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Treadle sewing machine

18 years ago

She mentioned that she wanted one. Bought a model 27 singer treadle sewing machine (in fantastic shape) for the wife for christmas (she doesn't know it yet)and received the manual for the machine from Singer, the machine has something called a Vibrating Shuttle used to sew. I don't know how much the wife knows of this type of sewing machine, so I'm looking for someone that she might be able to ask questions from about this type of machine. Is there anyone out there with experience with this machine that I might be able to steer her to to find out anything if she needs to.

Comments (15)

  • craftyboi
    18 years ago

    hi there.......i have a singer treadle machine and use it regularly..........the use of the machine is very easy.........the shuttle is no problem either to use......have fun they are definately workhorses......mine was made in 1891.....and still works fabulously....craftyboi

  • lamguy
    Original Author
    18 years ago

    Don't know what she wants one for, this one was made about 1910, paint/decals are excellent, the top of the cabinet is a little rough, so at my workplace I'm just putting a new finish over the old one. Came with all the attachments too. Went to your home page, computer next to your treadle...excellent. What did you get the treadle for? My wife has a basically both a new sewing machine and a serger. What she wants the treadle for I have no idea.

  • Freda
    18 years ago

    You can download the manual for the model 27, that is the one that I have. It belonged to my mother and she gave it to me. I just downloaded the manual. some of the manuals on that page you have to buy and some are free to download.

  • minnie_tx
    18 years ago

    Think of it this way, if the electricity goes out she can still turn a mean seam. And it is a tie to the past.

  • nancynancy
    18 years ago

    My grandmother, who'd be well over 100 if she were alive today, had a Singer treadle sewing machine. My guess is that your wife is fascinated by antique sewing machines in the same way some people are fascinated by very old cars.

    Today's sewing machines have so many automatic features, the user sometimes feels they're just along for the ride. But anyone using an old manual machine knows they're the one who's completely in charge.

    These old sewing machines also bring back memories of a simpler time. With all the trouble in the world today it's sometimes refreshing to imagine what life was like in the past.

  • glassquilt
    18 years ago

    How many calories used with a treadle machine. Would it count with my doctor as exercise?

  • hotzcatz
    18 years ago

    Aloha Lamguy,

    What a sweetie you are to buy a treadle for your wife even if you don't see exactly what she would want it for! Consider it sort of the same as using hand tools to do woodworking. As a craft, woodworking or sewing with handtools has a nicer "feel" to it. I use a treadle for many of my sewing projects because it is a much more controlled machine than the electric ones. It also makes a better stitch and I find the treadle action to be soothing.

    I also use hand planes to finish wood and my husband doesn't understand that either. He did buy me a nice double action air sander - with an air compressor, too - which I'll use for the rough sanding, but will probably use the planes for the final finish for the flat areas. ( I'll do that when he isn't looking.)

    My newest treadle showed up last week, a White rotary probably made in the late 1800's. It is in real good condition with a fancy cabinet, but does have a few issues here and there. I've been doing a bit of restoration to the cabinet and it looks like the original finish is shellac. If the finish on your wife's "new" sewing machine is also shellac, it is an easy finish to renew. I've been using very fine steel wool moistened with a teeny bit of soapy water to clear off the accumulation of old wax and polishes. (Probably more elbow grease than water.) After getting the old stuff off, I'll just put another light top coat of new shellac on it using the "French polishing" method. One of the darker shellacs, probably either seedlac or garnet shellac. Very easy and will hopefully be the same as the original finish. The other way this is an easy finish is that it is renewing the existing finish and not entirely refinishing it. Much less work and then I'll be able to start sewing sooner.

    A hui hou,

  • craftyboi
    18 years ago

    lamguy i used the treadle for many years for just sewing and with 3 new machines its a work of art......craftyboi

  • birdtalker
    18 years ago

    my mother had a treadle and when I was 13 or so I used it, with no instructions. It was easy to figure out and I loved the control the treadle gives you.

  • grittymitts
    18 years ago

    I learned to sew on treadle folks had a furniture store (new & used,) and sewing machines lined both sides of the main isle. After school each day I sat at one, then another, making doll clothes...or trying! My Dad really encouraged me- not only was I learning a skill, but he said potential customers seeing that even a child could use a dewing machine, helped business.

    Even after 60 years, I think they make lovely stitches and find it relaxing to use one. If we had space for another machine one in this house, I'd add a treadle!


  • bowdoin514
    18 years ago

    Hey Lamguy,
    Just wondering how your wife liked the "new" treadle machine for Christmas? Hope it was a hit. I'm sure you'll be the most popular hubby in the neighborhood!
    Emma in PA

  • totallyunimodular
    17 years ago

    Hi All,

    I am new to sewing but have come across a great deal on an old Singer 127 treadle model. I have wanted a "basic" sewing machine for a while, and like the idea of a manually powered machine that is very durable/simple. My primary use for it, at least until I learn more about sewing, will be to repair my outdoor clothing and things like backpacks and tents. My question is, will this vintage machine work well with heavier fabrics? I have heard some say that the older electric machines often were not powerful enough to sew heavy fabrics, but my guess is that the treadle/hand crank would work just fine. If anyone has any experience to offer a newbie, it would be greatly apreciated!

  • cmc_97
    17 years ago

    Here's a website for treadle machine enthusiasts. Lots of great info about treadles and links to other sites.

    As for piercing heavy fabric, a treadle is unique in that you have control (via your footwork) over exactly how hard that needle comes down.

    If you are working on tents, take a look at the needle you are using (whether on and electric machine or a treadle). A denim needle has a sharper more tapered point to allow it to pierce heavy fabric. A topstitch needle has a similar sharp, tapered point and a larger hole and deeper "groove" for heavier thread to run through.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Treadle On email list web site

  • pattico_gw
    17 years ago

    I have a working treadle machine...I don't really use it but I can if I want to...

    I use it as a lamp table behind an antique chair I have.


  • kellyju
    16 years ago

    I have a Simmons Velox Treadle and can't find any info about it. Can anyone help? It was given to me by my Grandmother. She was never able to give me any real info on it other than it might have been made by the White Co. If anybody has any info i would greatly appreciate it.
    Thank you,

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