There it sits on your work surface: your faithful Janome sewing machine. It’s always happy to do its job, helping bring your creativity to life, never asking for much other than a fresh needle and a full bobbin now and then. But there’s a lot of history hiding behind that machine. One hundred years of it to be exact.
2020 marked one of the biggest years in history for Janome. Thousands of new and returning sewists purchased their first machine or upgraded to a more advanced model as people everywhere came together to make DIY face coverings and other PPE during the pandemic. Interest surged… and once sparked, continues to grow.
As an exclusive Janome studio, Sew4Home has spent decades sewing on what we feel are the most well-made, technologically advanced machines in the industry. For 2021, in honor of Janome’s 100th year, we thought you might find it interesting to know a little bit about all that’s gone into making your Janome such a trusted sewing companion: reliable, intuitive, precise, powerful, and easy to use. If machines could blush, it might just do so, but since they don’t, you can be proud on its behalf. Proud of yourself for choosing the best.
In 1921, a Japanese entrepreneur named Yosaku Ose began the PINE Sewing Machine Company. It was the first domestic sewing machine manufacturer in Japan. At the time, most sewing machines used an oblong shuttle bobbin. But PINE produced machines with round bobbins, an important innovation which improved the speed and quality of the stitches. Because the shape of these bobbins reminded people of a snake’s eye, the company was given the new name of Janome, which means “eye of the snake” in Japanese.
Building on this innovative design, the Janome brand was established as an official trade mark in 1935. They continued this progression of advancement, and in 1936, the first mass production sewing machine factory in Japan was opened by Janome in Kaganei, Tokyo.
In 1960, Janome purchased New Home, an American company that began in 1860 in Orange, Massachusetts. At the time of the purchase, New Home was a top household name with millions of sewing machines in use throughout the USA. To establish its footing in the United States, Janome consolidated manufacturing but did not change the name of the brand until 1995. Today, Janome Global has sewing divisions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand; as well as agents in Africa, Central and South America, and throughout the Pacific Rim of Asia.
The company’s manufacturing prowess has also made it a world-leader in the development of high precision robots. Janome is the only sewing machine manufacturer with a sister division that makes precision-guided robots for the high tech industry. As printed circuit boards used in electronic devices became smaller and smaller, Janome’s precision control technology was in high demand across a variety of fine manufacturing processes, including micro screw tightening, soldering, and product testing using mounted miniature cameras. These jobs require exacting precision, and Janome robots soon became indispensable on the factory floor.
This proprietary technology is what has allowed Janome’s embroidery models to produce such fine stitches over a large hoop area. When your embroidery mechanism has tolerances measured in thousandths of inches, the stitch quality is very, very good.
Since the debut of its first home machines, Janome has been known for its innovation. In 1964, the company established the world’s first research center for sewing machines, the Janome Research and Development Center. This enterprise produced a major technological advance in 1979, when Janome introduced the world’s first programmable computerized sewing machine, the Memory 7.
In 1990, Janome introduced the Memory Craft 8000, the first professional-style embroidery machine for home use. It revolutionized the home sewing machine market for personal use. Janome has remained committed to ingenuity – and to making these machines easy to use. Subsequent Memory Craft models have each brought new “firsts” to home sewing, including easy computer integration, wireless connectivity, an advanced library of apps, and always: stitch precision unmatched by any other brand.
Here in the S4H studios, we are lucky to sew every day on a wide range of the most current Janome models. Some of our favorites include the Horizon Quilt Maker Memory Craft 15000, a sewing and embroidery marvel made with the designer in mind. We always laugh when folks outside of the sewing and craft world regard the sewing machine as some sort of historical artifact their grandmothers and great-grandmothers used to create clothes during the Depression. The MC15000 features wifi, five powerful apps, over 1000 built-in embroidery designs, and virtually “automatic everything.” Gramma would be blown away!
Another go-to in our S4H studios is the Continental M7 Professional with the largest sewing space available on any home use sewing machine as well as powerful penetration and needle force. We continue to be impressed by how quiet it is at speeds of up to 1300 spm with virtually zero vibration. We used the M7 for some of our most popular recent S4H projects, like the Favorite Overnight Duffle and the Kimono Style Belted Wrap.
If you’re a Janome enthusiast with one of these favorites, check out our article about their awesome Workbook Series. Books are available now for the MC15000, Continental M7, as well as the Horizon Memory Craft 9450 QCP.
Top-of-the-line is always wonderful, but one of the things we have always appreciated about Janome is how their quality extends throughout their line: from feature-packed sewing and embroidery models to entry level workhorses. We really enjoy sewing with the QDC series, a trio of powerful yet economical models with some of the most popular time-saving features, like an automatic thread cutter, advanced start/stop button, and sensor buttonholes. The 5300QDC was perfect for our recent Easy Elegance Apron as well as our fun Bright Spot Tote.
If our favorites are different from yours, that’s to be expected. Because your favorite Janome is likely to be the one you are sewing on right now! Customers are loyal to Janome because their machines give them excellent results and are the easiest to use.
Through its many firsts and its continued commitment to quality, Janome has fulfilled its founder’s vision for bringing amazing creativity and innovative options to the home sewing market.
From a round bobbin to a company known around the world for reliability and excellence in design, we congratulate Janome on their first 100 years, and we look forward to stitching together for many years to come.