No jewelry collection would be complete without the dazzling topaz. That holds true for the Husqvarna/Viking jewel collection of sewing, quilting and embroidery machines… Diamond deLuxe, Sapphire, Ruby and Topaz.

I came across The Designer Topaz 20 on a visit to Ace Sewing and Vacuum in Pompano Beach, Florida, and simply couldn’t resist the urge to take it through its paces

At A Glance

The smoky topaz colored control panel, sleek design, large extension table, and detachable embroidery unit are only the beginning.

Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20

Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20

Like the other machines in the Husqvarna/Viking jewel series, this eye appealing machine has an on-board ruler, a start/stop button, push button presser foot controls, bright LED lights and a backlit LCD screen.

An on-board ruler

An on-board ruler

 

Features

  • 105 on board designer and utility stitches
  • 3 alphanumeric fonts
  • Grayscale backlit LCD display
  • 2 bright LED lights
  • Sewing advisor
  • Free motion with any stitch
  • Pattern restart
  • Fix function

Working on the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20

The first thing I noticed when I flipped the switch to turn on the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20 was a notification on the LCD screen telling us that the machine was in the embroidery mode.

Grayscale backlit LCD display

Grayscale backlit LCD display

The following notices appeared on the screen:
1. Calibrate embroidery unit
2. Remove hoop
3. Clear embroidery arm for calibration
4. Snap on the embroidery presser foot
5. Connect USB embroidery stick

My intention for this particular review was to sew, not embroider. In order to achieve this goal, I simply removed the embroidery unit.

On board stitch selection guide

On board stitch selection guide

However, the machine did not automatically sense this change. It was necessary to shut the machine down and turn it on again in order for it to reset itself to the sewing mode.

With that hurdle cleared, however, threading the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20, winding the bobbin and identifying stitches was a breeze.

The on board stitch selection guide simplified the stitch selection process. A handy on board stitch selection guide is conveniently mounted inside the top cover, giving the user constant access to all 105 available stitch options.

Stitch selection shown on LCD

Stitch selection shown on LCD

The Designer Topaz 20, like all other Husqvarna/Viking jewels with the exception of the top of the line Diamond deLuxe, offers the user the option of keying in the type and weight of fabric with the mere touch of a button.

Once this step is completed the user then selects the desired stitch and the LCD screen will automatically display the proper presser foot and tension setting for the fabric and stitch selected.

The stitches produced by the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20 are crisp, sturdy and well defined. During the review, I sampled the mirror feature by touching the button on the keypad.

Crisp, sturdy and well defined stitch quality

Crisp, sturdy and well defined stitch quality

To our delight, I learned that the decorative stitches I selected were produced with the identical precision whether in the original view or the mirror image.

In addition to the large embroidery unit, the Designer Topaz 20 also has an on board accessories case that doubles as a work table which when removed, exposes a free arm, enabling the user to work on sewing and embroidery projects of any size.

Fabrics

  • Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
  • Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
  • Knits
  • Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
  • Upholstery
  • Leather/suede
  • Fur
  • Reptile skin
  • Canvas/Twill
  • Plastic/Rubber
  • Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers

Accessories

  • 9 snap on presser feet
  • 2 embroidery hoops
    • Crown hoop (10 ¼ “ x 8”)
    • Square hoop (4 ¾ x 4 ¾)
  • 1 GB Husqvarna/Viking USB embroidery stick
  • Embroidery unit
  • Large work table
  • Accessories case
  • Lint brush
  • Seam ripper
  • Screwdriver
  • Quilting bar
  • Extra bobbins
  • Extra needles
  • Spool pin
  • Spool caps (2 – 1 large/1small)
  • Owner’s manual
  • Hard cover

Maintenance







After each useMonthly*Once Each Year**As Needed
Clean race hook and feed dogs
Wipe head with soft dry cloth
Wipe head with soft damp cloth
Lubricate
Service by sewing machine repair professional

* more often if the machine is used for extended periods of time or if used frequently

**more often if the machine is used heavily or if it is not operating properly

Tying Off The Loose Ends

Sewing on the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20 is a treat – that is after clearing up that little issue with the embroidery unit when I first turned it on.

This machine would be so much simpler if it were the type of machine that would enable us to sew with the embroidery unit in place. Aside from that, this is a dream of a machine.

The Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20 is not a machine that I would recommend for use by beginners. The many stitch options, the embroidery feature and the fact that changing the machine from embroidery to sewing mode is a challenge makes this machine completely unsuitable for the novice home sewer.

In addition, I discourage the use of this machine by anyone under the age of 18, regardless of how long they may have been sewing.

Perfect addition to your sewing room inventory

Perfect addition to your sewing room inventory

Although some children as young as nine or ten learn to sew and are quite good by the time they reach high school, the Designer Topaz 20 is not a machine that I suggest a young sewer be allowed to use.

If, you have the skill set to handle and appreciate all that the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20 has to offer, by all means, visit your local Husqvarna/Viking dealer and take a close look. It might just be the perfect addition to your sewing room inventory.

The original manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Topaz 20 was $2999, surely not within reasonable budget range for someone still in high school, even though they might be a rather accomplished home sewer.

However, the really good news for bargain hunters is the Designer Topaz 20 has been replaced by the new and improved Topaz 25.

When compared with the Topaz 25, you will find the following differences between the two machines:

FEATURETOPAZ 20TOPAZ 25
On board decorative & utility stitch options105160
Total stitches including alphanumeric fonts and characters368423
My Stitch memory capacity1512
Buttonholes76
Sewing speeds35
Automatic drop feedEmbroidery onlyNone
Mirror imageSide to side and end to endSide to side only
Interchangeable dual feedNoYes

When I first compared the features on these two machines, I thought that perhaps I was reading the tables incorrectly, but I was, in fact, not making a mistake.

Aside from the number of stitch options and the interchangeable dual feed, the Topaz 20 actually has a little more to offer than the 25.

The interchangeable dual feed is the most significant addition to the Topaz 25, and in my opinion, significant enough to warrant the reduced stitch memory and mirror imaging capacity, and the elimination of the automatic drop feed.

If you are one of those people who is not impressed with the very latest and greatest but want to have a great sewing and embroidery machine at a great price, all you need to do is visit an authorized Husqvarna/Viking dealer.

Topaz 25

Topaz 25

Anyone who is interested in purchasing a Topaz 20 should be able to find one at a significantly reduced price. All it takes is a visit to your local Husqvarna/Viking dealer.

When you get there, ask for a demonstration of both machines and then see what kind of deal you will get for investing in the older model.

Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 20 Review
Link To Official Website
Skill Level:
Beginner
Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
Intermediate
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
Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
Stitch quality
Speed
Ease of use
Maintenance
Pros
  • Touchpad is easy to navigate
  • Fix function
  • Sleek ergonomic design
Cons
  • Can be challenging to go from embroidery to sewing mode
5.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (23 Votes)

4 Responses

  1. Judy Basye

    I’m having trouble with my thread breaking and the back is a mess – any suggestions?

    Reply
  2. Vernelle

    Hello, Judy –

    Thank you for visiting Sewing Insight.

    Are you having the same challenge with all types of threads? Is the machine threaded correctly? Is the bobbin properly wound and inserted? When was the last time you took your Topaz in for servicing? Does it happen with all types of fabric? Did you set the buttons on the machine for the type of fabric that you are working with?

    Reply
  3. rebecca frasier

    I would like to know the calibration process for the SEWING machine part, (not the Embroidery machine part) of the Husqvarna Designer Topaz 20. Janome machines have 3 buttons to push simultaneously as you turn on the machine which signals a little code screen that you touch with a stylist. This calibration fixes skipped stitches and promotes a good working machine. I want to know if the Husky has a process similar to the Janome and what it is. I’ve had this machine for 3 years and still not thrilled with it but on fixed income and cannot afford a new machine. Your help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Reply

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