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The first practical and widely used sewing machine was invented by Barthélemy Thimonnier, a French tailor, in 1829.
Isaac Merritt Singer invented the world`s first practical sewing machine in 1850. Since 1851, the name SINGER® has been synonymous with sewing. This was the year of Isaac Singer`s patent on the first practical sewing machine, making the official beginning of SINGER as a company and its leadership in the industry.
The Nelco brand was purchased by Singer Sewing Machine Company in 1926 and continued to be used on Singer sewing machines until the early 1970s. If you have a Nelco sewing machine, it is most likely from the Singer era.
Most sewing machines on the collectible market today will not have any real historical value. The machines that get sold for thousands of dollars are generally rare items that belonged to an important historical figure or were significant in sewing machine history.
To identify when a model was made, you need to first find the Singer sewing machine serial number. It`s near the on/off switch on newer machines, and on the front panel or on a small plate on older machines. Once you`ve found the number, match it to the date in the chart below to discover the age of your machine.
Durability – Vintage sewing machines are made well. These machines have been around for a long time, and they are extremely durable. Heavy-duty build – Many vintage models can handle heavy-duty sewing with ease.
Janome`s HD5000 Black Edition is our top overall sewing machine pick for the average home seamstress and quilter. Made from a sturdy, heavy-duty aluminum body and outfitted with a hard, snap-on cover, it`s able to regularly tackle tougher fabrics and still last for years and years.
You may use old threads, however use it in smaller tasks such as tacking to tailor or tracing to join the fabric pieces, and avoid using them in a sewing machine for heavy duty purposes. Thread doesn`t have a specific expiry date, but the sad truth is that it doesn`t last forever.
Georg Michael Pfaff made the first PFAFF® sewing machine in Kaiserslautern, Germany at the start of the industrial revolution.
Older sewing machines are designed to run for years and years without needing work, and when they do fail, they`re designed to be repaired. Newer machines are often just expected to outlast their warranty before they need to be replaced. And there`s more than just reliability to gain.
Your Sewing Needs

A lot of modern machines just aren`t capable of sewing on heavy fabrics – which means you`ll be coming back for a repair every few months. If you`re looking to sew heavy materials, we`re going to recommend replacing a cheap machine with an older, steel-gear machine or an almost-industrial machine.

Almost all antique and vintage Singer models are very valuable nowadays. The absolute champion is the Red Singer S 29k model. After that models like Singer Featherweight 201, Singer 107, and Bernina 930.
It may be difficult to find parts and replacements. As noted earlier, Singer didn`t necessarily make the “best” sewing machines, but because their brand became so popular, vintage Singers are the best sewing machines to collect because they`re easy to maintain and they use common parts that are still in production.
Are Old Sewing Machines Worth Repairing? If you have a vintage machine lying around and are wondering if you should even bother trying repair it, the answer is YES! I know the phrase, “they don`t make them like that anymore,” sounds so cliche, but in the case of sewing machines, it is so true.
Sewing Parts Online. eBay – There are many old manuals sold on eBay. Alternatively, you may find someone has a machine the same as yours for sale, and the seller may be willing to make a copy of the manual for you. It never hurts to ask!
Can`t quite throw it away? If your thread still has some life left in it (but not enough for an important project), put it to use in smaller jobs like tailor`s tacks, temporary basting or thread tracing. Just keep it away from the sewing machine.
There are a lot of different factors influencing the sewing result (such as the fabric, know-how, sewing machine, needle etc.). Thread can be one of them. That is because not all threads are of the same quality. In fact, there are major differences between cheap and quality threads.
When it comes to cleaning and oiling your sewing machine, a single product is capable of doing all the work – WD-40 Multi Use Product. Staying true to its name, the product helps you clean different parts of your sewing machine and lubricate them to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of the device.
Sewing Machine Brands FAQs

The most popular and well-known sewing machine brands are Singer, Brother, Juki, and Janome. These brands make machines in the most popular pricing categories for home sewers.

BERNINA is producing their sewing machines in two factories. In Steckborn, Switzerland, we are producing sewing machines since 1893. The factory in BERNINA Thailand was founded in 1990.
About SVP Worldwide

SVP Worldwide, doing business through SVP-Singer Holdings, Inc. and its affiliates, is the world`s largest consumer sewing machine company, accounting for approximately one out of every three sewing machines sold annually globally.

How are they different? Janome and Brother are two entirely different sewing machine brands each with its own rich history. Both brands are known to produce some of the best machines on the market, thanks to their Japanese engineering.
Today, Husqvarna Viking® is a worldwide organization that still designs high-quality sewing machines in Sweden and markets our products to passionate sewers all across the globe.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

How old is it and is there a manuel for it?
Nelco J A38 Model Sewing Machine
ANSWER : I’m not sure on the age of that machine but you might get a manual for it by going here It’s a yahoo group (email list) and someone has made a copy of that manual and hopefully it’s in their file section archived. However the group is closed to the public so you’ll have to join. Looks like you’d have another member with the same machine to talk to in that group.
.Those older machines (from the picture I saw of it I’d say it was from the 60s but wouldn’t want to stake my name to that) had steel crankshafts and could handle a lot heavier sewing than today’s machine. I had a Nelco that was the first zigzag model Nelco made. Could sew through leather with it if you wanted to.

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Our beautiful Bernina 730 sewing machine has been stored in the garage in its original case, and that wrapped in plastic, for a few years now. Temperatures have been both hot and cold in the garage, but the environment was dust-free.

We have brought the Bernina in, set it up, oiled it as specified in the manual, with the original sewing machine oil. We have correctly threaded the machine and the bobbin thread is up.

When we press on the pedal to sew, the machine gets electricity and buzzes

ANSWER : Hello and thank you for using Fixya ….
From what you describe there can be only 2 causes…Either the machine is still stuck ..and the motor buzzes cause it can not spin it ..and in this case it needs to be oiled more..and be spun by hand until it moves well and free…and after that it will work ..or during the storage ..from condense or so ..the motor is stuck ..and needs to be checked…In this second case probably need to be oiled too (the motor ) ..and the coils changed..
Have a nice day ..!

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Elna Top 300 sewing machine. I need manual to operate this machine. I have already found out that Elna contracted with Tiwan(excuse my spelling) to make there machine between 1989-1991. I want to know which machine made in Switzerland is comperable to this one. Thanks…Audrey
Sorry about the catagory…but you do not have sewing machine on list.
ANSWER : Isoj:
.I have this machine. I use it for my heavy sewing, as it will go through anything. I would be happy to copy the manual and send it to you for copy costs. Just let me know. I would love to know what knowledge you have gained about this machine. It does not appear to be an easy machine to find info on, may not have produced a lot? I had no idea it was not a European produced machine.

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The presser foot is stuck in the down position on my sewing machine. The lever goes up and down but the foot will not move. Help! I have an old Kenmore 22 sewing machine. Probably got it around 1990. The model number is 385.17622.
ANSWER : If you open the left end of the machine .. look inside above the needle and to the back .. you will see a pivot bolt that has either come loose, broken off or fallen out .. replacing that bolt should fix the problem ..

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I bought this machine about 3 years ago but hadn’t used it due to illness. Now when I tried to sew with the Tuff Sew ,the threads continually break. If I can make about a 3 inch line of staight stitches without the top thread breaking,I consider myself fortunate The direction in the manual are extremely poor. I had to finish my project with my very old Bernina. I regret buying the Tuff Sew straight stitch. JLWebb
ANSWER : I do not have one but these machines require heavy duty thread…
.The manufacture recommends using only “#69 Bonded Nylon Thread”
.You should have a 18 to 20 gauge needle for that size thread. Needle type is 135×17
.To be completely honest, these machines look like they are 20 to 30-year-old designs meant to be “store branded” machines (Woolworth, K-mart, Sears, …). As demand at these types of stores dried up, they may have tried (successfully) to remarket them as “tuff” machines. Almost all older machines used all metal gears – it doesn’t make them tough or high quality. The poor level of technical support and documentation would upset me too.
.I really hope the recommended thread and needle help with your problem.
.Good luck.

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My Singer Izek sewing machine starts and stops and wont sew continuously. When I push down the pedal it sews about 2 inches then stops and light starts flashing, I have to let off of the pedal and push it again, over and over. It did this once before for awhile and then just started sewing right for awhile and now its started it again. I’ve checked everything.
ANSWER : If it’s not the thread and not the pedal then it’s definitely a power problem. You need to replace the power cable and then check again the functionality.

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Have a 3 year old Pfaff Creative Vision. Has less than 14 total sewing hours on it. Has had issues in the past. Breaking needles, wouldn’t stitch out designs in acceptable manner(badly distorted looking) breaking needles repeated, now it is changes stitches on its own, then went to sewing the same stitch but isn’t sewing it consistantly. I have taken it back to the same professional to repair each time. Can thhis machine be repaired??? Should I trade it off and get another, this isn’t my first c
ANSWER : It sounds like this machine has some kind of fault in it for sure. It can be repaired again, but will likely need to be repaired again after that – down the road. Personally I recommend you just get rid of this unit and go for a different model. You can sell it on ebay to at least get something out of it. Just list it as accurately as you can, naming this issue.


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No, I was trying to find a singer sewing machine model no. 4525. The machine is approx. 20 years old. It runs but real slow.
ANSWER : I would spring for a tuneup. It is a machine and does need attention and if you like the machine, invest in it. You can download a free manual at under customer support, and try oiling it and cleaning it out under the throat plate. Take a screw driver and take off the plate and use a brush to clean out the lint, that may be the problem but without seeing it, I don’t know. You will be amazed at the lint that under there, looks like felt but it is not. Good luck.

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