Union Special


Denimheads Love the Special Fading of Chain Stitch Hems, But Why Do They Rope? Technically, the roping ofchain stitched hems is considering a sewing defect. But what exactly is it that creates this seemingly insignificant kind of abrasion and wear? In this article, we take a closer look at the unique feature of the Union Special 43200G sewing machine that creates the roping effect. The first chain stitch machine was invented and patented in 1857. However, it’s the Union Special 43200G, first manufactured in 1939, that has become synonymous with the desirable roping effect. As early as the 1960s, Japanese denim manufacturers began acquiring Union Specials and when they went out of production in the late 80s a void in the market was created. Today, any hardcore denim brand with just the slightest amount of self-respect will only use a folder equipped Union Special 43200G Edge Locker. What Creates the Roping Is Not What You Think Long story short, it is, in fact, not the Union Special 43200G itself that causes the roping effect. The main reason for the abrasion is what is called the feed differential; caused by a folder that affects the way that the material is metered through the machine. Many modern machines have walking feet, needle feed, or differential feed dogs to ensure that the top layers and bottom layers being sewn move through the machine at the same rate. All 43200Gs, like this first-generation model, are plain feed machines, which means they have a static presser foot and one set of feed dogs on the bottom. How the Chain Stitched Hem Is Sewn A hem consists of three layers. When sewing the feed dogs move the bottom layer while the top layer is pushed under the presser foot, leaving the top layer essential uncontrolled. This results in a feeding inconsistency as…