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Thread: Why the crinkle finish?

  1. #1
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Why the crinkle finish?

    First off, I understand that I'm looking at this from a different POV than someone buying a new machine in 1950 or something like that who just cares about it doing the job and being easy to maintain. My question is more whether the move to that finish was driven by consumers asking for it (maybe because it wouldn't show fingerprints or it's tougher), beancounters asking for it (presumably in this scenario it was less expensive to apply than japanning) or marketing asking for it (new look) or by something else that I'm not seeing.

    Personally, I've tried to like it well enough to buy a White Rotary sporting it (in a decent cabinet) for $10 from the local Goodwill. I just couldn't do it. It wasn't even one of those oddly planar models, just the rounded neck into the rectangular head but with the crinkle finish.

  2. #2
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    I've read somewhere that it looked more "modern". This is from ISMACS regarding White's change to the crinkle finish...."In the late 1920s, the company introduced the first-ever sewing machinewith a flat crinkle finish. The mark-resistant paint was supposed to be easier on the operator's eyes because it did not give off glare and was also more resilient to wear than the traditional japanned finish. In place of decalcomania decorations, fancy scrollwork was cast into the head of the machine. This kind of "modern" finish became popular in the late 1920s and 1930s, and other manufacturers, including Singer and National, followed with their own crinkled-finished machines but without the cast decorations."

  3. #3
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Thanks. I guess I have to say I'm not a fan but I'm a product of a different era and my wants from a sewing machine aren't driven so much by practicality.

  4. #4
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    I think this is what makes sewing machines so interesting. Looking at them, you can almost tell what era they came from. The shiny black ones with the pretty decals, the practical black crinkles, the bronzey colored ones, the ones that look like space ships , then the pretty colors of the 60 and 70s. Now, they're all white. Like cars, clothes and everything else, they change with the times and fashions of the day. I like them all. They tell a story.

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I have five crinkles I think, 3 black Singer 66s, one brown Kenmore, and an OD green DRESSMASTER. Each has a personality of it's own. All are excellent sewers.

    If I were buying a new machine and my choices were the standard shiny paint or the crinkle paint how would I choose? I don't know.
    I would not automatically disqualify a crinkle finished machine just because of the finish though. I would have to look at the whole package. And even then if the packages were equal, say like the Singer Mdl 66-16 and 66-18 in which the only differences were the finish, I just don't know. I like them both. I guess it would depend on what mood I was in at the moment.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess.

    Joe

  6. #6
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    I happen to like the crinkles. They finish wears like iron. I have a 66 that looks, literally, brand new and it is one of my oldest machines. The japanned finishes, as they get older are more fragile and eventually need to be refinished. I think that the shellac naturally decays and deteriorates.

  7. #7
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    I love my crinkle finish Whites. I have a black one and a brown one. And yes the finish is eaiser on the eyes.

  8. #8
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    I never thought about the finish being hard on your eyes. I guess mine just aren't shiny enough! I sort of don't like the crinkles, either. They just look unfinished to me. That's why we have so many flavors of ice cream! To each his own!

  9. #9
    Senior Member w7sue's Avatar
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    I purchased a White Rotary recently - crinkle finish with the designs cast into it - it was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! I am looking for the little rubber wheel that runs on the back - according to ISMACS it was built in 1929 in Cleveland, OH and the model/serial number is 1x1 357. It's in a nice cabinet and as soon as I can find a rubber wheel, I will use it -

    But...I also like the new Singer 160 - I think it's kind of cute.

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    w7sue,

    Two places to look for a friction drive wheel:

    Thayer Rags Parts { http://thayerrags.com/ }
    Sew-Classic { http://www.shop.sew-classic.com/ }

    You'll need to know the motor shaft diameter: 1/4", 9/32" or what ever, and the outside diameter of the drive wheel if you have it.

    If the motor is spring loaded you'll have a bit of flexibility, but if not then you kind of have to be on with it.

    Joe

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