Singer 221 Featherweight sewing machine
The Singer 221 Featherweight sewing machine is a popular sewing machine manufactured by the Singer company from 1933 up until 1964.
The Featherweight machine was inspired in part by the Sewhandy model produced by the rival Standard company, which was bought out by Singer in the early 1930s. It featured aluminium components which meant it was lighter and truly portable, compared to far heavier cast iron models, along with a flip-up extension table.
It was introduced to consumers at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, and the American models built before the Second World War were black with gold Egyptian-inspired scrollwork. From 1947 the model was also manufactured at the company’s Clydebank factory in Scotland.
The model went on to become one of Singer’s most popular machines, and is still highly sought after by collectors and professional machinists due its high quality and durability.
The value of a Singer 221 featherweight can vary depending on a number of variables:
As most sewing machine collectors purchase machines to be used, rather than purely decorative items, the most valuable examples are those in excellent working order.
Colour can also affect the price, as some models are rarer than others. The standard black models are the most common, and were produced in Singer’s American and Scottish factories. The less common beige models were produced in Scotland and Canada, and the rarest white and pale turquoise varieties were only produced in Scotland for the British markets.
The rarest variety of featherweight machine is the 222 Freearm Featherweight, which was only produced in Scotland and marketed in Britain, Europe, Canada and Australia. It was never offered American consumers, and is therefore sought after by U.S collectors.
Prices for models can vary depending heavily on condition, but good working models can sell for between $300 - $500. Rare models have been known to sell for higher, and Freearm Featherweights have occasionally sold for more than $1,000.
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