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Blind Hemmer brands

user-113028 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hello…this is my first trip to the forum.  Looks like valuable information is shared here.  I just subscribed to Threads magazine recently and am enjoying it.  We are remodeling our entire home and I have begun sewing draperies for it.  I started with my bedroom and am making panels out of 2 different colors of silk dupioni and using lining and interlining.  I have a Designer 1 and find the doubled fabric with the lining and interlining does not want to sew well on my Designer 1.  Also, I hand hemmed the first panel and have stopped short of hemming the remaining panels.  I looked at a local sewing machine store and they have a blind hemmer for $499 and I decided that even if I don’t begin sewing draperies for $$, that it would be well worth it for just my project alone to purchase the blind hemmer.  Do you have any opinions of the various brands of blind hemmers?  I am considering beginning to branch over into sewing custom draperies for $$ after I complete mine.  Also, do any of you have favorite brands of industrial sewing machines in the event I do decide to take that step?  This same store has a Bernina that I was told is an industrial sewing machine.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    I have the Designer I and have not had this problem.  Even with lined double thickness drapery weight fabrics from velvets to tapestry to slippery ones.  I wonder if your machine could be out of adjustment?  I have made warm windows too.  I have also used my coverstitch serger but the floating presserfoot and high lift on the D1 work better for me. 

    Let us know if you get a blind hemmer.  The price sounds reasonable to me.  I have always been curiouse about them.  Good luck, those silk draperies sound gorgeouse!  Mary

  2. mem | | #2

    Are you sureb that you have a really good sharp needle I would use a denim needle

  3. mem | | #3

    I also meant to say that you can buy a blind hem ing foot which works very well . I have used one to sew many miles of drapery.

    1. mygaley | | #4

      Can you please describe your blind hemming foot, perhaps with part number, catalog page, etc.  I never have learned to successfully use the one I   have.  ...miles to sew before I sleep...  Galey

      1. mem | | #6

        I have one that goes with my old but wonderful Bernina and one which goes with my new Janome . They look a bit like a zipper foot and are used in conjunction with a blind hemming stitch which is 3 stitches followed by a swing out into a Zig Zag the 3 stitches again . I find that the important thing is to iron the hem up and the to tack from the edge about 1/2 an inch down and then iron the folded hem back toward the drape  This leaves you with the body of the drape on the left and the bit of hem between the stitching line and the edge on the right and the stitching line in front of you. You are looking at the wrong side in both cases. You then need to adjust the width of the stitch so that when it swings across it just catches a few threads . This can take a bit of practice and then when you have it right off you go .  I use this with nearly all hems and when used with a Zig zag blind hem stitch is really great on knits which you dont want to top stitch.

  4. user-113028 | | #5

    Thank you so much for your replies.  As far as my machine needing adjusting, I have decided to take it in for a servicing/cleaning/checkup as it is due for one anyway.  I had put in a new needle before starting the drapery panel, but perhaps it was the type/size of needle I was using.  I hadn't thought about using a denim needle...I will have to try that...I think I have a pack of denim needles I've not opened.  I am going to go look at the blind hemmer again today during my lunch break.  It is a Tac Sew.  Are any of you familiar with this brand?  I am leaning toward purchasing it.  Thanks again!

  5. oldusty | | #7

    Maw Maw ,

                           We have a custom drapery business and our own workroom as well. We have a U.S. blind stitcher a real old one at that , but it is a commercial duty machine . 

           The Silk fabric you are using is woven very tight and along with the linings can be a challenge to sew through , and that in itself may very well be the problem . Try a different non silk fabric with the same type of innings to see if that makes a difference .

       If you can find a ball point needle for that machine it may do a better job for you.

                  good   luck           dusty

    1. mem | | #8


      1. oldusty | | #9

        Hi mem , 

                     We have found that they are actually narrower and more pointy and seemed to separate the finer woven fabrics such as sheers and silks or other tightly woven cottons better .

             Don't let the name make you think that a ball point needle is more blunt .

             The bottom line is different machines respond in different ways with different needles in various fabrics .

        My wife is the real expert and has about 30 years experience fabricating draperies on a professional basis .

        We have an older Bernina commercial straight stitcher machine and a U.S. blind stitcher and a 4 thread Yamato commercial surger .

         Give it a try and see if it works for you .

                      regards          dusty

      2. oldusty | | #11

        mem ,   

        FYI for kicks and giggles look at say a standard size 16 needle then look at a size 16 Ball point They are what may be approx 1/2 the diameter of standard needles the same size .

                      I was thinking the ball point would be more blunt as you when I first heard the term  , but that is simply not the case .



        1. mem | | #12

          Thanks for that i had no Idea . I thought that a ballpoint would be blunt and fat!!!!!

          1. user-113028 | | #13

            Thank you all for your thoughtful comments...wanted to let you know that I went ahead and bought the blind hemmer from the local dealer.  I will probably get time to try it out tomorrow night.  I am excited about it.

          2. Teaf5 | | #24

            A ballpoint needle goes between fibers instead of piercing them, so they work better on tight wovens.  A sharp would try to get through the fiber and in doing so would push it to the back or snag it.  (I read that somewhere, but can't remember where--probably on this forum!)

          3. mem | | #25

            Thankyou for that ,it does make sense and yet is also counterintutitive !!

          4. user-113028 | | #27

            Thank you for the reminder about the ballpoint needle...I had forgotten to try that to see if it helps.  Can't remember if the blind hemmers have a ballpoint needle option.  The needles are curved.  I need to check and see.

    2. user-113028 | | #14

      Dusty...my husband and I have been discussing different avenues to pursue for a home-based business and one of them is a custom drapery business, so I am interested in picking your brain for your thoughts.  We are remodeling our entire home and so I will get some practice with my own home, plus I have a friend who just built a new house and I am thinking of offering to do some draperies for her  for free so I can get some more practice.  I am planning on taking a course at a local sewing shop and I understand the instructor was over a workroom at the most popular store in our town to have custom draperies made.

      From what I can gather from the sewing shops in town, there are very few individuals providing custom drapery service here. 

      Do you have any pictures on your workroom that you might be willing to share, or some ideas that you think would make for a good setup?  Also, have you all been real pleased with your Bernina commercial straight stitch machine?  The same store where I purchased my blind hemmer has a Bernina commercial straight stitch machine with the table and it sells for $2000.

      Any ideas you have will be greatly appreciated.  We are toying with either custom draperies, Mardi Gras costumes (both of which we think have potential in this area for profitability if we provide good service with quality stitching) and embroidery, which we are a little more concerned about the profitability in this area as there are quite a number of embroiders around.

      Also, I do have a ball point needle and will try that on the silk...thanks for the tip.

      1. oldusty | | #15

        Maw Maw ,

                            Several things you will need right from the start , knowledge of the inner workings of pleated draperies and soft treatments is certainly key , experience is the best teacher .

             We did not have any pictures handy to show you at this time of our workroom .

             One thing you will need for sure is a table 60" X 144" with batting and canvas cover to pin fabric to and such . A Size Master tabler is mandatory it is a clamp 60" wide with rails that run down each side of the table and have tape measurements on them . If you will be doing primarily pleated drapery then you have to have a Tacker machine to tack the pleats .

          RowleyCo.  located in Gastonia N.C.  phone # 1-800- 343-4542 is the main supplier to workrooms that we use , good service and a complete selection.


        1. user-113028 | | #16

          Dusty, thank you so much.  That is very helpful info that I will print off.  I need to look at my North Carolina map and see if Gastonia is anywhere near where we will be going this fall when we go to the Smokies on vacation.  Does this company have a storefront retail location?

          1. oldusty | | #17

            Maw ,

                        I believe that Rowley is a wholesale distributor only , no retail sales to my knowledge . They will send you a credit application and we phone or fax our orders to them , and have 30 day billing .

                   They do not sell sewing machines only supplies for fabrication and installation tools and workroom & upholstery  supplies . They have books for sale that are very helpful for learning installation and other various aspects .

                Professional installation is a must , even a beautiful product when poorly installed can look like junk , that's where your husband comes in probably .

            The statement you made of the fact that there are few independent drapery workrooms any more is so true . The craft is not being taught and passed on to younger people like in years past .

              The fabric companies typically have their own workrooms and some are over seas .

              My wife started out by only doing wholesale work for designers , then we found out that the real money is in the sales of the fabrics and such . Get hooked up with several fabric companies have the samples on hand and you can make decent money on the whole job .

                                       best of luck           dusty

          2. user-113028 | | #18

            Thanks Dusty.  I will check with them to see about some of the books they offer and if you have some particular ones you recommend, please let me know.  I did order the MFay manuals and have been using them on my own draperies.  I was totally clueless as to what all is available.  I am hoping that the person here who teaches the class on Basic draperies and also has her own custom drapery business will be a helpful resource once I attend the class,but the class is not until late September.  Again, I appreciate your willingness to  share your knowledge with me.

          3. oldusty | | #19

            Have Rowley send you a catalog , then you can check out the product line .

          4. user-113028 | | #20

            Thanks...I have ordered the catalog.

          5. PatsyS | | #21

            Also check these websites:

            chfnetwork.com  800-222-1415

            chfconferences.com  888-993-7273


            All of these may give you good info as you start your business.  They're all from Cheryl Strickland.  888-473-9942.

            You go girl!

          6. user-113028 | | #22

            Thanks Patsy...I appreciate the info and will check it out when I get a chance.  Have not been on the forum lately and just checked my personal e-mail and found that you had replied.  My husband has been hospitalized so I have not had much time to check in. 

            Also, Dusty, I did order the Rowley catalog but it hasn't arrived yet.  I have had a little trouble getting the hang of the blind hemmer.  I finally took it back to the store with a sample of my silks, lining and interlining pressed over as my actual drapery hems are and we had problems at the store too.  They finally decided it was my thread and ordered me a thread that was heavier weight.  Also, I had just picked up some monofilament thread at Hancock's and the lady at the store where I purchased my hemmer said that she hates sewing with monafilament thread, but that her boss told her that Madeira makes a monafilament thread that is a good quality.  I know you are purchasing your supplies wholesale and I obviously haven't made that jump yet (and will need more experience/practice before attempting to sew professionally) but what brand of monafilament thread do you use?

            It may be a while before I can check back, but do know that I appreciate everyone's input.

            Maw Maw

          7. oldusty | | #23

            Maw Maw ,

                           We will hold good thoughts for your husbands recovery and transition back to good health .

                       My wife won't use monofilament , she feels especially with window coverings , the sun causes the mono to break down prematurely.

                  From Rowley she uses 100% spun polyester TD6K is the stock # we use most often .

                         best wishes                      dusty

          8. user-113028 | | #26

            Thank you for you thoughts and I'm glad to report that I brought him home from the hospital last night and he is doing well.

            Also, thanks for the info about the thread from Rowley and the monofilament.  I need to call Rowley when I get a chance as I have not received my catalog.  I think I saw on their site after I had spoken with someone there, that I need a tax ID# or a statement about being only for professionals or something...can't remember exactly right now. But, the person I spoke with there was very nice and said they would send it to me, so hopefully, it just takes a little time. Anyway, I'll check back with them soon to follow up on the status.

  6. suesew | | #10

    I have the littlle "The Blind Hemmer" by Juki made for the home sewer. It does a great job on 80% of my projects and simply will not sew some fabrics. I wish that I had paid a little more for a commercial one. Buying it from a local dealer should mean that they will service it for you also. Beats shipping it back to St. Louis (twice so far)

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