Do you remember the time when your grandma would spend the warm sunny days while using her sewing machine by the window? While the small birds chirp, your grandma artistically spins the wheel on the sewing machine. As you recall the old days, you remember a big brown cabinet on which a sewing machine was kept. Then, sewing machines would come in big sizes and require foot pedals or a treadle to work.
Many people who own these old, antique sewing machines often show interest in knowing more about them. In the past, Singer used to be the most trusted and reliable sewing machine brand. Even today, people are ready to vouch for the machine’s and the related item’s efficacy. And this is the reason why the majority love to collect the vintage Singer sewing machines and cabinets. But, how would you find out whether a sewing machine cabinet is worth it? To identify this, you can garner a lot of information from Singer sewing machine cabinet styles. In this article, we’ll explore how to date a vintage sewing machine cabinet.
How Old is Your Singer Sewing Machine Cabinet?
This list is not exhaustive. With certain models, you may have to carry out in-depth research to find out the exact date of its manufacturing or launch. Here are some things that you must keep in mind if you are dating a sewing table.
1. The Label
On the underside of the cabinet or inside the drawers, check for a label. This can help you date the cabinet. In some models, you can even find the manufacturing date of the sewing machine printed alongside the label.
2. The Serial Number
Some sewing machine models can be dated quite easily by serial number. If your Singer sewing machine cabinet has an intact machine, it can help you find out the date of the cabinet. The date of manufacturing on your sewing machine can provide some clues about the date of the cabinet. However, in some cases, the date of the cabinet and the sewing machine may differ. For example, the machine and the cabinet may not have been sold together and the owner of the machine might have put the then-new machine in an old cabinet. Or, in the same manner, it may be possible that you get the cabinet a while after you have bought the sewing machine.
3. Assess the Hardware
The hardware of your sewing machine will tell you a lot about the year in which the machine was manufactured. Old sewing machines usually have a treadle. Besides, machines produced in the 1950s used to come with a knee-press option that serves as an alternative to a foot pedal.
4. The Style of the Cabinet
Most of the information relating to the date of a sewing machine can be extracted by assessing the style of the cabinet. Singer sewing machine cabinet styles have distinct stylistic features which can be helpful when you are categorizing the machines based on the year of manufacturing. To understand the stylistic features in a better manner, familiarize yourself with different furniture styles. The shape, wood finish, and details of the cabinet can easily tell the year in which they were created. For example, blond wood and chrome is the highlight of the 1950s. On the other hand, a piece from the 1910s will have ornate detailing, curving shapes, and small drawers. When trying to date a Singer sewing machine cabinet, always look at these subtle details to get a better understanding of the age of the item.
5. The Material Used
Just like the style of the cabinet, the material used for the construction of the cabinet can also give some clues about the era in which the product was being manufactured. A careful examination of the materials used in the construction can also tell you whether a treadle is authentic or a mere reproduction. You might wonder what factors you should be looking for when you are analyzing the material and construction of a particular sewing machine cabinet. If you see any sewing machine cabinet with fiberboard construction, you can easily place it in the 1960s. On the other hand, cabinets with plywood and chrome construction can be well placed in the 1950s.
How to Use an Old Sewing Machine Cabinet with a New Sewing Machine?
In the above section, we have talked about how Singer sewing machine cabinet styles and construction help you identify the era/decade in which the product was launched or manufactured. Back then, these cabinets were useful as the sewing machine created then were put on a stable and fixed place.
Over the years, and with the introduction of new designs, the direct use of a sewing machine cabinet has minimized. But, it doesn’t sound wise to throw away a high-quality item. Here are some of the ways through which you can put the cabinet into use.
1. Work Desk
The good thing about Modern Day working is that you are not bound to work at a physical office only. ‘Work from home’ has been a blessing for people who would have to spend half of their day in a long commute. But, this also means that you have a dedicated room for working at your home. If you have an idle sewing machine cabinet at your home, you can use it as a work desk.
2. Serving Station
A sewing machine cabinet has a lot of storage space. Use it to store your crockery. For parties and other get-togethers, you can use the table as a serving station. All you have to do is to take out the crockery and place them on the surface of the table. You can cover the surface of the table with a plastic cover to make the cleaning process easier.
3. Sewing Table
Who says that you cannot use an old item for the exact purpose for which it was built? You can use the sewing machine cabinet as a sewing table. You can put your portable sewing machine on the table only when you are working on big quilting or sewing projects.
4. A Side Table
You can also use the table in your living room to place various decorative items on them. If you have children, you can put the cabinet in their room and convert it into a mini-library. Apart from that, you can use it to place picture frames and other decorative items.
5. A Wrapping Table
For wrapping a present, you need a smooth surface so that the wrapping paper or the gift doesn’t slip during the process of wrapping. You can use the drawers to put scissors, tape, etc., so that you don’t have to waste your time searching for the wrapping essentials.
Our Final Thoughts
Through this article, you will well understand how the date of a sewing machine cabinet can be identified. The old and antique sewing machine cabinets are not a good collectible, but they can also fetch a good price for you should you decide to sell the item. Look for the elements/factors stated in this article and try to identify the actual age of the cabinet.
Singer sewing machine cabinet – regardless of how old they are – are of high-quality. This means that they can be used for various purposes. If you are using a sewing machine that doesn’t have to be fixed at one place, you can consider putting your sewing machine cabinet for other use.