If your sewing machine, accessory, or ephemera has a name on it, this is the place to start. If we don't have a listing for the name, please use the search function to see if there is any mention of it on our site. The International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society is the premiere sewing machine collector's group. A quarterly magazine and access to our annual sewing machine auction are but two membership benefits. You will be greeted by the internet's finest people and your enquiries will be answered by leading experts. For those who collect toy machines, it's too big, weighing in at 11 lbs 1 oz.
A great many of them were made and are still available through used sewing machine dealers, from individuals, at garage and estate sales, by mail order, and through sellers on online services and the internet.
Since the machines are not labeled "Featherweight" they are often advertised for sale as "old Singer" or "antique Singer" machines and some detective work is necessary to sort the Featherweights from the other antique machines being sold. The light weight and the fold-up platform are two indicators. Very diligent shopping should turn up one or more Featherweights in your local area, and they've been known to travel in packs, and reappear miraculously out of grandma's closet or attic!
You will probably pay more to a dealer than you will at an estate sale, so it is worth combing the weekly Advertiser or classifieds and doing some driving if you want a bargain. Pricing criteria vary from location to location but are based on the running condition of the machine and its appearance, as well as its rarity. For run-of-the-mill Featherweights, one dealer in Atlanta says he prices his mainly based on how good they look, i.
Older machines will not necessarily sell for more than newer ones. You should be able to try out the machine to see how well it sews, and you should make sure it's complete.
One of the most frequently missing items is the bobbin case.
Ideally your Featherweight will come with its original carrying case in good condition broken latches and missing handles are sometimes a problem and all of its attachments. Lack of these is reason to discount the price.
Singer featherweight dating chart
Determining the approximate date of manufacture of a Featherweight is easy if the serial number is still intact. The number, which is on the bottom of the machine, will be preceded by a two-letter code, beginning with A for U.
Use the chart below to decode it. The following machines were manufactured in Scotland, at the Kilbowie Plant, and thus are of the K for Kilbowie series.
White Featherweights which were distributed in the U. These were the last gasp of the Featherweight as a new machine. They may have a variety of serial numbers. While the above tables provide approximate dates, it is known that some machines were made in years other than those indicated here. For instance my AJ series machine was actually made on November 18, Other Featherweight owners have told me of similar discrepancies in the dating of machines, including machines with scrollwork faceplates made as late as or It is also worthy of note that changing faceplates is fairly simple, and some earlier face- plates may have been put on later machines by dealers or previous owners.
If you wish to find out the exact date your Singer was made, and the place, you can email them at talktous singerco. Be aware that their records are not always accurate and some people have been informed by Singer that their Featherweight was not a FW at all, but some other model machine. So take what they tell you with a grain of salt. Singer, through their dealers, can also make available some manuals, parts, and other information about these old machines.
My experience in trying to find a complete manual was that Singer referred me to their local dealer.
The Singer number is a general consumer number and can be busy, so be patient. If you are overseas beyond the reach of their number, e-mail them at the address above. The Featherweight is the only sewing machine I know that has had an entire book devoted to it besides its own manual. Nancy Johnson-Srebro in published a slim volume entitled Featherweight Much of the information in this fact sheet is based on her research.
The book also contains a reproduction of parts of the original manual for the machine, which is helpful if yours comes without one. It does not contain the part of the manual about the attachments, however.
I have found the book especially useful for its troubleshooting advice on common operating problems of Featherweights. Without it I'd probably still have a FW jammed up because of a speck of thread caught behind the bobbin case.
Recently Nancy and her husband have published a new version of the book, greatly expanded with more history and lore about the Featherweight. The book is available in the Schoolhouse Enterprises Store , here at Planet Patchwork, at a discount!
Information on the Featherweight and other antique machines is also available at the following sites on the World Wide Web:. You can subcribe to the Featherweight Fanatic list by sending your name and e-mail address to FWFanatics ttsw.
The list is available in digest form only and archives are available on a web page. Copyright , all rights reserved. Four Wheel Drive for your Machine! The Tutto Machine-on-Wheels is the strongest, most lightweight, and most ergonomically friendly of sewing machine luggage choices!
Read our review and check out the wide assortment of sizes and colors and great prices for this highly maneuverable carrier for taking your sewing machine across town or around the world! Planet Patchwork won't be undersold on quilting software!
We hope you find our Featherweight information to be the most helpful and comprehensive on the Web. The K has a removable-bed extension, for use when sewing pant legs and shirt sleeves, and weighs in about 2 lbs more than the model Cases are black, with leather handles on the older models and plastic on the newer.
Cases for the white machine are white with a green stripe. Older cases have an accessory tray that stacks on top of the machine, which is set down in the case. The newer cases have a built-in side shelf for accessories and bobbins, and a place for the foot pedal on the inside of the case cover. In addition to the cases, Featherweights were sometimes sold with specially-designed folding convertible card tables, with a removable section for the machine.
Officially called the Singer Three-Way Table, these were advertised as multi-purpose for use in sewing, card playing, and informal dining. Four Featherweight-design variations include chrome flywheels and face-plate scrollwork on the earlier versions, versus black flywheels and a striated face-plate pattern on the later versions.
The early tension adjustment and throat plate are un-numbered, while the later tension adjustment is numbered and black rather than chrome. The later throat plate has seam allowance markings. Dating of the model is quite easy using the serial number stamped on the underside of the machine.Singer Featherweight 221 222 Video Tutorial - Thread Cutter
The Singer manufacturing seal on the front of the machine varied in design over time. The most- interesting designs were seals from machines marketed during various expositions.
The was introduced at the Chicago World's Fair, and a commemorative medallion exists on machines marketed at that event. It is possible that special seals may also exist for the World's Fair in New York or for any of the expositions that took place in the s while the was still being manufactured.
Many machines carry a Singer Centennial seal, marking the th anniversary of the Singer Manufacturing Co. Most Featherweights have one of a few standard designs of an oval gold seal reading "Singer Manufacturing Company. We quilters have an interest in keeping the special qualities of this "princess of portables" a secret to be shared only with those who love and appreciate the beauty and utility of a good mechanical design.
It was inevitable that antique-sewing-machine collectors would eventually discover the Singer , and we hope that, like us, you will cherish these machines and keep them from collecting dust in attics and basements. Serial numbers are stamped on the underside of the machine, and consist of two letters, followed by six digits e. Using the letters only, you can determine place of manufacture and approximate date of manufacture.
Dating throughout this article is courtesy of an unpublished survey of machines compiled by Krisi Santilla from information provided by members of the online Featherweight Fanatics group, operated by Sue Traudt. Manufacture dates for machines surveyed were provided by the Singer company.
ISMACS is an organization totally independent of all sewing-machine manufacturers, past or present and is not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in these pages. Do not contact any ISMACS official in an attempt to solicit a valuation - it is not possible other than by hands-on assessment and your request will be ignored. Reproduction or copy of this page, in any form, in part or in whole, is strictly prohibited, without prior, written permission.
Manufacturers If your sewing machine, accessory, or ephemera has a name on it, this is the place to start. When was my Sewing Machine Made? How much is my Sewing Machine Worth? These tables are somewhat rarer than the machines, possibly because of their convertible design.