Featherweight General Questions

Old 03-18-2018, 03:48 PM
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Question Featherweight General Questions

Hi All,

I have a couple of general questions regarding FW machines.

1) Are certain years "better" than others? (I have a 1939 and a Centennial.) I see prices all over the map on the machines and was just wondering on the years. I know the Centennial is worth a bit more than the 1939, but what about other years?

2) Is the scroll face plate machine worth more than a striated face plate one?

3) What is the difference in model numbers? 221-1, 221-K. Haven't found the answer to this one anywhere else.

Thanks! Looking forward to the answers.
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:33 PM
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1. I've read where some people think that the oldest ones sew the best. I can't attest to that as I've only ever sewn on mine which is a 1950s machine. The centennial isn't necessarily worth any more than the '39, that's a judgement call. A '39 FW is pretty darn old in the scheme of things. And there are FWs worth a whole lot more than either of these. The rare badged state fair models, for example. Prices on FWs really are all over the map. I think they're over rated and mostly over priced, myself. I watched and waited for a couple years and found mine for $50. Not bragging, just stating that I was willing to wait rather than pay hundreds for a machine I can't take seriously.
2. Depends. The scrolled machines are older than the striated face machines, so that comes into play.
3. I don't know all the differences or the after dash designations. The K simply means it was built in the UK not the US or Canada. The 221 only had one major internal change as far as I know. After the first couple of years they made some sort of change to the bobbin case base but it's not something you or I would be able to notice at a glance. Oh, and the white ones are belt driven instead of gear driven, so I guess that's two changes.

Cari

Last edited by Cari-in-Oly; 03-18-2018 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:32 AM
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I have a 1937 FW and it does not have a numbered disc on the thread tension dial so that on newer models that is a change. "Nettie" and I are going to a quilt retreat this week-end. She originally belonged to my DIL's grandmother Jeanette.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by itssewfun
I have a 1937 FW and it does not have a numbered disc on the thread tension dial so that on newer models that is a change. "Nettie" and I are going to a quilt retreat this week-end. She originally belonged to my DIL's grandmother Jeanette.
Yes, that was a change made to all Singer machines. There were other little outer changes made to FWs over the years, like different decals and moving the bobbin winder tension from the front of the machine to the top of the bed, and more. The FW web sites can give a lot more info about things like that.

Cari
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:20 AM
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I have several Featherweights- one from the 30's, 50's and a white one from the 60's. I don't see any difference in any of them.
As for value, I only think the 222's are valuable since they have the arm that comes off.

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Old 03-19-2018, 09:59 AM
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There is a great book you can still get called " Featherweight 221 The Perfect Portable". It has all the history
about every model of Featherweight that was made. Everyone should have this book.

The value of most Featherweights usually depends on how good the decals and clearcoat still are.
If the finish is good the older machines are worth more.
As far as sewing the newest machines are best. They have a better clearcoat finish, a graduated needle plate,
and a stronger type motor.

The white machine with the belt drive is a cheaper made machine but they still fetch a lot because people
like to collect them.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:33 PM
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Default Link for information on Featherweights

Originally Posted by ILoveToQuilt
Hi All,

I have a couple of general questions regarding FW machines.

1) Are certain years "better" than others? (I have a 1939 and a Centennial.) I see prices all over the map on the machines and was just wondering on the years. I know the Centennial is worth a bit more than the 1939, but what about other years?

2) Is the scroll face plate machine worth more than a striated face plate one?

3) What is the difference in model numbers? 221-1, 221-K. Haven't found the answer to this one anywhere else.

Thanks! Looking forward to the answers.
I have 2 Featherweight machines and love them both. There is a wonderful site with lots of history as well as maintenance information. The Featherweight Shop owners are Carmon and April. The information is free, but they also sell attachments. Hope this helps you.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ILoveToQuilt
Hi All,

I have a couple of general questions regarding FW machines.

1) Are certain years "better" than others? (I have a 1939 and a Centennial.) I see prices all over the map on the machines and was just wondering on the years. I know the Centennial is worth a bit more than the 1939, but what about other years?

2) Is the scroll face plate machine worth more than a striated face plate one?

3) What is the difference in model numbers? 221-1, 221-K. Haven't found the answer to this one anywhere else.

Thanks! Looking forward to the answers.
I have 2 Featherweight machines and love them both. There is a wonderful site with lots of history as well as maintenance information. The Featherweight Shop owners are Carmon and April. The information is free, but they also sell attachments. Hope this helps you. www.singer-featherweight.com .
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:14 PM
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Thanks for the info!
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:20 PM
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I forgot to mention April and Carmon!
They are wonderful people- very responsive to questions and their site has lots of tutorials. Check it out.
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