Throat Space – an overlooked feature you ought to consider when purchasing a new machine

A couple weeks ago we sent out an email that touched a little bit on the research and development (R&D) teams employed by sewing machine manufacturers like Janome, Bernina, Brother, and Baby Lock. The beauty of R&D is that they discover the needs of the sewist through their research, then engineer a product that fits those needs. Today I want to continue with that theme and talk about workspace.

In many ways, workspace is the bedrock of a sewing machine, because it is put to use every single time you sew. When I think of workspace, I think of the real estate in which I operate when I sew. How big is it? What can I do in it? How does it look and feel? These are the questions these R&D teams ask and answer when designing the workspace on a sewing machine.
An important aspect of workspace is size. Specifically, size of your throat space. Throat space is the open window of space to the right of your needle where a quilter will place their quilt, and a sewer could place their fabric if they are sewing something substantial like a costume. In the picture below of the Janome Continental M7, the throat space is 13.5 inches from left to right.
Having more throat space gives you more physical room to operate, whether you are sewing a jacket or a queen-sized quilt. This makes a world of difference in regards to how comfortable you are when sewing/quilting and how easy it is to maneuver fabric. The bigger the throat space, the less cramped you will feel as you sew. The less restricted you feel, the more fun it is to sew, plain and simple.
How well can you see what you are sewing? Is changing needles and presser feet relatively painless, or is it a struggle? Are you constantly having to squint or crane your neck in order to see what you are doing? The field of vision a machine provides is a vastly underrated aspect of sewing. I judge a machine’s field of vision on two things: lighting and throat space height.

Most sewing machines these days come equipped with LED light bulbs, which are brighter and last longer than old-school light bulbs. Machines with bigger throat space are usually designed with LED lights on the ceiling of the throat , as well as a bunch of lights positioned around the needle. To see an example of a machine with superior lighting, please watch the video below:
Incredible lighting on Janome 9450
The height of a machine’s throat space is also a big factor in the quality of your field of vision. For example, the throat on the Janome M7 has a height of 5.5 inches, whereas most machines have a throat height of 3.5-4.5 inches. This may not seem like a lot, but it really does make a significant difference in your sight-angle as you sew.
Height of M7 throat
is 5.5 inches
Height of an average machine
is 3.5-4.5 inches
Sewing should be fun, but one potential source of frustration is operating around the needle and needle bar, where space is at a premium. Changing your needle, switching presser feet, and threading your needle– all of these essential sewing tasks can be difficult in small, tight areas. Increased throat height tends to correlate with increased space in the sphere around the needle. If you look at the pictures below you can see that the machine on the right has much more space around the needle than the machine on the left. With all that space it is much easier to successfully complete those aforementioned tasks because your hands are less cramped.
Where does your sewing machine live? Does it commute back and forth from the dining room table to the closet? Or, does it have a home in a table that is built for sewing?

Having a legitimate table makes a world of difference for a multitude of reasons. First off, sewing machine tables are designed to prevent any shaking or rattling as the machine sews. Secondly, tables are ergonomically designed so that your hands can operate in a natural position. It places the machine at the perfect height you don’t have to crane your neck or do any other sort of gymnastics in order to see what you are doing. Last of all, a table increases the overall surface area for you to sew, which will open up a whole other world of possibilities.
When we wax poetic about the importance of workspace, we mean what we say. Everyone on our staff who sews, they insist on owning machines with large throat space, good lighting, and a sturdy sewing table. That is why we are going to offer a special deal for anyone looking to improve their workspace.

For a limited time, when you buy a new Janome Continental M7, Janome’s premier sewing machine that has the largest throat space in the industry, we will give you an M7 Sewing Table for free. That is an $800 value, absolutely free with the purchase of a new Janome M7.
For those who don’t have space for the M7 and the table, but still want to upgrade to a machine with larger throat space, we have a deal for you as well. For a limited time you purchase a new Janome Skyline S6 or S7, we will give you an acrylic extension table made by SewSteady for free. This is a $150 value, absolutely free.
***This offer lasts until current inventory runs out***
Call us at (925)937-7575 for more information.
Our hours are 9AM-5PM Tuesday-Saturday
And don’t forget to tell your friends!
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