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Singer 15K – The Longest Manufactured Machine

singer 15k sewing machine

singer 15k sewing machine

Love vintage sewing machines? The Singer 15K is an exceptional example of a second-hand sewing machine that’s super-durable and as veritable workhorse of a machine!

The Singer 15K was made for the longest part of Singer’s history, and it’s still made in some parts of India and China today. What made it so special?

According to Singer Sewing Info, the company first started production of an oscillating shuttle, high-arm improved sewing machine in 1879. It was for domestic and light industrial tasks and was mainly fitted with treadle tables or cabinets, though some were supplied as hand crank machines. A few of the earlier models had a fiddle-shaped base.

In 1895, the company mechanically altered the machine and its appearance changed – voila, the Singer 15K, which became the most successful sewing machine design ever. It remained in production for more than 100 years. The original models were the common treadle or cabinet versions, or hand crank. Later Singer 15Ks were either electric or hand crank.

The tension assembly was built into the faceplate above the presser, instead of at the front of the machine, making them distinctive. They also heralded a new needle design which was flat on one side, and this became the standard needle that most future Singer machines (and other makes) used.

Another feature was that the new Singer 15K machines were faster and quieter than the models that had gone before. But their power shouldn’t be underestimated. In this YouTube video, the sewing enthusiast and expert Alex Askaroff shows how the machine can sew through a tin can.

The Singer 15K also included a walking foot attachment, which made it ideal for tough to sew materials. There was a separate removable bobbin case to house flat-sided bobbins, which could also be adjusted to lower thread tension.

In the 1930s, Singer 15K machines built at the factory in Clydebank were usually finished with RAF decals (stickers), designed by a William Hopper of Dumbarton who worked there. The design was a bird with its wings out full-span within a diamond pattern, which was placed on the base of the machine. RAF decals were also used in its corners.

If you’d like a fully functional Singer 15K sewing machine, why not check out what we offer here at Sewing4Everyone? Our fully refurbished models can sew fine to extra-heavy materials, and the machines will give you years of steady service.

 

 

Antique Sewing Machines – Singer 29K

singer 29k sewing machine

Ever wondered what the deal is with Singer antique sewing machines and the numbers? They refer to the patents. Isaac Singer got his first patent for a sewing machine, and that was Singer 1, and thus each new model was numbered accordingly.

The Singer 29K was originally made for industrial use and was favoured by cobblers and other sewers working with goods such as gloves and bags. The machine’s narrow arm and revolving foot could sew in any direction. It has no underneath feed, instead a foot that walks the work through the machine. The small container in the middle of the machine was for oil to lubricate the thread.

The machine can be used to stitch leather, canvas, blankets, fabrics and other material such as rubber. The recommended maximum thickness is about 3mm. Parts are easy enough to pick up too, and there are lots of films on YouTube showing you how to use the machine to best effect.

The Singer 29K was mainly manufactured in Singer’s Scottish factory in Clydebank. Singer initially set up a factory in Glasgow in the 1860s. The country was chosen as it has iron-making industries and cheap labour. The first factory was near Queen Street train station, but production soon outgrew the premises. Manufacturing was moved to Bridgeton, but again in time, the buildings didn’t meet the requirements.

singer 29k sewing machine

In 1882, George McKenzie opened what was to become the largest Singer factory in the world at Kilbowie, Clydebank. Built above the plant’s middle wing was an iconic, huge clock tower – 200 feet tall, and with the name Singer clearly emblazoned on the front for all to see.

The completed factory covered almost a million square feet and employed some 7,000 employees, producing an average 13,000 sewing machines a week. As it was so productive, the US Singer company set up Singer Manufacturing Company Ltd as a UK-registered business. At its peak, the factory employed 16,000 people.

The factory closed in 1980, and the buildings were demolished in 1998.

singer 29k sewing machine

The pre-1970s Singer sewing machines were built to last. They were easy to use and straightforward. The Singer 29K machine is still being used in leather workshops and cobblers all over the world – an example of just how amazing the antique sewing machines are.

Sewing4Everyone sells antique sewing machines, vintage sewing machines and refurbished models. We have a wide selection of machines available. If you’d like to discuss a machine in detail, please contact us on 01782 943667.

 

 

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