About Singer Featherweight Sewing Machines,
Their Value, and Selling Yours
If you have a Singer 221
or 222 Featherweight sewing machine to sell here are some points to
How old is my Singer Featherweight
To date your machine look on the bottom to find the serial
number. Every machine has a unique serial number which will
begin with two letters followed by six numbers. Singer kept
records for their production runs, and you can go to their website
to find out when the serial number for your Featherweight was
assigned by matching up the serial number on your machine with the
corresponding year on their chart. People often refer to this
as the date the machine was "born", but more accurately it is the
date the production run for that series of machines was assigned.
The machines would have come off the production line sometime
between that date and the date of the next production series
What's my Singer Featherweight
sewing machine worth?
The 3 most important factors that determinethe how much a vintage
/ antique Singer 221 or 222 Featherweight sewing machine are:
your Singer 221 or 222 sewing machine looks cosmetically is as important
to its resale value as anything else. Nearly all 221 and 222
sew well or, with minor "tune ups", can be adjusted to sew well.
Singer 221and 222 Featherweights are very reliable and very straightforward to
maintain. They are not computerized or complicated. You
can actually work on them. They
were made to last several lifetimes.
The real indicator of value isn't whether your sewing machine "still
sews". That it sews is almost a given. It may be a
question of how well it sews, or what needs to be "tweeked" or
cleaned to make it sew better. But the important
question is "How good does it look?" The phrase "It looks good given
its age" doesn't cut it when it comes to Singer Featherweight 221
or 222 sewing machines. To command top value / top sales price a Singer 221 or 222 sewing
machine needs to look great "in spite of" its age".
More information on condition in regards to value can be found
What is the difference
between a Model 221 and a Model 222 Featherweight?
Singer Featherweight Model 222 sewing machines, also
known as "Freearm" or "Convertible" Singer Featherweights, had a feature
that was not found on the Featherweight Model 221 machines. The
Freearm Featherweights were designed with a tubular bed feature that
allows a portion of the flat bedplate to be removed to make a narrow
neck under the needlebar area so you could sew
around sleeve cuffs, pant legs, and other areas with limited access. The Model 222 Featherweight
machines also have a feature that allows you to drop the feed dogs to enable
machine darning and embroidery. There were relatively few Model
222 Featherweights produced compared to Featherweight Model 221 machines,
so the Singer 222's generally command considerably higher prices.
Are Featherweights that were
manufactured in certain years more desirable than others?
Featherweights were made from the 1930's through the 1960's.
Although the basic design of the machine remained the same
throughout the entire period of production there are certain
variations that can make a difference in value and / or
desirability. Featherweight buyers are sometimes attracted to
a machine that was manufactured in the year that corresponds to the
year they were born, or married, etc. Some seek out
Featherweights that were manufactured during the earliest years of
production, other want one from the final years. Most
Featherweights were painted black, but during the 1960's Singer
manufactured Featherweights in beigey-tan and white / pale green
colors. To celebrate their 100 year anniversary Singer branded
a relatively small number of machines manufactured during 1950 and
1951 with a special logo to commemorate this, and these are referred
to as "Centennials". Any of these variations can make those
machines a bit more "collectible" to some buyers. But by far
the most significant variations---the ones that affect the value the
most---are what are referred to as the "Expo" models. This
would be those machines associated with the 1934 "Century of
Progress / Chicago World's Fair", the 1936 "Texas Centennial", and
the 1939 "Golden Gate Exposition". For each of these events,
and on just a very limited number of machnes, Singer replaced the
regular Singer medallion that is riveted to the front of the arm
with a special medallion to commemorate that exposition. Other
important variations that can affect the value of a Featherweight
are those machines manufactured in 1939-40 with "crinkle finish"
paint (sometimes referred to as "wrinkle" or "Godzilla" finish) and
those Featherweights referred to as "Blacksides" which were produced
during the years of World War II with anodized black metal parts.
What are the benefits of
consigning my Featherweight?
If you have a Featherweight 221 or 222 sewing machine in
excellent condition, or a Featherweight that is one of the desirable
variations, we can achieve the highest value for your machine, and we make
the entire process very easy for you. After I've evaluated
your machine and determined that it's suitable to be sold from our
website I will send you instructions for packing and shipping.
Upon receiving your machine I give it a thorough servicing and
cleaning to prepare it for sale. My service includes providing
the eventual buyer with a 1-year guarantee on the machine. So
it's a win-win-win situation. The purchaser buys with
confidence. You, the seller, get top value. I collect my
commission from the proceeds of the sale, and I get to sell
the finest sewing machines ever made!
What do you look for in evaluating
a 221 / 222 Featherweight?
If you have a Singer Featherweight 221 or 222 you would like to sell
I'm going to ask you to send several pictures to show me the
details of its cosmetic condition. In evaluating your machine
I will look at the amount of wear or thinning to the gold decoration,
particularly on the front edge at the "fabric path".
I will try to assess
the degree of shine, or lack of, to the black paint, and the amount of
scratches or "pin marks" on the surface. I'll look
closely to see whether the clearcoat finish is pealing, uneven or
blotchy. I'll also ask you to open
the lid and tell me honestly whether the carry case has a musty smell.
All of those factors play into the value and desirability.
The most typical cosmetic "issue" you see on a Singer Featherweight
is wearing away of the gold decal decoration that runs around the perimeter
of the flat table portion, particularly in front of and to the left
and right of the needlebar area. This is known as "fabric path"
wear and is a result of the fabric running past the front edge of the
sewing machine over and over again as it moves along through the needle.
Another common cause of this wear to the gold decoration is from the
seamstress repeatedly placing his / her hands in one position on the
front edge of the machine, year after year, garment after garment.
Do these cosmetic issues affect the use of the machine? Of
course not, but they do affect the value to the extent that they may
indirectly point to more or less prior use of the machine. But
more importantly they detract from the "collector value", and many Featherweight
fanatics buy Singer 221's and 222's as much for their "display" and
collector value as for their "user" value.
Most people's first impulse is to say that their Singer 221 machine "is
in great condition" but what you think is "great" might be what I think
is only "fair". It's like the bad driver analogy---I have never
heard anyone describe themselves as a bad driver, but let's face it,
there are lots of bad drivers around! Well there are likewise lots of
just so-so looking Singer Featherweights around. There were
over 2 million of them made, and a lot of them got used, and used,
and used, so you need to look at yours
with a critical eye when describing it to me. With Featherweights
(as with all antiques) it's the little details of condition that make
the big differences in value.
case smells awful---is that a deal breaker?
There shouldn't be an offensive odor if the machine and carry
case have been stored in a clean dry indoor location. That
smell rears its ugly head when a Featherweight has been stored in a
damp location, like a basement, garage, barn, non-climate controlled
storage unit, etc. Depending on the severity the smell can be
near impossible to eliminate, and most Featherweight buyers, or at
least those that are willing to pay good money for them, find it
totally unacceptable. Because I sell Featherweights online I
have to be not just the eyes, but also the nose, of my potential
customers. So in general I steer clear of those that have
musty, moldy odors. Exceptions, of course, are made for those
extremely rare variations of the machines as discussed above.
Here's the view
of your Featherweight I need to see if you are sending me pictures:
Click on the small picture below to see the size and detail I am looking for.
If you plan to consign with me I need to be able to clearly see that
gold decal that runs around the base of your machine to assess its condition
so I can give you an accurate estimation of what it will sell for
from my website.
We have been actively
Selling Singer Featherweight Model 221 and 222 Portable
Electric Sewing Machines
online for the last 19 years.
help you sell your Black, White, or Tan Singer 221 Sewing Machine, your Singer 222 Freearm
Sewing Machine, your San Francisco Golden Gate Exposition Singer
Featherweight Model 221 Sewing Machine, Chicago Century
of Progress Singer Featherweight Model 221 Sewing Machine, or Texas Centennial
Singer Featherweight Model 221 Sewing Machine. We have sold Blackside and
WWII Era Crinkle Finish Featherweight
Sewing Machines as well.
If you have
a Featherweight you would like to sell please
email me at
For more information on the benefits of consigning your Singer
Featherweight 221 or 222 sewing machine with us please visit my
Featherweight Information Page on our Past Sales Archive
To view examples of vintage
Singer Featherweight 221 and 222 sewing machines we have previously
sold and are always interested in buying or selling for you on
consignment be sure to visit our Antique
Past Sales Archive Pages.
To view the Singer Featherweights
we are currently offering for sale, please see our
Featherweight Sales Page.
* * * * We Sell Antiques!
* * * *
to Help you Sell Your quality Antiques
If you have a single antique, or a collection of antiques to sell
please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org giving us your PHONE NUMBER
and other contact info
and we will get back to you ASAP.
To view examples of the types of antiques and collectibles we have previously
sold and are always interested in helping you sell please visit our
Sales Archive Pages at our sister website
Please see our
FAQ page, the
Appraisal / Selling Page and the
Selling Your Collection Pages
for further info.
Larry & Carole