Zigzag Machine

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zigzag Machine


a sewing machine that forms a zigzag seam with the stitches at an angle to each other. The seam is attractive and firm.

A zigzag machine is used to stitch lace, appliqué, and needlework; to quilt hair padding; and to hem edges. It uses a bobbin and chain stitch. The zigzag stitch is formed because in the intervals between the needle holes when the fabric is moved one stitch down the seam (a fabric step), the needle is moved crosswise to the stitch—to the right for one stitch, to the left for the next (the needle step). The fabric step controls the width of the seams, and the needle step controls the width of the zigzag.

Zigzag machines operate at speeds reaching 5,000 stitches a minute, with seams as much as 10 mm apart. When the sequence and direction of the needle’s horizontal movements and the fabric’s movement are changed it is possible to obtain figured zigzag seams, which repeat not after two but after several stitches.


Cherviakov, F. I., and N. V. Sumarokov. Shveinye mashiny, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Rusakov, S. I. Oborudovanie shveinykh predpriiatii. Moscow, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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