A brief history of the Singer 222k sewing machine
For serious dressmaker, the Singer 222k sewing machine is a must have item.
An iconic machine in the sewing industry, the Singer 222k continues to be immensely sought after by sewing machine collectors today.
In this post, we’ve taken a look back at the 222k’s origins, history, and some of the reasons why it continues to attract such attention.
The Singer Featherweight series is a collection of lockstitch sewing machines that were created by the Singer Manufacturing Company throughout the early to mid 20th century.
Estimates suggest that Singer sold as many as 3.5 million Featherweights during the range’s halcyon years, when they were produced between 1933 and 1968.
One of the most popular Singer Featherweights was the 221 model; a machine that still commands attention today. But the model that followed the Singer 221 sewing machine is much less common… And a lot more sought after.
That was, of course, the 222k. Introduced around 1953, the 222k is a free arm version of the 221.
It is also able to lower its feed dogs, meaning that it is suitable for darning and embroidery.
A removable bed plate allows users to easily sew around sleeve cuffs or trouser hems, which is another reason for the 222k’s popularity.
The first free arm machine made by Singer, the portable 222k remains as popular as ever, with many quilters using the machine today.
The Singer 222k sewing machine was only ever made in one factory; the Singer Manufacturing Company’s plant in Kilbowie, Scotland.
From the first in 1953, around 100,000 of these machines rolled off the production line until the last in 1961.
It’s said that supervisors at the U.S. Singer factories refused to make the 222k model, citing the cost of manufacture and arguing that it would not be profitable. And that means the singer 222k sewing machine is extremely rare in the States. It was never sold in the USA, instead being reserved for a UK audience, with some machines finding their way to Canada.
As with any collectible, the relative rarity of the Singer 222k is what gives it the edge over some of the more readily available Singer Featherweight models.
In particular, the late 50s and early 60s models are hot property. These were branded with a red ‘S’ badge, which replaced the standard Singer logo.
The machines with the red ‘S’ are much more scarce, and these can fetch as much as an extra 25% in price if in good condition, compared to those with the standard badge.
As a result of their rich history and rarity, Singer 222k sewing machines can command prices well into the thousands, making them a real collector’s item.