Warning: Massive sewing geek-out about to occur...
In our last post we showcased one of the side-projects we have been working on. We also sneakily mentioned a new machine that we purchased. Here it is:
A Brother KE-430D Programmable Bar Tacker.
It is the ducks nuts when it comes to bartacks. It is capable of stitching anything you can think of within an area of 30mm x 40mm. Box-X's, Gates, Vertical and Horizontal Bartacks, Circular tacks, BO logos, Stars, L's... it can do it all. It is speed-adjustable (up to 3200rpm) to increase output, decrease sewing cycle and feed times, as well as reducing the likelihood of melted and fused threads. It is direct drive, and self-oiling to reduce product staining, while also has an amazing thread trimmer so no more "clean up" of stitches is required... it also... al... a...
Sorry, I got a bit carried away there!
Maybe I should take a step backwards and really explain this machine!
Firstly, this is a bar tack machine. A bar tack is a series of three straight stitches, with a zig-zag stitch over the top. Bar tacks can commonly be found on jeans; usually at the top of belt loops. It is a very strong stitch as it puts a lot of thread in a small surface area.
a traditional "bar tack"
This particular machine is computer controlled, simply press the foot down and the machine does it's job! What this also means is you can control the machine to stitch anything you can think of within an area of 30mm x 40mm; and it will continue to do so 100% accurately for eons! Because of this we can now "bartack" box-x the ends of our straps where they attach to the bags. We can also bartack down all the clipping webbing.
a "box-x" stitch
What does this mean? From a manufacturing point of view it is a tool to allow us larger batch sizes without massively increasing costs. Given that our current wait list is around 4-5 weeks for custom bags, this is a big bonus! We really want to get this wait list down, so this machine will help us do so!
From a usability point of view, these stitches are stronger than what we previously used (which was a simple triple stitch). I am going to have to do the maths on this (and the crazy testing!!!) but you will be able to hang a lot more kit off your bag without fear of it imploding!
We will be releasing a video of the Chunky Toad manufacture in the very near future, so keep an eye out for the bar tacker in use!