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Thread: The Indian sewing machine industry - contemporary vintage, so to speak

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark

    The Indian sewing machine industry - contemporary vintage, so to speak

    A few years back, I contemplated importing Indian made clones of the once ubiquitous Raleigh RT-1 bicycle to Denmark. This never came to fruition for many reasons, but it once again confirmed my impression of just how many "authentic" products continue to be made and used in India. The center of Indian bicycle manufacturing is the Punjab city of Ludhiana, where 10 million bicycles are produced per year in a large number of factories.

    Ludhiana, however, is also the centre for sewing machine manufacture in India. Let's just say - they don't disappoint when it comes to "authenticity" and a continued reliance on Singer designs and (hopefully) robustness.

    Furthermore, they don't just stick to Singer 15-clones (although they are in the portfolio of most, if not all manufacturers - often called "Tailor Model" or "Domestic Sewing Machine") - I've seen Singer 66 clones (mostly touted as "Umbrella Machine", TA-1 or "Master Tailor") and even some models resembling Singer 201s and Singer 15-125s

    Here are a few pictures for a start:
    A Manohar Singer 15 clone:

    A Tez TA-1 Singer 66 clones (as far as I can see):

    A Vimmi Singer 66 clone, which purportedly can be bought with that treadle/that table:

    An Ashoka machine, which to my eyes look exactly like a Singer 15-125:

    You don't like that colour? - That's quite alright, RMI and Tez will be happy to supply them in these colours instead:

    Finally we have this Pahwa - the picture's probably reversed, but it still looks a bit like a Singer 201:

    I'm only scratching the surface here - there are so many models and manufacturers (I'm counting upwards of 20 factories although many of them probably have some form of sharing parts and manufacture..)
    Last edited by Crumar; 10-06-2012 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Sparks, NV
    Oofta! Those are some bright decals. Pretty. Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    New York
    That's very interesting information. I never really thought about manufacturers of sewing machines other than Swedish, Chinese, Japanese, and German, and perhaps English.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Outer Space
    Very cool looking machines.

  5. #5
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    ​That is such interesting information. Thank you for providing it to us here. But it would make sense to me as India still lacks electricity in much of the rural areas of the country. It does surprise me somewhat that a few of those sewing machines have not made it to the USA.
    Sweet Caroline

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    NE Indiana
    I'm not so into the hand crankers, but I'd like to get a gander at some of the treadles. Those are some pretty colorful machines for sure.


  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Kentucky - Live in Iowa
    I'd love to get one of the hand crank machines! I don't need one, I just want it! LOL
    Aronel aka Lee

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Victorian Sweatshop
    Blog Entries
    I would love to see the machines!
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lyncat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Buckeye AZ
    Interesting information! Thanks for sharing the pictures. I'm a fan of the red one...very cool looking.

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