Treadle sewing machines : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I finally found a good treadle sewing machine this week. Treadles, in addition to not using electricity, are a good choice for any heavy sewing because you cannot burn out the motor!

I have had good luck finding treadles in the kind of appliance fix-it stores that also do lamps and vacuum cleaners. If you find a treadle machine at an antique store or sale, most of these appliance repair folks still know how to service and repair them, and have spare parts on hand! It is also possible to find a treadle base, and an old machine that can be converted back to treadle and recombine them.

One limiting factor in selecting the machine is the kind of bobbin it uses. Older machines use shuttle type bobbins which are hard to find if your machine does not have one. I opted for a newer machine which uses the standard round metal bobbin which is much more replaceable. I wanted the convenience of having several bobbins with different color thread. The older shuttle bobbins work fine, they are just hard to get.

If you want to buy a treadle, take the time to go an appliance store and talk to the technician there. There are very small machines that cannot do any heavy work, and very big ones that are suitable for manufactoring. Talk with the guy to determine if the 12", 14" or whatever model is good for you, and then only buy that one. Even if the store does not have a connected treadle machine, they will usually have any number of old electric machines, and can show you which size will do what you want.

We have made the decision to go more and more off the grid y2k or no y2k, so this is a good tool for me. If you do any heavy sewing such as tents, canvas, sails, wool coats and such, a treadle may be just the ticket. Attachment for zipper,. zig-zag, buttonholes etc. often come with or are easily available new.

-- seraphima (, October 21, 1999


Treadle sewing machines can be found for a very low investment at estate sales or auctions. Maybe I'll find time to use mine if the electricity goes out, but until then, it's a very beautiful piece of furniture!

-- cmd0903 (, October 21, 1999.

Old treadle sewing machines are great keepers, even if the sewing machine itself doesn't work. the treadle mechanism can easily be utilized to power scroll saws, washing machines, etc and doesn't rely on electricity. You also get a pretty good (though boring) workout.

-- Bill (, October 21, 1999.

I was unable to find a treadle machine, and a few months ago a bought a new one through Lehman's. The new cabinets and stands are not nearly as nice or well made as the old ones, and of course cost much more. Also, it was a bitch to put together. (The Singer machine head looks fine.) If at all possible, get an old machine. There is a website (whose address I no longer have--that's what search engines are for) devoted to treadle parts.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, October 22, 1999.

I've used my treadle sewing machine for
30 years now. It works with all types of
of fabrics from light to canvas or leather.
I even made my sleeping bag with it.(Frostline
kit). It only had one shuttle but it had plenty
of narrow bobbins. When I found where I could
purchase needles, I bought a dozen. Still
haven't used them up yet. The needles are
thicker and don't break as easy. Being off
the grid makes it even more of a necessary
tool. :-)

-- spider (, October 22, 1999.

The Sears Home Center Winter99 catalogue that came this week had a treadle sewing machine (Singer) for 299.99 with cabinet and stand Item number NOSTALSB

-- homestead2 (, October 22, 1999.

Sometimes a electric sewing machine can be adapted to work with a treadle setup. If the belt and motor on the electric machine is on the back, then it can be converted. A dealer told me this.

-- fhm (, October 22, 1999.

I have an old Singer with the funny bobbin. Hubby works at the landfill and they come through all the time in various conditions. I have him trained to open the drawers and pull out all the needles and bobbins in there. I must be up to about 25 bobbins now. Sometimes he doesn't have the time to root through the full drawers and just brings home the whole drawer. I was able to replace a broken drawer on mine that way. Also got lots of nice thread and buttons. Every day is a treasure hunt at the landfill. LOL


-- Taz (, October 22, 1999.

Here is the address for the Singer treadle machines and parts, etc.

-- Taz (, October 22, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

Here's an earlier thread about this: treadle beware

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 23, 1999.

Taz, I tried that address for Singer and got "Invalid HTTP" Sure that's it? Then I tried to e-mail you at what looked like a valid address, and it's not. Hope you see this.

-- Shivani Arjuna (, October 23, 1999.

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