be appreciated by us all pretty much on the same level. ❤ Very cool video 😎 thank you!
@h069401 8 күн бұрын
Classic you. Another beauty. I like the treatment you apply to topics - making the mundane fascinating and simplifying the complex. Both, types of fun. Here Isacc Singer blew me away. I never knew. Clever how he created a company with modular patents, then changed the market with pricing and finance. You also de-mystified bobbin magic for me. Bravo!
@thegenrl 2 ай бұрын
I know you probably won't see this veritasium, but I very much appreciate this video. The speed of explanation is perfect, the content (specifically the physical models and 3d renders) is a level of quality I haven't seen on KZfaq. This is probably my favorite video of yours.
@colvinator1611 Ай бұрын
Fantastic ! I spent 50 years in electrical engineering and I occasionally wondered how sewing machines worked. Now I know ! Yippee ! Amazingly a few months ago I bought a Brother machine from the charity shop I do PAT testing for. There's lots of bits with it. I'm off to learn how to use it ( manual supplied ). Thanks a lot. I just love industrial history.
@Zaroon_Ricky 3 ай бұрын
This video triggered some serious childhood flashbacks! In humble Pakistani homes, my mom was the sewing maestro, and that machine was her magic wand. Always wondered how it worked, but back then, no KZfaq and definitely no disassembling privileges - that was a one-way ticket to punishment! Thanks to this channel, I can finally decode the sewing machine mysteries without risking timeout or grounding. Sewing, science, and a hint of childhood rebellion - who knew it could be this entertaining? gonna show this video to my mum
@milinddiwate5264 3 ай бұрын
Even touching the bobin mechanism was not a previlage.
@seanbatiz6620 3 ай бұрын
I likewise had a similar upbringing, per mom’s sewing skills and me, NOT BEING ALLOWED to even ‘think’ of approaching her machine with any tool, to figure out what secrets lie within it’s complications or complexities.. I was mystified by its actions, being an A.D.D. child of the 70’s. That all said, by the time I was in Junior High School, I had already taken so many things apart of a massive variety of fields, that I was making side dough during summers, servicing/refurbishing /restoring/repairing vacuum cleaners, typewriters, film cameras, lawnmowers, pool pumps, vintage radios, record players, reel to reel machines, stoves/appliances & of course, sewing machines! But I never ever messed with mom’s machine.. less oiling it and, once in a blue moon, changing belts! I remember once though, while typing this, that it’s treadle pedal variable resistor speed control, had its “smoke leak out” (I had a college teacher for automotive repair certification, explain this rather hilarious notion of how electricity is actually ‘smoke’.. you never want to see it leak out of things! POOF! The item/part/component is now dead. 🤣). My mom was so bummed out over that happening.. she allowed me to take THAT apart.. just had bad wiring that grounded out. I rewired it and had it back up and running in no time! Of all the times I’d tinkered with various vintage/antique sewing machines, for general service procedures, I recall being always a bit intimidated by their engineering, with not quite having a thorough understanding of what exactly was taking place, between above and below.. until this breakdown you’ve so carefully put together! THANK YOU!
@randomdosing7535 3 ай бұрын
Glad to know that someone from my country also enjoys varitasium and not the usual and useless TikTok
@zady1014 3 ай бұрын
Same story here in iran, neighbour😂 I always wondered how did it work😂😂
@sparky2141 3 ай бұрын
Same here in India, neighbour ❤ I haven't even tried to think about how it worked... But the video blew my mind I'll explain this to my mother and see her reaction
@marykayryan7891 11 күн бұрын
Its so weird! I was literally sewing yesterday and it crossed my mind that I did not know how my sewing machine worked. And then here, next morning, was your video. From my mouth to the god of the internet's ear. Usually I don't care how things work. But the quality of this video was so good, I actually enjoyed watching it. Loved the demo "machines" you made and the historical background. Really well done. Thank you so much.
@lindakaserman3462 8 күн бұрын
amazing. my husband watched this today and mentioned it to me. I love the thought process of the stitching but that line "The tension must be exactly the same" has been the bane of my existance as a someone who sews.
@InletKayaker 6 күн бұрын
THIS is the BEST demonstration of anything Ive seen here on YT......thanks........worth watching......
@100vg 2 ай бұрын
I have wondered how a sewing machine works for ages. I learned how to sew from my grandmother by watching her. I recovered to a 2-cushion sofa by using the old fabric as cutting guides; as a pattern. Fascinating! Thank you.
@i_Kruti 2 ай бұрын
I have seen my mom sewing clothes using sewing machine since my childhood....every time I wondered how that works....and Today as a ENGINEERING student i got to know how this incredible piece of engineering works....!!!
@hoodiehugger 3 ай бұрын
I'm so impressed by that giant needle and fabric model you built! It really shows what is happening.
@justtruth4u 3 ай бұрын
Really! This guy is passionate about his videos
@harwinkle1440 3 ай бұрын
Large scale replica is credited to Denny Stanley and the Las Vegas Props team, shout out to them
@user-kt2hl5mf1t 3 ай бұрын
He didnt make it. He borrowed it from other people.
@grimm-saffer2310 2 ай бұрын
I'm a sewing machine tech in New Zealand and love this, brilliantly presented, well done!!🥰
@roeemilgrom3720 12 күн бұрын
A little while ago, the question of sewing machines' magical wonders came to my head. Finally, many a month and 1 video later, it finally makes sense, and its amazing!
@niravparmar7856 2 ай бұрын
i love how consistently you are uploading videos for years while maintaining quality. Thank you for such a great inspiring content. I also aspire to start a channel like you. ❤
@karengray2650 Ай бұрын
Brilliant video thank you. I have two treadles, one is a vibrating shuttle. They both work well. Over 100 years old. Both sew a beautiful stitch. They will outlast me!
@paulwatson6013 2 ай бұрын
Chain stich also commonly used for stockfeed bags. If you are experiencing a lot of heat build up on the needle, or the thread appears to be untwisting, you could consider running the top thread through an oil bath. Untwisting of the thread is more of an issue on one side of my twin needle machines. One side runs the opposite direction to the other, resulting in a degree of untwist in the thread. Things to consider before going down this route is type of thread used and of course fabric you are sewing. Unfort not all threads are available in whats known as reverse twist, so have found this to be handy in many situations.
@awackocrank 6 күн бұрын
Try silicone spray or oil. It washes out more readily and tends not to stain.
@PopLadd 3 ай бұрын
Props to the animator(s) on this vid, I can't imagine how nightmarish it probably was to animate those threads in 3D.
@Kamil-mo3kj 3 ай бұрын
What software did he use to achieve that?
@IdOnThAvEaUsE69 3 ай бұрын
@@Kamil-mo3kj Probably blender lol.
@jynxbot352 3 ай бұрын
Eh, you animate it once in probably 90/120 frames and it can loop, not too bad to do, but the artist did a great job, they're nice renders, very clean read!
@IdOnThAvEaUsE69 3 ай бұрын
@@jynxbot352 Yeah, the physics is nutty xD.
@ematise 3 ай бұрын
Bro 'this rotating hooks are messing with my mind. How in the world is the thread going past the axel? I don’t know if anyone can understand my problem. 😮
@rhythmicworld8127 8 күн бұрын
My father is a tailor. I have been seeing this products up-close since my childhood. Thanks of the details info about the Sewing machines.
@sarahmcbeth9156 2 ай бұрын
I LOVE dedicating videos to technologies and we all take for granted and don't think about at all. Makes us learn to be observant. THANK YOU!
@Frogmobile52 2 ай бұрын
Beautiful exposé that made the miracle of having me understand how sawing machine works!!
@raffycamulataldamar6645 2 ай бұрын
Unprecedented Engineering Masterpiece of accuracy and precision of the sewing machine
@chadmarkley 2 ай бұрын
I am blown away by the model you clearly built in your kitchen!!! Epic
@Abmotsad 3 ай бұрын
I design exhibits for museums, and frequently those designs include an interactive component that requires some sort of mechanical gadget. Let me say this: Whoever designed and constructed that demonstration model deserves a freakin' Nobel Prize.
@toxicimagestudios9547 3 ай бұрын
Thanks brother. Not gonna lie, it took me a minute to figure out how to actually get it to work. Thanks for the kind words
@leahstreader428 3 ай бұрын
@toxicimagestudios9547 I was in awe of the model too! So good!
@carpediemarts705 3 ай бұрын
​@@toxicimagestudios9547someone should make a few of the models. Kiwicrate makes kits for kids to assemble and learn from. They might buy a thousand from you if you made the design smaller.
@carpediemarts705 3 ай бұрын
Ha! What I get for commenting before the video is even over
@mycroft16 3 ай бұрын
@@toxicimagestudios9547 Seriously, extremely well done. It's hard enough to figure out how to get the real machine to work, but to make an EXTREMELY simple version of it, that can show off multiple forms all in one display is impressive work. Well done, sir.
@rodrigodelprat 2 ай бұрын
This is an incredible demonstration - I love the physical models and 3D animations.
@HT-vd4in 15 күн бұрын
The lockstitch, which most sewing machines use, are also numbered stitchtypes three hundreds (class 300). Starting at stitchtype 301 is a straightforward lockstitch, 304 is Zigzag lockstitch, 313 and 314 are blind lockstitches, which are not seen from the bottom. Most machines can be modified to do these different stitches of the same stitchtype class. Class 100 are chain stitches, which are also talked about in the video. Class 200 are hand stitches. The higher classes often use more thread or are more complicated but also more resistant or better looking.
@MxGrr 2 ай бұрын
I fell in love with my grandma’a sowing machine as a kid. It amazed me how the needle never went through. I notices the mechanism and always wondered how its inventor(s) came up with the idea. Thanks for addressing this amazing history.
@Ponderer_-vk3cz 2 ай бұрын
Please make a part 2 and turn this into a series. Would like to know more about the history of clothes manufacturing, industrial sewing and how to combat related waste. Thanks.
@marialeroux5094 2 ай бұрын
I love this! My grandma still has her old Singer sewing machine. It's been kept working thanks to mechanics willing to work on it. That thing is a workhorse! I would not be surprised that it could outlast my modern sewing machine if it were to be maintained.
@MeTalkPrettyOneDay 3 ай бұрын
As someone who is a sewist and also an engineer, there is a lot more overlap in these fields than you'd expect. Everything about sewing is clever ways to connect two things to make large complex 3d shapes.
@ruth-annwright3774 3 ай бұрын
I am a student studying engineering and I love sewing too. Design patterns and connecting the pieces is just like engineering
@suzan6254 3 ай бұрын
I know right! Lots of geometry, topology and trigonometry involved!
@ProfessorJayTee 3 ай бұрын
...and using 2D fabrics to cover the 3D shapes of the body relatively smoothly.
@dustyfairywingstoo 3 ай бұрын
And in the case of supportive undergarments like bras and corsets, garments can be surprisingly supportive and change the shape of the body. A good, supportive corset or bra is a truly a garment engineering marvel.
@stephanenouafo 2 ай бұрын
complex 3D shapes indeed but definitely not large
@tomburns7544 17 күн бұрын
Thank you for such a clear and thorough explanation of this. I am not someone who sews and I was wondering for so long how a sewing machine works and this video really helped me. 👍
@geetikmamillapalli1872 Ай бұрын
I'm an engineer and your channel has inspired something the education system just can't comprehend. I feel that your team takes the science of engineering and relates it to a daily reliance of a human being. Channels like your's are one of the reasons I still love KZfaq.
@el-torogi481 10 күн бұрын
The engineering brilliance of a sewing machine seamlessly intertwines precision, innovation, and efficiency, transforming the intricate art of stitching into a marvel of technological ingenuity.
@oldnewsclipster Ай бұрын
Such a great video - thorough, thoughtful, content-rich and entertaining. All of your work is top notch - thanks!
@aleksandreakhvlediani8034 2 ай бұрын
Thumbs up to Prof. Andy Ruina, he is a great professor, great engineer and a great person. Objectively, his lectures are the best there is in this world. I am happy that some of his courses were available online so anyone could access it. I wish he did some more *public* lecture videos maybe about differential equations and finite element method. Thanks Veritasium for this video. Av=λv
@mervynhing 3 ай бұрын
I frequently show my Maths and Physics students your videos for many years, I would like to assure you that all my students (and of course myself) are very grateful for your amazing teaching. Thanks again.
@hitfromcs 3 ай бұрын
you sir are a great teacher :)
@NitishKumarIndia 2 ай бұрын
My mother has sewed with a piston-sewing-machine almost 40 years ago. When she saw this videos she was very happy. I want to tank you for making this video.
@Tye-Dyed 2 ай бұрын
I'm only like 5 seconds into the video and I am so excited because the question of how sewing machines work has been plaguing my mind since I learn to use one back in middle school home-ec class. Before then, I was confused about sewing machines because I only ever saw gand sewing in which you poke the needle in and out of the fabric from the front and the back, so I was baffled at how a sewing machine could work when it only pokes through one side of the fabric. In home-ec I learned about a thing called a bobbin introducing me to the fact that there are two threads, which partially helped me to understand how the back of a zigzag stitch for example looks completely different from the front, but it also made me even more confused overall. The least of my questions was why does the bobbin need so much less thread. My main issue was with how the needle "grabs" the bottom thread. Now that I got that out of my system, I can't wait to watch and (hopefully) get all of my questions answered!
@bcmiller5237 Ай бұрын
I worked for Phillips Van Heusen(Making Shirts) for 38 years as a machine mechanic. This is the best explanation of how a machine works that I have seen.
@admiralcapn 29 күн бұрын
14:25 - if you haven't been there, I highly encourage you to visit the Mill Museum at Lowell, MA. They have a room largely recreated as what a factory sewing room would have looked like with dozens of looms. They had about 1/3 of them running on the day we visited, and you were not permitted inside the room without hearing protection on. I can't imagine spending years of my life in that room with ALL the machines running with nothing between those decibels and my eardrums. Several placards had quotes from interviewed individuals that spoke of pervasive hearing loss for the weavers.
@stco2426 2 ай бұрын
I have one of those shuttle machines. It was being thrown out and it's been useful over the years, but is manual. It and machines like it clothed the world. Thanks for the video!!
@drbell26 3 ай бұрын
I remember when young asking grandmas and aunts how sewing machines worked. They could tell me how to make a sewing machine work, but not how the machine actually achieved the feat. Great video. Loved the super large model and how you kept adding improvements to it. It's truly amazing how people can get things to work with such fine tolerances.
@spvillano 3 ай бұрын
My mother was a seamstress and knew sewing machines inside and out. I took that and well, always have been good with mechanical things and figured out the finer details, such as gear timing and finding timing marks to sync up the shuttle and needle. Came in handy when removing a shuttle, as someone forced the cloth through and bent the needle, burring the shuttle and catching and not releasing the thread. And figuring out bobbin tension problems.
@strega42 Ай бұрын
I have a Singer VS2 from 1889. Still works just fine. The engineering on those things is amazing.
@notrubstudios 2 ай бұрын
Excellent animations, I've always wondered how these machines worked & no-one could ever explain it. I am now satisfied !
@simonguitton Ай бұрын
Having been viewing all videos I could find about how sewing machine principles were developped, I somehow never felt satisfied. Now I do. This video of yours is the missing piece to me, and, as usual, is admirably done (and it accurately sums up hours and of research that I did not feel keen on engaging on, on top of that.) Thank you Derek.
@slik00silk84 2 ай бұрын
Interesting and informative. My mom demonstrated Bernina machines, and taught me ( a guy ) the basics in using one. I studied the mechanisms and grasped the principles early on. I didn't know any of the history, so much thanks for that!
@notsparks 3 ай бұрын
I use my sewing machine often to reinforce stitches when they start to come loose on my clothes, I hand stitch buttons back on, to mend clothes and dog toys and have made clothes from scratch. I had a reasonably good idea how the machine worked, but it was great to see it on a large scale to really appreciate how precisely the machine has to run to catch the loop on the underside. Gave me an even greater appreciation for the engineering that went into a sewing machine.
@pratn 3 ай бұрын
I have seen cobblers stitching like this. They have a needle that kinda looks like a screwdriver🪛
@WubiWatkins 2 ай бұрын
Mr I am so enjoying the history on this and the Antiquities of our tools. Thank you
@Pip2andahalf 2 ай бұрын
Omg Honestly amazing video. My great grandfather was a Singer dealer in Greece. I've always loved sewing machines and they have always amazed me. This is super cool. YOUR GIANT SEWING MACHINE MODEL OMG that's excellent. As usual, brilliant video, highly informative, incredibly thorough, A+
@sander_bouwhuis Ай бұрын
You are right, it's totally satisfying to watch the mechanics.
@alejandroluer 2 ай бұрын
This clip is a real Piece of Art. Thank you!
@Frondlock 2 ай бұрын
i find it very interesting to have videos like this one that study the machines, processes and inventions that fill our homes. It's more relatable than other subjects more far away like military gadgets or NASA rockets or whatever. Yet there can be deep engineering and science in those.
@soficaso 3 ай бұрын
I studied engineering physics, and during the pandemic I learned to sew clothes as a hobby, and ever since I've been fascinated by the inner workings of sewing machines! So this video was an awesome overlap for me 😄 When you talk about the mindblowing amount of clothes that end up in landfill, I wish you had mentioned that this is the awful impact of the fast fashion industry. The invention of sewing machines are not to blame, the problem is the overall mentality of consumerism nowadays.
@3nertia 3 ай бұрын
Welcome to capitalism heh
@MartinWasTaken 3 ай бұрын
@@3nertia99% of these clothes come from "communism" but go off with the anti-capitalism queen, if only you knew how much more waste China produces in-house(not export) compared to any other countries in the World. I am not sure you even know what capitalism is as it's not relevant to the industrial revolution which is the cause of these landfills.
@blitxaac 3 ай бұрын
Consumerism indeed, people just can't stop buying
@TheBoboSamurai 3 ай бұрын
He did mention planned obsolescence. A problem with our machines and a problem with our clothing.
@LykeArgy 3 ай бұрын
damn i wear clothes and shoes until they start falling apart and sometimes (but rarely) i hand sew soemthing if it's not too big of a damage
@jennifergeorgia5445 2 ай бұрын
Marvelous! I have two antique Wilcox & Gibbs chainstitch machines, 2 antique Singer shuttle machines, two modern machines, and a serger (which I wish you had explained as well!). Now I want to add a GIANT sewing machine to my collection!
@alastairwatson3201 2 ай бұрын
I’ve always wondered how a sewing machine worked and had sort of arrived at a reasonable hypothesis but, thanks to your well considered explanation and clever models and animation, it now makes proper sense.
@Flies2FLL 9 күн бұрын
This is amazing! I always wondered how a sewing machine worked. I had no idea that there were actually TWO threads, one above and one below. GREAT video!
@nrok113 2 ай бұрын
I already knew about how sewing machines work, but I love your giant physical visual aid! very cool
@JasonMasque13 2 ай бұрын
I’m happy I finally know something Veritasium had to research. Your videos are the best!
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