While visiting the Factory Sew-Vac in Lake Worth, Florida, I came across a machine in their industrial department that I had not seen before. The label said that it was a Real FY 361.
I learned that the Real brand is really from the Tacony Corporation, a US based firm that manufactures sewing machines and sergers for home and industrial use and also imports and distributes several other sewing machine brands, including Baby Lock. Tacony is also the source for Koala furniture for sewing rooms of all sizes.
At A Glance
When I first saw the Real FY 316, it looked very much like a Juki straight stitch only sewing machine I had previously reviewed.
The only real difference I could determine from looking at this machine was the thread path. The Real FY 361 is easier to thread than any other industrial sewing machine I have seen to date.
The Real FY 361 has a side bobbin winder, which is really a great asset when you are working on a project that cannot be finished with just one bobbin.
There is a very large, easy to access reverse stitch lever situated directly beneath the stitch length adjustment dial.
The clutch motor is turned on and off by a pair of green and red push buttons located beneath the table top on the left hand side.
The jumbo sized table mounted spool stand is capable of holding two oversized industrial sized cones of thread, making this machine economical and time saving in the most subtle of ways.
- Table mounted
- Straight stitch only
- Sews up to 1600 stitches per minute
- High speed clutch motor
- Side mounted bobbin winder
- Knee lift
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Adjustable stitch length
- Reverse stitch
- Easy to follow thread path
- On board seam guide
Working on the Real FY 361
Winding the bobbin and loading the upper thread on the Real FY 361 is far less challenging than I expected it to be.
This is the very first industrial sewing machine that I have reviewed that did not require a reference to the owner’s manual in order to thread it correctly the very first time.
From the thread cone, there are only four steps to threading the machine. Anyone who has ever sewn on an industrial machine knows that nearly all of them have complicated thread paths that sometimes take up to ten steps before landing at the eye of the needle.
As with all other industrial sewing machines, there are no lettered or numbered on board guides to tell you which way to thread the Real FY 361.
After winding, the bobbin is loaded beneath the needle. You can also raise the head if you prefer. However, it is very easy to access simply by lifting the metal plate and reaching inside.
I find that inserting the bobbin through the raised cover is quite efficient. The machine head is raised here just to show the placement of the bobbin for this review.
For this review, I used varying thicknesses of medium and heavy weight denim. This machine is super fast. The stitches, regardless of length or the thickness of the fabric were all perfect.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
There is actually limited demand for special purpose industrial sewing machines but they serve a very specific purpose.
No doubt, they are used in factories, and specialty shops where shoes and purses are manufactured and/or repaired. However, I was actually a bit surprised when I learned just how many people use these machines in their home based businesses.
People who make wigs, customized drapery and upholstery as well as people who make purses are turning to the straight stitch only industrial sewing machine more and more.
I noticed that the clutch motor on this particular machine is significantly quieter than most other clutch motors I have worked with – including the one on my own industrial sewing machine.
This is a definite advantage, especially if you are working in a room where other sewing machines are being used at the same time.
The Real FY 361 is by far the most user friendly industrial sewing machine I have seen and reviewed thus far. It is easy to thread.
The side mounted bobbin winder not only saves time, it is also equally easy to operate and the extra large dual thread cone holders make it possible for the user to not only sew for hours and hours on end without being concerned about running out of thread, they are also cost effective.
Although the initial cost of a cone of thread this size is certainly high, the end result is you purchase far fewer spools or cones of thread than if you were to use standard size cones.
This machine goes so fast that anyone who is unaccustomed to an industrial machine might at first be intimidated.
When you are working on a machine that sews this fast, you must not only pay close attention to what you are doing, you must also use extra caution. There is no finger guard to protect fingers that get in the way of the super strong rapid fire needle.
The learning curve for transitioning from a mechanical home sewing machine to the Real FY 361 is not as great a one might imagine. After all, there is only one stitch and one presser foot that is permanently attached.
Because it is so fast, there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this machine should never be used by a beginner or even by someone whose sewing skills are barely at the intermediate level.
Although it is a user friendly straight stitch only sewing machine, an inexperienced user could very well be injured by this lightning fast sewing machine.
I recommend the Real FY 361 for commercial use only. If you have a home based business and are considering purchasing this straight stitch only industrial sewing machine, make sure you first visit a dealer that has one in stock and ask for a demonstration before placing your order.
If you have never worked with a machine that sews this fast, you will definitely be in for a surprise when you realize just how quickly it finishes a seam.
The superior stitch quality and speed are excellent for any kind of commercial enterprise. I believe that whether you have a home based business, if you have a professional tailor shop, if you manufacture or repair purses and shoes, or if you sew boat sails or car seats, you should take a very close look at the Real FY 361 as a possible addition to your sewing machine inventory.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Side bobbin winder
- Easier to thread than many other industrial sewing machines
- Straight stitch only
- Raise presser foot with knee lift only