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What is Sears Talking About?

Pattiann42 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Kenmore vertical and horizontal sewing machines. 

There has been discussion about what this means on Patternreview.  I think vertical and horizontal refers to the way the presser feet attach to the machine.

Others think this refers to the bobbin, and even the bobbin and feed dogs.

Your opinion, please.



  1. user-60627 | | #1

    I believe the 'vertical' and 'horizontal' terms refer to the placement of the bobbin and the sewing hook.

    In some Kenmore machines (i.e. in the 70's) the bobbin and hook were tucked flat under the sewing surface (i.e. 'horizontal').  There was even a little window that you could check to see how much thread was left in the bobbin.

    My Bernina 930 has what I would call a 'vertical' placement, in that the bobbin is loaded with the flat side facing towards me, like the old Singer machines of the '50's, and the sewing hook has the same alignment.

    I would like to see vertical feed dogs though!

  2. midnitesewer | | #2

    Bel Argent is right. The terms "vertical" and "horizontal" refer to the bobbin and hook assembly. She ( I am making a sexist assumption here)  is also right that vertical means that the bobbin fits into a bobbin case that sits vertically in the machine just in front of the sewer. "Horizontal" means that the bobbin drops into a built-in bobbin case that sits horizontally just below the feed dogs - sort of like a spare tire would sit horizontally in the trunk of your car.  You have to use a screwdriver to remove the built-in bobbin case for cleaning. In both types of machines the hook assembly oscillates around the bobbins. 

    In the last three years I bought two Kenmores on sale. My Mini-ultra is a 3/4 quarter size mechanical machine similar to a Janome Jem and has a vertical bobbin. My Harmony 8080 is a full size computerized machine and has a horizontal bobbin.  I like both set ups, but since I learned on a vertical bobbin machine, I'm a little more comfortable with them. If someone woke me up from a sound sleep and asked me to load a bobbin, I'd try to put it in vertically! lol

  3. Betakin | | #3

    Yes, the horizontal bobbin is the top loader and usually has the horizontal thread spool pin to match. These bobbins have a rotary jam free hook. The other type or vertical type of bobbin can have an oscillating hook or a rotary depending on the model or brand, once again with the rotary type being less likely to jam especially should you sew off the fabric.  

    Different companies made Kenmore machines in the past but Janome makes the newest models of Kenmores. If ordering feet for a Kenmore machine it is important to order by the type of bobbin your machine has because the Janome made horizontal bobbin Kenmores most likely have a 7 piece feed and a wider stitch than the vertical type bobbin Kenmores. If your machine has the horizontal bobbin and you put on a foot that is for the vertical type it might snap on correctly but your feed would not be right and you could also break a needle when using a zig zag stitch from the needle hitting the foot. Most of the vertical bobbin feet were designed for a narrower stitch and not the 7 piece feed dogs that the newer Kenmores have.

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