Thursday, August 4, 2011

How about those European Sewing Machines?

Since the early 1900's, just about every household in the US and most of Europe had a sewing machine.
It was as popular and a regular part of every day life as the Microwave is to our culture today. To date, I have had an opportunity to play with an Elna, which was Made in Switzerland, and a Necchi, which is Italian. There must be more, I just don't know about them yet.
Lets start with my only experience with an Elna. A "Performa" model which was a very simple, strait stitch machine of the 50's.

The Elna Performa had a big Sister called the Transforma, that had a place for "cams" to produce decorative stitching. I think these machines were way over engineered and from what I hear, were redesigned soon after their release. I happened to acquire one with a custom cabinet.

These machines were originally set up for a wire knee controller that
hooked into the front of the machine. Some one had already modified
mine to use a standard foot controller.

This was my only experience with the Elna line and I must admit it sewed fine but I wasn't that impressed.

The Necchi is a different story.
Wow! This machine rocked. Cadillac, no.....Mercedes, almost.....Ferrari!  YES! I only have experience with this one machine. The BU MIRA.

This machine took some time to get it cleaned up and working again, but it is one of the smoothest running machines I have ever worked on. The balance is incredible. No vibration at all. The engineering is phenomenal.
Smooth just doesn't even come close to describing the experience. Fluid is a good descriptive word to use here.

There is some rusting here, and this machine still sews awesome. The engineering on the upper tension is beyond belief. Even the "Oil Points" on the case are special. Tiny, push-open "Zerk" type units. Automotive style.

I got this puppy sewing like a dream, And how about this great Tweed case?

Every Day is a new experience. I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go. Today some one asked if I repair Sergers......Well, I don't know, I haven't tried.......

1 comment:

  1. My mother-in-law had an Elna just like that one, I think. It was years ago, but I wasn't impressed with it, either.

    Love that Necchi! Hope to find one someday. Sounds like you invested quite a bit of time to get it running smoothly. I will have to Google "Zert" units because I am not familiar with that term.