Business Down with the masks : to fight with the...

Down with the masks : to fight with the sewing machines !



During the confinement, the sales of sewing machines are soaring, leading to shortages of stock at the manufacturers. While the déconfinement progressive operates, this new craze for the couture persists.

Chronicle of an event that is not expected. During the containment, the small market usually very quiet sewing machines is packed. Health crisis forces, many were those who desire to equip themselves and participate in the effort of “war” called for by the president Macron, in making such masks general public or surblouses for caregivers. Dressmakers and fashion designers aspiring or confirmed, it is up to the planetary scale that the demand for equipment has exploded.

Bernina Bernette b77

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Operating table price

“We are swamped, it is overwhelmed with requests, we do lots more !”testifies Marc Demeyere, CEO of Bernina France, one of the most important brands of sewing machines with Singer and Brother. “We think that the phenomenon will last. People are equipped, others were not able to purchase their sewing machine and still want to invest. There may be a small impetus that will come to fruition”enthused Nathalie Semiao, account manager at Brother. To our great surprise, a number of readers Digital usually more inclined to learn about tvs or smartphones, latest we have also been interviewed on… sewing machines. This deserved some explanation.

Up to 400 000 sales in France each year

Impossible to have a precise picture of the market. According to the national chamber of importers of sewing machines (Sitemac), quoted by Nathalie Semiao, it would have sold 220 000 sewing machines in France in 2019. But these figures hide a different reality.

The sewing machines are without doubt part of the products “high-tech” the oldest…

In addition to the sales provided by the brands of sewing machines on the storefront, those brands of sewing machines “no name” that can be found on the shelves at Lidl, Boulanger or Darty remain absent from the radar screens.

On arrival, he would sell up to “400 000 sewing machines per year, corresponding to a market of new buyers and renewal”, decrypts the CEO of Bernina France. A volume that is far from being negligible, split 90 % retail and 10% in the small resellers, specialists of which approximately 1 000 to 1 200 shops mailleraient still the Hexagon.

50 € … € 15 000 !

In fact, the market is divided into two categories of products : sewing machines, entry and other…. “There are devices from 50 € in retail. But at this price, it was a toy, a substitute of sewing machine. Around 100 €, and you will find sewing machines, basic. People buy them, have a tinker and put the device in a closet. It is from 200 € that we begin to find devices correct”note Marc Demeyere Bernina France. “From 200 €, you start to have a machine very well equipped, such as the CS10, an electronic machine for the regular use”says Nathalie Semiao, account manager at Brother, an iconic brand in this sector, which sells sewing machines general public, the price of which may reach 15 000 € ! That is to say, if the increase in range is impressive.

Brother KE20 Little Angel

Brother KE20 Little Angel


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If the sewing machines mechanical are those, which historically were imposed (one remembers the famous machines Singer to crank our grand-mothers !), the electronic models are more and more present in the linear. With these machines, users have a screen, selection buttons for use such or such a point, drives seam to adjust the speed, etc

© Christophe Séfrin

If the crisis of the sars coronavirus has erupted in sales, another phenomenon had previously (and more modestly) brought to the sewing of many consumers : the “DIY” (Do-it-yourself, or “Do it yourself”). “The effect of the issuance ‘hand-Stitched’ launched in 2014 on the M6 had already been very positive on our market. Specialist dealers have won, the major surfaces are lost. The market has been sanitized”welcomes the CEO of Bernina France. “Today there are a lot of young creative professionals, mothers, seamstresses, men who are also to perform the particular work, and the activity of embroidery is very popular”welcomes Nathalie Semiao, at Brother.

The tutorials are in abundance on the web.

The tutorials are in abundance on the web.

The number of tutorials available on YouTube contradicts the old clichés in confirming that the image of the seamstress of 50 years is consistent with the idea that it was a user lambda.

Tips to fight

So what to choose ? Or rather, what product book, knowing that the state of the stock in the warehouses is near to zero ? The“important” is already to ask to which we will move : the large-scale distribution where one buys a cardboard box and a manual, or a dealer specialist who will provide advice, offer a grip, of services, of course ?”advises Nathalie Semiao. Another recommendation : find out if you need a camera for small jobs, like making curtains, or the implementation of hems on trousers ; or if one wishes to evolve in making garments, making customizations and moving toward the leisure creative.

Singer 8280

Singer 8280
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For basic needs, no need to spend a lot. An investment of 150 € to 200 € will be largely satisfactory. Then, it should be ensured that the motor power (70 W or 90 W) ; consider the number of functions and items proposed by the machine ; whether or not to get a model with touch screen (more intuitive) ; check the space between the needle of the machine and the arm (the longer it is broad, more the comfort of use is important) ; to monitor the quality of the lighting, etc, And do not hesitate to seek the advice of a dealer/repairer specialist, whose job is first to perfectly target the expectation of his client. “He will be able to steer the purchase to a product quality/price ratio that will be 100 % effective”insists Marc Demeyere, CEO of Bernina France.

Maintenance and after-sales SERVICE

In addition to the duration of the warranty for the device (from 1 to 5 years, depending on the brand) on which it needs to be addressed, keep in mind that a sewing machine should talk… like a car. Charged between 50 € and 80 €, a review is recommended periodically to clean the device, replace some of the parts that can wear out (the rubber is aging and hardening), and ensure the machine a longer service life. “Besides the models under 100 € that will be replaced, alas, instead of to maintain them, it is a universe of products that do not know the planned obsolescence and availability of spare parts is assured, even on some of the sewing machines is very old for which we can manufacture parts using a 3D printer”, says Marc Demeyere. And the CEO of Bernina to add : “We manage the repair of devices that have 10 years, 40 years, 50 years or even 70 years old !”. More reason to not get it wrong at the time of the switch.


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