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Are old sewing machines valuable?

The following factors are important in determining the value of a sewing machine:

Singer Manufacturer

Singer is one of the most important and longest-standing names in sewing machine history. It was the dominant name in sewing machine manufacturing, accounting for around 80% of all sewing machines worldwide. It was founded in 1890. Singers that are popularly collectible include the Singer 301, Singer 66, Singer class 127, Singer violin-shaped machines, and Featherweights.

Japanese Singer Clones

Many Japanese clone sewing machine models appeared after World War ll. These Singer-clones were often brightly colored or decorated with elaborate details and were funded by money from the United States. These sewing machines were also bought by major retailers and branded with their names.

New Home

The New Home factory produced 150,000 sewing machines annually between 1906 and 1907. The factory stopped production in 1955, but they made many types of sewing machines, including the Parlor Cabinet Treadle (hand-cranked) and Number Four. However, singer heavy duty 4432 review suggests that this model is somewhat amazing!

Wheeler & Wilson

Wheeler & Wilson was a major manufacturer of hemmers. During its existence, the company was awarded numerous awards. One of these was for its buttonhole machines that could make 100 buttonholes an hour.

Willcox & Gibbs

James E. A. Gibbs, James Willcox, and James Willcox founded Willcox & Gibbs in 1857. It made hand-crank and treadle models for domestic use. However, it was also known for its industrial machines. One machine was powerful enough for making straw hats.


White sewing machines are still very popular in America today.


A sewing machine must be older than 1900 to be considered antique. Many antique sewing machines are rare and sought-after because they haven’t survived to the present. It is important to note that Singers manufactured after 1960 usually have their model numbers clearly visible. Singers used to not have their model numbers on them.


Your machine’s functionality, especially if it works smoothly and efficiently, will have a positive effect on its value. The original wooden case and the key are both important. A machine will be more valuable. A machine’s original parts, instructions, and documents can also increase its value.

Even if your beloved machine is no longer in use or contains its original parts, it doesn’t mean that it cannot make money. We are increasingly seeing sewing machine collectors bid in auctions for machines that have aesthetic value. A highly durable model such as singer 3337 can be an ideal option. Read singer 1234 reviews to find more about this sewing machine.

Domestic vs. industrial models

The machine can be used for personal and home use, or it can be an industrial machine that is used in factories to make mass-produced products. A machine that can stitch thick materials like leather will be more powerful and heavier than a domestic model. These factory machines no longer serve the manufacturer’s needs, but they are still very decorative and interesting collector objects.

What is the best price you can get for your sewing machine?

It is helpful to know what items sell well at auction. These are some sewing machines that have been very successful on Catawiki.

Antique Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine

This American sewing machine, made in 1880, is a fine example of Willcox & Gibbs machines. It’s simple but effective. The machine is made from metal and has a wooden base. It can be sold at auction for as high as EUR415.

Jones & Co. Hand Sewing Machine

William Jones, a man from Manchester, opened a factory near Guide Bridge in 1869. His company was called Jones & Co. Ltd. This hand machine was produced from 1879 to 1909 and was usually exported to tropical countries. It is a fine example of Britain’s contributions to the sewing industry and can be purchased at auction for EUR523.

Antique Sewing Machine – 19th Century

This unknown brand of the sewing machine was made in 1913 and weighed 10.2 kgs. Its functionality is what makes it valuable. It was sold in perfect working order, despite being over a century old. It was sold at auction for EUR555 because it is still in operation and has an intact finish.

Original Express Sewing Machine 1800

An original 1800 Original Express was recently sold, complete with its original thread. It was one of the most expensive and oldest sewing machines sold at a Catawiki auction, fetching EUR755.

Unknown Model, Iron Sewing Machine 1880

To be valuable, a sewing machine does not have to come from a well-known maker. A cast-iron decorative sewing machine from unknown origin was sold at auction in 2019 for EUR1,000. Important to note is that the machine was in good condition, clean, and in full working order.

Pre-buying Considerations of a sewing machine


These are the recommendations of experienced sewers when searching for a machine.

A full-sized rotary metal hook is the best. This will prevent a lot of jams. This hook should move in a circular motion and not spin back and forth.

You should be able to clean the lint from the machine by opening it. Although you might need professional maintenance such as oiling and cleaning, you don’t want to have it taken in every cleaning. It can clog your machine and cause it to stop working.

Make sure you get a machine that has an open arm. This feature is standard on all new machines, so it shouldn’t pose a problem. This is necessary to sew sleeves and legs that slide onto the machine’s arm.

Your machine can automatically adjust for different thicknesses by using universal pressure. This prevents your machine from jamming with thicker material.

It is preferable to have your machine thread easily. Try it out in the shop if you can. Check out the feedback of past buyers if you are buying online. This is particularly useful for sewers with poor eyesight.

Avoid Too much plastic. Buy a high-quality machine that is made without plastic parts that could break easily.

Stitch Options

These are the most basic stitches that you will need to use your machine.

Straight stitch – This stitch is what you will be using most often.

Zig Zag is used when you want a finished look to your raw edges.

Straighten – This stitch is for anything that needs to be secured after repeated use. This is a precise stitch that requires a machine capable of producing it accurately.

Tri-motion – Finishes your edges and prevents them from unraveling.

Blind hem – Used to create hems that are difficult or impossible to see from the right side.

Buttonhole – A simple buttonhole method will save you a lot of time and frustration if you need to make buttons for clothing or other projects like shower curtains.

You will require additional stitches depending on what projects you are working on, but these are the basic stitches you will need.

Electronic or mechanical

To get the stitches you desire, you’ll need to adjust the dials on a mechanical machine.

An electronic machine can make adjustments automatically. Simply press a button to tell the machine which stitches you would like.

Solid-state electronic machines allow you to work with multiple layers of material, not just two. It is also easier to work with heavier materials like leather, denim, and canvas. They can also be more costly.

Bells and Whistles

It’s vital to make sure that the machine you buy can do all you require it to. You may want to acquire new skills in the future. You can add features to some machines later. Find out if this is possible. This allows you to add what you need.

Although extras can be helpful if you have a pressing need, it is not advisable to overload yourself with too many options. Read Janome Magnolia 7318 and opt for a model such as this amazing machine that offers numerous versatilities.

The Machine’s Weight and Dimension

If you need to store the machine when it is not in use, or if the machine is taken with you to craft fairs, etc. Even small portable machines can be heavy so lift it up before you buy or check the weight before you purchase online.

A heavier machine, made of metal and not plastic, is better if you intend to use it at home.

Service and Warranty

There are numerous forums/Facebook groups for sewers. Ask questions about your favorite machines and their recommendations. Be prepared to get many different answers. They’ll all tell you that their favorite machine is the best.

You must do your research to find the right machine for you. Quality is more important than additional features.

Read more: How do I choose a sewing machine?

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