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Thread: Unknown Japanese Sewing Machine Labeled "Leaders", with Zig Zag Badge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Unknown Japanese Sewing Machine Labeled "Leaders", with Zig Zag Badge

    So I inherited this really beautiful black sewing machine , but I can not find any information on the brand, "Leaders" (With an -s-). I found a company that stopped making machines in 1899, called Leader, but this was clearly made after that. The motor is labeled with Tesco.
    I am attaching pictures and would greatly appreciate any information anyone has. I am so perplexed by all the labels on these things!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 03-12-2019 at 03:19 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  2. #2
    Junior Member Steelsewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    SW Pennsyltuckey
    Most... but not all... of the all-metal Japanese zigzag sewing machines like this one have a "JA" number stamped into the metal on the underside. Sometimes they also have a tag or stamp with a "JC" number. An example of this might be JA-8.

    *Be careful pivoting it back to look on the underside. Machines often like to scoot when the center of gravity changes like that. May be best to do this on a carpet...

    The JA or JC number might be able to at least give you a manufacturer's name. If you have that much, you could search for other machines made by that company and perhaps find similar sewing machines. It wasn't uncommon to see several different badges (or names) on the exact same model of machine.

    To find the best and most updated list of JA/JC numbers online try: this link.
    Last edited by Steelsewing; 03-11-2019 at 06:49 PM.
    *Note: Tonight's clairvoyant meeting cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Welcome! That’s a fine looking machine. It was made in Japan, and was badged for a company called Leaders. The common practice was for these manufacturers to make machines, and put any name that the sellers wanted on them. These machines were generally very well made, and had advanced features, such as the ability to drop the feed dogs for free motion quilting or darning, reverse stitching, and in your case zigzag stitches. Leaders may have been a department store in the area. Some of these machines were made by Juki, Toyota, Brother and other firms. There was some trepidation on the part of these companies that American consumers might not purchase from Japanese outfits after the war, so there are probably hundreds of different names on these machines. If you turn the white lever on the lower right of the case, and tilt the machine back you may find some more information. There is also a post on this forum for Japanese Zigzag machines, where members have posted photos of their machines, you may find some like your in there. I will hazard a guess that your sewing machine is late fifties or early sixties, and with a good oiling and a little care will sew very well for you. Good luck with it,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Thanks Cari, I wasn’t sure when the zigzag machines started to show up!

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