Antique Singer Sewing Machines, Industrial and Domestic

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Domestic Machines.

    Many many variations! some are treadle (foot) powered, some electric motor. There are  Portable and table/cabinet ones ........ these don’t wear out! needles etc easy to get as are the acessories, manuals can be a bother for some models. Antique should mean pre 1900, its not antique because you haven’t seen one before, because its dirty or rusty!                    

                There are some old machines advertised as "Industrial Strength" "Industrial quality" or "Semi Industrial" ,  unless they  are real "Industrial " Singers they are not of Industrial strength and should NOT be used for canvas or other heavy work , thats what the Singer Industrial range is for. Old Singers are heavy and solidly made things compaied to modern machines, that does not mean they can do industrial work , if they could why did a huge and well respected company make Industrials as well? They have small low powered motors when compared to real Industrial ones. They wont take the larger size of needle. Sure you can get away with it for a while but why waste your money, get an Industrial!  if its on a little square wooden base, and has a lift off cover its not an industrial anything, its a machine intended for home use.


              Industrial Machines.

These are for industry, not for home use unless you are able to keep up with the high speed these work at (dressmaking), if you are looking at the machine head only remember the motor is an attachment to the bench not the machine, the domestic motors do not fit the industrial machines. Machines like the button holer and button attacher cant be used for anything except their original use, NO you cant "convert " them!!!! they are for their original use only or to look at! same goes for the industrial overlockers, they work at a higher speed than you can use at home, collect a perfect one to look at , i did!

Also consider , some of these machines were made before or near 1900, they have been used in factories for a very long time, chances of getting one with little or no wear are slim, its possable though. Dont be put off but ask the seller if they can do a run of stitching on cloth similar to what you want to use it on and see what response you get!

     If you want a heavy duty leather or canvas work machine this is where they are, there are many variations on each class, you'll have to do your homework to find out if a particular machine will do what you want. Again dont buy any old thing and "convert" it you'll spend more that you would buying the one you need.


No , or at best doubtful, the number of Singer machines made is huge, if you are after a rare one you are probably a collector and you know it is, if your not a collector ignore people saying "its rare" it most probably isnt.


Different models and years had different decals, some have nearly no decoration, I would not buy a plain one unless you have to have that model ( the featherweight for example). Decals are mostly unavailable to replace worn ones and the value is in originality and condition, only buy as perfect an example as you can, there are thousands's out there keep looking!


Different things for different uses, industrials have different tables to Domestics, there are variations in all as to draws, no draws and decoration. The woodwork is glued together with pearl glue which is not waterproof, they de-laminate very quickly when let get wet.  Original finish is generally french polish, which also hates moisture.

Dont buy one to restore if the woodwork has started to fall apart, find a better one. Find one you like the look of then look for as near to perfect as you can find. Re-finishing one will have you over capitalised and you wont get your money back, you might have something to admire though!

Other Makers:

As a general rule and not discussing pre 1900 antiques, there is little interest in collection machines by makers other than Singer. This is probably due to nearly everyones mother/Grandmother having owned a Singer. Therefore do not be tempted to spend a large amount of money on an orphan brand machine, if you have to sell later you will loose out. There could also be issues with parts and attachments, problems that old Singer machines dont have.



There is a Yahoo group "Singer-Attachments" that can answer all the questions you ever had on attachments, there are some rabid collectors there (said in the nicest way)

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If you found this helpful or interesting please tick the little green " thumbs up" at the top :)

if it wasnt send me a message and Ill see if I can update it with info thats needed.
Unfortunately I can't reply to questions unless you send them as a message, for questions and valuations Id suggest googling a forum on Antique sewing machines.



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