They’re often beautiful to look at, with ornate decals and other decorative touches. They also tend to perform better than modern machines for some purposes.
Image is from “Cleaning and Operating a 100-Year-Old Sewing Machine“.
As the saying goes, “They don’t make them like they used to”, and anyone who has sewn on a vintage machine can immediately see how that applies. Vintage machines tend to be sturdy workhorses that just keep on going.
Image found on Pinterest.
Monica Skov has written an interesting article that goes into more detail about the benefits of vintage machines.
Singer Featherweight machines are very popular with quilters. Image found on Pinterest.
Where do you find good vintage machines? Sewing machine repair shops sometimes take them in on trade, and Ebay and Etsy often have listings. You may know someone who’d like to find a new home for one that’s been in the family for decades, or check thrift stores and yard sales.
It pays to make sure that parts and needles are available for the machine you’re considering. Google and your local repair shop should be able to help you with that.
Google is also a good resource for threading and other instructions for vintage machines. Enter the name and model number into the search engine and follow links until you find what you need. For example, “singer featherweight threading instructions” should turn up good results. Your sewing machine repair shop may also be able to help.