During a recent visit to Ace Sewing and Vacuum in Pompano Beach, Florida, I learned that the folks at Husqvarna/Viking decided to replace the Topaz 20 with an updated version. I reviewed the Topaz 25 and learned that it is indeed, and updated rendition of the Topaz 20.
At A Glance
When you look at it, the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 25 appears to be identical to its predecessor, the Topaz 20.
Function keys: start/stop; needle up/down; fix; cut; reverse stitch; and speed control are situated above the needle and across the top front of the machine.
A stitch selection guide is inside the lid and a backlit monochromatic LCD screen is on the front to the right hand side.
The Topaz 25 also has an automatic needle threader, a drop in bobbin, a free arm, and a seam guide etched onto the needle plate.
- 160 built in decorative and utility stitch options
- 1 alphanumeric font
- 75 embroidery designs preloaded on USB stitck
- Upper and lower thread sensors
- Updatable software
- Needle up/down
- Presser foot up/down
- Speed control
- Drop in bobbin
- Drop feed
- Free arm
- Monochromatic LCD screen
- On board stitch selection guide
- On board accessory storage (when embroidery unit is not in place)
Working on the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 25
Winding the bobbin and threading the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 25 is made easy by the on board guides that are so clearly identified a beginner would have no problem navigating the process.
Once the machine is threaded, however, before you even select your stitches, it is necessary to identify the type of fabric you will be working with in order to assure that the automatic tension setting is properly engaged. Skipping this step could very well result in skipped stitches or worse.
The process is not a complicated one if you are accustomed to working with different types and weights of fabric.
You must use the buttons at the lower edge of the touchpad to indicate the type of fabric you are using and if necessary the type of overcast stitching you using. Buttons labeled A through G are for fabric identification:
A. Woven – light
B. Woven – medium
C. Woven – heavy
D. Knit – light
E. Knit – medium
F. Knit – heavy
Buttons labeled 1 through 7 are to be engaged when using specific stitch options:
1. Stretch light straight
2. Overcast – light
3. Overcast – semi light
4. Overcast – baste
5. Overcast – 3x zigzag
6. Overcast – hem
7. Overcast – buttonhole
Once this task is complete, the process of actually selecting the stitch you want is quite easy. The first thing you must do is determine in which grouping your stitch is stored.
There are several different stitch groups, and each group has several different options. While this sounds a bit complicated, it is not as challenging as it may at first seem.
The on board stitch selection guide is quite useful in this process because you can see at a glance exactly which numerical grouping your stitches are stored in. After selecting the group, simply dial up the stitch number on the touchpad and you’re ready to go.
The stitches produced by the Husqvqrana/Viking Designer Topaz 25 produces what could possibly be the best quality I have seen in this price range.
The default settings need no adjustment or tweaking whatsoever to yield absolutely perfect, professional quality utility and decorative stitches.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- 8 Snap on presser feet
- 2 Utility feet (1 for wide zigzag stitching and 1 for narrower stitching)
- Blind hem
- Sensor 1 step buttonhole
- Thread net
- Felt pad
- Lint brush
- Seam ripper
- 3 spool caps (1 large/1 medium/1 small)
- 1 GB USB embroidery stick
- Designer Jewel embroidery hoop (240mm x 150mm)
- Downloadable software
- Extra needles
- 6 bobbins
- Sample fabric
- Embroidery thread
- Designer Topaz 25 Sampler book
|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
The Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 25 is a good sewing and embroidery machine that produces surprisingly high quality stitches.
If it were not for the prolonged process in setting up the machine for sewing the right fabric and the rather involved stitch selection process, I would not hesitate to recommend it for use by beginners.
I cannot in good conscious say that a beginner would be able to do anything more than thread this machine and wind the bobbin because there are entirely too many steps required before you can expect to begin to sew.
In my opinion, a true beginner should be able to thread the machine, wind the bobbin and sew without having to go through the additional work of understanding enough about fabric to be able to tell the machine what kind of fabric they are using.
Most beginners use simple woven fabric anyway. In my opinion, learning how to set or adjust the tension is part of the learning process.
Therefore, any machine that can be adjusted to set the tension for you is something that should be reserved for the more seasoned home sewer, who knows what the machine is doing and why.
Anyone who has mastered basic sewing techniques, has a full understanding of sewing machine operation and maintenance and is ready to step up their game with a computerized sewing and embroidery machine might be happy with this one.
If you ask me, there are other machines on the market that do not require as many steps to achieve equal results. This does not mean, however, that I do not like the Topaz 25.
I like the feel of the Husqvarna/Viking Designer Topaz 25. It is solidly constructed and comfortable to sit at. There is very little noise and absolutely no vibration.
I believe that it is entirely possible to work on this machine while talking on the telephone, listening to music or watching television at a normal volume level.
With all this in mind, I urge anyone who is in the market to add a new sewing and embroidery machine to their sewing room inventory to visit their local Husqvarna/Viking dealer and ask for a demonstration of the Designer Topaz 25 before making a final decision.
Although there are other sewing and embroidery machines on the market that offer many more stitch options, I wonder just how many of those stitches are really being used.
If you are one of those people who likes having access to lots of decorative stitches, but does not need to have thousands of stitches to choose from, this just might be the machine for you.
- 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.
- Recipient of the Consumer Digest Best Buy Award
- Excellent stitch quality
- User friendly
- Fewer stitch options
- Smaller embroidery unit