While many existing machines were well-loved and thus well-used, Featherweights are by no means rare.
Machines in good condition can still be found at bargain prices in garage sales and auction houses. Advertisements in quilters' magazines bring higher prices. The highest-priced machines are in good condition with little wear on the gold leaf, complete with case, attachments, and original manual. The predominant finish on the is a shiny black. The K was black or a shiny white and has a shorter bed. A smaller number of machines in other colors exist, including a light tan color produced in Great Britain and a matte black produced in the United States.
The rumored mint-green Featherweight is apparently an alternate description of the white machine, which can have a slightly greenish cast. It may be that these stories are based on the existence of colored versions of the Singer toy model The Singer has a fold-up bed which allows the owner to change the bobbin easily, and also makes the machine compact enough to set down into the carrying case.
Featherweight Attachments and Parts
The combination free-arm model K is a rarer find in the United States than it is in England. These were apparently produced in the Kilbowie factory in Scotland, between roughly and 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 Sewing Machine Serial Number Database
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 may be a question of how well it sews, or what needs to be "tweeked" or cleaned to make it sew better.
But the important question is "How good does it look? More information on condition in regards to value can be found below. What is the difference between a Model and a Model Featherweight? Singer Featherweight Model sewing machines, also known as "Freearm" or "Convertible" Singer Featherweights, had a feature that was not found on the Featherweight Model machines.
The Freearm Featherweights were designed with a tubular bed feature that allows a portion of the flat bedplate to be removed to make a narrow neck under the needlebar area so you could sew around sleeve cuffs, pant legs, and other areas with limited access. The Model Featherweight machines also have a feature that allows you to drop the feed dogs to enable machine darning and embroidery. There were relatively few Model Featherweights produced compared to Featherweight Model machines, so the Singer 's generally command considerably higher prices.
Are Featherweights that were manufactured in certain years more desirable than others? Featherweights were made from the 's through the 's. Featherweight buyers are sometimes attracted to a machine that was manufactured in the year that corresponds to the year they were born, or married, etc. Some seek out Featherweights that were manufactured during the earliest years of production, other want one from the final years. To celebrate their year anniversary Singer branded a relatively small number of machines manufactured during and with a special logo to commemorate this, and these are referred to as "Centennials".
Any of these variations can make those machines a bit more "collectible" to some buyers. But by far the most significant variationsthe ones that affect the value the mostare what are referred to as the "Expo" models. For each of these events, and on just a very limited number of machnes, Singer replaced the regular Singer medallion that is riveted to the front of the arm with a special medallion to commemorate that exposition.
Other important variations that can affect the value of a Featherweight are those machines manufactured in with "crinkle finish" paint sometimes referred to as "wrinkle" or "Godzilla" finish and those Featherweights referred to as "Blacksides" which were produced during the years of World War II with anodized black metal parts. What are the benefits of consigning my Featherweight? If you have a Featherweight or sewing machine in excellent condition, or a Featherweight that is one of the desirable variations, we can achieve the highest value for your machine, and we make the entire process very easy for you.
After I've evaluated your machine and determined that it's suitable to be sold from our website I will send you instructions for packing and shipping.
Upon receiving your machine I give it a thorough servicing and cleaning to prepare it for sale. My service includes providing the eventual buyer with a 1-year guarantee on the machine. So it's a win-win-win situation. The purchaser buys with confidence. You, the seller, get top value. If you have a Singer Featherweight or you would like to sell I'm going to ask you to send several pictures to show me the details of its cosmetic condition.
In evaluating your machine I will look at the amount of wear or thinning to the gold decoration, particularly on the front edge at the "fabric path".
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I will try to assess the degree of shine, or lack of, to the black paint, and the amount of scratches or "pin marks" on the surface. I'll look closely to see whether the clearcoat finish is pealing, uneven or blotchy. I'll also ask you to open the lid and tell me honestly whether the carry case has a musty smell.
All of those factors play into the value and desirability. The most typical cosmetic "issue" you see on a Singer Featherweight is wearing away of the gold decal decoration that runs around the perimeter of the flat table portion, particularly in front of and to the left and right of the needlebar area. This is known as "fabric path" wear and is a result of the fabric running past the front edge of the sewing machine over and over again as it moves along through the needle.
Do these cosmetic issues affect the use of the machine? Of course not, but they do affect the value to the extent that they may indirectly point to more or less prior use of the machine. But more importantly they detract from the "collector value", and many Featherweight fanatics buy Singer 's and 's as much for their "display" and collector value as for their "user" value.
Most people's first impulse is to say that their Singer machine "is in great condition" but what you think is "great" might be what I think is only "fair".