A Guide To Antique Sewing Machines

A Guide To Antique Sewing Machines

Sewing machines have been mass-produced worldwide for more than two-hundred years. Early models featured unique designs to​ add beauty and appeal to​ buyers. The wide variety of​ styles and manufacturers make antique sewing machines a​ favorite collectible. Because of​ the quality workmanship and heavy materials of​ the early machines many of​ the antique sewing machines are still working models.

The antique sewing machines will typically be made of​ cast iron and feature the patent information in​ a​ visible location. The machines may have a​ hand crank or​ a​ treadle, which was a​ flat pedal for both feet to​ provide the motion for the sewing mechanism. The treadle machines would be mounted onto their own table or​ cabinet, while many other machines would be in​ a​ carrying case and the machine would be placed on the kitchen table.

Miniature, antique sewing machines are some of​ the most desirable, as​ they are smaller working models that served as​ salesmen’s samples, used while traveling or​ for mending. These small machines doubled as​ children's sewing machines specifically for use by young girls, since they were expected to​ learn how to​ sew. Machines that were intended to​ be marketed as​ a​ child's machine were often painted in​ a​ different color or​ have floral motifs painted onto the body of​ the machine.

Over the past two centuries many sewing machine companies were successful for a​ time before closing operations, making for the wide variety of​ machines to​ be found. Many companies were not able to​ survive having their manufacturing facilities converted for wartime use, but also lost to​ post-war Japan's ability to​ produce cheap products.

Singer is​ the first sewing machine company and continues to​ have antique sewing machines that are the most recognizable and most popular with collectors. The Singer Featherweight model #221, referred to​ as​ the Perfect Portable, continues to​ be a​ favorite of​ quilters.

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