THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

July 18, 2006

The Joys of Industrial Machines – Part 1

Filed under: Machines — Gigi @ 6:09 pm

Some months ago, I purchased a Kansai Special W8103F coverstitch machine. It has 5-thread capabilities: two or three needles with or without a top cover. It’s been great for hemming all of my knit garments! This weekend I decided it was time to practice with the binding attachment. This machine uses what is known as a post binder. The binding attachment mounts onto a post at the front of the machine vs. being screwed into the bed of a flatbed machine.

I currently own four types of binders: 1.5″ single-fold (meaning the lower edge is left raw), 1.25″ single-fold, 1.75″ double-fold (both the top and bottom edges are turned under) and a 3.5″ double-fold. I also have a 1 9/16″ double-fold and a 1″ double-fold on order. It’s nice to have a selection on hand. In retrospect, buying the 1.25″ single-fold binder was a bit of a mistake – there just isn’t enough difference between it and the 1.5″ binder to make it a justifiable purchase. Maybe it’ll come in handy sometime when I am short on fabric.

One-and-a-half inch binding is pretty standard. I have been able to amass a few rolls of precut binding. While I like cutting my own binding from my fashion fabric, these precut bindings are great for athletic wear.

Here is how the binder attaches to the machine. Since I’ve only used flatbed mounted binders until now, it took a little practice to get everything lined up just right.

The machine in action. The fold of the binding is about even with the bed of the machine so that I can simply guide the garment into the fold, being careful not to stretch the garment.

The finished product, a beautifully bound edge.

I love this finish so much that I’ve decided to buy a 2nd coverstitch – a flat bed – and keep this one set up with a binder all the time.


  1. Gasp! Oh Gigi, I am so jealous! What a great machine. May I be so tacky and inquire how much one of these machines typically costs? I would love to start saving my pennies!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — July 20, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

  2. Wow! Does this machine have to be hooked up to something external (like a motor) to work?

    Comment by Beth H — July 20, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

  3. Wow Gigi I envy your coverstitch machine.That is a beautiful binding.

    Comment by Els — July 20, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

  4. I think I need a sewing vacation at your house! :o)

    Comment by Phyllis — July 20, 2006 @ 3:03 pm

  5. Ann, you could expect to pay about $2200 new, about $1200 used (MB has a very good source for used right now, if you’re interested). Pennies compared to home machines, wouldn’t you say? 🙂 Yes, Beth, this machine must be installed in a power stand.

    Comment by Gigi — July 20, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

  6. I love coverstitch machines. I have a Babylock Evolve that can do a coverstitch hem, but not nearly as professional as this looks!

    Comment by Esther — July 20, 2006 @ 5:34 pm

  7. What a beautiful machine, Gigi. Love that binding…maybe someday, once I get the industry part of industrial set up…I can get back to **real** garment sewing. Soon, I hope, I’m beginning to
    m-e-l-t t t t (puddle)

    Comment by Mary Beth — July 20, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

  8. Yes, a sewing vacation at Gigi’s!! What a great idea. I had better start getting everything ready for binding now. The possiblilites are endless.
    Gigi how wide does your 1.25 binder finish? It’s less than 1/2″ isn’t it?

    Comment by Georgene — July 21, 2006 @ 9:04 am

  9. OOHH to be Gigi – that is my sewing dream!

    Comment by Anonymous — July 21, 2006 @ 11:35 am

  10. Yes, Georgene, the 1.25″ single-fold binding is about 3/8″ finished. This is such great fun – I’ll be cranking knits out even faster than usual! 🙂

    Comment by Gigi — July 21, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

  11. Hi Gigi…..I have the same Kansai Special coverstitch industrial machine. I love it, love it, love it.
    I will double check the model # because i am interested in the binding attachments. I live in Ontario Canada. Where would I get them? My sewing machine mechanic wasn’t successful in his hunt.

    Thank you

    Comment by robena — December 31, 2006 @ 7:43 pm

  12. Robena, you can buy the binders from Sharp Sewing on Ebay – they are located in California. Also try their website

    Comment by Gigi — January 1, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

  13. You may buy folders also from SURUCU.

    Comment by Sinan — January 20, 2007 @ 2:23 am

  14. Hi – I am interested in getting a machine to do quilt binding – mostly with customers won bias binding cut from the same fabric as the quilt – in other words not anything elastic. How would this machine do? I like the look of the 1&3/4 inch bias, ends up about 3/8inch, when double folded.

    Comment by Nancy Hart — November 3, 2007 @ 7:24 am

  15. could you post a link to the kansai machines, pse. i am particularly interested in a used coverstitch machine. thanks

    Comment by beth — November 19, 2007 @ 1:28 am

  16. hi.. i want to learn how to sew using hand and machine. anybody knows of a sewing class or conducts sewing class?

    Comment by ida shah — November 19, 2007 @ 1:47 am

  17. Hi: I just found you in a search for binders for the Kansai Special Coverstitch machine. I have recently purchased a much older model (V-7002F). Could anybody please tell me what size binder (folder) I am supposed to purchase. The machine only came with one. Apparently they are hard to get in Canada and I live in Ontario. Love the machine, very quiet for it’s age. I’m having a little problem with the tension, but that is just me trying to get used to the machine.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

    Michele from Ontario

    Comment by Michele — March 24, 2008 @ 2:12 am

  18. Hello, Can I hire someone to sew a carpet binding on for me? I already have all the materials (thread, binding strip, and carpet. I just need someone to sew the binding on. It is a 2.75″ dbl-fold binding strip. Total sew length is between 40 and 50 feet.

    Thanks, Derek

    Comment by Derek — April 8, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

  19. Derek, carpet binding is sewn with a special machine. It could be done with a walking foot machine if you know someone who has one although I personally would not sew carpet with mine. Your best bet is to contact a commercial carpet installer. I’m sure they’d be happy to do it for you for a small fee.

    Comment by Gigi — July 28, 2008 @ 7:38 pm

  20. I just purchased a kansai special machine and had some questions about threading, needles, and oil. May I ask you? Please email when you have chance. Thank you for your time!!

    Comment by Justo — August 20, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

  21. Do the needles on my coverstitch machine need to be the same height? I have a 3 needle machine and am using two needles. someone set this up for me and the needles are not the same height. far left is longest and far right is shortest. all same needle size, just set in the machine at different lengths. why???
    also do these machine use regular sewing machine oil?

    Comment by Justo — August 21, 2008 @ 1:01 am

  22. I love the finish you achieved with your machine. Can you please let me know what brand it is and where to buy one? You mentioned MB, but I don’t know what that is.
    Also I want my finish biding to be 1/4 inch so what can of plat should I get the 1.25?
    Thanks in advance !!

    Comment by Shirley — August 23, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

  23. Shirley, the machine is a Kansai Special W8103-F. The binding will finish to about 1/4 the width so you’ll want a 1″ post binder. Beware that such a narrow binding can be kind of fiddly on a coverstitch machine (I use a regular sewing machine instead). The narrowest binding I use the coverstitch for is 3/8″

    Justo, the needles are supposed to be different lengths because of the arc of the looper.

    Comment by Gigi — August 23, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

  24. Hi,

    My girlfriend and I just picked up a used Kansai Special wx-8000 machine and am wondering where I can get a manual for it? Please reply if you can help


    Comment by ThaiNe Company — December 6, 2008 @ 7:29 pm

  25. hi we have a kansai cover seamer k25-108 which looks like an older model of the one shown here but dont have the thread guide for the 3rd needle and loopers, can you assist, thanks

    Comment by paula — April 12, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

  26. Hi, i need your help with my own Kansai Special (the green coloured one). I bought as i was given a really good deal and it just so happens that my choice of fabric for my RTW is jersey knit, so it comes in handy to use now for a professional finished look. It has taken me hours to find out what it actually does, which i got from your site, i have not been able to get a manual for it, if you could help that would be great. I could do with a summary of the threading and the main areas you use it for please.. thanks


    Comment by buki — July 5, 2009 @ 8:14 am

  27. I can’t remember how to thread this machine. (8103) Would you please provide me with a close up picture of the threaded machine.
    thank you
    Bambi Penta

    Comment by bambi penta — May 8, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  28. Hi,

    I am jealous about your machine 😉

    I have to quick questions:

    * Have you try full elastan fabrics (ie nylon/ea etc) with the narrow binders? If so, did you have any problem about folding?

    * You mentioned you can make you own strips for binding; do you have special machine for this?


    Comment by Mike — August 17, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

    • I’m not sure what you mean by full elastan fabrics but I do use fabrics that contain a lot of lycra/elastane. If you have a problem with the binding folding up or twisting you will have to experiment with the amount of tension you are putting on the binding itself.

      I cut my own binding with a rotary cutter. Since I am not doing production work I generally only need to cut one or two strips across the width of the fabric.

      Hope that helps!

      Comment by Gigi — August 17, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

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