How to Use a Old Sewing Machine

There are several types of sewing machine all-around the world. Then comes the old sewing machine and it is quite tough to know how to use a old sewing machine. Although I am not sure what makes you wonder about these intricate classic machineries, but their using process is quite delicate. But there are people who have an unquenchable thirst for these old contraptions. But you will not be able to run these old sewing machines that easily. The bobbin filling process is totally different in those sewing machine. Even the bobbin is completely different. Their structure and usage are quite unfamiliar.

How to Use a Old Sewing Machine

In a conventional machine, bobbin has a cylindrical shape, and they are quite circular like, and they are short. The hollow of the bobbin is also quite wide. I will be describing user manual of singer classic machines where you have to load the thread on the bobbin separately before sewing. Other difference is that the bobbin of these singer machines is stick-shaped. The shuttle shape of the machine is quite different. Conventional bobbin holder has a circular shape while the shuttle of the singer machine is bullet-shaped. I hope you won't have any problem when I explain the working process of the singer classic machine.

How to Use a Classic Singer Sewing Machine

The classical singer machine used to be hand driven or treadle machine which is quite rare to find in this time. I will describe the whole process starting from the loading thread on the bobbin to the inserting thread on the needle bar.

Step 1 Bobbin

The bobbins of these sewing machines look like a stick. It has to circular metallic sheet on both sides. Some have a hole in the one side of the metallic sheet while some don’t have any hole. I will describe the process for both situations.

First, for bobbin that has a hole on its one end, you need to take a thread and then insert one side of the thread into the bobbin stick through the hole. Pull the thread from the outside in order to keep a little amount of thread hanging outside the bobbin. Then you have to load your bobbin on the bobbin winder. You have to pull the shaft from the outside to make space for your stick bobbin. Then when you position the bobbin in the right place, let go of the shaft. The spring mechanism will keep press the shaft against the bobbin and keep the bobbin stick stationary.

For bobbin stick that has no hole on either side, you have to improvise a little bit. You have to stick the thread at the opposite part of the springe shaft. Then push the bobbin inside the hollow shape where you have buried your thread. Then let go of the spring shaft it will press against the stick, and it will press the thread against the wall of the bobbin winder.

Step 2 Winding Thread on the Bobbin

After you have loaded the bobbin stick on the winder, now you have to take the thread connected to the cotton. Now guide the thread first through the upper thread guide then guide them through the lower thread guide. Finally, hook them with the upper hook. Now your thread winding is ready to load the thread on the bobbin stick. Whenever you rotate the wheel of the machine, it will continue to load thread on the stick. So after the bobbin is filled with the thread take them out of the winder by pressing the spring shaft of the winder.

Step 3 Facilitate the Bobbin on the Shuttle

After loading the thread at the bobbin cut the excess thread coming out of the bobbin. Then you have to load them on the shuttle. The shuttle is metallic hollow shaped. It resembles the bullet quite closely. The hollow part of the shuttle facilitates the bobbin stick. Now, this is a simple but delicate step. You have to be careful while loading the bobbin on the shuttle. Any kinds of improper loading mean you will have to load them again, which is awfully irritating. So insert the bobbin stick inside the shuttle. Enter it through the wide side. Now enter the bobbin inside the shuttle in such a manner that the side with the thread coming out remains on the open side of the shuttle.

Then pull the thread off from the bobbin through the diagonal curving of the shuttle. Stretch them until it clicks to something. Then stop stretching and enter them under the needle bar horizontally in an angle. While leaving them here leave some thread under the needle bar.

Step 4 Loading the Thread on the Needle Bar

Then attach another thread from the cotton to the needle bar. You will have to guide the thread via different hook provided in the machine. Then insert the thread into the hallow provided in the needle. Now you can start your sewing. You can load the bobbin while sewing as the same wheel is used for both sewing and loading tread on the bobbin.


You will need to occasionally stop your sewing process and take the bobbin to out of the bobbin winder. You should put grease or other lubricants on a monthly basis to keep it properly functional. So I hope that you know how to use a old sewing machine.

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