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By Alex I Askaroff


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                Your Sewing Machine Problems SORTED in a heartbeat!

The Singer 201

"If you've never had an emotional moment with a sewing machine,
chances are you've never used a Singer 201."

Alex Askaroff

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                Alex I Askaroff

Writer and master craftsman Alex Askaroff has spent a lifetime in the sewing industry and is considered one of the foremost experts of pioneering machines and their inventors. He has written extensively for trade magazines, radio, television, books and publications world wide.


Most of us know the name Singer but few are aware of his amazing life story, his rags to riches journey from a little runaway to one of the richest men of his age. The story of Isaac Merritt Singer will blow your mind, his wives and lovers his castles and palaces all built on the back of one of the greatest inventions of the 19th century. For the first time the most complete story of a forgotten giant is brought to you by Alex Askaroff.



The Singer 201 sewing machine

Fit for a Princess, used by one!


Don't you love the beauty spot. Where have they all gone?

I have recently been working with the television production crew for the BBC series of The Great British Sewing Bee and we wanted to pick an iconic sewing machine to film. Well in the history of sewing machines there was one model that leapt out to me, the amazing Singer 201. It might not look much but the design and quality of this machine is on another level. If it were and Olympic swimmer it would have finished the race before you hit the water!

Someone once said to me that 'nothing lasts like quality' and the Singer 201, built by families that had worked for generations at the same factories, proved the case. The Singer model 201 will last forever and a day. I a million years when only the cockroaches live on Planet Earth they will be wondering how to use the machines they stumble over.

A little history

Cheap always sells, but only quality lasts...

After the Great War, mass production from technologies learnt during wartime, and the supply of electricity into houses led to massive advances in sewing machine technology. The pinnacle of this technology by the 1930's can be seen in the stunning performance of Singer's latest offering, the formidable model 201, which was produced in Britain at Kilbowie, Clydebank.

This British masterpiece of engineering was expensive but opened up a whole new era of opportunities amongst the working classes of Britain. The 1930's were hard, the world was suffering from a massive depression sparked by the Wall Street crash in America. The ripples were felt around the globe and millions of people found themselves out of work.

This well-worn basic Singer 201 made in 1951 (Singers centenary year) had changed little since 1930. This older style was still cast iron and,
as you can see by the open-spoke wheel, this one was originally supplied as a hand machine.

Possibly the rarest of all Singer 201's The Texas Centennial exposition Singer 201 from 1936.

In Britain unemployment and poverty manifested itself in uprisings like the Jarrow March in October of 1936 (Google it, its fascinating). However new opportunities were also opening up.

For the first time a truly professional machine was now available to the masses. There was almost a Singer shop in every town and city in the country and in the shop windows was the new Singer model 201. Although expensive, with the help of hire purchase, first introduced on mass by Singer and his partner Edward Clark in the 1850's, women found that they could buy the Singer 201, pay for it over a period of years and earn a living from the machine at the same time. Women, who had returned to housework after WW1 were ready to take up the challenge once more, to get a machine that could handle professional quantities of work without fuss. They would go on to earn a living and help with the household expenses again.

Super quality construction and simplicity in design gave the Singer 201 amazing performance, durability and a seemingly indefinite lifespan.

The Singer 201 was a work horse, it could be used hard and almost continuously. Whether making curtains or costumes, the woman of the household could earn a living with the machine, helping with the household bills and upkeep. For normal domestic use the Singer 201 would have been supplied as a hand machine or treadle but for the professional it could have a motor attached to it and could run at over 1,100 stitches per minute.

The Singer 201 earned a reputation for reliability and stitch quality that was second to none and many households dressed their children and fed their families from money earned on this fabulous model. However all this came at a price as we are going to find out.

One of the greatest sewing machine factories on the planet which produced many of the Singer 201 machines.

The Singer 201 machine

1939 the Singer 201 hits the streets in big numbers. It was cast iron, heavy and superb with the added option of an electric motor for an extra £5.17s or buying it complete in its cabinet as shown here, already electrified. The modern world was here. Although the majority of houses in rural areas still did not have electricity it was sweeping through the streets, towns and cities. An electric machine was three times faster and you could use both hands for sewing, as shown here.

Here is a clip by Alex Askaroff about hire purchase and the fabulous Singer 201


The Singer 201 had a drop feed thumbnut under the bed for Embroidery and darning.

The Singer model 201 first hit the streets just before the Great depression of 1929 but sales really took off for the Singer 201 just before World War II and boy what a machine it was, quite possibly the finest straight stitch domestic sewing machine in the world at the time (arguably it still is). However by 1939 Singer was busy with the war effort and so all but essential sewing machines took a back burner.

Singer during World War Two

During WW2 Singers, like most manufacturing companies, helped with the war effort and turned most of their machinery over to production of items like bullets and hand grenades. Singers received their first order for 100,000 Mills No36 hand grenades in July of 1940 and marked their Mills bombs with the SMC company logo. In America and Canada the Singer factories helped with automatic pistols, propellers, bomb sights, carbines, B-29 machine gun control systems and much more.

1930's fashion

The Singer sewing machine helped to make all the latest fashions.

Sewing machines during this period, and after the end of hostilities, became scarce and sought after, some customers waiting for over a year for their new sewing machine.

Post War Singer Sewing Machines

Britain, like most of war-torn Europe was trying to rebuild after the devastation of World War Two, however materials were in scarce supply and huge demand. The British Board of Trade implemented strict regulations to allow material to be used in manufacturing. Singer would have to achieve a 50% export rate to allow it to meet its material allowances. If it fell below that, steel and other materials would have been diverted to other more profitable companies.

Princess Elizabeth and the Singer 201K

Princess Elizabeth 1945

In 1947 the Singer Company proudly presented HRH Princess Elizabeth their finest sewing machine, the Singer 201. If you watch the Pathe newsreel of the presents for the Royal Wedding you will see the British 201 Singer proudly on display next to the jewels and gifts that the couple were showered with from royalty around the globe.

It was a brilliant piece of marketing from Singers and for a long time people were asking for the same machine that Queen Elizabeth used. If it was fit for a queen it was certainly good enough for them!

This is one of the last Singer 201 cast iron sewing machines, advertised in 1951. Within a few years all Singer 201's were alloy and a lot lighter. Many thanks to the SMC. The glamorous girl is one of Singers shop demonstrators, not a model brought in for the shot. Someone may know who she is, alexsussex@aol.com


Now, by the late 1940's there was a big benefit to be had by Singers with all its contacts. From the end of hostilities, surplus of aluminum (used throughout the aircraft and other military industries) was just ideal for Singers, who traditionally (because of cost) worked in cast iron, (except for their most expensive model, the 221).

Spitfires were built extensively from the copper-magnesium-aluminium alloy called Duralumin. It was tougher than aluminium. By 1948 a Spitfire was worth just £25 in scrap. Ideal for any manufacturer who could recycle the metals. This is one of the many reasons so few survive to this day.

Singers (through their contacts) managed to obtain large enough amounts of aluminium and other raw materials to allow the Singer 201 to be made in aluminum for the first time. The factory retooled and formed new castings and by the early 1950's they were producing the first Singer 201k sewing machines in aluminium.

Legends tells that more than one Singer today may be made of recycled Spitfires, Lancasters and Hurricanes. Initially the alloy 201 came in black, like its pre-war cast iron counterpart, but it soon switched to a more modern 1950's brown.

The full rotary hook and high-carbon super-hard corkscrew meshing gears, all set in a lighter alloy body, gave the machine a smoothness that other sewing machine manufacturers could only dream about. But all this came at a cost. It soon became Singers most expensive domestic sewing machine.

The Singer 201 was bought mainly by professional machinists who would sew for a living. The Singer 201 was pretty much bullet proof and could take a direct hit from a nuclear missile and still sew.

There is still no domestic sewing machine made that will stitch better than the Singer 201 sewing machine that is in good working order.


Singer 201 during WWII

The Singer 201 during the war. Picture courtesy of Mrs Milligan, one of my customers.

Singer's 201 was undoubtedly the pinnacle of Singer's quality machines. The 201 had arrived on the scene after nearly a century of evolution. It had the very best features of all Singer models and a price-tag to match.

Prices of the Singer 201

When the Singer 201 first came out its basic price in a wooden box was £13.17s (the Singer model 128k was £9.17s 6d, the Singer model 66 £11.10s). The differences do not sound much today but they were huge back then. The price for the 201 was for their hand model. For £5.17s you could upgrade to electric or pay over double for the complete treadle.

This price stayed pretty stable from the 1930's right up to the early 1940's when the same basic Singer 201 would cost between £13.7s and £15.8s. Add to this basic price the cabinet of your choice and motor.

Here is a 1949 Singer 201 complete with original receipt. As you can see the machine cost £32, 4s, 4d in an oak treadle. Now the average wage was little more than a few pounds a week in the 1940's and a Spitfire was only £25 in scrap! During the WW2 a farm girl was paid 10 shillings a week with board and food. The machine would have represented 64 weeks wages! Most people bought their machines on hire-purchase, layaway or part payment schemes at this time. The 201 Singer represented a huge financial investment, something that has been forgotten down the generations.

1949 Singer 201K3 made in Kilbowie, Clydebank, Scotland.

By the 1950's an electric Singer 201, in its basic wood case (not treadle) was supplied at £20.10s.

Whereas pre-war you would stipulate 'electric wanted' and pay the extra, by the 1950's you would have to ask for a hand or treadle machine as the majority were now supplied with motors as standard.

Don't forget the price could almost double if you wanted one of Singers fine cabinets. The Singer factory in Kilbowie had over 2,000 trained cabinet makers.

The Singer 201. A joy to use! But what a price!

The 1956 Singer 201K manufactured in Kilbowie, Clydebank, Scotland. Price £65, 2s, 6d.

By 1956 the Singer 201 was being sold in the UK for £65, 2s, 6d. Now the wage for a well paid secretary at the same time was £8 a week. The Singer was still costing EIGHT WEEKS WAGES. Today that would translate to £2,400 for a Singer 201. This extraordinary price was about to all come crashing down as the huge manufacturing giants of the Far East came on line (much with American investment after WW2).  

the massive inflation of the 1950's saw the Singer 201 rocket and by the 1960's they stabilised a little with faster manufacturing techniques. The machine balanced for awhile selling in 1961 for £66. Unfortunately this high price was disastrous for Singer's as new Far Eastern competitors were starting to supply machines at a little over a tenner (£10). Of course they were not the same quality as Singer's but we all buy on price don't we.

Of course Singer's tried offering cash discounts and other incentives and sales. There was also Singers hire purchase where the machine worked out more expensive but with small payments over long periods. But the 201 and Singer's days were numbered and as the 1960's rolled into the strike ridden 1970's the writing was also on the wall for the huge factory at Kilbowie.

Although the days of the Singer 201The Singer 201 has gone down in history as possibly Singer's finest model. Although technology has moved on, quality has not. The Singer 201came with a few letters such as the 201k (the K that sometimes follows the number denotes that it was made in in Kilbowie, Scotland) or the Singer 201P which was assembled in Australia using parts from Kilbowie. The Singer 201D with the American style potted motor was from Wittenberge in Germany.

Here is the German Singer 201D sewing machine made in Wittenberge.

It is interesting to note that economies were being made even on this model. Note the cheap transfer badge that was on the German 201D sewing machine model compared to the brass plate on the British 201k. Some had brass some transfer print decals.

There were also subclasses such as Singer 201k1 or 2 or 22 etc which were pretty much identical with minor alterations to the feed, reverse or winder. The only big change was the switch to an aluminium body for lightness. The Singer 201 sewing machines were made up until the early 1960's.

The huge Singer clock at Kilbowie was over 80 feet round and could be seen from almost every house in the area. There was little excuse for the 12,000 workers be late when they lived next to the largest clock in Europe.

The Singer 201 simply represents the very best that Singer's could make and was built to last a lifetime. Even today many professional sewers seek out this elusive model as no new machine can come close to this beauty for reliability and stitch quality.

This is a badge from a 201D made in Wittenberge, Germany. Some new evidence coming to light suggests that engineers at the Germany factory actually helped to develop the Singer 201. The Wittenberge Singers were not always stamped 201.

Rolls Royce and the Singer 201

Legend has it that Rolls Royce used modified Singer 201 sewing machines to sew its premium super-soft hide to panels for some of their finer car upholstery and dashboards as the Singer 201 made a small neat hole compared to the larger machines. The 201 would not handle seat hide but for the softer-thinner leather, as many bookbinders found, it was near perfect.

I certainly know several local bookbinders that switched to the Singer 201 sewing machines from industrials at their factories. I used to service the machines for one along Seaside in Eastbourne and remember clearly the rows of Singer 201's, sewing away so quietly compared to the normal factory din. What I would have given to have a camera with me on my younger days working in the factories.

Here I am sewing a new zip into a leather handbag. The alloy 201 went through six layers of soft leather with a size 18/110 needle. It was hard work but I managed it. You could not sew anything thicker with reliable results, there are few domestic machines that could handle that sort of work without damage.

All the early Singers were cast iron but around the early 1950's Singer also produced an Aluminium version to reduce weight, firstly in black then later in brown.

The first Singer 201 cast iron machines weighed a ton and were known in the trade as Back-Breakers! The alloy 201's were lighter and lost a bit of the ooompf (how do you spell that!) on the heavier work!

The ultimate Singer showroom with the fabulous Singer 222 and the Singer 201, their two flagship machines in 1957.

I remember a joke going around when I was a kid about how difficult it was to get new sewing machines in the 1950's. A woman walks into a Singer shop in post war Britain. "I would like to buy a new Singer." The Singer man just shrugs, "Wouldn't we all madam, wouldn't we all."

In reality times were so hard and material so scarce that they would be put on a waiting list and be notified when one was ready. Some people would wait months for a new machine. A little bit different to today eh! 

Now when I say expensive let me explain...

Singer 201k receipt 1940 when a land girls wages were 10 shillings a week.

You can see from the receipt that Mrs Jeffrey paid 13 pounds 17 shillings and tuppence for her brand new Singer 201 in 1940. Her weekly wage as a domestic at that time was just over 10 shillings. The average normal wage was a little over one pound. She had paid the equivalent of 27 weeks wages for her Singer 201K. WOW.

Half a years wages for a Singer 201 sewing machine!

Now in today's money what would that be? Work out what half your years wages are and you have what the Singer 201 cost in 1940. Basically they cost the same as a decent car today! Now you know why the Singer 201K machines sew better than their modern plastic counterparts. I once met a man who paid £50 for his Singer when new. He only remembered the price because he paid £500 for his house!

The last Singer 201's were angular alloy and varied colours. They were still superb machines but the earlier all cast iron models handled thicker material slightly better because of the heavier flywheel/handwheel.

The Singer 201 ran for nearly three decades before its production costs made it unviable and production at Kilbowie and elsewhere ceased. It was the end of an era and the end of possibly the best straight stitch Singer ever made.

Sew with a Singer 201K today in good working order and you will see what I mean, puuuurfection.

The Singer 201sewing machine

The 201 was popular the world over and the French loved it as much as us although (I can't see the front) this model might possibly be the French made Singer 191B. Isn't that the best smile ever!

The Final Singer 201 was a browny-beige and by 1963 it was no more. The finest sewing machine in the world became just too expensive to make.

Japanese cheap imports were flooding the market and this old beauty was put to bed. By 1963 you could buy over 100 sewing machines cheaper than the 201 and the 201 only did a straight stitch!

Today the Singer 201K go for silly low-prices on Ebay because no one realises how well they were made or how much they used to cost.

If you enjoy your sewing and don't need all the fancy stitches grab a Singer 201K while you still can. It is a machine that will make you smile with each stitch.

"By any standards, a well set Singer 201, is simply unbeatable for stitch quality. It is undoubtedly the finest Singer domestic straight stitch sewing machine ever produced."
Alex Askaroff

Books by Alex Askaroff

The Singer 201k Sewing Machine, simple perfection.

Which Report 1961 Singer Sewing Machine

'Best Buy', the Singer 201

In 1961 Which Magazine tested over 40 sewing machines that were on the market at the time. The tests were amazingly in-depth and, as the magazine stated, the machines were expected to take substantial work over a lifetime.

You cannot imagine anyone making anything today that was built to last a lifetime! Where did it all go wrong? For example each electrical foot controller was tested over 75,000 times to review its capability.

The Singer 201, won the Which Magazine overall best machine, remembering that Which was an unbiased and independent magazine never weakening to flattery.

After extensive testing and abuse, including dropping the machines, the magazine stated that... The Singer 201 and Necchi Supernova cannot be seriously faulted.

They were the best but also the dearest machines. The Singer 201 cost £66. 1s. 3d. (the Universal Sew Maid cost £11. 19s.).

The average wage in 1961was well under £20 per week in the UK so as a minimum the 201 relates to around one months wages. That relates to the sewing machine costing over £1,000 at today's value and that is after the machine became relatively cheaper to its original 1930's price.

No wonder it was such a beauty! The 201 was costing over six times the price of some of the other sewing machines! It was closely followed in price by the fabulous lightweight Singer 222k at £65. 15s. 6d.

Production of the Singer 201 finished by early 1960 but there was still stock being sold at various Singer outlets as late as 1963 as the last of the old stock disappeared.


The Singer 201 was so expensive that some people paid over years for their machines. Not like today where some cheap machines will last you a few years before they takes up their rightful place on the rubbish mountain. Oh, and in their brief time they will stitch like only plastic can!

Singer 201 threading diagram: note the way the thread goes through the needle! Right-to-left folks and the flat side of the needle to the outside/left of the machine.

Threading diagram for Singer 201

By any standards, a well set Singer 201, is simply unbeatable for stitch quality.
Alex Askaroff

Singer 201 threading diagrams



News Flash! Alex's books are now all available to download or buy as paperback on Amazon worldwide.


Most of us know the name Singer but few are aware of his amazing life story, his rags to riches journey from a little runaway to one of the richest men of his age. The story of Isaac Merritt Singer will blow your mind, his wives and lovers his castles and palaces all built on the back of one of the greatest inventions of the 19th century. For the first time the most complete story of a forgotten giant is brought to you by Alex Askaroff.

       "This may just be the best book I've ever read."
 J Vincent Horam


"My five grandchildren are reading this book aloud to each other from my Kindle every Sunday.
The characterization is great; both heart-warming and funny, and the story never lags.
 I enjoyed not only the story, but watching my grandchildren's delight in hearing it.
 The illustrations are the best I've seen in a very long time.
Anne Lancaster USA

 If this isn't the perfect book it's close to it!
I'm on my third run though already.
 Love it, love it, love it.
F. Watson USA

The way it's written you can just imagine walking beside him seeing the things he does.
Definitely look forward to reading more of his adventures.
Amazon FIVE STAR review

News Flash! Alex's books are now all available to download or buy as paperback on Amazon worldwide.

Fancy a funny FREE read: Ena Wilf  & The One-Armed Machinist


Buying a Singer 201 by Alex Askaroff Youtube


I spend countless hours researching and writing these pages and I love to hear from people so do drop me a line and let me know if you thought it was worth it: alexsussex@aol.com


Dear Alex, 
I moved into my new house and found a 201k in the basement in its box. I googled and found your site and so I used it and it is so so amazing ! I work in the leather trade and I can sew soft leather with it and all other materials. Simply amazing I am truly blest! 
Kind wishes
Crystal Fischetti

Books by Alex Askaroff


I have been moved to email you and let you know how enlightening your article on the singer sewing machine was to read today.

I have just rescued a 201K had no idea about the history related to the sewing machine but I am absolutely delighted and it runs like a dream - so smooth - its going to have an easy life of simple admiration with the occasional use - but all the same I am so pleased to be its owner now.

Thank you for your article
Take care


Dear Alex,

Even though I love sewing machines, I have only just got into the computer hence only two weeks ago properly explored' your web site - Alex it is awesome I cannot believe all the information you have put there for us all.

I found a machine in a neat cabinet. I looked up the machine on your site later,  fascinating to read all about the sewing machine which I had overlooked!  The Singer 201 is in pristine condition, it sews beautifully and after reading the info now I know why.

Anyway I just wanted to thank you.  However, I must stop collecting machines, I am running out of space!

kind regards,

Dear Alex,
My father bought a Singer 201 for my mother in 1940 something. I learned to sew on it when I was around 12 years old. The 201 is and always will be a cut above in the straight sewing arena and I always use the 201 to do all my straight sewing.
Reading your article has stirred a greater appreciation for my motherís wonderful and special sewing machine. I cannot thank you enough for sharing.
Elmire Cantey


Hi Alex

Just a little note as your site has made me re-evaluate my sewing machine. I bought it from a second hand shop some years ago for £20 and it gets pulled out of the cupboard for a rare outing every now and then. I Googled singer 201K and found your site which tells me of its quality, I was cursing it for being old and second-hand and now realise I should really take better care of it!


Isaac Singer
The First Capitalist
Is now available as an instant download on Amazon: click on the book

Dear Alex

Thank you for your page on the 201k. I actually bought the 201k for the cabinet the sewing machine was a bonus. I am astonished at how quiet, fast and smooth the machine is.  I am so delighted with this find and your article has increased my pleasure. I have another new sewing machine given to me by friends but the 201k is so very much better.

Kind regards


Hi Alex,
I have just watched a program on Ch 4 on bombing in Britain during the war, and I thought that I saw a 201 in the rebuilt and simulated house of that time, so I Googled Singer 201.
As a young man in the 70s I wanted to buy a sewing machine, partly because I was a quasi hippy, and partly for its general utility, and was advised by a market trader in The Cut, Waterloo, to buy a Singer 201, he saying it was the best they ever made, and that rumour had it that Rolls Royce used the 201 to sew leather to quarter inch ply wood on the dashboards of their cars.
I bought my Singer from a shop in Bromley where I lived, for about £50, and being an engineer tuned and adjusted it. It has been a great machine, a real workhorse, and saved much money by allowing repairs.

As an engineer. I am heartbroken by the paucity of invention, and reducing standards of much consumer engineering, and this is one lovely example I will never get rid of, being firmly embedded in my 'grotto' of  iconic designs. I have wondered if the brown aluminium ones had any advantages though.


Best Wishes, Russell B.

Hi Alex. I went on the internet trying to find a manual for our old treadle but, with no joy.  Out of the blue, my Mother produced the very tatty manual, and also the attachments, for the Model No. 201K.  This drove me to the internet again to find out more, and I found your very informative webpage. What a wonderful surprise, little did we know the machine Dad bought in 1947 was one of the best!
Anita Bragg
South Africa


I have just been reading about the 201. I make bears and after using many machines over the years I started looking for something else and learned about the 201. I was lucky enough to get a 1930's one from gumtree for £15 in a cabinet. It is absolutely fabulous sews like a dream through mohair, fur, suede leather you name it with the correct thread, needles and tension they are total work horses. These machines will go forever with the neatest stitches you could want. Really great site enjoyed reading.

Hello, Alex!

I learnt sewing on a Singer 201k nearly 60 years ago, but my mother traded it in when I was about 18.

The other day I found another in a local charity shop. My husband cleaned and oiled it for me. What a joy it was to operate and hear the smooth and familiar sound.

I just love it and enjoyed reading its story.

Greetings from a happy
owner of a 201k in  Norway


Alex my Singer 201 has enormous sentimental value. Mamma once made a suit for my father for a bet Ė not quite Savile Row but wearable, she took an old suit to pieces and worked from that. As children and young adults all our clothes were custom built. I would see fabric, in Liberty, Dickens & Jones, or Berwick Street or Peckham Rye markets, come home, describe what I wanted, my father would sketch it and Mamma would tell me how much fabric to buy and make it.

I went online with 201K just now just to value the machine Ė there was nothing for sale on E-Bay to compare. I now value it far more, having read your illuminating website. Thank you.
Most sincerely
Charmian Barnes


Books by Alex Askaroff

Dear sir

Have just found you article on the 201. Very interesting indeed.

The 201k is the Rolls Royce of sewing machines - but I had not realised how much they cost new! No wonder they are so good!

Yours sincerely

John Davies

Rev. T. John Davies, B.A.



I just found your wonderful web site.  I really enjoyed it. 

Thank you for the great information.

Cheryl, Oklahoma

Books by Alex Askaroff

Hi Alex:
Thank you for your fantastic article on the Singer 201. I picked up one of these gems in a cabinet, with manual and all attachments at a church rummage sale for 15 dollars! Sinful, I know. By the looks of the serial number, it was manufactured in 1940. My 11 year old son who loves all things vintage just squealed in delight when I bestowed his treasure on him.

I currently run a rehab center with eight Singer 401as tenants that are all being nursed back to health... wow, these old Singers can take so much abuse and neglect, and with a little elbow grease, rust remover, lubricant, and oil, they can come back screaming! They provide the straightest stitch.
Thank you for your article, I am now on the lookout for a few more 201 tenants!
Emily M USA

I just came across your article and I loved the information it includes. There were many points I did not know about until now.
My first 201 was by accident, I had ordered a Singer machine on Ebay about 5 years ago with the seller not knowing what is was he was selling and low and behold it was a 201, I was in love with the elegant quality that Singer instilled in their machines so many years ago.
I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your article and all the research you did.
Have a great day and take care.
Cameron D USA

Hi, Alex-
Great website! In researching my old Canadian Singer 201, I found your article on that class of machines to be the most in depth and solid one I could find.

Thanks for a great resource!
Will McDonald

Hi Alex
We have been amazed by your website and had no idea about the history of Singer and the 201 model. Delighted to realise some were manufactured in Scotland and that it has such a wonderful reputation in the industry. It has brought back so many memories to Mother who remembers her Mother receiving sewing lessons when she was 7!
Sue Purcell


I just wanted to write and say, THANK YOU for those great articles about the Singer machines.  I own several.  My husband just rehabbed a 1940 201 for me.  I sewed on it for the first time Saturday and it is a delight!  This is my first experience with a 201.  It is so quiet and the stitches are perfection.

I did a search for history of the machine and ended up on your page.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this wonderful machine.



Your article is awesome!  Thank you for all your research and sharing with us.  I have 5 machines from England, one of which is a 201K.  It is in a bentwood case, requires a knee control lever which I have ordered. There is an auction house here in San Antonio, TX that used to get crates of goods from England and hold an auction every week. That is where I got the 5 machines.  The 201K, a 99K, hand crank 99K, hand crank 128K and a Federation treadle machine. 

Thank you for what you do.  You add so much to our love of machines. 
Linda USA


Books by Alex Askaroff

Hi Alex

I have just used the Singer 201 to make 2 pairs of curtains for my daughter and it is indeed a fantastic machine. I am almost reluctant to admit that it sews a better stitch and sounds better than the Bernina! Now I don't know which one to refer to as my Rolls Royce!

Thank you for your very helpful website.

Kind regards


Dear Alex,

Thank you very much for the great site and wonderful info on all things sewing.  As a result of your helpful information I just purchased a used Singer 201k from 1941 (Ebay) and it is wonderful.  I use it to sew cotton duck and burlap heavy tote bags and the stitches are beautiful.  
Thanks again for the sewing education and the passion for these old great machines.

Wes Kosin
Goose, Creek, USA 


Dear Alex,
Iíve just read the article on your site Ė so interesting. I inherited my motherís 201K which she purchased in 1954, and still use it. 
My friend is a dressmaker, and even she says that she canít believe how straight and perfect the stitching is. I have since bought a modern Singer, all electronic and bells and whistles, but it canít compare for quality of stitching.
Thank you for a fascinating read.
Lorna in Scotland

Hi Alex

I am 72, and live in northern Australia. I have inherited a Singer 201K from a friend who passed away. This is the same as the machine I learned to sew on, in Canada in the 1950's!  I was delighted to be able to read your details about this wonderful machine on the internet, thank you so much for all that information about it!  It makes me appreciate the wonderful machine so much better.  
Thanks for the added appreciation you have given us!
cheers, Marilyn


"By any standards, a well set Singer 201, is simply unbeatable for stitch quality."
Alex Askaroff




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