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Sewing | Sewing Machines | Janome Treadle | Sewing Machine Cabinets

Updated on July 15, 2012

Home sewing is once again gaining popularity especially amongst those families looking to move towards a more Self-Sustaining lifestyle.

Learning how to sew opens up so many opportunities for the average household to save on store bought clothing and fabric items, especially for large families.

If it is just learning how to sew on a button, repair a tear or making a complete outfit teaching both young boys and girls this lost home based skill can provide them long lasting savings over a lifetime.

It’s a homemaker skill that once was a standard curriculum in high school that is no longer being taught in most schools and if it is, draws very few students as an extra credit class.

Long before commercialized clothing families made almost every item on a home sewing machine. And before homes became electrified, sewing machines were operated by a foot operated treadle or by a hand crank.

Fabric was often difficult to come by and most families repurposed fabric from other clothing items, or utilized fabric flour and grain sacks.

No fabric went to waste, smaller sections of fabric would be cut into blocks and then sewed together in a patchwork design to latter become a patchwork quilt for the winter chill.

A Sewing machine was a necessity of ever home and understandable sewing machine cabinetry was a common and popular as a living room sofa is today.

Sewing machine cabinets ranged from the very simple to fancy. Sewing machine companies had to supply a cabinet with the machine in order to hold the foot treadle making the machine useful. Some models were hand crank and were housed in a wooden carrying case.

Furniture factories were either contracted or owned by the sewing machine companies who produced treadle sewing machines.

One of the most popular sewing machines and matching cabinet was made by the Singer Sewing Machine Company who produced treadle sewing machines from the mid 1800s through the mid 1900s and then introduced the electric sewing machines beginning in the 1920s.

Because the majority of rural areas did not see electricity until after the Rural Electrification act of 1936 when only 10% of rural areas had electricity through 1950 when it reach 90% with electricity, the treadle sewing machine was still the main household piece of working furniture.

Even with the early electric sewing machines consumers expected to have a sewing cabinet. Over the years the sewing cabinet went from a simple table with a treadle to a complete sewing center with drawers, spool and bobbin racks and spaces to hold the common metal boxes which contained the sewing machine accessories and repair tools.

Most sewing machine cabinets today are built from particle and fiber board with paper thin wood grained veneer. To find a solid wood cabinet you either have to go to an antique store or go to the Amish who still make and use both treadle and battery operated electric machines.

Since the Amish still make most of their clothing, they still utilize the large cabinet sewing centers.

The Singer treadle machine is no longer made and now the most popular “new” treadle machine is made by Janome. The Janome 712T is highly sought after by the Amish as well as those who are looking to live less dependent on electricity. Some just like the treadle machine as they feel they can control the speed better than an electric machine.

You can purchase Amish handcrafted sewing cabinets at Cottage Craft Works .com Cottage Craft Works Amish handcrafted cabinets can be custom made to fit any electric or treadle machine such as the Janome 712T. You can even purchase a reproduction look alike of the old treadle machines cabinets.

Cottage Craft Works is a back-to-basics online store featuring many old fashioned products still being made by the Amish.


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