Terms you should know when working on the Overlock or Serger


Dreamer, today we present a words and terms glossary you must master when using an overlock machine. Get to know the concepts below and apply them to your sewing projects.

Differential feed

  • Differential feed: it’s a feature found on most models that prevents seam gathering or stretching and can also be used to fold fabrics.

Stitch width

  • Stitch width: distance in millimeters between the needle thread and the edge of the fabric.

Overlock chain

  • Overlock chain: stitches formed on the stitch guide; interlock and remain in the machine and on the fabric at the end of the seam.


  • Blades: knives trim the fabric in the cutting unit of the overlock.

Tension disc

  • Tension disc: internal pressure plate, adjusted by turning the tension regulator to increase or decrease the thread tension to form the stitch.


  • Hook: it’s used to form the stitch or loop through the bottom of the needle plate.

Stitch guide

  • Stitch guide: metal extension (can be 1 or 2) on the needle plate; the stitches are formed around this guide and the edge of the fabric simultaneously; so the complete stitch comes out of the back of the guide.

Stitch length

  • Stitch length: distance in millimeters between one needle penetration and the other.

Loop width

  • Loop width: another name for the width of the stitch.


Overlock machine

  • Overlock machine: sewing machine that cuts, sews, and finishes seams in a single operation. They are also known as overlockers, sergers, or overcasting machines.


  • Penetration: another name given to the stitch width.

Tension regulator

  • Tension regulator: part of the machine that adjusts the thread tension.


Now you know the essential overlock terms to use when doing your projects. 

So we hope the terms we have shared with you in this post help you better know the parts of your machine, learn how it works, and make your sewing projects on your Overlock or serger machine easier.

See you in another post, and don’t forget to visit our basics category for more information like this.

Bye for now!

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