Singer 201K Treadle Sewing Machine Advantages

Written by melissa martinez
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Singer 201K Treadle Sewing Machine Advantages
A treadle sewing machine similar to the Singer 201K. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Singer has been the maker of fine sewing machines for over a century, including of many models during the 1940s. One of the 1940s models was the Singer 201K treadle sewing machine. The 201K was the latest in the K series, and treadle means that it had a foot pedal at the bottom to help make sewing faster.

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No Need for Electricity

The Singer 201K treadle machine is powered by you. The treadle works in tandem with your foot. If your foot is going fast, so is your 201K. This saves you money on an electric bill and is good in case of a power outage. There are no cords to trip over or have to replace due to ageing or fraying. You can also place the 201K anywhere you like, because you don't have to worry about whether there is an electrical socket nearby.


Built in 1941, there are still many Singer 201K treadle sewing machines in existence today. This is because they are built well and don't have a lot of small, fancy pieces or electronic devices on them. Models made before 1950 were made of cast iron. Cast iron is heavy and durable -- it does not break or chip like other materials. It is also easy to care for, so even a 201K model that has sat unused for decades could be easily restored and used again.


The Singer 201K treadle machine does not make a bunch of fancy stitches and zigzags like today's modern, electricity-dependent machines. In fact, it only has one stitch that it can do. The stitch can be made smaller or bigger, depending on your needs. Despite what seems like a limitation, many sewers covet the simplicity and lack of electric components because they don't have to deal with malfunctioning parts and break downs. You would rarely, if ever, have to replace any parts of the Singer 201K.

Easy to Maintain

Since the 201K is made of cast iron, you would maintain the outside like any other cast iron object. The table it sits on can be cleaned with any wood polish. The inner workings do have to be occasionally cleaned. This can be done professionally or at home with sewing machine oil and cloth. A light dusting keeps dust and debris out of the inner workings of the machine so that it will continue to function properly, even if you don't use it for awhile.

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