absolutely check out the vintage area of this site. Those guys and gals are a fount of knowledge. There is also a tut on this site by Muv on how to clean a treadle. It is wonderful. I'd take a few belts or I've also heard that you can use the air tubing for aquariums. Take some sewing machine oil and make yourself a cleaning, repair kit. screwdrivers, lint brush, machine oil, etc. Good luck on your trip and have a wonderful time.
You have taken on a great project. We just had a speaker at our guild that did a similar project in Mongolia. Here is her website:
Agree with the comments provided about servicing machines. You can do that as they are all very similar.
See if they can send you the serial #'s and make/models of the sewing machines so you can download operating manuals and take some specific parts likely to be needed- bobbins, belts, properly sized needles, etc. Lots of sewing machine oil (Not 3in1) and TriFlow. Spend some time on the Vintage and Antique section of the Board. There are great tutes on cleaning and repairs. If you have access to internet service in India you'll be able to reach some incredibly knowledgeable people here on the Board who can help you with specific repairs. Take a spool of leather for cutting into belts. Maybe a handcrank or two? The old machines are fairly indestructible unless severely rusted. Please keep us posted on what you need- I'm sure folks will be able to help you.
Thanks, good ideas from all of you. I've checked and saved the links that you all provided. I REALLY appreciate all the help. Only other thing that I believe is different than what we think - their treadle machines aren't necessarily vintage or old. They actually make "new treadles" you know for areas of the world that don't have electricity or that the electricity isn't reliable. That's what I think is there, new treadles that need work. Again, thanks so much to everyone!!
Originally Posted by Monroe
Hi! I'm a new QB member and I live in India. I may be able to help a bit...
Where in India will you be working? Singer/Merit and Usha/Janome are the two big sewing machine companies, and both have a pretty good presence all over India, even in the smaller towns. Especially with the treadle machines, you should be able to find someone who can service them/find parts...
As for sewing kits, you can find reputable brands of scissors and needles in the larger cities - fiskars and pony are popular. Same with pins, tape measures etc. for under $5/person, you should be able to make up a pretty decent kit.
Best wishes for a successful trip.
Wherever you go to buy your supplies, be sure to let them know your plight. They should give you a discount because you are helping out a group of women in a foreign country. CT should give you a discount on their thread. If you buy wallpaper scissors, get a discount. GET A DISCOUNT WHEREVER YOU GO!